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Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Now Iz ofishally l@m3!

Houston Chronicle tech columnist Dwight Silverman documents the Lolcat craze, as typified (or possibly invented) by the site I Can Has Cheezburger?

Silverman looks (this tiny image is the best I could find) as if he has to have clues surgically implanted -- which is my cruel way of saying he looks too old to be doing the geek beat. "But...but..." Niles sputtered, "...he's a TruGeek! He's been doing this column for ages!" Yes, but he's a Paleogeek, full of WATFIV and WIN.INI. His labored explanation of the basis of the humor in funny cat pics is like William Safire doing an exegesis of a rap song ("The representation of the male member as a snake -- in the line 'my anaconda don't want none 'less you got buns, hon' -- is an ancient one, going all the way back to the Book of Genesis, where...").

Worse, Silverman identifies the grammatical shortcuts common to text-messagers (u no wot i mean unlss u r 2 stupid lol) as "leetspeak", which is totally bogus, man. Leetspeak is intended to make communication harder (in order to fool the Man and the mundanes), not faster. |\|0 +ru3 h@x0r \/\/0u1d u53 0|\|3 |<3y5tr0|<3 \/\/h3n +3|\| \/\/0u1d d0, 1@/\/\3r!!! Y0u h@\/3 b33n pwn3d!

We can only hope that this mainstreaming of Lolcats spells the end of the whole craze, or at least of the lingo. (Actually, a lot of the pictures and captions on the cheezburger site are cute and clever, but then you get stuff like this. Phew! I'm pretty sure that's against international law.)

See also: I Has a Bucket. I think that right-hand picture is from Mucosia: Carnivorous Slugs of Venus!