Friday, 18 September 2009

Lolspeak and Lolcatz

I met a man who worked for the OED last Saturday, and told him about the "esoteric in-joke" language Lolspeak, and its cartoon-like manifestation Lolcatz. He was very excited, but he was really just fixated on the idea of discovering a new language as though he was some kind of valiant frontiersman making forays into the world of ordinary folk. He didn't seem to get the joke and expressed a fashionable disregard for the apostrophe. He probably thinks Lolspeak celebrates the inept, and of course he was terrified of appearing elitist.

A very laid back Canadian company I once worked for actively encouraged expression in office clothing. A lot of people saw this as an opportunity to express that they were beach bums by choosing to wear t-shirts and torn denims. Big mistake. The company wanted to see people choose to be smart. It’s the same with the apostrophe. I don't like people saying, "It's the "grocer’s apostrophe". There's a lot about the British class system in that. If you choose to misuse them, you are in danger of being grouped with people who can’t use them. In reality, this never happens because people can misuse apostrophe in a not-posh way, and that's called Lolspeak.

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