W00t! new linguistics on the net FTW!

Ok, I’m happy painting my life as a technology-loving geeky social network addict, it’s pretty easy because it’s true. I tweet and send pictures through my mobile on twitter and flickr, I am on facebook, qypeyoutube, ping.fm and I’m on other places where I can’t even remember my username – you get the idea, some of you are probably the same as me, or worse. 

You’d think I’d be right up there, jacked in to cyberspace, fully comprehending the internet and not even seeing the code, as it were.  Sadly, I’m nowhere near where I want to be – still far too lost in the ether that is the new net-speak, although I’m clawing back some comprehension every day.

Looking back through my (and others’) twitterstream, the linguistics of the internet is in the process of undergoing yet another evolution. I’m learning a whole new language in order to keep up with my much cooler and hipper online buddies.

The emoticons we’re familiar with since I joined the internet (or before), are everywhere, even my dad texts and emails with 🙂  : – ) and 😉  ; – )  .  Stuff like BRB is pretty easy to interpret and a rough knowledge of phonetics and/or a willingness to tilt your head to one side is enough to make a start on translating the rest.  

It’s all changed now there are so many new codes based on everything from gamer-speak to the economy of letters that Twitter’s 140-character limit has imposed. So what is the last resort of the enquiring mind?  I conclude that one needs to be either “in the know” or risk Urban Dictionary (and possible ridicule for choosing the wrong acronym) to find out the meaning and usage of the latest net-exclusive abbreviations.   

On to the reason for the post – this Wednesday, I’m going to be on the radio talking about the pressure to ‘keep up’ on the internet, not just emoticons and phraseology, but also keeping up with your facebook friends and your twitter chums.  I’d love to read what you think.

Do you feel anxious when you’ve not posted what you’re doing? Do you feel guilty if you haven’t blogged / updated your status for a while?  I’d also love to know whether you use acronyms such as FTW (or even WTF!) on the interwebs, whether you embrace it or can’t bear it, and if you have any good ones you can share with me…  Please feel free to leave your comments, and try to make sure that they are SFW 🙂 kthxbai

p.s. you can listen live to the show on BBC Radio Scotland at 10.30 GMT on 15th April 2009.

 

Mini Glossary for n00bs

w00t! (with zeros instead of O’s, although this font doesn’t show it as well as the header) gamer-speak with disputed origins, usage: celebratory

FTW = For The Win – usage is normally when you’re about to achieve something e.g. “eating 15 banana frittters FTW”

SFW / NSFW = Safe For Work / Not Safe For Work – usage is normally preceding or following a link where it’s not immediately obvious where it goes – can be used on twitter when posting tiny urls – stops you opening an inappropriate link in front of whoever’s lurking over your monitor.

kthxbai = OK, Thanks, Bye – Lolcats use this language a lot, pop over to http://icanhascheezburger.com/  for detailed exploration. You will waste time, though.