I’m all for English being a living language and all, and god knows when you start complaining about Things These Tweens Keep Saying™, you really should just buy some black socks and sandals and rent VHS tapes of “Matlock”. That disclaimer aside, there are a few utterances of internet dialogue I’ve come across lately that give me a case of the motherfucking Mondays.
Let us start here…
tl;dr – For those of you who have never trawled message boards since 2007 or so, “tl;dr” stands for “too long; didn’t read”. It’s usually placed after an internet post that exceeds two paragraphs, or following a heartfelt screed written by someone passionate.
It’s actually worse than meh, despite its clever (and sorely needed) use of the semicolon. The writer of “tl;dr” not only has to scan enough of the entry to conclude that is is “too long”, but scroll to the end of what he “didn’t read” in order to post a comment about how it was “too long” so he “didn’t read” it.
It is anti-intellectualism distilled into four letters, and serves only to belittle the writer and make the commenter feel superior. And if you put it in the comments section at the end of this, I will shove a “dr” up your semi-colon.
YOLO – Sent microbial by Twitter over the last 18 months (but feels like years), YOLO stands for “you only live once”, although the intent is more like “You Only Live Once!!!! :) :)”
At one point, it might have been a “you go girl” sentiment with the yearbook-signature complexity of “carpe diem!” – but now it’s a hashtag acronym used by two kinds of people: binge drinkers about to do something stupid, or tee-hee pussyfarthings about to do something mind-bendingly pedestrian.
In the first case, I always took “you only live once” as proof that you should be vaguely careful with that one life. And in the second case, I can’t believe I spent part of my one life reading your tweet about “cutting my hair shorter this time! #YOLO!!!”
“content” – Even 9+ years ago on the blog I had expressed both disgust and surrender on the word “content” as meaning “anything you read or watch on a website” but even now, a decade later, it still pisses me off.
Perhaps now I see it in proper perspective; it’s a semantic disease from the top-down. The day someone defined all writing, music and pictures on the web as “content”, it was instantly devalued, and no doubt helped fuel the long, slow, conservative-backed death rattle of the arts in general. “Content” as a word is as bad as “partial-birth abortion” – both are oddly inaccurate and have an agenda.
I’d generate more content today, but #YOLO and this is already “tl”.