I watched the first season of a guilty pleasure television show recently, Californication.
I’m not sure if anyone else out there watches, or has watched this show, but in a nut-shell the main character, Hank Moody, played by David Duchovony is a writer from NYC, who has reluctantly transplanted to the City of Angels, because his most recent book was made into a Hollywood movie (poor baby).
He hates L.A. and he’s a writer that can’t write. He’s lost his muse (woman) and consequently, he’s depressed. Fortunately, by the grace of God, he somehow manages to medicate his depression by fucking many, many women (poor baby). He is an accomplished writer, that can’t write. Oh, I’ve mentioned this already, haven’t I? Sorry, it’s important to this post, because believe it or not, there is a point I’m getting at here. As the first season heats up, Hank is manipulated by the anti-Christ, which is L.A., to begin blogging for an e-zine.
His blog posts are dripping with ridicule and angst. However, once you get past the self-loathing, self-absorbed and egocentrism his character personifies, there are some very interesting points in his soliloquy blog thoughts. Afterall, the show is very well written. Some of those points struck a chord with me, not just because of my long-time love/hate affiar with Los Angeles, but in one episode he touches upon a topic most writers love to sink their teeth into, the desecration of the English language.
How many of us have stood in an aisle at our local convenient store, pondering what brand of item we should buy and overheard the conversation between two teenagers and literally gasped at their use of language? Yo, yo, yo…what the hell language are you speaking ? Urban-Ghetto? Teenagers aren’t the only mis-users of language either. We hear plenty of adults pillage and plunder their way through the King’s English. Fellow erotic writer, Janine Ashbless touched upon this subject in a recent post, here.
Still not convinced? Need another example, do you? Okay, let’s use Hank Moody’s example of the shorthanded language we use when text messaging, blogging and e-mailing. He argues that technology is killing proper language. The term, LOL, aka: laugh out loud, is one example of how we’re killing our own language. Is that language genocide?
I use the LOL acronym rather affectionately out here on the 21st Century’s communication highway. It’s quicker and I’ve got things to do. Damn. I am shortcutting language, aren’t I? What’s the punishment for language genocide? Grey matter shrinkage.
When I miss out on properly infused prose and thoughful, as well as proper discord of how funny I think someone, or something is; essentially, I’m not using my noggin to it’s greatest potential. Fuck. I hate that. Don’t you?
I suppose I’m either part of the problem, or part of the solution. I guess we all have to agree that there is a problem though. Problem? Is there a problem? I guess it depends on who you’re talking to. I had an interesting conversation with a couple intellectually accomplished guys about the shorthand of language used in cyber communcation. Specically, how LOL relates to the ongoing erosion of the English language. Both of them are a generation behind me. They argued that the English Language is evolving and that adopting shorthanded acronyms is simply part of the natural selection. What? Where’s Darwin when you need him? Not only is this acceptable and fashionable today, but don’t be surprised to find shorthanded words, such as LOL in a newly, and ahem, abridged dictionarys. Huh? Coud they be correct? I need Shakespeare to clear this up.
Okay, so let’s just say that we all agree it’s okay to adop shorthanded words into the English Language, as we grow and change as a society. But shouldn’t we all be versed in the long-handed fundamentals before we start shortening it?
What are your thoughts?
Here’s my longhanded LOL: Your words made me laugh so hard, my round, flushed cheeks were sore for days. Or – Your pronounced wit and clever delivery had me tickled in bazooka bubble gum pink from head to toe.
Awww, shit. LOL is a hell of lot easier!