Category: Terminology

Is it Viral or Virtual?

Indonesia is a nation that is quickly bored, as well as easy to forget. On the other hand, we are also easy to create or search for and use new things to replace the old ones, because of the boredom. The easiest example is in language. Our society is very easy to create or use new words, which often shot up in popularity, are used by almost every day, but will also easily disappear quickly. We remember how popular the word ‘in use’ was different from the original meaning, as well as popular phrases like ‘something’, ‘ah already’, and so on. Thus, the life cycle of the popularity of words in Indonesia seems to be fast and dynamic.

One of the words that is currently quite popular to use is the word ‘viral’. We easily encounter, for example, someone’s status on social media states: in the news that spread viral, it was reported that … At first I thought the speaker was writing wrong, because what was meant might be ‘virtual’. But the longer, the word is increasingly popular and many people use it. Oh yes, one more characteristic of us is that it’s easy to use new words, because it will raise prestige and show us updates with the latest technology and information. On the other hand, (very likely) actually do not understand the meaning of the word that is used correctly. For example, I am alone (hehehe).

Previously I had always thought that the meaning of the virtual word was nothingness or something that was artificial and virtual. In my shadow, virtual words are best used to explain the phenomenon of the internet, as a virtual world. Especially a few years ago there was a technology that was able to show something as if it were real, but actually virtual, which was called ‘virtual reality’. We can see an example in the video clip of Kla Project ‘Sudi Down to Earth’, when each personnel wears special glasses, which are able to show as if in front of him there are three-dimensional objects that are real, touchable and held, but are actually only shadows mere.

This is my understanding so far about the word ‘virtual’, without ever checking the truth in the large Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI). The appearance of the word ‘viral’ finally forced me to check the truth of the meaning of the word that I assumed was in KBBI online, and the results turned out to be quite surprising, because the meaning of the virtual word explained fairly briefly in the site turned out to be:

virtual / vir · tu · al / a (real): democracy in the sense –

What is really unfortunate in the KBBI online is the lack of explanation that is conveyed related to the referenced word. In the definition of the word at a glance it can be interpreted that the virtual definition is real, so it is 180 degrees opposite to my understanding so far. But it turns out that it must be understood that the meaning of the words in parentheses is very important, because the meaning of ‘rich’ can be equated with ‘as if’. So my understanding is actually not too deviant, that the meaning of the word virtual is ‘virtual’ or ‘as if’ real. Furthermore, a discussion in Yahoo answer, elaborates on the meaning of virtual words as’ a kind of simulated state of real form. But that does not mean the output / results are also virtual or fake ‘, as can be seen in the following link. The definition has further identified the applicative functions of the virtual word, which may be used by many people in daily activities, for example in the form of modeling or Geographic Information Systems.

One word we finished discussing, then what about the meaning of the word viral? What does the word spread rapidly like that virus? Ah, without realizing we actually have defined what the word viral means, namely ‘like a virus’ or ‘related to a virus’, as stated in the following link. In KBBI online, the word is not yet listed, and only the word ‘virus’ is listed as the closest word. So the meaning of the word ‘viral spread’ is probably meant to ‘spread rapidly like a virus, often with virtual media or the internet’.

Thus, with this understanding we can at least be careful to use the words according to their original meaning. Without intending to patronize, because I also still and continue to learn to understand the word, I want to invite, let us speak intelligently and correctly. Regards.