Monday, June 16, 2008


response to another of shamus' posts.

Slang serves many purposes and leetspeak is a fine example of all of them. It's being studied. The key driver imho is not technological change per se, but the availability and routing of comm channels. Rigid language is a form of redundancy which helps the language survive long journeys or periods of isolation. "Rosy fingered dawn arose above the wine dark sea".

The internet, dictionaries and the vast body of modern literature available make this redundancy unnecessary, so language is naturally evolving to a more portable, rich, fluid form.

I use a lot of spoken leet, but usually for effect. I like the subtleties of emphasis it allows. For example:

lol: just funny. Generally people say 'hehe' now.
lul: funny because someone's being stupid or a dick which is what lul means in Dutch.
kek: Alliance side, this means kk (ok) but also that I think you're telling me to do something dumb
lolwut: like wtf but less offensive

Most people probably don't get these subtleties, but that's the point of slang.

WTF is pronounced wuh-tuh-fuh. Pwned is powned or owned, I honestly couldn't care less. Anyone who says pee-owned is an outsider.

I do sometimes find it difficult speaking to work colleagues who still have a tenuous idea of what the tubes are about. Most of the little jokes, references and asides I usually pepper my conversation with I have to omit or expect to be ignored. This probably makes me seem kinda boring, when in fact I'm trying way harder to understand their hobby than they are mine. crai crai. (self-aware emo)

I met a work colleague who didn't understand emo the other day. After a pause, we silently agreed this was an unbridgable chasm and we should just move on.

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