6

I found this comment on an answer at Workplace.SE.

This. Also, in a properly organized scrum, there is no team member over another. The team self-organizes. The scrum master is there to ensure that things like the daily scrum meeting happen, and to facilitate them He's not there to lead anything. (emphasis added)

I have noticed this single-word sentence "This." being increasingly used these days. What does it mean?

As you might expect, with "this" being a frequently used word, internet search wasn't much useful. Sentence word article on Wikipedia was the most relevant among the results, but it seems nowhere near to being relevant to this question.

16

"This" used as a single word sentence will almost always be used as a response or reply to another statement and is functionally identical to saying "+1" or "👍".
It just means "I agree completely with this."
Edit: The usage is exclusively casual, and usually found in online forums and similar.

  • It should also be pointed out that it's very informal usage. – David Richerby Mar 23 '15 at 10:50
  • "+1" or "Thumbs up" means "This is worth paying attention to" – Snowbody Mar 23 '15 at 15:37
11

It means something like I strongly or particularly agree with this answer (perhaps as opposed to others), or I agree with the information (and maybe even the wording) in this post. And then usually it is followed by additional comments.

Edit to add:
In other words: This post expresses my thoughts exactly, or This post expresses my point of view.

Additional edit: I'd like to add that the word this has a deitic element or quality, meaning that the speaker, or in this case writer, is "pointing" to the comment. This element makes it stronger than statements such as 'ditto' or 'I agree'. This points specifically to the comment one is referring to.

  • 3
    Keep in mind for anyone using this term, that it's internet slang (or very occasionally, spoken slang) and is not used in any kind of formal situation, where "I agree" is far more appropriate. – Eric Mar 22 '15 at 17:24
  • Additionally, comments are limited to a certain size. I don't think I've ever used this like that, but I've seen comments where "I agree" wouldn't fit in the remaining characters of the comment. I know I've intentionally bastardized a sentence structure to fit in a few words I felt should be included, but didn't want to comment twice for the sake of a few words or characters. – phyrfox Mar 22 '15 at 17:57
  • @phyrfox what you write is true regarding ELL comments. But the this the OP is asking about is found all over the web in forums and other places where size or length limitation is not a factor. (I dunno, but perhaps 'this' originated in a size/length-limited context (like Twitter?), but it is used even where there are no limitations.) I personally have never used the term as it appears cliché-ish to me. – user6951 Mar 22 '15 at 18:05
  • I agree. I'd hazard a guess and say it's possibly a carry-over from limited comment spaces, like how people still say "pls txt me when u get 2 store" in a Facebook message or other mediums that are of (relatively) unlimited text. I think it's pretty safe to blame limited technologies like SMS and Twitter. – phyrfox Mar 22 '15 at 19:29
  • 1
    This. And also, I use it for "This is more or less what I wanted to write (but you were first and said it at least as eloquently), and I'd like to add the following extra paragraph to it that you don't have yet." – RemcoGerlich Mar 23 '15 at 9:00
1

Others have said that this is used as a shortening of something along the lines of "I agree with this" or "this expresses my thoughts", but I believe it to be used as a synonym of the word ditto. This may seem like it means the same thing, but I think it's more similar to the concept of a reference (in computer science, I'm not sure how else to describe it), where one word or phrase represents a (usually) larger text or concept. In this case, a reply of "this" would be referencing the parent post, so an unreferenced comment would be an exact copy of the parent post. Of course, this would be seen as odd or confusing, leading to the use of the words "ditto" and "this." I also think that "this" could be seen as a derivative of "I came here to say this", but with the poster retrospectively realizing that they agree with the opinion instead of holding the opinion and then finding out that someone else had already posted it.

Socially Normal Conversation (on the internet, anyways):

"He's actually focusing on sensationalist politics, when he should be focused on our long-term goals."

"This." / "Ditto."

Somewhat Implied, Socially Abnormal Conversation:

"He's actually focusing on sensationalist politics, when he should be focused on our long-term goals."

"[I completely agree that] He's actually focusing on sensationalist politics, when he should be focused on our long-term goals."

  • One can argue that "ditto" and "I agree with this" are synonymous... Because "ditto" means (definition 3): "used in speech to show you agree with what someone has just said or have the same opinion" – Catija Mar 23 '15 at 1:17
  • I disagree. The distinction that I tried to make in my answer is that "ditto" means an exact copy, with no remarks about agreement or even participants in a conversation. Take, for an example of usage, the ditto mark, an obscure punctuation mark used in a list to mean the word or list item above it. Wiktionary defines "ditto" as: 1. "That which was stated before, the aforesaid, the above, the same, likewise"; 2. "(informal) A duplicate or copy of a document, particularly one created by a spirit duplicator"; 3. "A copy; an imitation"; – mckryall Mar 23 '15 at 1:56
  • The fact is that it means both and is not clear which is meant if all you say is ditto. Personally, I have only ever used it to mean "me too". – Catija Mar 23 '15 at 1:59
  • 4. "A symbol, represented by two apostrophes, inverted commas, or quotation marks (" "), when indicating that the item preceding is to be repeated." There's no reference to any usage to mean agreement. EDIT: I had to split this comment, and didn't see that you replied while I edited it. – mckryall Mar 23 '15 at 2:00
  • I think that "ditto" has the exact same issue that "this" does, in that it is used to express agreement indirectly by creating a reference to previously stated material. At least, it does when used in conversation or a forum-like setting. The key to this is that it expresses agreement indirectly, not directly, as is the case with "I agree with this." – mckryall Mar 23 '15 at 2:02

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