Wednesday, March 19, 2008
You can has shut up.
First, there was h4x0r. And it was fine, because it wasn't really taken all that seriously. It was atrociously annoying to type and ultimately resulted in just giving up and resorting back to "old(e) English." It decidedly fell into the realm of "stuff that we do or say every once in a while to be funny but don't use with any level of realism because everyone would hate us if we did" things. Or something.
Then, we moved on to the next big thing...the internet abbreviations. These are fine, and still widely used today, imho. The problems with them arise when people start to speak--orally--these time-saving necessities of typing. I cringe whenever I hear someone say "lol." Why? Because 9999% of the time they aren't laughing. Sure, that's fine online because no one can see you. So when you aren't laughing but typing it there, it can fly. But saying "lol" and ending that..we'll call it "outburst"... with a mild smile (at best) borders on the psychotic. And you look like a total retard.
Even semi-understandable abbreviations like "brb" make no point when spoken. B-R-B = three syllables; BE RIGHT BACK = three syllables. Shut the fuck up and talk like a normal person. If you're going to go there and abbreviate something that needs no abbreviation, you might as well make fun of yourself and throw a "bbq" on the end for no good reason. Then you'd at least get a smile from me. I probably wouldn't lol, though.
Anyway, the above kind of stupid stuff is relatively rampant across all modes of verbal communication--in-game chat especially. I guess people figure that because they're talking through a virtual landscape, they might as well blend in with the scene? Maybe? My logic has failed me here.
But the worst comings-about are just tipping over the horizon. And this is much, much worse than anything that preceded it.
It all started with a kooky picture of an owl who looked, for a legendary yet unknown reason, rather surprised. Someone then in a burst of immense cleverness pasted the words ("words") "O RLY?" at the base of the picture. And thus, an internet phenomenon was born. People everywhere started looking for pictures of animals to place "funny" captions on. But there was a catch--those captions couldn't be normal. No, they had to be cute, and broken. "I has a bucket" a walrus cried. "I made you a cookie, but I eated it" an adorable cat spoke with its eyes. These captions infected pictures the world never even knew existed. And the internet stood back and said "it is good."
But it never stopped.
The captions moved beyond found-photography. People would put time and effort to construct the perfect pictures of their pets, their friends' pets, nature--anything--to slap a caption to. The humor became sparser. The walrus with a bucket died. And the world hung their heads in grief.
Hundreds of websites spawned across the globe, all dedicated to the now-known sensation that is "lolcats." Oh god make it stop. For some reason all of the other species were dropped for the feline. They, the internet somehow deemed, are the most funny. They are the cutest. And they are destined for endless captioning.
Sure, a lot of those pictures are pretty funny. How can they not be? Though an equal number are extremely dull. The problem doesn't reside with the pictures, though. The problem has to do with the language of the pictures.
People have started speaking in lolcat. That's right, it's now a type of speech. Let me allow that to sink in. I bet your head hurts. Mine does, too. I wasn't completely aware of this until one of the people I know at work decided to invest in a new girlfriend. Aside from being markedly ugly (sorry, she just is), she speaks consistently in lolcat. What does that mean? Well, let me give you an example. If she were to, say, print something, but there's a paper jam, she would exclaim, "I can has no paper to printed my paper." Does that make any sense? Nope! But it wouldn't stop there. Let's say you were in the room and, after giving her a short glare, said, "Is the printer jammed?" she would reply, "Ya. Itz no printing ma paperz. You can has fix'd it?"
And then somewhere, someone would light themselves on fire.
The thing is, the guy that started dating said girl has now adopted this language because of her--it's spreading. There are, if you check here (scroll down and look carefully), messageboards full of people who type entire paragraphs in lolcat. They think they are funny. I see no one laughing.
"sry yur wethr so bad. Springteim in cal fur nees. 2day –maybee nawt stay. maybee ranes 4 eestr. Eggses get colurs al runed."
I understand that internet trends are cool and everyone wants to be cool, but speaking a "language" that doesn't even warrant typing in the first place is just ignorant and insane. If you speak like this, please stop. Though a part of me wants someone to completely adopt this language just to see them hauled away after getting pulled over because the cop thought they were drunk. "Pleez ofizer. I can has no beerz. I iz good driverz. Om nom nom."
I mean the internet isn't that cool...is it? Is it? Guys? ....guys?