What Brought You Here?

Saturday, December 15, 2007


The problem with illiteracy on the web comes into play when it obstructs meaning. This is certainly a issue with irritating contagious lolspeak- especially when it takes a word/phrase that's already slang/ acronymed and further obscures its meaning via deliberate mispelling. "Lulz," I was able to contextualize. I smiled and nodded when anyone employed "pwned" until I came across a single affirmation that my understanding of its origin is correct, then ceased thinking.

Now, "werd"- I'm pretty damn sure I had that one wrong all along. But how do you determine whether your interlocutor is a moron or not when you consistently spot this misspelled, decontextualized WORD in their writings? I confess- I noted a distinct absence of the word "weird" in the TF vernacular, and an irritating upsurge of "werd"ness. As it so frequently constituted the one word summary emotional/evaluatory response to (all manner of) block quotes, I projected.

Why on Earth would a pigin opt to assimilate and bastardise boring, utilitarian "word" rather than fascinating, multiform "weird"? I suppose this is the worst of examples to harp on: it's not applied in a wide enough range of situations to make a precise definition really important. (If I understand, at last) the lolspeak "werd" is derived from English "word," in the sense that it means "grunt". (Variously translated as "yo!" "I feel you" "straight up" "fuck that" "help me Jesus" "yes, I would like fries with that" and so on and so forth.)

It was never that important to me to know the precise meaning of "werd" (annoying, yes) because generally no one interacts with me in that language. However, if someone replied to a flame I'd made with a one-word exclamation, I would want to know whether it meant "fuck that" or "I feel you".

I think it's important to be aware of grammar and spelling, and to do what you can to avoid an obscene degree of typos. It facilitates communication. When you take the time to make your post readable, you make it known that you want me to read it. I understand random bypassed typos from ordinarily conscientious typists. I understand learning disorders. I understand non-native English speakers. None of the three seem to present consistent boundaries to comprehension. what d oes hcause iss u eswi th readability isrando mspacign and trnasposal oletters.
What kind of keyboard trouble (or eyesight loss) cause this? If you type like this and people still respond, you must be someone special.

There are many E-Mail sites that have anything you want. Sometime they pester you to death but you will fine most are not looking for new customers, and if some one will vouch these guys are not your average could I buy some Valium There was a incident a couple days ago where I live base ball bats I heard it through the grapevine his buddy dropped a dime they think he'll respond to simple pictures in a year in a year or so. The market is screwed up now Cops took it down it was call link basecom. My advice do mess with it unless you want way more problems than its worth.[/quote]
This is a real post from another site. It's an excellent demonstration of how spell check/ grammar check cannot redeem total @(*$! of content. If you can stand to parse through it, you'll notice that there are no spelling errors (except those instances where spellcheck clearly autosubstituted the wrong word for the poster's original copy). Other than the absence of punctuation, it's entirely grammatically correct. It's also incoherent, no?

This poor guy is going to be part of internet infamy, because this gem of perfect nonsense was posted on a board that doesn't allow editing. He probably thought he was doing everything he possibly could to facilitate communication: spell check, grammar check, cable internet connection/social phobia/150mg of valium. . .[b]hold up[/b]! Sometimes we are so eager to share and connect that we post utter nonsense before we realize it. It's hard to recognize your own nonsense sometimes- no computer in the world is sophisticated enough to catch it. You might not be able to see what other people point out. . . without the perspective of time and a clear head.

The TF demographic is far and away more "literate" than the (most of the) other forum populations I've encountered. It would be wrong to assume that this makes us immune to creating logical nonsense. We are also youngest, more commonly diagnosed with MDs, and more commonly medicated for an MD. These three factors alone throw us straight back into the pit, as each of them might fortify false bravado, impair judgement, evoke particular thought patterns, feelings, and behaviors. Having applied it to girlie_edgehead's myspace friend's cousin, I should probably assume a prevalance on TF of some "~social phobia"- social issues are the cornerstone of a strong forum and their presence is what makes us reach out to one another. [b]Oops[/b]. . .I just implied that posts might be written under the effects of a anxiety disorder. The poster-however educated, intelligent, responsibly medicated, and (hell, yeah- why not!) far along in her ED recovery (=not distracted by starvation/ indigestion) might anxiously create a logical nonsense post that will easily pass her eyeball proofread. Having impaired judgement sufficiently to land give bizarre emothoughts concrete form as grammatical bs the wave of anxious evolves to encompass the bravado to-submit-immediately!
Her post- submited in a fit of desperate need to connect- feels in every way appropriate. She cites and agrees with a previous anonymous poster,
she identifies with the OP and shares her own situation. However, what she has posted does not make sense, despite (due to, rather) her sincere desire to connect. Had she used [b]more[/b] words, the intent of her post would have been easily decrypted. Had she been calm enough to concentrate on the post(s) to which she was responding and read through the thread, she would have afforded herself an opportunity to develop her response in consideration of the discussion, even if she was not interested in reconsidering the content of her initial reply. She would have taken some time to consider the nature of a forum as interactive, dynamic, dialectic. She might have added or dropped some words from her post in order to make [i]it[/i] more interactive and dialectic. She might have realized she needed her own thread. She might have lost her bravado entirely and saved said post away from server until she cool down/ get it back up and reassess with a clear head- whatever that might mean to her.

I need to cut enormous chunks out of this to facilitate comprehension. I want to communicate. I know it won't get read in its current form, so I won't be posting it as is. I'll wait until I can make it less rambly. Too many words are as bad as too few words. Both of which are more or less sins on an equal level of grievousness with hyper/hypopunctuation. n' abbr. disooorder!!!! Allow me to be "ageist" for just a second here: If you are old enough that you can no longer devote the larger portion of your budget to Lisa Frank, then you should not be writing this way. While it doesn't always impair (by itself) the signal as much as the other "official" egregrious errors compaired and controlled on a quantitative basis- it's more annoying, period. Your posts lose 50% on the respect factor.

To be honest, the same is true about the proliferation of netspeak. I dealt with my personal issues above, so I'm going to attempt to gloss it into this end of the discussion. It's inherently silly: anyone who customarily utilizes this pidgin on all fronts is not going to be considered particularly mature, and employing netspeak in serious social intercourse simply is not appropriate. Grammatical English has been the international language of commerce & science for some time, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future. This really has nothing to do with the self-evaluations of a bunch of middle-USA 20-somethings. It [i]is[/i] "contagious" and appears to be mutating. It would be a matter of decorum if those of you who regularly engage in it would *attempt* to regulate your public use, try to limit the introduction of new words into the general population. . . or at the very least, please use English in the support forums? Trying not to catch it. . lol, I noe u don care, but some day ima need to be able 2 write agin.

Seriously. If you want to communicate in a different language, I hear German is open to bastardization.

1 comment:

  1. wut? i dnt get it. werd.
    lol. =)
    Seriously though, I agree with you. It drives me insane! I'm lilsweetie from TF by the way.


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