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>Implying, sometimes referred to as Implying Implications, is a type of greentext comment usually found throughout 4chan image boards that is used to mock another user’s comment or challenge the validity of its underlying argument or logic.
The earliest archived use of >implying comments was posted to 4chan’s /v/ (video games) board on March 5th, 2009. The thread began as a textual game of Pong (shown below, left) played via spoiler tags, with two capital “I” and lowercase os that show up only when the user hovers over them. In the thread, a user attempted to make spoiler volleyball game (show below, right), using (|) to represent the ball going over the net. Another user responded to the spoiler volleyball by saying “>implying that from a birds eye view you would be able to see the net through the ball when it passes over it.”
Throughout 2009, variations of “>implying” comments appeared on 4chan imageboards including /a/ (anime), /r9k/ (ROBOT9000), /fit/ (fitness) and /fa/ (fashion). By October 2009, the sarcastic practice of >implying comments had spread outside of 4chan to other communities such as the Gametrailers forums, the Adult Swim Boards and the official forum for the game Heroes of Newerth. The comment has also appeared on LurkerFAQs, FAILblog and Yahoo! Answers.
“Implying Implications” has also been adapted as guild names in EVE Online and in World of Warcraft. In March 2010, two Facebook fan pages were launched under the name “>Implying,” which have gained 2,057 combined likes. As of July 2012, a search query for “implying” yields more than 72,900 related threads on Chanarchive. Additional images and posts can be found on Tumblr with the “implying” tag.
Since Google Insights does not count the “>” (greater than) operator in its search results, the interest for “implying” does not give accurate results for this usage.