JTWAS! (that would be “join the war against shortcuts!”)

An emoticon says LOL: a snippet from one of the Evil’s nightmares.

True story:

For years—years—Evil thought the “LOL” appended to the end of certain email messages meant “lots of love.” It would never have occurred to him that it meant “laugh out loud,” which still doesn’t make much sense to him. Are you saying you laugh out loud as you forward a joke? Or are you commanding the recipient to laugh out loud?

Not that “lots of love” made any sense, either. In fact, the Evil was perplexed at to why distant acquaintances, forwarding him humorous anecdotes or video snippets, would offer him such heaping quantities of affection. Though he really appreciated it. Yes, that was a golden time for the Evil—he thought dozens of people he barely knew were pining for him every time a Swift Boat joke wormed its way through the internet. Even when he received a mass email, the Evil assumed he was being swept under a wave of group-love unheard of since the flower children wilted. It felt like the dawn of a new era of hope, of tenderness. The return of the Age of Aquarius, that’s right.

Then he learned the truth. And yes, he was crushed. Turns out that friend of a friend of a coworker did not love the Evil—not only not a lot, not only not a little, but not at all.

The Evil has recovered nicely, of course. (His trick? Remember that love is a battlefield, after all, and that you don’t plan on being one of the corpses littering that battlefield. No: you plan on being the guy driving a tank through Love City, running down Love’s fleeing infantry, firing explosive rounds into Love’s headquarters, and planting your conquering flag in the heart of Love Nation.) Since then, however, the Evil has always cringed a little when he sees “LOL” slapped on the tail end of an email.

And the emoticon—! :), ;), :(, :o, 😉 . . . when these lil’ bastards first started appearing in emails, Evil feared the senders had suffered strokes and slumped over their keyboards; thus the strange strings of nonsensical punctuation. After a series of panicked phone calls, the Evil learned the truth, but the terror remains.

And how about “IMO?” Two problems with this one. First, “my”: the Evil talks about himself in the third person, so naturally that’s right out. Second, “opinion”: Evil doesn’t deal in your silly “opinions.” Every word you read here is quenched in the fires of unvarnished FACT.

Damn it all, those linguistic shortcuts used to mean something! FUBAR: fucked up beyond all recognition. MILF: mom I’d like to fuck. GILF: urghh . . . never mind. Any use of the ALL CAPS used to herald a sly sidestep of the rules and conventions of society’s hypocritical niceties. They were like a roll call of veiled obscenity! But now . . . what? Is the tyranny of the QWERTY keyboard the worst thing we have to rebel against?

Is anyone with the Evil on this? Is anyone else disgusted at this feeble war against grammar and punctuation? No? . . . anyone?

Fine. Fuck it.

Now, now—before you start blinking away tears of anger, know this: if you are an LOL’er, an emoticonvict, or an IMOite, the Evil forgives you. You’re still welcome here. Or at least tolerated. Because you can’t spell “live” without “evil.” And while two wrongs don’t make a right, you do need two “evil”s to spell “live and let live.”

LOE, the Evil.


6 thoughts on “JTWAS! (that would be “join the war against shortcuts!”)”

  1. I hate that shit too. I don’t know what 95% of it means anyway. I don’t know how many times I saw IMHO before I finally decided I had to look up what the fuck it meant. I refuse to us any of that shit…except emoticons. Sometimes one is just necessary to make sure the recipient knows your kidding, especially if it’s someone you don’t know very well. But that kind of backfires because now this person you don’t really know thinks you’re one of those fucks who uses emoticons.

  2. You should see a teenage girl texting another teenage girl on a cell phone. Entire paragraphs pass back and forth without a single real word. I think a linguist would have a field day. In the spread of five years or so, an entirely new language has been spontaneously created and spread over the globe. (Actually I think it would be a creole, not a new language, but I’m not a linguist) Unfortunately, those savvy texters think the working, educated world speaks their language and, at least with the ones I’ve encountered, they have trouble when it comes down to actual, old fashioned English, especially grammer. I know every generation is horrified that the younger generation is doing irreparable harm to the Queen’s English, but in this case I think they really are. WTF?

  3. evil understands the reasoning behind using emoticons. and he has a solution to this dilemma: when contacting someone you don’t know well, always adopt a belligerent, in-your-face tone from the get-go. put them in such fear of you that they won’t dare find offense in anything you say, or question whether you’re joking or not.

    and secondly . . . what are you doing watching teenage girls text each other?! the horror! . . . but you are correct–it is a new language, or creole, and sadly, a useless one. why would anyone ever need to type LMAO–“laughed my ass off?” how many times does that actually happen in one’s life? four? a dozen, if you’re lucky? WTF?

  4. wonder how many everlasting loves have been joined when two people mistakenly sent each other messages ending with LOL . . . kind of touching to think about, in’t?

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