If a video loads slowly we say that it is "buffering". But if a video stops and doesn't play for a long time can "buffer" be used? Or is it used for the whole video?

Please don't stop again.

Please don't freeze again.

Please don't hang again.

And can it be:

Please don't buffer again.

Is the use of "buffer", "stop", "freeze" & "hang" natural?

P.S. Corrected the typo;)

  • Why do you phrase this as a request? Are you addressing the video itself? – Andrew Apr 12 '19 at 17:35
  • No it's kind of pleading the video.(though the video won't respond:)) @Andrew – It's about English Apr 12 '19 at 17:36
  • We all do that, but regardless of which word you use ("freeze", "hang", "lag", etc.) the phrasing sounds slightly awkward. It's probably fine in context, with the right intonation, although I'd be more likely to phrase it as an imperative, "C'mon you stupid thing, stop hanging" – Andrew Apr 13 '19 at 15:34

In my mind and to my ear, all four of those are acceptable, although the two I prefer are:

Please don't freeze again.

Please don't hang again.

The other two will work, but those two are the ones I'd be most likely to use.

  • 1
    Is "buffer" used for the whole video or can it be used at a particular point in the video?@J.R. like: "Please don't buffer." Or is it for the whole video? – It's about English Apr 12 '19 at 17:40
  • And @J.R. ♦,can it be: "Please don't lag again!" ,like; "the video is lagging". – It's about English Apr 12 '19 at 18:02
  • @It'saboutEnglish - For some reason, when you are "asking" a video to keep playing, I think freeze and hang work better than lag. It's hard to say why, though. – J.R. Apr 12 '19 at 19:45

"Buffering" applies to the quite specific case where a video must be loaded into the memory of a digital device before it can be displayed. The memory used for this purpose is known as a "buffer". "Buffering" is short for "loading into a buffer". It can also refer to the delay while such loading takes place. It should not be used for delays with other causes.

To me, using "buffer" as a verb in this context ("Please don't buffer") feels a bit awkward, and I wouldn't use it that way. I would say "Please don't pause" (or "hang" or "freeze" or even "stop".) But it is likely to be understood, and in English many people do verb nouns -- that is convert nouns such as "buffer" (a place in memory) into related verbs (to wait for content to load).

Oddly enough, the noun "buffer" originally meant, according to the Oxford Online Etymology Dictionary "something that absorbs a blow, apparatus for deadening the concussion between a moving body and that against which it strikes" which is in turn derived from a verb "buff" (now obsolete) "make a dull sound when struck" which is derived from an old French noun meaning a blow, slap or punch. So this word has already gone back-and-forth between noun and verb several times.

  • So @David Siegel, if people convert nouns into verbs,will they use "buffer" in this sense? (The one in the context). Like this is used: "The video is buffering", so can't my sentence be used?( As in verbing the nouns), Please don't buffer again – It's about English Apr 13 '19 at 5:34
  • @It's about English People might use it like that, it is always hard to predict what people will do. However "buffer" is tied to specific technology. If the tech improves so delays are no longer noticed, such a verb might be little used or soon obsolete. – David Siegel Apr 13 '19 at 14:31

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