A New Year’s Resolution (Please Don’t Laugh Out Loud)

It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new year for me. And I’m…

emoji

I don’t generally make New Year resolutions. I usually just carry forward the resolution I made back in 2006, which was to learn how to play ‘Maple Leaf Rag’ on the electronic keyboard. It’s been eight years and I am proud to say that I have successfully cultivated the ability to open my keyboard songbook to exactly the right page, without even having to check the index for the page number first. So there. Also, ‘maple leaf rag easy for beginners tutorial plz help’ shows up on my YouTube suggestions now. No small feat.

This year, however, is different. This year, I do have an original, contemporary resolution. Three, in fact. They are:

  1. Do not use ‘like’ in written or oral communication unless required for the purposes of comparison or the description of a feeling of moderate affection or for usage in the idiom ‘like attracts like’.
  2. Do not use ‘LOL’/ ‘lol’ in written or oral communication, except in conjunction with ‘lipop’.
  3. Do not use emoticons. No exceptions whatsoever.

Recently, my mother most kindly pointed out certain inflections in my speech:

Me: “So I was like…”
Mother: “STOP SAYING ‘LIKE’, STOP IT, STOP IT!”
Me: “Lol dude, chill out”
Mother: *disowns me, weeping*

I’ve been using “like” an awful lot these days. I begin, conjugate AND finish all my sentences with the word. It’s been impinging on any semblance of communicative skills I like (oh God, there it is again) to think that I possess. For example:

What Mushroom Sup wants to say: “The blinding sun cut through the azure skies, and a whiff of waffles hung in the air like ivy creepers to a brick wall.”

What Mushroom Sup really says: “It was like…the sun was like totally harshing my mellow, dude…and like, it was SO like…WAFFLE-Y. Like really, dude.”

I don’t even know how to stop doing it. I know I should be able to, since it’s my brain and my vocal cords, but sometimes I feel like how Stephen Hawking would feel if his speech synthesizer went rogue.

What Stephen Hawking wants to say: “Eureka! The Secret to Life, the Universe and Everything is this fabulous little molecule that I created using general relativity and time-space continuums and this miniscule quantity of dark matter that I made earlier.”

What Stephen Hawking actually says: “Fart jokes, lol”

[Also, heartfelt apologies; that’s the closest I could get to Science jargon. And yes, I watched Interstellar.]

And don’t get me started on ‘lol’. I blame this entirely on social media, but now, instead of actually laughing when someone makes a joke, I just say “lol”. I don’t laugh. Yup, I say ‘laughing out loud’ but don’t actually laugh.

[Also, this is irrelevant but ‘lol’ looks like a the head and arms of a little stick figure man doing the ‘Walk like an Egyptian’ dance, while in the process of drowning. You’ll never un-see this.]

Anyway, I think this presages the beginning of the end – people replacing actions with labels or words describing the action instead. Picture a world with people sitting around saying, “walking”, “dancing”, “eating”, “selling soul to devil, brb” etc. This is okay to an extent – actually, it’s pretty much the plotline of ‘127 hours’ – but imagine the state of professional sports.

“Sprinting super fast”
“Sprinting faster”
“Laps you, lol”
“No, you don’t!”
“TELEPORTS”

But you know what’s even worse? Not even saying the words. Which is exactly what has happened with the invention of emoticons.

Every single social media website that I am a member of is always flooded with a barrage of :), 😀 etc. Sometimes I feel obliged to use them myself. “Happy birthday. Period” sounds a little bit curt, I know, and I’m tempted to put that nose-less smiley there just to…mellow the harsh a little bit. But that’s just the easy way out – I could mellow the harsh just as well with a “…and have a great day!” But I don’t. Because I’m lazy and a colon + closed parenthesis is so much easier to type, you know. Saves me a lot of time – valuable time I could use to squeeze at least seven more ‘likes’ and three ‘lols’ into my sentences.

We’re gradually moving towards a universal language. And I’ll admit, the world does need one so that non-English speaking nations can collaborate easily on massive international projects and the like. But do you want that language to be emoji? Neil Armstrong’s first step on the moon would be accompanied not by “A great leap for mankind” but by “:O #amazed”. The famous ambiguous stanzas of Frost’s poetry would be replaced by “:S” (an emoticon that I do not understand at all). Shakespeare’s “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day” would become “;)” and Gandhi’s last words would be “:/ Not cool, dude”.

So this is a humble plea to humanity: Don’t let words become extinct. Because that would make me, like, really, :(.

Advertisements

19 comments on “A New Year’s Resolution (Please Don’t Laugh Out Loud)

  1. GREAT resolution post today!! I also have one, and am so excited to see what a new year will bring! I love your blog as well. 🙂

    Emory
    http://helloscarlettblog.com/2015/01/05/hello-2015-goodbye-2014/

  2. Although it’s not a habit of my own, I’m on a mission this year to eradicate both ‘OMG’ and the incorrect use of the word ‘literally’ from those I converse with.

    I was tempted to use percussive feedback (hitting them until they stopped doing it), but opted to point it out in conversations like a completely annoying grammar Nazi.

    If you’re astonished at something, then say “Oh My God”, not “OMG”. It actually takes the same amount of time to say it. Other wise I’ll “PYITF” (Punch You In The Face)

    The word ‘literally’ has been abused like a dog’s chewtoy in recent years.

    “Yes, I’m sure it was funny, but you didn’t literally pee yourself. if you did, you’d have an embarrassing yellow circle on your jeans”.

    (rolls eyes)

    In fact, not 20 minutes ago one of the girls in the office said “Oh My God, I feel like shit; I am literally dying”.

    She wasn’t.

    So I stabbed her, just so she was grammatically correct 😉

    (yes, I used a winky face)

  3. I totally support cutting off “like” and “lol” but I think you should keep the emoticons 😉

  4. mynuttydubai says:

    Brilliant! (Although I am a big fan of emoticons so would have to vote for those to stay 😉 )

  5. Puffetic says:

    Good call. I like words too, they’re really, really…. good.

  6. Anshita says:

    This hilarious Supp! And so true xD
    Brilliant actually. colon P. 😛 (I just couldn’t resist the urge)

  7. Dude,I like totally feel you.Lol(there,now it doesn’t look like a drowning man doing the ‘Walk like an Egyptian’ dance) 🙂

  8. addypercy says:

    I cannot tell you just how much I love your blog.
    Keep up the work, girl. And the resolutions too 😉

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s