… omg, wtf cd sum1 plzzzzzz tel me wut hpnd 2 rl wrdz? dz ne1 uz dem nemor? :(
Linguistically speaking, it may well be the end of the world as we know it. And, unlike the members of R.E.M., I’m feeling somewhat dizzy and slightly nauseated trying to translate some of the shit crap thumbvomit nonsense fingerbabble symbolic verbiage that’s passing for communication these days into actual words. I mean, I realize that texting only lets you have x amount of characters to get your point accross, my phone lets me have 160 for example. And Twitter (because I need to know what various people are doing every second of the day? Now there’s a soapbox I could preach from for DAYS and DAYS and DAYS) gives you way less. Maybe I just have too much to say. Lord knows I have something to say about pretty much everything. Really. Ask anyone who knows me. I mean, I can accept that the King’s English is dead, and the Queen’s English is lying in the crypt right next to it. We speak and write American. And with the world fast becoming more and more intertwined with the world wide web and everyone going wireless, it would seem that email, texting, and tweeting (it has its own dictionary — the twictionary — did you know that?!?!?) is quickly replacing not only face-to-face communication, but also vocal communication and the fully written word. And when I say written, I mean by hand. With a pen. Or pencil. Maybe I even mean fully typed with no abbreviations or cute little emoticons to take the place of actual adjectives and/or descriptive phrases. Yes, yes I think I do mean to include the latter bit. Wow. That makes me rather sad. In other words, :( . And when I say fully, I mean FULLY. As in, using all of the vowels and consonants in the correct order and amount prescribed by a universally accepted academic dictionary. I am neither lol-ing about this, lmao-ing, rofl-ing, rotflmfao-ing, or any combination thereof. Although some of you reading this may be. Just don’t bdcoyn* while you’re doing it. It’s so hard to get of the keyboard.
You see, language is one of my particular pet peeves. Really? you say, possibly with a slight gasp of disbelief. Yes, really. Granted, I do play it pretty fast and loose with the rules of grammar and punctuation in here, but this is sort of like me talking, and this is the way I talk; run-on sentences are one of my most favoritest things in the whole wide world and I like to split the occasional infinitive, not to mention create my own words — Dr. Seusse and Edgar Allen Poe did it, I figure what the hell. With all the words being dashed from the dictionary each year, SOMEONE needs to be creating new and exciting bits to take their places. And what is it that has raised the ire of my linguistic police you may ask? Well, dear readers, that would be (and I admit this with only the slightest bit of late night internet shame) my new found porn-like soft addiction to FarmTown. Thank you, FaceBook, for creating yet another time sucking application that has pulled me in like a bermuda triangle of virtual social-interaction, where I can lose hours upon hours staring at the most adorable little pretend me plowing, planting, harvesting, and buying trees and squirrels for my own little virtual farm.
That doesn’t sound linguistically offensive, you mutter (yes, I can hear you, and I see you smirking — yes you, over there to the left, and you too, condron.us, I see you rolling your eyes). THAT part isn’t. THAT part is all point-and-click, wander wander wander solitary time sucking fun. It’s interacting with the OTHER little farmers that makes me question the literacy of the human race. Anyone out there who has played this game knows EXACTLY what I’m talking about. It’s called the Marketplace. It’s where you take your cute little farmer-you to either find workers or find work. People literally BEG for these little game jobs. Occasionally, it’s loads of fun. More often, it’s obnoxiously spammy and full of horrid grammar, when they bother to use real words, and even the short-hand twit-text abbreviations of the abbreviations are usually misspelled, drawn out, and dammit people, just plain wrong and bad. If you don’t have time to type out an entire word, or two, or, god forbid, and ENTIRE SENTENCE, do you really have time to be playing an online game in the firstplace? Hmmm? HMMMMM????? Ponder that one, Farmer whose-name(s)-I-won’t-reveal-beacause-I-don’t-want-to-make-you-feel-badly-about-yourself. (Okay, we all know it’s just because I can’t remember the names. I have young children who suck my brain power. Lay off.)
So given all of the above, I have to say the creators of WordGirl should be given some sort of award for combatting the spread of this new viral form of linguistics by making real words, BIG words, honest-to-God look-em-up-in-the-dictionary words cool. I’m not sure what that award should be yet, but I’ve been working on it.Something along the lines of “Coolest Superhero or Superheroine Cartoon Character Who Educates without Pandering and Entertains Adults as well as Children” of the year award. Or something. I love WordGirl. If WordGirl had been around when I was growing up, I would have been WordGirl every freakin’ year for Halloween. Yes, its characters are somewhat corny at times (I mean, her sidekick is a monkey named Captain Huggyface. Really. Swear to god. His alias? Bob. I am not making this up.), and it’s packed with bad puns from start to finish, and yes, the villians are not your run of the mill bad guys (Chuck the Evil Sandwich Making Guy, for example, still lives in his mother’s basement). But this is part of why we love it; the Husband and I can laugh at the bad jokes, which are INTENDED to be above the heads of the younger viewers (apparently we’re supposed to watch tv WITH our children, not use it as a handy diversionary tactic in order to take a shower, do the dishes, yadda yadda yadda. Who knew.), and the kidlettes learn words like sweltering. What 5-year-old uses the word sweltering? Properly? In context? Spontaneously? Weeks after being introduced to it? My 5-year-old. Mine does.
God bless you WordGirl, and your witty, logophilic creators. I wonder if I can follow them on Twitter…
(psst — http://www.thirteen.org/kids/video/ has full episodes… if you’re, you know, curious…)
* bdcoyn? blow diet coke out your nose. As in, I just lmfao and bdcoyn all over my keyboard. And don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about, you know you’ve done it.