Friday, March 25, 2011


Language is constantly changing. In the time I've been alive 'bad' has come to mean good, 'ming' is no longer just a type of vase and 'shit off' is a valid phrase. Yet today Twitter is in uproar about the acronyms OMG, FYI and LOL being added to the Oxford English Dictionary. I can't say I've ever been a huge fan of any of these phrases. FYI sometimes leaks its way into my emails to save me typing any further sentence or explanation and assuming the receiver can just read the below without further prompt. For that I applaud it's use. OMG however and LOL are both terms that I have only ever used with extreme sarcasm, often to point out the extensive levels of boredom something has caused or how incredibly unfunny something might be. Nat and Tom have a very funny game where sometimes they email each other incredibly dull tweets with the subject line 'OMG look what so and so's written!' only to click and discover that person is 'having a cup of tea' or something as equally mind numbing. Its three letters that can instantly sum up the user's personality in a second. If said in an over the top, taking the piss tone, then you can assume the speaker is a hilarious wit and an all together good egg. If used with serious excitement, genuine concern or in fact any emotion rather than sheer mockery, its likely they are a vacuous waste of human flesh ie Peaches Geldof. If the OED definition uses this as its rightful meaning I will be extremely proud.

LOL similarly should be used with caution. Its extremely rare that anything I have ever read on a screen has ever made me Laugh Out Loud. There have been several smirks, the occasional smile, and millions of non-plussed noises. So when something has actually made me guffaw to myself whilst sitting at my laptop, it feels churlish to merely reduce such joy to three letters. Not only that but I worry that it will destroy the meaning of the word 'loll' which ironically probably describes most users of 'LOL'. Other words that have entered include 'dotbomb' a phrase which I have never heard before and was worried was a new type of dangerous micro weapon, 'ego-surfing' which I am a victim of and often wave my fists in the air wishing I had a name that would disappear into google more easily, and the heart symbol, which will help anyone who only reads Wingdings.

But overall we should look at the positives of all this. Firstly Scrabble will become easier. Especially when playing against elderly relatives who won't have a clue what 'FYI' means as you slam it down on the board, scoring a 9 pointer at least and then as they check the dictionary for proof, lampooning them with a victory dance as you kick over their ridiculous classic words and spit cold tea in their face screaming 'Take that Nan! Your time is up!' Then there are all those school kids who up until now have suffered low exam results for text speak spelling, suddenly becoming high scorers, progressing to Oxford and running our government until the Houses of Parliament are all shouting 'LOL' everytime someone says something that vaguely resembles a joke. Then we have the possibilities that over time all speak will be abbreviated until there is more time in everyone's lives and boring conversations will fly by in seconds, meetings will be reduced to one dullard saying 'SWHROT (So we haven't reached our targets) TCIGIL (The Company is going into liquidation) YAF (you're all fired)' everyone else saying 'OMG' and then they all leave.

All I'm saying is that it can all only be a good thing. I look forward to the day this all progresses and we all end up talking Nadsat, right right droogs?

Quick other note, as I will talk about this more tomorrow, but there is a big protest against the cuts tomorrow. Do you hate the cuts? If you say no, you're an idiot, or very rich. Either way you should probably stop reading this blog as it will either have confused or upset you many times by now. Anyway, the protest will be excellent, and at 2pm I'll be taking part in occupying a bank or tax dodging company shop to do a gig in it with Josie Long, Mark Thomas and Chris Coltrane among others. It will be awesome. Come protest and laugh. Laughtest. Prough. Details below.


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