Warning: What follows may make your brain implode.
Double Warning: It will be eye-opening but not necessarily in a good way.
This! These cute, adorable, tiny things? I used to show this kind of cuteness to all my friends! LOLCats were cute or funny cats with cute or funny messages. Sometimes, like with MallowCat, they were written sort of how a baby would talk. It was cute! You laughed and you wanted to hug them – most of the time.
What has happened to LOLCats?
Words are spelled however your can manage it. They are, hopefully, how they’re pronounced… most of the time. Spelling is stretched to the thinnest degree often – ‘haus’ for ‘house’? ‘Gurdenzed’ for ‘gardened’?
I’m going to admit it. This post is a bit of a rant. I’m just shocked at how far this innocent thing has fallen. Baby speak had devolved into keyboard smashes. I understood ‘oh noes’ and ‘hai’ but after a while, it’s just going too far. I’m worried about people, not just children, reading these pictures (and the string of comments left on them). The English language has already slipped so far, with many people unable to spell basic words or use basic grammar even into the high school and college level. When things like this new wave of LOLCats become super popular, I fear the made up spellings and speech forms are going to seep into the rest of society.
I’m going to be a literature professor and an author. I like lingo and slang well enough, but when I see friends of mine and students writing these types of words on actual academic papers or in blogs or stories, I just feel sad. I’m confused. Do people honestly think this is how you spell things now?
The cute baby speech, the ‘typo’ word or two – it was all fun and games. It’s just devolved too far. I don’t know how it’s going to be fixed, but something needs to happen. No word is safe in the path of LOLCats.
What do you think? What is your opinion on the style of language in LOLCats or just some common mistakes you see out in the real world? Let me know in the comments!