Txt-Msg-Speak, LOL

I sometimes talk/write like what I’ve recently been exposed to. When in the company of London folk, I can’t help but talk London-esque — over-pronouncing every syllable, resorting to olden juvenile forms of censure, words like “Mikey”, “Lick”. Such the same with the Scottish, when I visit the ol’RiRi. “What’ll ya Halve boys?”. In this instance, I’m influenced by neither of the colors of the British Isle. Instead, it happens that just a few days ago I saw the movie A Clockwork Orange. (Excellent film!) I’ve read the book — years ago — but haven’t till recently seen the Kubric film. Words — especially my paltry descriptions and poor writing — can do a review of it no justice, so I’ll dismiss even the thought of such a proceeding. Let me just say, the movie is rather rich and filling. And as consequence, it makes you feel fat and happy. There is no better feeling; those happy seconds after gross indulgence (before guilt sets in) is a transient joy often denied in our Atkins friendly, South Beach anxious lifestyle. All I really mean to say is, that for a while, I may adopt some of the expressions of that “charming and faithful narrator”. And do pardon the solecisms. (Tis a breathy aside.)

As I was saying (or rather, as I “wasn’t” saying) my Friday afternoons are typical. Two of my fellow collegues (or said rightly, two of my closest friends), head along the cobbled streets of downtown Providence — jolly-like being a Friday — and head over to the looonie-loo Starbucks round the corner, to fetch ourselves a nice cup’o’tea and maybe a scone to nibble some.

After getting our tea, and making a few involuntary side-cracks over “Ethos” (the Starbucks-brand water) and pushing ourselfs out those heavy doors back into the duldrums of Providence, it is often at that point, we pause, in respect to Chris taking a moment to light a smoke-stick, ‘fore we continue on our way, with airy confidence and — perhaps — unwarranted arrogance over society-at-larger. It is usally at this leg of the journey, from the exit of Starbucks, with a burnt engram of Ethos water still fresh in our mind, that we often muse about one particular habit of society(-at-larger) of which we find must disconecerting.

Today, it happened that Chris had recently received a text message from a friend of his, a younger girl laconically stating the words: “AT WORK LOL”.

To this, my friend pointed out the blatant misuse of the acronym “LOL”. For, in truth, if we were to take the acronym literally, how silly would that image be? Is it truly gut-bustingly funny, the idea, the very notion, of being– hear me out –, ahem, “AT WORK!” (HAHAHAHAA!). It is a word carelessly used and slowly shedding meaning. If it were always meant to be taken literally, walking down the hallways of a college dorm would feel eerily similar to that of a traveling circus of clown trailers. You’d expect students commute on unicycles with 3 foot shoes, red bulbous noses, and polka-doted bow ties. It would be a silly, silly world. Right, right?

Well, fortunately, it’s not the case. The word “LOL” is not be taken with the pretension of any meaning. I imagine it wont be long till it’s replaced by three spaces instead of letters and then vanish from existence — like so many other words. To this, my friends and I had a jolly-fun laugh at the matter. Chris made an interesting comment that our generation (not their generation) invented the very notion of tech-speak via the IRC channel days. However, we are getting older (truism), and as such, our influence over what is cool is fading out at every placental wash and umbilical snipping.

To go back to the story: my friend readily accepted our instruction to reply to her “txt” in like manner, with the message: “ME 2 ROFL”

And again, on the compression of the “send” key, a belch of condescending laughter continued.

I fear text-message-speak is approaching the eerie 1984-esque dictionary of Orwell’s Newspeak. Where words are being deleted, and only a limited few, 10, maybe 20, are left to express our needs, and desires. Imagine an 11th edition dictionary of text-message-speak: small enough to copy onto your right palm. What then? When the vocabulary of language diminishes, isn’t precision of thought and expression choked along with it?

Right, Right? lol.


After several months of programming — and several months of NOT programming — I’ve finally finished a new programming project, codename: Melodie. There are still a few tiny rough edges in the program (as in any program, see MS Vista) but at this point, the application is functional enough for me to distribute for a wider audience.

Okay, I imagine the first question is “What is Melodie?”, and the second, “Why does anyone care?”. Well, Melodie is a song projection software that allows churches (or any such assembly) to present onto a screen hymns or songs, or bible scriptures, for an audience. It is built with a whole slew of features: including, the coveted “Dual Screen” capability, a very capable search mechanism, a scrolling text feature, and even a neat little playlist module. And, best of all, Melodie is free to use. I’ve preloaded the software with about 200 public domain hymns, and the entire version of the King James Bible (most of the other bible versions are copyrighted, can you believe it?). I’ve even given Melodie its own website: http://melodie.ariyam.com (yes, melodie.com was taken).

So, If you’re running a church-like assembly, and looking for an application to project your songs, and looking for a really neat and powerful little tool that is free. Well, here it is! Enjoy.

The Melodie Download Site

100 Book, New Year Goal

I am so underread. (And only someone underread would even dare use an expression as ‘underread’.) It’s true, I don’t know a lick of contemporary literature. Except for the names you can’t escape, like Dan Brown, Rowling, or Tolkien, the rest of the authors’ names stir no recall to me. You might as well be reading off the batting order of the ’87 Cubs for all I know– and it would indeed produce the same dumb look in my expression.

So in effort to combat my own literary ignorance, I’ve taken on a new campaign for the new year. My goal is to read all 100 books from the Modern Library Best 100 Reader’s list. Firstly, I refuse to call it a “New Year’s Resolution”, and thereby nominate it for failure. Instead, I’m going to stick to using the word “goal”. Sounds silly and irrelevant, I imagine. But you see, with the word “goal”, you don’t feel like such a loser when you fail– like when use the word “resolution”. Actually, I would even suggest that with a goal, no one really expects you to succeed, and when you do, your accomplishment is met with nothing but lavish praise and incredulity.

So there you have it: my 100 book reading list. And I extend to you the same challenge. Let’s make it a goal.

Desert of Sorrows

Desert of Sorrows

A Strange Desert,
Wretched and ill foreboding,
A land of Barren plains.
Yet ‘fore hope went dry,
Steady rhythm resounded,
And upon me a Rider came.
“To where’s the sun?”, I asked,
“And its lesser lantern pair?
Or that speckled net of wonder
Sprawling endless through the air?
To what score Dynasty age
Has the Blight claimed rule?
Royal famines, imperious plagues,
Ranks of disease boast unsubdued.
Why does my soul unceasing suffer,
The threads of flesh tear ripe anew?
Why do I see Evil’s shadow cast
Onto every space, mixed in every hue.
O, Rider Hear, and make good a Christian friend,
Gather first this wandering soul,
and make my sorrows end.”

As the rider mutely listened
O’er my desperate plea,
His eyes cast solemn answers,
Perhaps, to where my solace be.
He wiped upon a sweaty brow,
A lamp flickered o’er his chin,
And with words moist in sorrow
Here did he begin:

“O Pilgrim hear, a fellow Christian friend.
I can not save your wandering soul,
Nor make your sorrows end.
For the sun reigns not o’er these skies,
Nor doth the Moon reflect its light.
But sorrows come and fester here,
While we wail and repine our life.
Hope’s in the past, the present is torment
And the future and present are one.
Pain writhes and scorches,
The soul faints and flinches,
Though nothing has near yet begun.
But stay, good friend, sip this bane
While we sit and wait for death.
And when it comes, though sting be great,
Still we’re cursed with life and breath.”