Practice English Speaking&Listening with: People Who Took Pop Culture Way Too Seriously...

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Here at Toptenz weve never been ones to shy away from admitting our faults, and we

know that in the past weve been guilty of over-analyzing pop culture perhaps a little

too much.

That said, we always did so with a tongue planted firmly in our cheek.

Today were here to talk about 10 aspects of pop culture people took more seriously

than we ever imagined.

For example, consider the absolute mess that has arose as a result of people arguing about


The pronunciation of the word GIF

Were not going to insult anyone reading this by trying to suggest that some of you

may not know what GIFs are, but for those of you who dont, theyre the ubiquitous

moving images you see everywhere online.

They can be used to show anything from a movie clip to a ninja octopus and everything in

between, and theyre a staple of the internet ecosystem and a massive part of current popular


The word GIF itself stands for Graphics Interchange Format, which was created by a guy named Steve

Wilhite back in 1987.

Now according to Wilhite, GIF should be pronounced with a softGsound like in the word

giraffe, meaning the word should be pronounced, “Jif”.

The internet however, disagrees, stating that it should be pronounced with a hardG

like the kind youd find in the word golf because the G in GIF stands forgraphic

which is also pronounced with a hard G.

This argument has been going back and forth without a clear victor emerging since the


In fact, the arguments about how to pronounce GIF are so fierce that the Oxford freaking

dictionary simply accepts both pronunciations because its easier than having people write

in to complain (because you know they would).

Seriously, go to the comment section of any article talking about this and you will see

literally hundreds of people trying to tear each others throats out over how to properly

pronounce a three letter word that even the dictionary agrees can be pronounced either


The fact this argument has been going on for over a decade when the creator of the format

itself has already given an incredibly blunt answer to the question is a testament to the

lengths people will go to prove a point.

Speaking of which


The argument about Game of Thrones that ended with someone (nearly) being thrown through

a window.

One of the things that makes the Game of Thrones series so engaging is the fact that nobody

is safe from being killed off, maimed or otherwise removed from the show in the most bloody and

brutal way possible.

Now we dont want to ruin anyones fun, so were not going to spoil any part of

the show for people who havent seen it with this entryall were going to say

is that something happened in the show that really annoyed this Florida resident.

According to police reports, the man, identified as Michael Podniestrzanski, got into a heated

argument with his cousin over an event in the shows second episode (the exact cause

of the argument isnt known).

When it dawned on Podniestrzanski that words werent going to sway his pigheaded cousins

opinion on the matter, he calmly and politely, punched him in the face and tried to throw

him through a window.

No charges were filed for the incident, presumably because both men wanted to see what happened

in the third episode.

Because hey, its not like anyone got shot or anything, right?


The guy who shot his girlfriend over an argument about The Walking Dead.

Like Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead is a show that has a very devoted fan base.

If youve managed to venture online this long without ever encountering it, or the

comic series its based on, the show basically follows the day-to-day adventures of a group

of people trying to survive after a zombie apocalypse.

The reason we bring up the premise of the show is because the cause of actual zombie

outbreak, which is the entire crux of series, is something that has never been elaborated


In fact, the creator of the original comic book has openly stated that hell probably

never explain how the outbreak began because its not important to the story he wants

to tell.

In other words, its supposed to be intentionally vague to add to the mystery of the show.

Jared Gurman however, didnt want to accept that and was insistent that amilitary

mishapof some kind could potentially cause an identical situation.

Gurmans girlfriend, Jessica, didnt accept this theory, which lead to an argument so

explosive she went to stay at her parentshouse.

That in itself is kind of ridiculous, but Gurman didnt stop there.

Even after his girlfriend had left the house (the universal signal forits time to

stop arguing numb-nuts”), he continued to send her abusive and threatening text messages

because how could he be wrong?

Showing more patience than her boyfriend deserved, Jessica went back to her house to calm her

boyfriend down.

Ten minutes later, hed shot her through the back with a rifle which is a perfectly

reasonable response if youre totally insane.

Luckily, Gurman was as bad at shooting as he was at arguing and Jessica survived the


Gurman was later arrested and it was discovered that he waspassionate about weapons

because of course he was.


The people arguing about whether or not libraries should stock Harry Potter.

Whether you like the Harry Potter series or not, there is one fact about the books that

you absolutely cant argue withthat it got a ton of kids into reading.

That fact alone should be more than enough to warrant the booksinclusion in any respectable

library or place of learning.

However, some people disagree, not because the books arent proper literature or because

theyre chock-full of plot holes, but because they promote witchcraft.

Before you go ahead and think that this is probably due to a small minority of over protective

parents yelling loud enough to make it into the local news, we should point out that Harry

Potter is literally one of the most challenged books of all time.

Challenged in this context meaning that people have formally complained about the book appearing

in public and school libraries.

Now the author of this article is no stranger to picking holes in the Harry Potter universe,

but this is on another level.

Just let it soak in that one of the single most popular childrens books of all time,

a book that got millions of children to read and spawned a characters more popular than

some real-life celebrities, is constantly having

to justify its place in libraries.


The guys who got into a fist fight, over a martial arts game.

Because youre going to see video games rearing their head a few more times over the

course of this article, we should stress that were not under the impression that video

games, or indeed any kind of media, causes violent behavior.

Were well aware that almost all of the arguments and acts of violence well be

covering today were caused by stupid people, not the media they consumed.

That said, video games seem to attract a disproportionate amount of people with a propensity to do something

that makes you shake your head in disbelief.

Case in point, in October of 2012, two Chinese teenagers got into an actual fist-fight over

an argument about which fictional martial art was the best in the Jet Li MMO (yes, thats

a real thing) they were both playing in a local internet cafe.

Before the two men came to blows, theyd been having a passionate argument about whose

virtual kung fu could kick the most ass, and when the owner of the cafe asked the teenagers

to shut they hell up, they instead agreed they should take the argument outside.

Long story short, a few minutes later, the police we called to drag the two bloodied

teenagers off of each other and they were both given a stern warning to not do it again.

Wed end on a snarky comment, but the cafe owner already beat us to it with this quote:

Ive never met such losers in my life, fighting over literally nothing.”


The music fans who harassed Lorde, over a quote she never said.

If youre one of those annoying hipster types who claims to be able to avoid any and

all popular music just so that you can look cool and aloof at parties, this is Lorde.

Now that were all on the same page, lets talk about her boyfriend, James Lowe.

A photographer by trade, Lowe was thrust into the media spotlight when his relationship

with Lorde was made public.

For the most part this wasnt a big deal, until One Direction fans suddenly decided

that they hated Lorde.

This resulted in a deluge of racist, insulting and poorly spelled messages being hurled at


According to various sources, fans of One Direction and Justin Bieber, who are widely

known for their placid temperaments and ability to take criticism, out of nowhere decided

that Lorde had called their musical idols ugly.

For the record, there is no known record of Lorde ever saying anything like this.

She did however call them overrated, a sentiment echoed by about 90% of the online world.

But arguing about why the music you like is culturally relevant is difficult and requires

the use of long words, so fans of both acts decided it was just easier to send Lorde and

her boyfriend (whom is of Asian descent) racist messages.

Because, theres no way saying awfully offensive things online at a young age is ever going

to come back and bite you in the ass in an age where it takes seconds to screenshot that

junk and have it preserved forever.


The fans who threatened the creators of a game, over millisecond changes

Like we said a few paragraphs ago, there are a lot of entries about video games in the

article because they seem to be the medium that attracts the most people willing to immediately

resort to offensive language when things dont go exactly their way.

Something wed like to dub the FIFA effect, because that game is probably the king of

broken controllers and friendships.

Moving away from that, wed like to discuss what happened when the creators of popular

shooting game Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 released a patch that literally changed the way some

guns fired by a fraction of a second.

In short, they went batpoop crazy.

As weve mentioned before, in response to a patch that was released with the express

intention of making the game more balanced, or in other words, better for everyone except

the small fraction of players abusing bugs that were never meant to be in the game, people

sent one of the people who worked on the game real-life death threats.

In case the full stupidity of that sentence isnt sinking in, well reiterate what

we said: the people sending these threats took time out of killing people in a virtual

world, to threaten to kill a man in our world, virtually.

Thats some next level stupidity right there.


The beer pong stabber.

Were just going to jump right into this one because its so absurd we didnt actually

believe it happened until we found a CBS article confirming its legitimacy, that a guy was

stabbed over an argument about beer pong.

Like many of you are probably doing now, we assumed that someone was stabbed during a

game of beer pong and the news just got carried away, but no, police reports seem to totally

confirm that the argument was caused, or at least exacerbated by a simple game of beer


Wait, isnt the whole point of that game is that its supposed to be all about drinking

and having fun?

Since when did knives become fun and when is the best time to pull them out at a party?


People really wanted Frozen merchandise

For everyone reading this who doesnt have a girlfriend, sister, female friends or a

Tumblr account, Frozen is a recent Disney movie that seems to have really struck a chord

with big chunk of the population, in particular, young girls and boys.

As youd expect from a Disney movie, Frozen has of course spawned a slew of related merchandise.

However, the bigwigs at Disney seemingly underestimated the potential popularity of the film, which

resulted in merchandise selling faster than the company could restock shelves.

This left parents with excitable children suffering from Frozen-mania with two choices,

calmly explaining to their children that they cant always get what they want and that

theyd have to get something else, or go absolutely insane and start punching cashiers

until Frozen merchandise magicked itself into existence.

Understandably, a lot of parents chose the latter option.

According to workers in the biggest Disney store in New York, customers didnt react

well to being told that they were sold out of Frozen merchandise.

While some customers reacted with the tried and true method of attacking cashiers who

were clearly hoarding merchandise for themselves, others resorted to trying to guilt employees

into supplying them stock that literally didnt exist by claiming their children were sick,

dying, or worse, a tactic thats also common amongst parents with no souls who want to

get into Disney land for free.

For parents who didnt want to take themy child is dying, give me free stuff

route, the only other option was to spend thousands of dollars buying the merchandise

online, which is exactly what some parents did, because $1200 is a perfectly reasonable

amount of money to spend on a 9 inch tall doll that normally retails for $16.95.

Thats a 7000% mark-up.

This whole series of events echoes several toy fads from history, in particular the Beanie

Baby craze, which saw parents snatching toys from the hands of children, dressing

up in different outfits to try and by-pass a three Beanie per person limit at certain

stores and buying dozens of happy meals and throwing them away just to get the free Beanie

Babys they contained.

But hey, lying about your kid having a terminal disease, stealing from infants and straight-up

assault are perfectly acceptable responses to your child really liking a Disney movie,



The awfulfansruining cosplay for everyone.

Cosplay is the act of dressing like a fictional character from a movie, TV show, video game

or Anime for fun.

Though it was once a niche past-time enjoyed by a select few super-fans, thanks to a recent

explosion of interest in all things nerdy, it has become a far more commonplace aspect

of pop culture, which is awesome.

One of the best things about Cosplay is that theres no right or wrong way to do it.

Want to painstakingly recreate your favorite character right down to the shade of blue

on their jock strap?

Go for it!

Want to gender-bend a well-known and established character?


Want to cover yourself in red paper and tape and say that youre Iron Man?

Wed be mad if you didnt.

Despite the fact that cosplaying is something 99% of people do for fun, an increasingly

common and depressing trend in the world of cosplay is bullying, with many cosplayers

of both genders reporting abuse and general unpleasantness from the very people who call

themselves fans of the things theyre trying to celebrate.

Complaints from cosplayers range from being told theyre too unattractive to portray

a certain character to their ownership of a penis being unacceptable.

And of course, theres also a healthy amount of sexism and harassment, because its not

a party without those guys.

We were going to end this article on a positive note, but instead were just going to say

that if youre the kind of person who feels like you should be able to tell people not

to dress up like a kick-ass wizard or Batman, youre the one with

the problem, not them.

The Description of People Who Took Pop Culture Way Too Seriously...