The Guardian Weekly - - Culture -

You may be a fan of Keanu Reeves, but what if you don’t know how you will while away the time un­til John Wick 3? Maybe you are more than a fan – you are a “stan”. This tasty bit of celeb-cul­ture slang be­came prom­i­nent in 2018 but is al­ready 19 years old. Ow­ing to rhetor­i­cal in­fla­tion driven by overuse of the word “fan” (short for “fa­natic”), we came to need a new word for ob­ses­sive fan­ning. “Stan” boasts a retroac­tively im­posed et­y­mol­ogy (ap­pro­pri­ately, “stalker” plus “fan”), but it was orig­i­nally taken from the 2000 Eminem song about a de­ranged ad­mirer of the nar­ra­tor’s.

It’s OK to call one­self a “stan”, though, be­cause such us­age, ac­cord­ing to the Ox­ford English Dic­tionary, is “self-dep­re­cat­ing”. En­joy­ably, “stan” can also be a verb. The only draw­back? The un­for­tu­nate ef­fect on artists named Stan. Can you stan Stan?

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