Monday, 5 January 2009

09 all whine

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.


  1. is it the communication equivalent of an elderly man in a babygro? idk.

    that is the best bit, but all of this is brilliant. SO TRUE. I don't know the answer to whether lowercase is an old man in a baby suit tho, it doesn't really bother me, I think we might have all evolved (devolved?) from proving our intellectual worth by typing out Very Correct Sentences which is kind of nice. strange thing is I post using Very Correct Sentences (sort of, I use capitals in semi-correct places etc but my punctuation is a bit bollocks these days as I just tend to type my brain rather than actually use it) but I leave comments in possible old man babygro speak, and whenever I have a vaguely serious discussion (or argument) with someone on a comments thread I always wish I was using Very Correct Sentences but can't just start or I'll like like a big twat. lol.

    also my character verification word was 'amingi' which for some reason has amused me.

  2. I know i've said this before but i love this Evolution of Netspeak theory. Sp true. Also, i think another appropriate reaction would be, of course, lol.

    I always love it on Facebook groups about SERIOUS BUSNIESS when the wall posts degenerate into a huge argument about the fact that x made a typo and is therefore stupid and of no worth, and y used a comma instead of a colon and is therefore subhuman, etc etc etc.

  3. i think i will write on the internet almost entirely in lowercase for the rest of my life. that and a few CAPS WORDS for EMPHASIS. weird though cos at work every day i type normally with real punctuation, capitalisation etc. and i don't even notice the switch...

  4. hiya
    i think lowercase is here to stay. it's just a shame that people STILL haven't grasped that consensual abbreviating and lolling is okay and think the majority of abbrevations are symbolic of an imagined dumb ~txt speak~ generation which then leads them to denigrate young people or whatever they assume to be youth culture in general, in a grumpy old man/ what charlie brooker is like now kinda way. it's just snide and misinformed, i guess they feel left out like when i was the only one who abided by the no hipster trousers rule in primary school and thought it was so bad when ever anyone flouted it. anyway, whatever, there are still a touch too many ironic 'lolz' out there for me to handle but i think lolcats and ONTD have helped a lot of people out with fun internet speak am i right? i mean take '~' we didn't have this before, if we wanted to say something sarcastically or indicate self awareness about something we'd have to go round it in much more complex ways but the ~~~~ has dominated 2007 and 2008 and made everything SO much easier.

    da end

  5. oh ps by hipster i obv meant bootcut hipster - obv. oh and what was your favourite abbreviation you learned in 2008?

  6. yeah i don't what what i'd do without ~them~. i sometimes had to put those kinds of words in inverted commas before they existed which is so dry and wrong. like i remember putting funky in inverted commas and it almost verges on Heh territory whereas ~funky~ is so much more light and playful. i can't think of an abbreviation! or maybe it's just seeped so seamlessly in i haven't noticed, WHAT'S YOURS? xoxo