Wordcel slang term and movement meme.

Wordcel / Shape Rotator / Mathcel

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Wordcel is a slang term derived from incel used to define someone who has high verbal intelligence and is "good with words" but feels inadequately compensated for their skill, the "cel" suffix denoting frustration over being denied something they feel they deserve. The term arose in prominence in early 2022 when Twitter user "roon" began using it in public discourse, although it first appeared on 4chan in 2019 in a comparable context. The related term Shape Rotator, sometimes known as a Mathcel or Numbercel is used to define someone with high command in math or another technical STEM field but feels they deserve more respect for it. Wordcels and numbercels are often portrayed as rivals and sometimes boiled down with political connotations, Wordcels representing the woke who more often go after liberal arts degrees and Numbercels representing those who go into more perceptively practical STEM fields.



On June 24th, 2019, 4chan /pol/ user 4chanSavior posted a thread claiming that LGBTQ+ rights are harming reproductive rates.[2] An anonymous user responded, "Hey retard. This is where smart people come to act stupid. You're clearly a stupid person trying to sound smart, so I think you'll be happier back at reddit." In response, 4chanSavior commented, "t. seething wordcel NEET buttmad since being cucked by college degree chads," the first known use of the term.[1] Another example of the word was posted to the /pol/[14] board in October of that year in response to the anonymous comment "Reading is for people who can't come up with their own shit," writing, "I bet you've never even invented a new word, you've copied all your words from books you wordcel."

Although this is the first use, the term would not become widely used online until Twitter user "roon" popularized it in late 2021. It is unknown if roon saw the few 4chan uses earlier or "coined" the term without knowledge of them.

Shape Rotator / Mathcel

The term "shape rotator" is often used as a synonym for "numbercel" or "mathcel." Shape rotating is a reference to the Rotating A Cow In Your Mind meme, which is based on the idea of rotating a 3D shape in your mind. It is considered something that wordcels cannot do. The idea of shape rotators as the opposite of wordcels was popularized by roon.

On June 29th, 2019, an anonymous 4chan[15] user wrote in response to another anon claiming you can't drink meth, "Lmaoing at your life, I'm on 3 litres of white ace, jenkem and crack and I'm still styling on your drugcel life, you could say I'd done a number on you, why do you envy my superior drug choices, numbercel?" This is the first known use of the term. Space rotator is used with much higher frequency than "numbercel" or "mathcel," with the latter terms gaining popularity after a MEL magazine article on wordcels.


On October 17th, 2021, Twitter[11] user @tszzl or "roon" posted, "Logo Daedalus has never rotated a shape in his life and it shows." That day, Twitter[12] user @Logo_Daedalus quote-tweeted him writing, "Roon has never… wait who are you?" He then posted several comments in the thread tearing down roon for being a "machine learning scientist," ultimately calling the field "fradulant" (shown below, left). That day roon claimed it was a "publicity stunt." A Twitter user asks him, "ok but were you even wrong lol," and roon replies, "about shape rotating lol? nah was completely correct — he’s an extreme wordcel" (shown below, right).

R.Cam eLogo Daedalus - Oct 17, 2021 Roon has never... wait who are you? roon @tszzl - Oct 17, 2021 Logo Daedalus has never rotated a shape in his life and it shows Show this thread O 22 86 R.Cam . eLogo_Daedalus - Oct 17, 2021 ... At least the smarmy reply guys directly engage with me, this is pure cowardice. "Machine Learning Scientist" -- oh right so you know that your field is just a bunch of Phillipino slave wage workers working for Amazon's Mechanical Turk, right? 27 2 56 R.Cam . @Logo_Daedalus - Oct 17, 2021 Do you buy into your own bullshit roon? Do you think that you're producing *anything" but ideological justification for outsourcing data-entry jobs to Amazon run "Mechanical Turk" farms? Do you think you're smart or something? You "rotate shapes"? Is this what that means? t7 4 38 R.Cam . eLogo_Daedalus - Oct 17, 2021 When you're stacking those GitHub paint-by-numbers widgets do you feel like you've become enlightened by your own intelligence? You're really epic bro. You're so smart. You do the computers & you rotate the shapes. We're all proud of you roon. 17 1 4 47 R.Cам ... @Logo Daedalus It's so funny, I know 100x more about "Artificial Intelligence" than this kid thinks he knows. He won't reply substantially to this thread because he knows he's a complete fraud & his field is entirely fraudulent. noise @0x5a2fc8 · Oct 17, 2021 just read logo's thread.. can someone check on roon? praying for him 8 60 roon @tszzl · Oct 17, 2021 ... this has been the most successful publicity stunt l've ever pulled and I could not be happier with the outcome 27 2 5 82 fembet @_fembot · Oct 17, 2021 ... ok but were you even wrong Imfao 1 8. roon ... @tszzl Replying to @_fembot and @Ox5a2fc8 about shape rotating lol? nah was completely correct he's an extreme wordcel 8:22 PM - Oct 17, 2021 - Twitter for iPhone

On December 21st, 2021, Twitter[4] user @tszzl posted a slang overloaded tweet, writing, "deep learning vs crypto is a clear divide of rotators vs wordcels. the former offends theorycel aesthetic sensibilities but empirically works to produce absurd miracles. the latter is an insane series of nerd traps and sky high abstraction ladders yet mostly scams," gaining over 1,900 likes in just over a month (shown below, left). Twitter user @ersatz_0001 commented a Jesse, What Are You Talking About format using the wording to highlight how absurd the phrase sounds (shown below, right, click to enlarge).

roon ... @tszzl deep learning vs crypto is a clear divide of rotators vs wordcels. the former offends theorycel aesthetic sensibilities but empirically works to produce absurd miracles. the latter is an insane series of nerd traps and sky high abstraction ladders yet mostly scams 12:00 AM · Dec 21, 2021 - Twitter for iPhone DEEP LEARNING VS CRYPTO IS A CLEAR DIVIDE OF ROTATORS VS WORDCELS. WHAT? THE FORMER OFFENDS THEORYCEL AESTHETIC SENSIBILITIES BUT EMPIRICALLY WORKS TO PRODUCE ABSURD MIRACLES. THE LATTER IS AN INSANE SERIES OF NERD TRAPS AND SKY HIGH ABSTRACTION LADDERS YET MOSTLY SCAMS JESSE, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT

On December 22nd, Twitter[5] user balajis posted an explanation for the tweet and some of the words used, writing, "rotator = high math, can do mental shape rotation wordcel = high verbal deep learning is held by @tszzl to be attractive to the practical, while crypto ostensibly appeals to the theoretical but this is a lossy approximation to a 4 cluster space." On January 25th, Twitter[10] user @GFMindset wrote, "This is what a wordcel's mind looks like. What a nightmare," and shared a complexly-worded graphic (shown below).

Gar Field Mindset ... @GFMindset This is what a wordcel's mind looks like. What a nightmare Symbolof the Self PHYSICAL WORLD / $OCIETY – objects, people, etc. Persona / Personae EGO PERSONAL UNCONSCIOUS Shadow Cultural Unconscious Biological Unconscious COLLECTIVE UNC ONSCIOU S Anima / Animus SELF or God-image Archetypes PSYCHIC WORLD – complexes, archetypes shedow projection enima - animus projection

On January 27th, 2022, MEL Magazine[3] published an article on the rise of words including "wordcel" and "numbercel." On February 2nd, Twitter user @pmarca posted, "Key wordcel tells: 'Experts say', 'Studies show', 'Fact checkers confirm'," gaining over 2,600 likes in a day (shown below).

Marc Andreessen ... @pmarca Key wordcel tells: "Experts say", "Studies show", "Fact checkers confirm". 5:46 PM · Feb 2, 2022 · Twitter Web App

On the same day, Twitter[6] user @pmarca posted, "Why do wordcels win head to head fights with shape rotators? Shape rotators spend 90% of their time rotating shapes and only 10% wordcelling; wordcels wordcel 24×7. Asymmetric warfare, outcome predetermined," gaining over 1,400 likes in a week (shown below, left). On February 3rd, Jordan Peterson quote-tweeted[7] the tweet, writing, "So goodbye STEM under the wordcel woke onslaught @pmarca," gaining over 700 likes in under a day (shown below, right).

Peterson's use of the term was seen as incorrect by some, even suggesting Peterson himself is a wordcel. On the same day, Twitter[8] user @telmudic quote-tweeted Peterson, writing, "wordcel doesn’t mean woke. JBP is a prototypical wordcel." On the same day, Twitter[9] user @tszzl quote-tweeted Peterson, writing, "oh christ oh fuck," gaining over 1,600 likes in 10 hours. He then wrote, "disavow. J Petes is a king wordcel."

Marc Andreessen @pmarca Why do wordcels win head to head fights with shape rotators? Shape rotators spend 90% of their time rotating shapes and only 10% wordcelling; wordcels wordcel 24x7. Asymmetric warfare, outcome predetermined. 4:18 PM - Feb 2, 2022 · Twitter Web App Dr Jordan B Peterson @jordanbpeterson ... So goodbye STEM under the wordcel woke onslaught @pmarca Marc Andreessen @pmarca 19h Why do wordcels win head to head fights with shape rotators? Shape rotators spend 90% of their time rotating shapes and only 10% wordcelling; wordcels wordcel 24x7. Asymmetric warfare, outcome predetermined. 12:54 AM - Feb 3, 2022 · Twitter for iPhone

On the same day, Twitter user @GarrettPetersen commented a graph made by Peterson, writing, "Only a wordcel could produce this graph" (shown below).

... Dr. Dad, PhD @GarrettPetersen Replying to @tszzl and @bi_gendian Only a wordcel could produce this graph. The Lapis The Prima Materia The King of Order The State of Gold The Nigredo Descent and Disintegration The Queen of Chaos: Anomalous information The Dragon of Chaos Figure 66: The Alchemical Opus as Myth of Redemption The Conjunction: Ascent and (Felintegration

Roon's Substack Response

On February 3rd, 2022, roon, or @tszzl, the instigator for "wordcel" spreading on Twitter, posted a response to the trend on Substack[13] titled "A Song of Shapes and Words." In the intro, roon writes, "I’ve been grinding for tiny scraps of engagement in the internet mines since I was but a wee lad. But my actual claim to fame turned out to be a memetic repackaging of funny cognitive patterns that ended up activating an incredible underbelly of tribalism that we didn't know we were missing until now." In the piece, roon explains the ideas of "visuospatial and verbal intelligence" and goes on to describe the idea and meme of shape rotating in relation to wordcels, writing:

Throughout early 2021, there was a massive Discourse in my part of twitter about IQ testing in general. People were incredulous that the ability to rotate boxes in your head could be indicative of anything other than, well, the ability to rotate boxes in your head. Now, dear reader, I could not possibly have an object level opinion on any of these issues, but I will sure as hell weaponize any emotionally charged discourse for satire and engagement.

Roon says he somehow became "the poster child for the shape jihad" while trolling Twitter users about this idea and "expanded the visuospatial canon a little bit, and fleshed out an unlikely, idiotic, and possibly dangerous ideology around the initial jokes about imaginary cube spinning." He writes that when he "coined" the term "wordcel" as an opposite for shape rotator the meme "started cooking with gas." He then gives a comprehensive definition of wordcel, writing:

Beyond the purely technical level of psychometrics, these two archetypes seem to hint at deeper patterns in human nature. There are many verbally gifted writers and speakers that, when pressed to visualize some math problem in their mind's eye, must helplessly watch their normally high-octane intelligence sputter and fail. They often write or talk at a blistering clip, and can navigate complex mazes of abstractions -- and yet, when it comes time to make contact with the real world or accomplish practical tasks, they may be helpless. They'll do great in English class, and terrible in Physics. They can be very fun to listen to due to their terrifying leaps in logic and the exceptional among them will be natural leaders.

He then describes how "wordcel" is also a socioeconomic classifier, writing about people's extreme responses to the term:

Perhaps they’re driven mad by political rage, postmodernism, and disconnection from reality. It might refer to the priestly figures who work in the culture factories of the New York Times with their incomes and social prestige both precipitously declining only for the unperturbed masses on the internet to tell them in unison: “learn to code”! There’s even an implication that these folks are entirely rent-seekers (wrong, but directionally interesting).

Roon defines a shape rotator next, writing:

The shape rotators have been a minor force until very recent history. Though they’ve produced a significant portion of human progress through feats of engineering excellence, they were rarely celebrated until the dawn of the Enlightenment, perhaps 500 years ago. While the long-lasting glory of the Roman aqueducts is renowned to this day, nobody knows the chief engineer behind the project (probably Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa, but who’s counting). Today their stock is climbing to the moon. The world’s richest (self-made) men are almost uniformly engineers, computer scientists, or physicists. Vast portions of society that in a prior age might have been organized by government bureaucrats or private sector shot-callers have been handed over to cybernetic self-organizing systems designed and run by mathematical wizards. We have been witness to the slow, and then rapid transfer of power from the smooth-talking Don Drapers of boardroom acclaim to the multi-armed bandits of Facebook Ads.

It’s clear that these big tech CEOs are verbally gifted, but by affinity and by practice they are in the rotator camp. Elon continually attributes his success to studying physics in college. Zuck programmed the original iteration of Facebook himself. Larry & Sergei did an entire PhD in linear algebra based information retrieval, a platonic ideal of shape rotation. Of the ten largest companies in the world, several are driven by fundamental technical breakthroughs. Society at large seems to respect and fear the forces of technology more and more as its cultural and financial capital rises.

At the end of the piece, Roon offers examples of wordcels and shape rotators, offering up people and communities including Jordan Peterson, journalists and crypto bros as the former and Nikola Tesla, Henry Ford and Da Vinci as the latter. Roon uses a Chad vs. Virgin meme (shown below) as an example of wordcels (virgin) vs. shape rotators (Chad).

The virgin internal voice THE CHAD CEREBRATION Can understand abstract concepts that are beyond human speech Thinking speed is limited to his internal speech Can think as fast as his brain allows him to s Understand abstract concepts only if he has the words for them Squeeky internal voice where is my cellphone Complex and indescribable thought patterns Cannot comprehend that people can think without an inner voice Can use an inner voice but doesn't, because he knows it's inefficient I'm hungry レ my feet hurt Stacy is hot Lightning-fast reading. understand sentences as one plus one equals two Has to imagine a voice talking in his head when he reads soon as he sees them Anyone with a mind-reading device can tell what he is |Immune to mind-reading thinking Silent and mysterious, always appear deep in thought Would bring nothing of value to a telepathic hive Telepathic hive mind superstar Accidentally thinks out loud mind Spews whatever comes first in an argument Choose his word carefully as to express his complex thoughts accurately

Continued Spread

On February 3rd, Twitter[17] user @nolemonnomelon posted a joke about wordcels, writing, "*jay z voice* im not a wordcel, my words sell," gaining over 1,300 likes in four days. Discussion about wordcels and shape rotators increased on 4chan[16] following its popularity on Twitter. On February 6th, Twitter[18] user @CityBureaucrat shared a news story about an AI becoming racist, suggesting, "The secret is to develop AI to mimic wordcel being," gaining over 1,400 likes in a day (shown below).

Second City Bureaucrat @CityBureaucrat Another robot fails to instantiate Unitarian being-in- the-world. The secret is to develop Al to mimic wordcel being. Yup That Exists YUP @yup.that.exists Al robot programmed to give ethical advice turns racist and homophobic after studying 1.7 million real-life human examples.

On February 7th, Twitter[19] user Roon posted a Google Trends graph showing that searches for "wordcel" were surpassing searches for "incel," writing, "wordcel is now more popular than incel. rather than contribute to incel ideology i have defeated it," gaining over 740 likes in under a day (shown below).

roon @tszzl wordcel is now more popular than incel. rather than contribute to incel ideology i have defeated it wordcel incel + Add comparison Search term Search term United States Past 30 days All categories Web Search . Interest over time Feb 4, 2022 wordcel 24 incel 24 Average Jan 25 Feb3

Rotating a Cow in Mind

Rotating a Cow in Mind refers to a viral tweet humorously describing the concept of mental rotation through an example of creating a mental image of a cow being rotated in one's mind. Posted in January 2021, the tweet became a subject of cultural references, with users creating memes about rotating a cow in one's mind and about mental rotation as a whole.

AHAHAHAH HOW ARE YOU UNABLE TO' rotate cubes omidirectionally in your mind

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