Representational image
Representational image

Decades earlier, the television was dubbed the "idiot box" with many an unkind sentiment being thrown around about the device that people just could not stop watching. But what about the device that controls it? Is it called a remote, a doofer or a zapper? Twitter is not sure.

"I’m dating a girl who calls the remote control 'the doofer', which is my way of saying, 'I’m newly single'," a Twitter user said recently. But she's not alone. Over the years, many a social media user has joined the nomenclature debate with wildly varied and at time baffling responses.

In January 2020, Absolute Radio conducted a survey of sorts in the UK to settle this debate once and for all. And while the debate is far from settled, we do have a better idea about some of the unusual names that the television-channel-changing device possesses. According to their social media page, other names included plunker, jobby, zapper, doofer, blobber, hopper, wadger, buttons and more. And while we get why some of these names would be used, our favourite has to be "thingy".

"What do you call your TV remote?" asked a viral Reddit thread around the same time. The user said that he called it "a box", prompting others to reveal their somewhat unusual choices. "Mum and dad call it the oofa doofa," read one comment.

We may debate the topic all we like, but human beings do not seem to have been created with the technological advances of 20th or 21st century in mind. This may be a somewhat tangential topic, but a quick perusal of Twitter indicates that people frequently wander out of their homes clutching their TV remotes instead of their cell phones, "accidentally kill" their computers or even attempt to execute mathematics on the aforementioned remotes. And this is not even taking into account the sheer volume of individuals who have caused injury to themselves or others while trying to master some new device.

"I've just realized that I've been tapping the keys on my TV remote - trying to use it as a calculator - wondering why the TV kept changing channels - for the past 15 mins. I think it's time we all call it a day!" tweeted one user recently.

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