OMG totally PHAT forever
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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 that British premier 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 basic 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. Mom: “Grandpa passed away this morning. He died in his sleep. LOL.” Child: “Mom! LOL means Laugh Out Loud.” Mom: “Oh no! I sent the message to 2,643 people! How do I get it back?” Child: “You can’t.”
Modern-seeming words have actually been around a long time. Researchers recently found “OMG” used as an exclamation in 1915. Other researchers said “What’s up?” was used in the 1860s and “computer” in the 1640s.
On the radio 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 to recreate the original pre-edited versions of famous speeches.
For example, 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?” (“Sup?” is short for “Whassup?” which is short for “What’s up?” which is short for “Greetings, friend, I ask about near-term events in your life out of politeness but don’t really want to know.”)
Here are other examples of famous quotations in their pre-edited slang-containing state:
John Keats: “A thing of beauty is OMG totally PHAT forever.”
Mahatma Gandhi: “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.”
Chairman Mao: “Shawties hold up half the sky.”
Winston Churchill: “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.”
Alexander Pope: “Fools rush in where angels say: l8tr dude.”
Abraham Lincoln: “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.”
Shakespeare: “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more buff and more mega hot, dudette.”
The very funny Anthony Solimini made me laugh with this note last week: “From my study, if I wait until 9 p.m., 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? It’s disgusting.”
I resent the fact that Asian business people are always portrayed as being evil crooks. The 99 percent are giving the rest a bad name.
The writer is a columnist and journalist.