The Toybox

people for the conservation of limited amounts of indignation


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i'm just saying, it's odd
children of dune - leto 1
seperis
So I want to check this one:

A coworker of mine in her mid-forties has been emailing back and forth with a guy who seemed okay, but kind of went weird near the end. After she decided he was--weird--she showed me his emails.

Claim: in his forties/fifties, living with his mother--and uses lolspeech and netspeak natively in his email along with multiple exclamation point use and lack of capital letters BUT no regular textspeech or l33t that isn't in common use. It didn't read normal for two people getting to know each other via email, but it read very normal for chat.

I just don't see this as a likely combination. The funny thing is, I'd glanced at earlier email, but it wasn't until the last one that it hit me why it kept feeling off about his language. Which may mean I have been reading online way too long. I'm also worrying I spent several seconds trying to remember what dialect IDEK represents and kind of like, hate myself. Net dialects == new field of study? Would the chans be considered the purest form?

Posted at Dreamwidth: http://seperis.dreamwidth.org/17012.html. | You can reply here or there. | comment count unavailable comments

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(Deleted comment)
Oh man, I would love to hear it. Add in internet slang and meme crossreferences, and I'm not sure it's even like, English anymore.

I would say multiple exclamation point usage actually backs up his age claim. I don't know anyone under the age of 35 who uses !!! unironically except in cases of VERY GREAT SQUEE.

I was thinking that, too, but if he's a bored college drop out, he might have thrown that in because of her age and thought she'd read it as normal, which she didn't, since yeah, who the heck does that other than in squee?

OTOH, yeah, either way, that's not a good sign.

curiosity killed this cat

hang on--I need to borrow space and a brain here:

lolspeak = O HAI THAR etc (??)
l33tspeak = I have no idea, but I think !!!111eleventy11! evolved from that?
textspeak = text messaging contractions, related to old school chat/IM standards?
chatspeak = IDEK, BRB, ROTFLMAO (??)

What is ASCII art called? it's sort of iconographic, since \o/ and x_x are pictures more than anything, but they do convey... unless this is actually part of the old school BB usage that evolved into chatspeak and so on?

I think the internet melting pot is hard at work, because a lot of these sort of fall into the same space in my head... FWIW, IMHO.

OK, now I want to see an entire post that is pure 'speak, whichever dialect (or all) AND is actually sensible. =)

Re: curiosity killed this cat


OK, now I want to see an entire post that is pure 'speak, whichever dialect (or all) AND is actually sensible. =)


LJ is a melting pot for it, between fan language and second generation chan and leftover l33t and academia shorthand, so--honestly, I'm not sure I've ever seen a pure form of any of them. Toss in fandom and net specific turns of phrase and meme references, and boom, you have ljspeak.

The multiple !!! and any smileys would back up his claims, imo - there are some ladies of a certain age I work with who do that and ALL CAPS without any awareness of how it makes them come off. The lolspeech would be more of a head-scratcher to me, especially if there's ease of use.

It read invisible to me until I had time to think about it--and the exclamation points--so yeah. Which argues he could be what he says, but has been in teh basement way too long.

You had my warning bells going off at "forties..." and "living with his mother." If that doesn't say weird, I don't know what does.

To be fair, a lot of unemployed people around here moved in with their parents or relatives when the job market crashed last year and are still in the process of getting back on their feet. OTOH--yeah, I'd like context for that one.

'Multiple exclamation marks,' he went on, shaking his head, 'are a sure sign of a diseased mind.'

(Sorry.)

*giggles* Unless it is done in the name of squee.

It sounds off as a combination for me as well, but I can't put a finger on why. Does he use smilies?

Internet slang and dialects can be really pretty obscure. The Gaia subforum I hang out in is very specialized, and over the past few years has developed some very specific slang and etiquette; I recently wrote up a guide for forum newbies, because I kept seeing newbies trip over the unwritten rules and get reprimanded for something they didn't know they shouldn't do.

I didn't see smilies, oddly enough, but I think I saw lol before she deleted. I kind of wondered if it could be Facebook-esque, since that's making a comeback on my feed these days.

As one of those "older" folk online, I would actually be interested to know, if there is a cheat sheet list of signs and their meanings available anywhere.

My reference is urbandictionary.com; it tends to have everything or a pointer toward everything and sometimes even the linguistic history.

I love that site.

I think there are some people who adopt netspeak because they like seeming fluent in it, the same way some people get really into Morse code or Klingon or other secret codes that are the key to entering a complex subculture. These people often like to believe they are experts in the Internet, and enjoy explaining the Internet to others, or demonstrating to others that they understand the Internet. These people are often in fact conversational in the Internet, but not competent enough to recognize their own mistakes or missteps. They certainly don't know what they don't know.

In my experience, these people are almost exclusively middle-aged or slightly older than middle-aged men.

Ooh, I didn't make that connection with entering a new subculture.

These people are often in fact conversational in the Internet, but not competent enough to recognize their own mistakes or missteps. They certainly don't know what they don't know.

I wish now she hadn't deleted and I could sit down and go over them. Either way, glad she twigged to his weirdness early on.

I have found multiple exclamation point use to be really common among not just certain communities of the net-familiar but also people entirely new who are utterly baffled but gamely trying. Kind of like, "whoa, newfangled stuff, but I'll give it a go!!!!"

But I would say that's really the only of his apparent quirks that aligns with his purported age.

I also find it shady if he claimed "forties/fifties," rather than just one. It sounds more like describing someone you're looking at and guessing at the age than describing your own age range.

I once dumped a girl for excessive, impractical and annoying use of ellipsis in her emails and texts. However, when asked, it was easier to blame her alarming and proudly on display collection of Troll dolls.

In conclusion, your friend was right to trust her instincts. I'm not saying that LOLers and fluent netspeakers are fucking nuts and have bodies buried under their porches. But I'm not *not* saying that either. Because, Troll dolls. Like, fifty of them. On the shelf over her bed, just *watching* me while I slept.

This is my fucking *life*. I can't even make this shit up. Tell your friend that I hope she stays safe. And maybe carry pepper spray.

As someone mid-forties who has spent a lot of time on just two LJ communities plus one parenting board I think that trying to judge a person's sincerity on the mix of speech is really kind of ridiculous. I don't use abbreviations like U because it looks stupid to me. I use (((hugs))) because it was the first non-standard-English usage I encountered when I joined the parenting board that became my lifeline for the first five years of my eldest's childhood and it still feels comforting and loving to me - although I've never seen it anywhere but that one board. I've picked up other bits here and there and - like my actual voice - my dialect is probably not pure anything!

That said, if she feels that something is wrong she is the one who's been talking to him and she is the one most likely to sense the undertones. I'd go with her gut and be very cautious.

Its' not sincerity, it's plausibility. If it were someone she knew well, being that informal in a casual email wouldn't come up; that's why I didn't notice it at first, since it's normal for me to read. But it's not someone she's friends with or chats with; it's a person who is trying to get to know her for the purposes of dating, and their interactions are through email, not in chat. In general, people who are trying to get a date with someone won't break into internet slang teh first time they talk and get steadily more jargoned as it goes on, especially since her emails *weren't*; she doesn't use it herself. That's what makes it weird. I'd expect that from a teenager or someone in their early twenties, but not from an adult trying to get a date with another adult.

There's a difference between internet interactions, close friend interactions, and like, trying to make an impression on someone you want to see socially.

I'm thinking of going back for my MA in linguistics, and I've always thought it would be fascinating to do a study on various types and terms of netspeak. It's fascinating to watch terms spread across the internet and into everyday conversation, everything from OMGWTFBBQ to pwn to Jossed.

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