Thursday, July 19, 2007

R U Rdy 4 Auzi LOLHymn? O RLY, no? 2 Bad

Hai World

When Ms Asterisk asked her 10 year-old daughter and her daughter’s friend to write down the Aussie slang word for McDonald’s they wrote:


While debate ensues about the “correct” spelling of the word (matters? think not) these girls were certain about one thing. Macas is the easiest to text, as in

CU 4 lnch @ macas*

*lets meet for lunch at a McDonald’s Family Restaurant

Welcome to the cyber-generation. Are you tsk tsking? Well don’t because right under your nose two new languages are forming. One you know: text language, which derives out of a need to abbreviate English to fit small screen sizes; and one you might not be aware of: LOL or internet slang. Your kids will grow up speaking both fluently and if you want to get a handle on what they are saying about you or arranging with their friends on their MySpace/Facebook page then sit up and listen.

* LOLcat from here

LOL is a language which has grown out of a combination of gaming language, those funny cat pictures, texting and instant messaging. Is it a true pidgin English or simply a code language? Who knows? The term "kitty pidgin" is gaining popularity. The main difference between text language and LOL is that with LOL language:

*LOL is not always a shorter form eg. Invisible Man = God;
*numerals can be used to replace letters not just sounds: d00dz = dudes;
*the grammar is “marked” ie. unusual: eg. I can has Cheezbrgr?
*it can include deliberate common misspellings or typos: eg. teh = the
*It is more than a simple derivation, it is a growth away from English

LOL language seems to find inspiration from a wide range of language cultures such as gaming, hip hop, sci-fi, fantasy and perhaps even Yoda. Arguably all cultures consistent with "internet geekdom"

This emergent language is funny and irreverent and has spread across the internet in humour such as LOLcats (also check here), LOLpresidents and even as LOLcode and is now gaining the interest of linguists (eg. Mark Liberman's Language Log) . There is a lot of cross-section between LOL and text languages and both are now starting to appear across a range of written texts (emails, blogs, websites).

Look out for: Hai World (Hello); Kthxbye (okay, thanks, bye); ROFL (roll on the floor laughing); O RLY? (Oh really?); OMG (oh my god…); TEH (the). Perhaps pertinently to your teenager: PRW (parents are watching) and PRT (party). More to be found here.

Oh, and my personal favorite: a translation of the first few paragraphs of Genesis here.

IYCBTJT (if you can’t beat them, join them). I’d like to contribute to the LOL lexicon with my translation of Advance Australia Fair .* A “LOLHymn”.

Auzi Hym

All Auzi cmon hav fun
Coz we yung an we can has wot we want
We can has gud home and can has dollarz if wrk hard
Auzi home does has watr all round
Auzi home does has much gud stuff
We iz lucky
Invisible Histry guru wud sai
Go Auzi Go Auzi
Cmon sing loud
Go Auzi Go Auzi

Under cool starz
We can do hrd wrk and thnk gud thingz
An mak r home
Well known all over
Fur visible guys want come from other landz
We can has sharing wiv u
So be brav an come, an sing
Go Auzi Go Auzi
Cmon sing
Go Auzi Go Auzi
*1st & 3rd verses of orig. as is traditionally sung


Fairlie said...

2 hairy Rs. ROFLMAO.

Ted said...

I love the analysis! (Everything on your blog is interesting; I've always been fascinated with language development.) The LOLcat song is a really great idea, too.

And thanks for the "favorite" on the lolcat Bible. It was a lot of fun.

Ann O'Dyne said...

I am UR frend.
oh happy happy joy joy.

(re your other post about teen abbrev. of McDonald's ...
'macas' seems more accurate than macCas, because the original word has a single 'c'.

Now I am wondering if McDonalds signage has the possessive apostrophe ...)

re language, spec. Australian: I hope you have read Nino Culotta books of the 1960's ?
If you have early post about this, pls accept my apology, I just found your blog today.