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Ask Mr. Grammar...
Ask Mr. Grammar...
I found myself on the toilet this morning not asking myself why would I start my blog with such a statement, but thinking about words, phrases, communication and the like.
I've always been a subscriber to the notion that sometimes it's not what you say but how it's said that makes a difference. The difference between how the person on the receiving end will perceive it. In this new day and age when most people converse over MSN, ICQ, FBI, USSR and other non-verbal modes of communication, it's hard to infer the intent and emotional content of said phrases. I wonder if 300 years ago on the western plains did the Indians have issues with context while talking via smoke signals:
CHIEF EAR WAX: *smoke* Buffalo *smoke* come *smoke* fast.
1ST LT. IN CHARGE OF FEATHERS: *smoke* How can you tell? *smoke*
CHIEF EAR WAX: *smoke* Ground sticky... *smoke*
1ST LT. IN CHARGE OF FEATHERS: *smoke* Ewwwww *smoke*
So as you can plainly see, Indians of 300 years ago were just as dirty-minded as we all are today which was my point entirely. But as a secondary point, it's as clear as blackly smoked sky that these two were clearly having an affair - and communication problems.
Because all emotion and verbal inflection is removed from the communication process, it has become necessary for us to create abbreviations (and why is abbreviated such a long damn word anyway....) for phrases that are designed to re-add inflection. Being that I am such an educated professional (read: full of shit) I shall divulge the most common ones here:
1. LOL = Laugh out loud.
2. ROFL = Roll on floor laughing.
3. LMAO = Laugh my ass off
4. MCGWIVFSJUMBTTWHA: My cousin George who is visiting from Sacramento just used my bath towel to wipe his ass.
5. IM(H)O = In my (humble) opinion.
6. ASS = You are an asshat
Those are the most common among the chat board crowd which I shall refer to as 'nerds'. I challenge you to discover more, or even create your own or even combine a few like so: IMHO MCGWIVFSJUMBTTWHA is an ASS... LOL. See? It's really that simple. But wait, there's more! What we have also forgotten about is punctuation, grammar and capitalization - these are very important if one wishes to get across their true intention, which is could Chief Ear Wax hear anything at all... Let's tackle each one of these in turn.
Without punctuation it is almost impossible to understand what someone is actually talking about it becomes a total run on sentence that just keeps going on and on and on and no one ever knows where it begins or ends just when you think it is done it just keeps going on it is very frustrating to read because punctuation is like a breath and after a while without any punctuation the point starts to turn blue and purple and red and other colours and the person reading will most likely passout before getting to the end example yesterday I went to help my friend move it was fun I got to move couches tables chairs and their bed which I didn't want to touch without gloves but I did anyway I scrubbed my hands when I got home would you have touched it really I am not so sure you would and to top it all off there wasnt any beer to be found isn't that terrible we were all pissed hahahahaha
So while reading that I said all the things I wanted to say, but one other thing I got across was that I was a total and complete bonehead who has no idea how to converse with another human being and should therefore be taken out into the street and beat with Enclyclopedia's all while singing the commercial jingle for 'Hooked on Phonics'.
No, I don't mean what some people call their mom's mom either. This word seems to be as alien as Michael Jackson - and by that I mean white and plastic. Err.... yeah. Grammar is defined as: The system of inflections, syntax, and word formation of a language. Now, I always thought syntax was a tax you had to pay when your minister found out you were being bad, so we'll leave that one alone - my syntax bill is probably through the roof anyway! Just check out any forum, or chat room and you'll see that grammar has gone the way of dodo - out the freakin' window! Double negatives, dangling particples, useless subjective pronouns, Klingon being mixed with English, dogs and cats living together - basically the end of humanity - grammatically speaking of course.
This is very, VERY important. More important than anyone realizes. This could form the very decline of society in one monumentous swoop. Don't believe me? Capitalization is the difference between: "I had to help my Uncle Jack off a horse" and "I had to help my uncle jack off a horse." Same line, VERY DIFFERENT MEANING! Point - set - match, thank you very much.
Obviously there are more, one of the more important ones is scarcasm. People who like to tease the ones they love (guilty....) often use scarcasm in their ribbing. One thing I have learned is that when 'typing' your scarcastic quip, if you don't explain that it's scarcastic you could endup hurting the person instead. Just a little 'lol' or something at the end will help get the correct point across and have the number of chat room related maulings decline.
One more thing I'd like to cover, is the use of 'colourful metaphors' or swearing. Most often we use such words (herin referred to as the S-word and F-word in case children are reading..... pfft - fat chance! LOL (see, it works!)) as a substitute to describe a feeling of great anguish and frustration. When you're late for work and you look at the alarm clock and say "Shit!" it's acutally a lot easier then saying, "I'm feeling great anguish and frustration right now!" God forbid if you have kids and say the S-word right into their ear and then receive a condescending lecture about not using said word from someone who consistantly puts his underwear on backwards.
The other irony, is that for thousands of years, great writers such as William Shakespeare have used so-called dirty words to form literature. In Romeo and Juliet, for example, the following words appear in Act II, Scene VI, Row A, Seats 4 and 5:
"O Romeo, Romeo;
"Where the F-word art thou, Romeo?"
So, we can see that swearing is as important today as it was way back then, and if any psychiatrists wish to dispute it then I just have to say that they're up to their neck in S-word.
Now we know how to properly convey your opinion over the internet, now it's time to discuss topics that are good and bad.
Sports, sex, cars, sex, current events, the trade defecit, sex, French Union Strikes, sex, how to use a swiffer properly, and sex.
Religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin.
The problem with discussing religion is that you run the risk of offending severely religions people, and then they come after you with machetes. So I am going to be very sensitive, here, which is not easy, because the thing about religion is that everybody else's always appears stupid.
For example, if you read about some religious sect in India that believed God wants people to drink their own urine, you don't say to yourself, "Isn't that amazing, the diversity of belief systems Man has developed in his never-ending quest to understand and cop with the intricate moral dilemmas posed by a complex and uncertain world?" No, what you say to yourself is, "These people have the brains of trout."
Meanwhile, over in India, the sect members are getting a major chuckle over the fact that some American basketball players cross themselves before they take foul shots. "As if God cares about foul shots," the sect members howl, tears streaming down their faces. "Say, is this my urine or yours?"
So, religion is out, same for politics and the Great Pumpkin. I'll not get into that last one here as that is just a major disaster waiting to happen.
Well, I hope that I've enlightened you all as to the Do's and Don'ts of chatting via typing. And for some of you out there who got a chuckle when I said 'dangling participles', you are all perverts who probably scratched your genatalia at least 3 times during this blog, oh - and keep in mind that The Dangling Particples would be a GREAT name for a band.
12/22/2005 8:48 am
And here I thought that I was alone in these views. The reason I have never stated them is I am one of the worst typists in the world, the two fingered hunt and peck, and it would take me hours to compose my thoughts as clearly as you have. |
Happy holidays one and all!
12/22/2005 9:12 am
I agree with you. It seems suddenly the online world has forgotten how to spell. The trouble is that when you see words & grammar so frequently mangled, you might start believing that's the way it's supposed to be! Especially for those who never got it right in grade school.|