Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Speak in AOL

See just how people react to internet lingo... OF DOOM! I mean...IN REAL LIFE!
  (+11, -6)
(+11, -6)
  [vote for,

I had an odd conversation at work today, just to gauge some reactions. It went something like this:

Me: "Hey, Robert. ASL?"
Robert: "What?"
Me: "Nothing, el-oh-el colon right parenthesis."
Robert: "What the fuck are you talking about?"
Me: "Just using emoticons, silly! El-oh-el! Semicolon capital P!"
Robert: "Emoticon? What's that? What's this el-oh-el and parentheses crap?"

Needless to say, Robert was utterly baffled at this odd language, which also baffles me on AOL Instant Messenger. If AOL users spoke like this in real life, they'd be sure to find each other and have happy lives away from everyone else, lol! ;P
AfroAssault, Sep 29 2001

Invented on everything2 http://www.everythi...&lastnode_id=655815
idea by Decker. Recommends stress-relieving properties in brief note. [pottedstu, Sep 29 2001, last modified Oct 04 2004]

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snarfyguy, Sep 29 2001

       Wow! You can speak emoticons? You're lucky. I only have my face to use.
mrkillboy, Sep 29 2001

       Oh yes and on some forums you can put little smiley and frowny and pouty and horny icons right in your messages it's just so cute I could barf. Have the emoticon-talkers get a disk implanted in their foreheads to display these icons...no don't...AfroAssault, you really didn't try to talk that way did you? I like "Yarr matey, roast his giblets" much better.
Dog Ed, Sep 29 2001

       An interesting social experiment [AA]. I hypothesise that the level and tone of conversation would fall dramatically if everybody allowed AOL to infiltrate the vernacular.   

       "Yeh, what do you like?"
"I like music and stuff."
"Yeh, stuff is cool, semicolon capital P."

       So I'm not sure how to vote on this one. It's a funny idea for the same reason that Pauly Shore movies are so annoyingly funny. But the thing you're proposing is annoying, very annoying - fishbone territory.   

       What the hell. Croissant, bu-ddy.
sdm, Sep 29 2001

       Way back when I was but a lad in high school <cough>three years ago<cough> I used to do this to drive away all the people whose entire online vocabulary consisted of the following:   

       :D LoL ROTFLMAO!!!!!   

       If someone I knew ... in real life [pauses for effect] ... subjected me to this nonsense online, then all of my conversations with them for the next day would consist only of inane ICQ/AIM/etc style acronyms. I also constructed three small pasteboard signs with 1) a smile, 2) a frowny-face, and 3) a Huge Grin(tm) which I would hold up at various times to indicate my emotion during a that particular point of the useless conversation.   

       I also had one of those little Olympus 30-second voice recorders with the ICQ "A-OOOO-GA" chat beep burned into track one. If I wanted to express anger at the person with more vehemenance than could be indicated with a mere pasteboard frown, I would play the chat beep at them and smack them over the head with my sign.   

       I suffered through substantially fewer inane conversations after I began employing these few simple steps. Sort of killed two birds with one stone, so to speak-- I drove away the morons and attracted a new circle of interesting, though cynical, friends.   

       This is a true story.
jester, Sep 29 2001

       Boned for the mere IDEA that anything on AOL deserves to be in the real world, and I wish I had another for you having made sdm drag Pauly Shore out and claim that he was ever funny.
StarChaser, Sep 29 2001

       What in the real world is the spoken equivalent of AOL that we can use in our written messages when we're talking AOL, to really carry this idea to fruition?   

       Should we write like 14 year old girls talk where every other word is "so", "like", or "omigod", interspersed with the conjunction "And she was like, he said she like went she was so...", and *lots* of giggling, snickering, stifled giggling and running back and forwards from your group of friends? Or is there something even more annoying anyone knows? Please share.   

       (PS: I have a 14 year old sister, so this isn't something I'm willingly an expert on.)
pottedstu, Sep 29 2001

       [sdm] - This was a real conversation, probably not word for word but damn close.

[StarChaser] - Do keep in mind that I HATE AOL speak, and Pauly Shore, my plan is to have people so incredibly hateful of AOL Speak that when they hear someone speak this way they immediately pull out that person's jugular. lol.

Emoticons drive me fucking crazy. Yaarrr!
AfroAssault, Sep 29 2001

       It peeves me that "AOL" has become synonymous with "Internet chat forums". Emoticons and jargon abbreviations predate AOL; you're ignoring a rich, varied history of MUDs and MOOs and BBSes in favor of one fairly recent, obnoxiously dumbed-down, dominant brand. (Yes, there were stupid newbies who had to prove they're kewl before AOL.)
jutta, Sep 30 2001, last modified Oct 28 2001

       Having been on MUCKs since before 'The September That Never Ended', no I'm not. I have always found them mildly annoying, but since AOL released the dogs of duh on the world, it's gotten worse. That's why we keep getting people who think 'u r kewl lol ;)' is a real sentence posting 'ideas' that consist of much the same.   

       I dislike acronyms for the most part. Things like 'the CIA', 'FBI', and even 'AOL' make sense, but the hundreds of AOLisms don't...except to other AOLusers. People seem to think they save bandwidth, but they do not. One person posts WOHRNDLKSNDNF and 40 people ask what the hell that means, four or five post their intrepretations and add something along the lines of 'you idiots', several others defend the first, a flame war happens and it ends up with the original poster saying 'My cat stepped on the keyboard, sorry'.   

       I have refused to speak to people who have emailed me things like the 'sentence' example, telling them to write back when they can speak English. Often, this results in indignant repetitions with lots of !!!!!1111!11!!!!!!????//?????.   

       In local BBS's, even before AOL, while there was some use of emoticons, few people liked them and those who did rarely used more than one at a time.   

       And before someone else points it out, yes, I do use things similar myself. I think of them as 'stage directions', though, and you will never see more than one or two at a time.
StarChaser, Sep 30 2001

       Quite right StarChaser. Although I think it's permissible to make up your own abbreviations and smileys, I draw the line at revealing what they mean to the wider public. After all, the point of secret codes and slang is to be exclusive, and if you have to explain them, what's the point?   

       The thing that really bugs me is when people who are used to sending text messages start writing emails, and keep on using all these obscure symbols I H8 U. CU L8R. that save you one or two characters but convert reading into some kind of acrostic puzzle. Don't they realise emails *don't* have a 160 character limit?   

       (I like the fact that LOL means "Lots of Love" in text messages and "Laugh out loud" in chatrooms, though.)
pottedstu, Sep 30 2001

       I have an obsesive hatred of emoticons... just thought I would share that with you all... stuff like c u l8r is even worse(if that is posible)...
RobertKidney, Sep 30 2001

       Sometimes I forget to use English if im chatting with somone on the net and somone comes into my room.
Fireraven, Sep 30 2001

       What's with all this AOL beating? Calm down everybody. If you don't like 'em, you don't have to associate with 'em. <coughing>Cough cough, unless you're with helpdesk, erm.</coughing>   

       Anyway, this is like beating rubber chickens with a shiny Perspex mallet. Why didn’t “Use Bizarre Metaphors” attract so much scorn and fish carcass? It’s essentially the same idea but instead of the annoying use of seemingly randomly generated metaphors, the user chooses totally predictable newbie speak. I must admit however, that if somebody attempted either on me, I’d immediately go home and try to enact some sort of voodoo curse on them.   

       So, [AfroAssault]. Is Robert still your friend?
sdm, Oct 01 2001

       sdm: Use Bizarre Metaphors encourages fun and creative use of language. Even if it renders messages incomprehensible, that is deliberate rather than accidental. In contrast AOL-speak is not clever or funny, and adds nothing to conversations.   

       And, as has already been pointed out, it's not just AOL and it's not easy to avoid. Without severe pruning/threatening of friends, and close vetting of websites it's almost impossible. And sometimes I need to visit bulletin boards to find out about technical issues and have to wade through thousands of pages of idiot B1FFs and warez d00d lam3rz.   

       AOL speak is an affliction of lazy slang which is used by people new to the internet who think they have to use it to fit in, so they go through the painstaking process of asking every 5 minutes "What's rotfl?" It's like smoking, if no one thought it was cool, no one would start doing it, and no one would find their lungs turning into badly-overcooked souffle. We need to re-educate people.
pottedstu, Oct 01 2001

       pottedstu, I have a 14-year-old brother. Maybe we should lock them in a glass-sided room and ... maybe not.

If there was a subversive halfbakers' pact to use complete nonsense acronyms and AOL/ICQ/InstMsg-speak at all times, maybe we could kill this language totally. [Or alternatively, we could ensure that (although ridiculous) it and text message abbrev-speak should evolve and expand as a language in their own right.] Why don't we all write MFD and MFE and FB in these conversations, or VN (Vernon) to express when someone missed an opportunity to be concise.

I like the idea of subversive nonsense speak but I'm not very good at it. My cousin and I state random French words á la Del Boy, but we lose interest (and vocab) after a while.
Pot Pourri!
lewisgirl, Oct 01 2001

       grandes annonces, lewisgirl, (picking random words from Yahoo France) we could try the glass room, but I wouldn't fancy your brother's chances. If the brutal violence didn't get him, the constant Staind quotes and repetitive chatter about The Green Mile and how she's planning to do interior design for her work experience, but only if she can work for a camp gay man would drive him to hang himself from his keychain (i'm guessing he has one). rslpr*   

       Anyway. We could combine some of these ideas and use abbreviated French internet speak for bizarre metaphors. tchatche!   

       BTW, u following m0i or I following u ar0und B/2? Every idea I go to annotate, your name's staring up @ me like Bozo the clown at a woodpecker factory. (comme Bozo le clown dans une usine de woodpecker).   

       *roulement sur le plancher riant (yay for the 'fish)   

       PS: I had something to say when I clicked the "annotate" link, it's just kinda gone the way of all Buddhist velociraptors, imho, +/-.   

       PPS: I love her really, it's just aaaaarrrggghhhhh!!!!!! MFD.
pottedstu, Oct 01 2001

       Cordon Bleu, pottedstu. I think it's you following me. We did discuss you briefly on Friday at the UK Convention (that makes it sound *really* nerdy!). Keep up the good work.
lewisgirl, Oct 01 2001

edski, Oct 01 2001

       I never could get the hang of secret languages. I still struggle with English :). <-|-|-|-<
DrBob, Oct 01 2001

       Ah, lewisgirl, now you make me paranoid as a french monarch in a cleaver showroom. Although having checked out the pictures [link under Halfbakers' Convention] I don't think I need be scared, at least not as scared as Jamie Oliver on free custard day. So you parlaient about me? I guess I should be honoured, but I'm sure you didn't say *that* much. Merci, I guess.   

       <ob AOL>If we implemented this in real life, would we have to let no-friends students listen in on our conversations and kick us out if we used bad words? Because I'd only start swearing randomly to see if anyone jumped out. Oh, yeah, I forgot. I do that anyway.</ob AOL>
pottedstu, Oct 01 2001

       Yes, of course, we'd need a TOS! Anyone who says naughty words will get a warning, and after too many warnings they would no longer be able to speak AOL!

[jutta] - I'm aware of the use of emoticons etc. before AOL, but if you've ever been stuck having to use it, you'd understand what I'm talking about. People have managed to use data-compression methods to condense an entire story into a string of random letters and about 10 different smileys and winks one after another, which causes confusion as to what emoticon is expressing their true feelings :P :) ;) >:).

However, these space saving techniques could possibly be put to use in real life, removing the relevancy of actual words. IM, WCJTUL! I, SDWWENTT, JSL! Imagine that!

Of course, I believe I may have misrepresented myself. I don't completely hate emoticons, when used at a relevant time, and in moderation (meaning about 1 time, ever) they're fine. My biggest problem is that people don't know how to use them, like cell phones. People use them at all times without proper knowledge of how, when, or where to use them. Maybe we should have cell phone/internet slang school. Of course, it'd be call CPISS, which would eventually be shortened to PISS, and people would exclaim "I gotta take a PISS...class!" and then laugh hysterically when their report card shows up. "Hahaha! I mean--LOL! I got a B+ in PISS!" Chatrooms would flood with "halarious" (misspelling intentional) people saying "brb, gotta take a PISS! LOL ROOFTELAMODI :D :P ^_____^"

Okay, enough ranting. Seriously, try this in real life and see what people do. If they understand you, avoid this person at all costs.

[sdm] Yeah, Robert's still my friend. He doesn't use computers so he had no idea what I was talking about. If he did I would have expected him to collapse my esophagus.

And zippy, that is probably the funniest flash movie I've ever seen.
AfroAssault, Oct 02 2001

       <laughs> Nice one, zippyanna. </laughs>
DrBob, Oct 02 2001

       [pottedstu]- <<rant>> - YES!! There are DEFINATELY people who are more annoying than *giggly* 14-year-old girls-- idiots with absolutely *no* tact or manners, generally unintelligent people, very dull people who talk without actually *saying* anything...... I seem to have a face that *attracts* these irritating human beings, who then proceed to tell me *stupid* stories about their *stupid* lives! Someone actually listed *all* of the characters in their favorite soap before I could escape..... <<rant>>   

       Back towards the topic, I actually *heard* some people say things like lol (not "el-oh-el, mind you-- they said "lol") in real life situations-- "gee-2-gee" too!! I escaped to the nearest unoccupied room and burst into uncontrolled laughter......
Galileo, Oct 09 2001

       Galileo: You could be right. Once about a year ago I was at a party, when a man, on hearing what my hometown was, proceeded to spend the next 3 hours (or seemed like it) listing every bar he had visited there, every restaurant, every street corner. That was without a doubt the most boring period of my life. I was only saved from certain death by my very lovely friend Danielle gripping me firmly by both buttocks and forcibly removing me from his soporific field of dullness. Such people should be shot, along with Mr Human Autoroute Express, Mr "What type of DRAM do you use?", and my ex-colleague Mr "Preston Has The Largest Bus Station In Europe".   

       <relatively on topic>My sister and her friends in their online chats have progressed to having 20-word-long screen names (e.g. "i can see through you see your true colors - Hi Steve and Cariss")and 1-word-long sentences ("chris" "who" "silnky's bro" "what" "slinky" "oh" "lol" "c u" "bye" etc.). It can't be long before their abbreviated speech turns into silence, and their whole meaning is expressed by the Staind and American Pie quotes and obscure in-jokes they use for names, with a corresponding (slight) increase in linguistic quality.</relatively on topic>
pottedstu, Oct 10 2001

       Is there a name for this phenomenon with growing size of name and compression of speech?
AfroAssault, Oct 10 2001

       Yes but too long to post.
pottedstu, Oct 11 2001

       [pottedstu]- (continuing topic of stupidity)- Last year's "Quotes of the Year": (student 'correcting' teacher)- "I think you spelled country wrong. Don't you spell country c-o-n-t-r-y?" and, even worse, "Which is the round end of the hammar?" (one end was rounded, the other was noticeably flat.) And she continued, after someone took pity and told her, and another guy said *very* sarcastically "No, *that's* the round end of the hammar" as he pointed to the wrong end: "Now I'm *confused,* because *he* said that it was *that* end and *he* said it was the other one..."   

       Yes, pottedstu, let's shoot them. Let's shoot them ALL. PLEASE. Actually, let's not-- I get few enough laughs already.....
Galileo, Oct 26 2001

       Asking "Whats your age and sex" quite early in any conversation clears up any potential misunderstanding.
ensalata, Jan 25 2003

       tidbit: The original chat-room smiley face—:-)—was invented in 1982 by Scott Fahlman, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University. "Not all people have the literary skill of Shakespeare," Fahlman says. "Besides, Shakespeare's work is full of clichés, and his spelling was atrocious. :-)"
bristolz, Jul 23 2003


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