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Norm Macdonald Sep 18, 2014 The star of Norm, Dirty Work and pretty much the greatest host of SNL's "Weekend Update" ever gets back to his stand-up roots. 64 other events on Thursday, September 18
 
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Monday, Mar 24, 2014

The bastardization of language has me peeved

Oh, yes, I’m about to throw some shade

By Aaryn Belfer
aaryn-web Aaryn Belfer

Something's bothering me this week, folks. I'm troubled. Maybe you're thinking, No! Something's upsetting the Belf? How could this even be possible? She seems so unflappable. Clearly, you are not a regular reader. But welcome. I'm happy you're here. I'm smiling on the inside about it. Really. It might not look like it on the outside, but that's just how my face works. It's sort of defective.

But where was I? Oh, yeah. I'm irritated and have been for quite some time by a trend I've noticed in almost all online communications, with the worst offenders—though certainly not the only ones—being fashion and mommy bloggers and the fans of both. I've been forced to un-RSS a bunch of sites because my tolerance finally threw her hands in the air and packed her toothbrush, her pillow, the books with her name in them and all the pep talks I'd given her and walked out on me. 

What's got me hooving into a brown paper bag is the motherfucking curlicue abbreviation and modification of every damned thing. Or, rather, the mofo cc abbrev 'n mod of ev da thang. That was pretty annoying to read, huh? And don't just say whatevs, either, because you know I'm bringin' all the feels. #Ohmagerd.

The abbrevs are not only maj annoy, but they're totes ubiq, too. So much so, that a collabo between Sprint and actors James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell resulted in a commercial that effectively illustrates the current crisis. Using caszh lingo and Shakespearian-esque dialect, these thespian giants reduce themselves to preening teenagers, as have the many supposedly grown-women bloggers who started this obtuse ish. 

Grant Barrett, I hope you're with me here, or we're going to be having a serious convo.

This bastardization—which surely shares some DNA with Twitter's 140-character limit—has been elevated via the ridiculousness that is hashtaggery run amok (#imbeinggenerous #seeabove, #seejimmyfallon) and has subsequently infiltrated Facebook, Instagram, email—basically any form of modern human correspondence. Professors out there: Email me if you've found such offenses in any dissertations and I'll buy you a bottle of wine. You deserve it.

All of it is cilantro to my eyeballs. I might as well lay my head beneath a pump dispenser of Meyer's Clean Day Liquid Hand Soap and squirt the stuff right in there. Literal eye-burning would see me suffer less than I do at this assault. It's the computer version of schoolgirl notes with round, bubbly handwriting; the 21st-century version of heart-dotted "i"s; the verbal pairing of the less-than symbol and the number 3. Like this: <3.

I can pinpoint the moment when my shelf life on such antics expired. It was four years ago (yes, it's been pent up inside me all this time) and Blind Lady Ale House on Adams Avenue had just opened for business. 

Now, I love me some Blind Lady Ale House vibrations. I do. I love the atmosphere; I love the pizza; I love the beer (as much as a Meh, it's another craft beer person can love beer). And I maybe even have a teensy lady crush on one of the teensy lady owners. But early on, shortly after they opened their brilliantly named doors, someone reduced the completely awesome establishment name to its acronym and it's stuck like Kerry Strug on a broken ankle. 

"Are you going to BLAH?" "Wanna meet at BLAH after the ride?" "Let's watch the U.S. kick some World Cup ass at BLAH." I wonder if their other smartly named joint has been shortened to Tig!Tig! 

I know, I know. It's exhausting to have to finish all those pesky words that come one after the other in complex sentences, all descriptive and multi-syllabic and derived from Latin and whatnot. When talking, the tongue gets waggly and the brain is taxed with decoding symbolism and meaning and yowzers! A person just goes haywire, especially after a day spent texting things like "r u there? lol!" And all that completing of words when typing is mos def cray-making for the fingers, no?

Then there's the quirky-cool factor. It's not fly to remark, "She's precious" when leaving a comment on a photo of your friend's new baby on Facebook. "Preshie!" and an emoticon with heart-shaped eyes, on the other hand, will raise street cred(ibility). Folks will think you're clever. They'll think you're adorbs.

When you say on your fashion blog, "I wore new sunglasses, a Breton under a boys blazer (on sale at Crew Cuts), and my new shoes. I looked super-cute when I met my friends at Blind Lady Ale House," it's tough to make your personality shine like the little diamond that it is in the swampland of blogs jammed with self-portraits—er, I mean, selfies. Incidentally, how are blogs not yet dead?

"Sportin' new sunnies, striped Bret, la blaze (on maj discount at Crew Cuts, (swoon<3)), and my fresh sneaks for the girl-gathering at BLAH. Check out the selfies from our drunken photog sesh. Woot!"  

That really separates the wheat from the chaff.

Of course, I'd be a hypocrite if I didn't acknowledge that I have, in these very pages, resorted to such vomit-inducing cutesy laziness. I honestly thought at one point not that long ago, that I'd invented the term "cray cray." I really did. I also grew up thinking I was the only Aaryn on the planet with two "a"s and a "y." It wasn't until the Internet gave me proof that I was disavowed of that illusion and let me know how un-unique I am.

Really, I'd like to find all of this less grating and more hilar. But my disdain shows no sign of abating. Unfortunately, neither does said altered verbiage. I guess the solution is a big giant whatevs. Because: Chocolate. <3<3<3



Email Aaryn Belfer. Aaryn blogs at aarynbelfer.com and you can follow her on Twitter @aarynb.




 
 
 
 
 
 
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