it's a new year and time to clear something up once and for all.
in may 2005, sara wrote this after we'd had a seminal msn conversation:
"phases of internet talking:
C says: so 1 is 'r u going out 2nite? u fancy her lol'
C says: 2. I really hate it when people use bad grammar. Heh. They're losers.
C says: 3. omgzz!!!!1111111one!111 STFU lolzzzzzzz
C says: 4. yeah hes a dick lol
4 is the most advanced phase of internet writing but you have to go through the other 3 first well i never did the first tbh but at least two.
whatever. I inspired this conversation colin was basically recycling what i said the night before. yeah, and it's so true. so for anyone stuck in the 'Heh, why can't you retards spell' phase GOD SO FIRST LIVEJOURNAL KILL YOURSELF NOW. haha i no. and for people needing to justify their lol and omg with extra digits after the exclamation mark..i understand...but soon you'll just have exclamation marks or none at all and not care about adding anything on to it. because you don't care lol. i think i've reached a higher spiritual level. lol"
i'd like to think things have moved on since then and it's likely i've been hanging out in morally dubious internet forums lately, but the number of "I am a grammar Nazi" (often followed by a comma splice before the nazi elaborates, incidentally) types about is still alarming. i'm not actually saying this because i'm unable to write a grammatically correct sentence (guess what i think it might be time to bring up the fact that i was 2nd in higher english at the top state school in scotland again!!!!!!! until recently i was labouring under the illusion that i was first but over christmas my friend adam brought out a copy of our 2002 school magazine which confirmed that a smug boy whose mother's apples i distinctly recall refusing to eat (such a brat) in the early 90s because they were organic held that title).
a lot of the time the internet seems to demand a more ~casual~, conversational approach to grammar and conventional rules just get in the way (lol). i'm not proposing a quirky, unique new style, although natch i did go through a brief sub-ee cummings &mpersand phase. when you're writing something spontaneous on someone's facebook wall, say, the aforementioned comma splices and even NO PUNCTUATION WHATSOEVER between independent clauses are not only acceptable but desirable - it helps the flow, and feels right. in a way it's like writing naturalistic dialogue in a story, except it becomes completely un-self-conscious.
re the lol issue - GOD. people actually say "you're not actually laughing out loud when you write lol" after the age of 16? OH REALLY OH OK THANKS BABES. imo being a ~grammar nazi~ is something you should grow out of as a precocious adolescent, along with hating pop music and thinking all tv is for retards.
one thing i do worry about for the future is whether or not there's a cut off age for typing all in lowercase. it's another thing that i think suits a lot of internet interaction, but when you reach a certain level of maturity is it the communication equivalent of an elderly man in a babygro? idk.