TEE HEE HEE. My children were sniggering over a text message. My brother-in-law had ended it with "LOL," thinking it stood for "lots of love" rather than "laugh out loud."
I told them British Prime Minister David Cameron made the same error. The kids were stunned that a person could even graduate from kindergarten, let alone get to be a world leader without knowing the most important Facts of Life (ie, how to write text messages).
Judging by the tales going around, I reckon the following text conversation happens somewhere in the world about once a week.
"Grandpa passed away this morning. He died in his sleep. LOL."
"Mom! LOL means Laugh Out Loud."
"Oh no! I messaged 2,643 people! How do I get it back?"
Modern-seeming words have actually been around a long time. Researchers found "OMG" used as an exclamation in 1915. "What's up?" was used in the 1860s, and "computer" in the 1640s.
I heard a professor say that people in history used "just as much slang as we do today," but it would have been "edited out" for official printed versions. Amazing. In that case, we can probably recreate the original PRE-EDITED versions of famous speeches.
After reporter Henry Stanley tracked down his man in Africa in 1871, he probably didn't say: "Dr Livingstone, I presume?" but, "Dr Livingstone, sup dude?"
Here are other examples of famous quotations in their pre- edited slang-containing state:
"A thing of beauty is OMG totally PHAT forever."
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world krunk."
John F Kennedy:
"Ask not what your homies can do for you. Ask what you can do for your homies."
"Shawties hold up half the sky."
"We shall fight the haters on the beaches, we shall fight the haters on the landing grounds. We shall never surrender, but ROFL at them."
"Fools rush in where angels say: L8tr dude."
"You can fool some of the noobs all the time, and all of the noobs some of the time, but you cannot fool every noob six ways from Sunday."
"Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Thou art more buff and more mega hot, dudette."
IN OTHER NEWS
BRILLIANT HONG KONG comedian Anthony Solimini made me laugh with this note: "From my study, if I wait until 9pm, stand on a chair and lean to the right with a mirror, I can see my neighbor undressing! Why should I have to put up with this? Disgusting."
YOUR HUMBLE NARRATOR might be a bit quiet for a while. I am moving house today and the wi-fi machine is just about to be unpacked and stuck into a packing case. Will get back on line as soon as I can.
Happy Monday. (You’ll have a more relaxed one than me, anyway.)