And I bet you never thought I was gonna get out of those brackets with all my limbs intact.
But I digress.
Anyway, now that I've established my complete lack of credentials to talk about language, I want to talk about linguistic playfullness, and one of the cooler types of linguistic adaptation that I'm witnessing going on as we speak. There's a grand tradition of emphasis in language being denoted through playful misuse and mispronunciation of words--"yer feets too big" "accent on the wrong sylahbul" and so forth--and it's very interesting, to me, to watch that being translated to the chiefly-written communication patterns of teh interweb, as it were.
It's fascinating to watch as this style of communication evolves, as people discover ways of indicating emphasis and emotion, of broadening the level of information available for parsing through the critically limited interface of text. It's a little humbling, too--from the cheerful misappropriation of hakspek and its intentional opacities to the repurposing of careless typos (teh hott!!!1!!!1) and intentional mis-spellings (weerd!)--it's deeply gratifying for me, at least, to watch human adaptability in action.
It's not *new,* by any means, this kind of playfullness ("We have met the enemy and he is us," after all, and there are some pretty terrible puns in Chaucer), but it's new, I think, the level of semantic packing that we're learning to incorporate in--typewritten!--textual communication. There's an odd level on which it makes me think of calligraphy as high art, especially in the Chinese tradition--but on a much more practical level.
We is the talking animal, baybie. And people is neat.