Death to "lol" » Sat, Apr 23rd 2005 6:43 pm
I realise that many of my significant writings on this site are just angry rants, but frankly the only things I care deeply enough to write about are things that anger me. That probably goes for most people actually.
Today, my hatred is focused on those annoying acronyms the kids have been using lately in place of actual English words and expressions; ‘lol’ being the one most frequently used. It’s only one letter short of ‘haha’, and ‘haha’ even follows the same ABAB pattern.
It’s becoming an actual word, but one whose meaning would be lost if pronounced. I think that’s why it was created: as a necessary replacement for audible expression. I could call you a moron in person and you’d understand that I don’t really think you’re a moron. If I typed it, it’s just “Moron.” The period makes it all the more blunt. But, “Moron. lol” is accepted to be playful. And ‘lmao’? An uppercase ‘HAHA’ is just as effective, and easier to type.
So if I understand why they’re used, why do I hate these shortcut acronyms? Because rather than abuse the English language, why not just use the equally-popular emoticons instead? and and son on? While they’re just as bad if not rendered into graphics, no text-based medium should exist that doesn’t parse them into images. “Moron. ” looks just as light-hearted to me.
This is just the beginning though. While lol’s existence is substantiated, others such as ‘stfu’ and ‘wtf’ were created by lazy smack-talkers; either they didn’t want their parents to see that they were cussing, or they couldn’t be bothered to type a full insult. Either way, I think you can see now how lame they are.
What about ‘brb’? Granted, if someone’s stepping out, they’ll probably be in a hurry so using an acronym here may seem justified, but no. It’s still laziness. If you don’t have time to write the full “Be right back”, then you’re probably off to tend to some life-threatening emergency. If that’s the case, you should be dialing the damned telephone or just b-lining it to the scene. I don’t think your chat buddy’s going to miss you for the 1-5 minutes you’ll be gone. If they do, that’s their problem. The glory of instant messaging is its flexibility of pace. There are no awkward silences. Waiting should be expected.
I hope you’re all taking notes here, because I’m trying to help you to better understand the versatility of your native language. English is pretty robust, and its applications aren’t limited to résumés and English papers. Punctuation is your friend! I know how daunting it may seem to type every letter of a word with more than six of them, but after some practice you’ll wonder how you got by in the past. Your friends will notice, too. They’ll marvel at your grammatical prowess as you convey thoughts and feelings that ‘lol’ and ‘stfu jew’ never could. Before long, you’ll be droppin’ commas and semi-colons like a 10th-grader and you’ll get ALL the women.
Ok, so maybe it won’t make you popular, but it will protect you from coming across like an uneducated moron (no smiley here because I mean it; write that in your notes) who’s too busy following trends to learn and use his own fucking language. And that, my friend, is a life skill.