Sunday, July 15, 2012

The continuing destruction of our Mother Tongue

So, here's the thing. I understand that English is a living language: it grows, it evolves, it changes over time. But the thing is, there's evolution, and then there's mutation. Or to be more accurate, there's evolution, and then there's de-evolution.

(Are we not men?)

I've noticed an unfortunate tendency for internet slang to creep into language. When it's written, that's fine. But actively pronouncing the letters to WTF or LOL is more than a little stupid.

Think about it: "What the fuck?" Three syllables. "Double-you tee eff" Six syllables (five if you cut it down to "dubya.")

On top of which, you've gone from a brief exclamation of shock to actively considering what you're going to say, and choosing the one that makes you look as much like a douche as possible. Good choice.

Worse, though, is when someone tries to actually pronounce them: there doesn't seem to be any agreement on whether LOL (Laughing Out Loud) is pronounced "lole" or "loll." I've heard both.

This is particularly important (if anything about this rant qualifies as "important") in that, based on its internet usage, "LOL" actually seems to mean "I think this is funny, but I have nothing to say about it."

On a barely-related note, in Dutch, the word "lol" means "fun" ("lollig" means "funny"); likewise, in Welsh, "lol" is a word meaning "nonsense." Because there's no such thing as coincidence.

Other terms are finding other ways to slip into IRL usage. ("In Real Life," in case you missed that one.) "LMFAO" (Laughing My Fucking Ass Off) has become the name of a "musical" group (if by "music," you mean "a drum machine, a couple of looped notes pecked out on a keyboard by a drunk pigeon, a little sampling from talented musicians, and the stupidest lyrics ever recorded - and I include the lyrics to I've Got A Loverly Bunch of Coconuts in that list.")

I mean, there's no better way than this album to say to the world, "If we weren't close relatives to Barry Gordy, we wouldn't have careers."

However, do I have a point to this little diatribe? Yes, yes, I do. I believe that what I'm trying to express can, like everything else on the internet, be best expressed by cats.

2 comments:

Nikoel Anders said...

You could have just said "I hate hipsters!" But that's becoming the cool thing now... so soon hipsters will be hating hipsters... can't we all just agree that "YOLO" is stupid?

KleinsteMotte said...

Since language continues to evolve as time moves forward it's no surprise that this is happening. 40 years ago words like internet didn't appear. Shopping online was unheard of. That's just how things go.
Cats are cool:)