Read: Language that makes you say OMG
A must read article, excerpt below, on teens letting emoticons and other forms of chat-speak slip into their essays and homework, by Mary Kolesnikova, Los Angeles Times.
Linguistic butchery while texting is one thing. In school assignments, it is quite another. What’s worse is how popular culture is encouraging this madness. A notorious offender called ICanHasCheezburger.com is a cute enough diversion — it posts adorable pictures of cats, “lolcats” as they’re called, with funny captions. But persevere beyond your first gag reflex and you’ll notice that the captions are written in lolspeak.
Lolspeak has its own wiki-dictionary online — sorry, a dikshunary — where fanatics go to linguistically out-mangle one another. A recent entry on ICanHasCheezburger.com featured a cat looming over a laptop with the caption: “Just when u thot it wuz safe 2 go bak on teh interwebs.” Another features a kitten: “why ur hed just asplode? wuz it my cuteness? sry.”
Why did my head just “asplode,” kitty dear? Because I could not transcribe that caption without Microsoft Word’s AutoCorrect going into overdrive. And because ICanHasCheezburger.com receives 50 million page views every single month. Only 50% of users are between 18 and 49 — which means a large chunk of the under-18 set is picking up lolspeak when they should be learning English.