Friday, January 8, 2016

What the hell are you talking about?

I know I am old, well old-ish anyway, and us old-ish folk are easily confused, but I have been using the English language a tool of the trade for more than two decades and lately I have been baffled at the changes my mother tongue is undergoing.
I know the way we speak evolves over time and how we talk now is wildly different than how we talked 200 years ago.
When is the last time you said 'thee' or 'thou' or any of those goofy words Shakespeare was so fond on?
Until I wrote this, I don't know if I have ever used those words in communicating with someone.
Times change, and the way we speak change.
Even in the 1900s, the way humans communicated changed greatly.
In the 1920s, applesauce was more than just something to put on pork chops. It was an expletive same as horsefeathers, as in "Ah applesauce!"
And “The Bees Knees” did not refer to the anatomical part of a bee's leg that bends, but of someone who was really cool.
Why? I have no idea.
And speaking of cool, in the 1950s the word evolved from someone who was cold to someone who was popular, or neat or, well, cool.
The '60s had a its own way of speaking as did the '70s, '80s and so on.
I get that our language changes, but at least back then actual words were used to in conversation, even if they were a rather odd collection of words.
With the arrival of social media, Facebook, texting and other evil acts of communication, people don't even talk in full sentences anymore.
LOL – means 'laugh out loud.' I get than in text, but people are using as a word in regular conversation.
TTYL means talk to ya later, I get that too, but there are so many new 'words' out there an old-ish guy like mean has a hard time keeping up.
I know what WTF means and I think I can apply it to much of what I am reading online.
The way things are going, the human race will stop using full words and simply 'talk' to each other using nothing but a jumble of letters.
IDKWTHYATA would become my favorite collection of seemingly random letters.
It is one I made up myself, and it means “I don't know what the hell are you talking about.”
Because more and more often, I don't.
KTHXBYE means OK, thanks, good bye.
I can sort of see how a collection of normal English words mutated into a jumble of seemingly random letters in that one, but there are many more out there that do little more than baffle my brain and give me a headache.
And as if that is not bad enough, there are online terms that do not even use letters to express words.
143 means I love you online. WTF?
How does three seemingly random numbers mean I love you? Without the use of a Google search, there is no way I would have put those two together.
2H2H is too hot to handle. Um, Ok, if you insist.
2L8 is too late. Now that one I actually understand.
4N is short for foreign, and I get that one too. I thought I was doing pretty good for an old-ish guy and then I came across A.
That was it; just the letter A. Apparently it means 'Hey.' Here's a plan: why don't you just type Hey. It's only three letters and it will keep us old-ish people from banging out craniums on the keyboard.
How about the 'word' Attwaction – that means attracted to a twitter user. It's bastardized cousin, Attwicked means addicted to twitter.
Oy Vey - which means this is some nutty stuff.
Deets means details and for some reason dewds is dudes. Again, the question why must be asked. It is the same number of characters, just a different spelling.
But possibly my favourite new word is doge. Can you guess what that means? I had to look it up and it would seem doge is Internet slang
That's it, IGU (I give up).

Copyright 2016, Darren Handschuh

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