Tuesday, June 7, 2011

LOL, Ha, Hee & Heh As Punctuation

Actually, speaking of "ha, ha, ha." I notice many, many, many people in Second Life have an issue with truncated text chat, God love 'em. I think it's cute. Their profiles have admonishments about "U" not being a proper pronoun in any language. There are groups people can join with names like "R is not a verb," and the like, so the point can be really driven home for anyone taking the trouble to read and truly consider these profiles. I mean that's what those groups are for, right? For a line in the profile and a message to others reading it? These lovers of the English language don't actually have meetings about preserving "you," "your" and "are" in the virtual world, do they?

At any rate, I make no such admonishments in my profile or even in my chat, and I don't belong to those groups (which is why I never get an invite to the meetings, I guess) because it seems a little like howling into the wind and it's one of the many (unfortunate) things about online life that I have just accepted. I love the English language, but I mostly just wince when I see it mangled and "fight back" with my own fully-spelled out responses (albeit riddled with LLag-enabled typonese and the occasional brain fart.) I also "get" that not everyone is a great typist or speller (or using both hands), but could still be a great conversationalist or a fun friend and I make room for that.

A peeve that perturbs me a little more than lettered-text speak, enough to make me poke people on occasion rather than just endure, is not so much the use of "LOL," per se, but the utter proliferation of it and more often, "ha" and "heh."

I've had conversations with people using "ha," "heh" and/or "LOL" as punctuation marks or possibly indications of sarcasm (less likely I think) or nervous tics (which is what it looks like to me) or a kind of online Tourettes, but certainly not an indication of actual laughter (at least I hope not).

Him: Hi. How are you? Heh. Just thought I'd see if you wanted to dance. Ha, ha.
Him: Just got off work and thought I'd log on and see what was happening. Ha, ha.
Him: Didn't sleep well last night and now I'm kind of out of it. Ha, ha.
Him: My girlfriend dumped me. Ha, ha.
Him: I have the flu. Ha, ha.
Him: You busy? Ha, ha.

Is there a group for that? People against the excessive and gratuitous use of onomatopoeia? I might consider joining. I might even attend a meeting. Ha!

Good one, CaTo. Thank you. (I enjoyed the accompanying blog post too.)

It brings to mind a follow-up to the significance-of-the-massive-cues-place and profile-can- give-anyone-bothering-to-pay-attention themed post I'd been cogitating.

I said this earlier...

...and some intelligent men (via off-forum chats), as well as some knowing blog posts I've been reading, such as your own and Lillie's, reminded me that one of the best places to meet women is, of course, the romantic settings of dance clubs like Bogarts, Frank's Place, New York Ballroom and Sweetheart Jazz. Of course, if you want to take that route to getting cyberlaid, you will have to outfit your avatar and brush up on your conversational game and expect to spend a little more time on the chase than the mere seconds it takes to say, "wanna fuck?".

Perhaps a lovely lady such as colleen and yourself, CaTo, would be willing to give some tips on how to be a gracious, and successful, suitor in a dance club.

Maybe we'll even be so lucky as to have gentlemen like Don, Lum, Orfeu and Pep say a few words on the subject.

What would Storm say?


When I see a guy talking to me using "heh" and "ha," or worse yet and just as common, "heehee," repeatedly in every single line of chat with no obvious rational connection to the content, I tend to think he's roleplaying a nervous and bashful guy or he's roleplaying a teenager or he is one or the other. Or he's roleplaying Muttley or a complete idiot. Or that he's just an average guy who's been taken over by yet another (unfortunate) convention of the online world and he's falling back into and on it without paying any real attention to what he is saying or how he is coming across. The thing with guys is, for many of them, you can give them a playful poke about it and they will see it as a positive indicator to continue chatting.

Repost. LeeHere Absent, Mar 3, 2011 http://gotvirtual.net/community/threads/thats-what-she-said.772/page-14#post-30433  http://gotvirtual.net/community/threads/thats-what-she-said.772/page-14#post-30436  http://gotvirtual.net/community/threads/thats-what-she-said.772/page-15#post-30489

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