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.