Monday, September 7, 2009

Net Lingo - How Cool Is That?

I am wondering when the avant garde technological companies will be coming up with a "Cool-Meter"--a device like a thermometer to measure how cool you are. Wouldn’t that be cool especially during this time of the 'Web-Age' when the internet has just finished blowing out its forty birthday candles? I think that would be cool, rather super cool! Don't mind the pun folks, its totally unintended!! And by cool please don’t think that I am talking about a sudden drop of your normal body temperature (that could be fatal, by the way), I am talking about the coolness of your 'Attitude'--your unruffled comport, your dress, your language and expressions as influenced by the Zeitgeist. Well not many of us can survive in this evil world of the web without being cool, and what is the easiest thing to look or feel or show how cool one is--a change of one's language. Do a complete metamorphosis of the alphabets and syllables and vowels and grammar (whatever you have learned in school, but you rather not tell your teacher about that, I bet he/she wouldn’t be very happy with the space-age transformation of a language) and voila, you get a cool outfit to dress your mouth (your language silly, I am not talking about lipstick).

Let me give you a couple of examples and elucidate my point: "HW ru?" "howz lyf" or even shorter "tc" "thanx" "vre impressiv" and the list goes on and on and on. Mind you there isn’t any difference between 'caps lock on' or 'caps lock off' in cool net lingo. In fact, I don’t remember the last time I heard a complete sentence from a series of people I interact with in the virtual world, most of them talk in such great and cool net lingo that an "uncool" person like me cannot just catch up with them. I think people are getting so busy these days that they seem to have no time to type a full sentence, even though typing "how are you?" takes only a fraction of a second more than typing "hw r u" (the question mark isn’t always there). It is the text messaging revolution and the instant messaging culture that begot this 'nuevo net lingo'. And soon after its birth, "be right back" became "BRB", "laugh out loud" became "LOL" and so on. I do understand the usage of such abbreviated forms of expressions in a text message or while chatting because there one has a shortage of space to write on, but I don’t know why people use such lingo everywhere (from emails to Facebook)? Pardon my troglodytic idea about cool lingo, but I simply don’t get it. I some how feel that a language is sacrosanct and therefore inviolable, and when I see people around me are conversing in this language at social networking websites, blogging sites and even in emails, I cannot help but feel agitated. I guess this is high time I get used to this revolutionary new English or whatever it is else I might end up as a loner in this world.

Net Lingo surely and undeniably has a great influence on the world, wait till the day the Times of India reads something like this:

Hdlns: Jt Arwys flghts canclld coz plots go o9 mss casl leav

I tell you that day is not far when every thing in this world starting from your résumé to your formal letter to the boss would be written in cool net lingo. I wonder how my resume would look, probably like this:


POB: Kol, WB


The process would undoubtedly be great since we are
all engaged in the marathon rat-race of career to such an extent that our lives are devoid of leisure or entertainment or feeling good about our work, during these tough times who wants to worry about a malleable language? But I think the spirits of Shakespeare or Keats would never compose even their random thoughts in this net lingo. May be people are losing originality these days or may be it is the "chalta hai" culture that is responsible for the transformation of language (English in this case) or may be people like us who love the English language and try to learn it to the best of our ability should better give up their high hopes of listening to or learning an unstained, pure English and try becoming cool like others.

© Barnali Banerjee., all rights reserved.