Sunday, July 10, 2011

Factlets, Factoids and Verbal Texting

I read the news today oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well I just had to laugh - John Lennon, 44 years ago today

New York Man
I HEARD the news today ... well I heard and saw on CNN today - on Fareed Zakaria's GPS excellent panel show thing - that (though I have not authenticated it) in China TWO cinemas a being built EVERY DAY.

Amazing, I thought. An interesting factoid. Or should that be, "factlet"?

And I got to thinking - about how not only are two cinemas being built in China every day, and about how 50 airports are being built in China every other day - but even more noteworthy - is that in America, several new words are being invented - Daily.

"Factoid"? Why not "Factlet"? I googled the definition.

"Factoid" - "A brief or trivial item of news or information".

What's with the "-oid" suffix?

I googled "factoid - suffix" and found, "Used as in mainstream slang English to indicate a poor imitation, a counterfeit, or some otherwise slightly bogus resemblance." Whatever ...

It is getting more difficult daily, to keep up with the new "words". Just yesterday someone commented on something I'd written in an email, with a "<8>". WTF?

I had to look up the online internet slang dictionary. Apparently "<8>" means "grin".

Why not just write "grin"?  Or even just write, "I am being funny"?

Last week I saw a preview of this season's Larry David's "Curb Your Enthusiasm". As well as the preview there was a panel discussion with Curb's main players. To borrow a Davidism, it was pretty, pretty, pretty, funny!

Silent Texting, West Village
A character in the preview was a rather annoying wife who, instead of actually laughing, would exclaim. "Ell Oh Ell" (LoL). Larry is asked by the wife's husband, to attack her for this annoying habit. Larry is reluctant. Why is it always left up to him to point out people's annoying habits? But eventually he's forced to agree, to go along with it.

"Why don't you just laugh?" he asks his friend's wife - "What's with the 'LoL'?" "It IS the way I laugh!" is her response.

But "LoL is verbal texting," he counters.

Later he gets annoyed at the husband. Why is it up to him, Larry, to point out the absurdity? Why does everyone expect him - Larry - to tell the home truths? I'm expected to be a "social assassin", he complains. Why don't you complain yourselves? Why is always ME?

Social assassins, factoids, LOLs, verbal texting.

What can I say?


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