I get YouTube comments


I thought my email inbox was full of crap, but this is just ridiculous.

how is he a nazi you know jordan b peterson isn’t even right wing right neither is he on the left now i i know in your ideology anyone right of Stalin is a nazi but he’s in this place called the center he despises any side that gets to much leverage and becomes extreme be it the right or left both are despicable once they get to much power the right and left need to be balanced for any real progress to be made both side’s need each other but once one side gets to much power and influence like the left has now he gets a whole host of problems and the divide is so great we can’t even talk to eachother anymore and nothing good could come from that and yes the professors are brainwashing their students i’ve seen way to much evidence to say other wise just look at what happen at evergreen college with bret weinstein for example this shit is going to far now look if you guys keep calling everyone you disagree with a nazi and keep crying wolf your going to make real nazi’s witch is already happen with the alt right a response from your nonsense they don’t even try to hide it all i hear is you saying he’s a lair he’s a white supremacist talking about how he’s misrepresentation the collage campuses while your misrepresentation every word he says and putting words in his mouth while as far as i could see is that you are the lair or are just in complete denial blind to whats really going on

Back in the good old days when we had to carve our words in stone with a chisel, people put a little more care in their compositions.

Comments

  1. rietpluim says

    “Not left, not right” is a clear dog whistle that someone is an absolute wingnut.

  2. rietpluim says

    (I read about the first thirty words before I got lost in this literary labyrinth)

  3. blf says

    Except for 3(?) apostrophes — all of which seem to be conventionally correct — is there any punctuation in that dribbling ? Or any capital letters other than “Stalin” (not sure what to make of that being the only word which is capitalised) ? Spelling seems conventionally Ok (except for one(?) typo). Noticeably lacking are coherence, comprehension, and any mention of cheese. NoT anY easier to UNDerstand THAN teh rannDUMBally-spelLed!! wobbling we’s Usual1y got .

  4. whywhywhy says

    Where exactly are the ‘collage campuses’? Could be something interesting to visit.

  5. kurt1 says

    Is that a new device from a google lab, that posts your lack of thought directly to the comment section while you watch the video?

  6. blf says

    New Generalissimo Google annoyance ? No… there are no links to advertisers or Putin-controlled scams.

  7. says

    If this is what it is like when the left has too much power I would hate to see what our country would look like if the right at too much power.

  8. Curious Digressions says

    “… you are the lair”.
    True. Animals, large and small, nest in you and call you their home. Or perhaps he means you contain the lair of eldritch horrors, ready to burst forth and devour.

    It must be nice to not just be A lair, but THE lair. Go you!

  9. says

    Spelling seems conventionally Ok (except for one(?) typo).

    “now i i know”
    “that gets to much leverage”
    “they get to much power”
    “eachother”
    “way to much evidence”
    “other wise”
    “just look at what happen”
    “going to far now”
    “to make real nazi’s”
    “witch is already”
    “is already happen”
    “saying he’s a lair”
    “about how he’s misrepresentation”
    “collage campuses”
    “your” (for you’re)
    “misrepresentation” (for misrepresenting—again)
    “you are the lair”
    “whats really going on”

    The one typo runs the entire length of the comment.

  10. blf says

    @10, Ah but that presumes the language is supposed to be something close to English.

    It seems conventional for Wingnuttese. Re-“reading” it again, it occurs to me I don’t see an obvious place where they stopped for breath — or at least to wipe the spittle off the screen & keyboard — suggesting it was “carefully” pecked out one character at a time (which might explain the near-total lack of capital letters?). Or was written in crayon and transcribed by a caregiver.

  11. microraptor says

    I made it halfway through the first line before my eyes started to hurt.

  12. nomuse says

    Anyone can learn to write like that — at their nearest collage campus.

  13. davidnangle says

    Just reading that left me breathless. I was begging to see a period, a comma, a hyphen or parentheses.

  14. says

    Paul @14:
    Damn it, I saw that one, and I got tied up in the details of one of the others when I mistyped something.

    Oh, well, I’ll just reach for the Edit butto…

    Damn.

  15. Dauphni says

    Back in the good old days when we had to carve our words in stone with a chisel, people put pretty much exactly that amount of care in their compositions. Just take a look at the Rosetta stone, it’s a mess. And that’s when they weren’t writing in boustrophedon!

  16. blf says

    But they did take care to say the same thing three times, using a different language / script each time, on the Rosetta Stone.

    I shudder to think what the result would be if the commentator quoted in the OP were to try something like that.

  17. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Who gives a fuck about an oxford comma? Not that writer, that’s for sure.

    @Tony!

    If this is what it is like when the left has too much power I would hate to see what our country would look like if the right [had] too much power.

    Yes! This was my immediate thought when I hit that portion of the rant.

  18. rq says

    Now I’m sad my university never had a collage campus. Think of all the decoupage I have missed out on because there was no Faculty of Scrapbooking!
    (Hi, Tony!!)

  19. David Klopotoski says

    “…i know in your ideology anyone right of Stalin is a nazi…”

    I find myself staring at this line like Derek Zoolander and asking, “What is this?” Is he trying to point out how ridiculous your ideology is? He must be of the mind that Stalin was an uber-lefty because he was (in name, but not in practice) a pinko commie. To me however you could argue that Stalin is one of the few people in history that was to the right of the Nazis.

  20. says

    Whenever I see someone using the “left”/”right” frame, I assume I’m dealing with a political naif. Oh boy, right again.

  21. nathanieltagg says

    This makes a certain sense to me.

    I take care with writing because I know someone will read it. I want people to read it, because I fundamentally appreciate my audience.

    He fundamentally hates his audience and wants it to suffer.

  22. Chris Capoccia says

    doesn’t say much for this supposed “intellectual” when his biggest fans create this kind of word salad

  23. unclefrogy says

    To me however you could argue that Stalin is one of the few people in history that was to the right of the Nazis.

    that really encapsulates the big problem with the right wing public’s “understanding” of what is Communism and socialism. It is good to remember that the Nazis were the national socialists right there it says it. The biggest difference between them I see is one is decidedly more overtly anti-Semitic.
    At this time I do not see how the truth of what socialism is and what communism is could be addressed in any effective way. With the example of this respondent it is clear that there is a profound ignorance and an inability to think clearly .
    uncle frogy

  24. screechymonkey says

    I see that brave free speech hero Jordan Peterson is now suing Wilfred Laurier University for saying mean things about him. I also predict that, like Michael Shermer, his thuggish attempts to abuse the legal system will not cost him any support among his supposedly anti-censorship fans.

  25. willj says

    He’d might like the poetry of W. S. Merwin. Merwin’s a bit more talented, though.

  26. says

    I see that brave free speech hero Jordan Peterson is now suing Wilfred Laurier University for saying mean things about him.

    Interestingly, shouldn’t he sue his disciple Lindsay Shepherd (who’s suing for 3.5 million!) because she made the recording without the knowledge of the others and published it?

  27. says

    The nice thing is next time someone says you should watch fifteen hours of Peterson’s videos to really understand him, you can point them to this and reply, “And have this happen to me?”

  28. rietpluim says

    There is this professor at the University of Leiden, Paul Cliteur, who wrote his opinion down in a lengthy book, made his students buy it, and lectured about it an entire class long; and the students were wondering what all of this had to do with academic training.

    The subject was how students are being brainwashed by the left. He is now encouraging them to revolt against their teachers, illustrated by picture from the student revolt of Paris ’68…

    Boy, wingnuts are stupid, even the smart ones.

  29. says

    “he despises any side that gets to much leverage and becomes extreme be it the right or left both are despicable once they get to much power”

    Doesn’t Peterson advocate that power hierarchies are natural, and anyone who ends up with a lot of authority deserves it?

  30. KG says

    It is good to remember that the Nazis were the national socialists right there it says it. – unclefrogy@29

    Yes, and it’s good to remember North Korea is a democratic republic. Right there in the name (“Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”) it says it.

    Sheesh. I expect to see the particular piece of idiocy unclefrogy repeats in the spew of “libertarians” and other right-wing numpties, but nowhere else.

  31. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Lofty:

    Is that what it is? Well, then, I’m tired of all the winning.

  32. unclefrogy says

    KG
    sorry if you misunderstood what i was trying to say speaking to humans is not always successful on my part I seem to do better with animals and plants most of the time.
    I was trying to point out that americans do not know what socialism actually is and take there understanding of what it is from anti-communists and the cold war propaganda wars we have endured for 100 years. just because someone claims the ideal of socialism or communism in their titles and then behaves in a brutal tyrannical despotic way to govern does not define what socialism is nor what communism is. It is however how both of those ideas are portrayed by the right-wing political propagandists to their ignorant followers.
    (here are some of punctuation marks I tried to use in the screed above to make sense ….,,,””;;::?!—*# but I gave up)
    uncle frogy

  33. says

    Yes well, if all the rethugs want is spittle flecked rants in support of the idiocracy, then the idiocracy has definitely won. Now just give the young ranters a swag of guns and they’ll defend the idiocracy to their last monotonal syllable.

  34. Zeppelin says

    As to the Stalin/communism issue, I think Chomsky summarised it well:
    The Soviets pretended to be interested in achieving communism in order to borrow Marx’s revolutionary liberatory cachet for their shitty empire. Meanwhile the Americans called the shitty Soviet empire “communism” in order to discredit Marxism.
    And when the world’s two dominant propaganda systems agree on a message, it’s hard to convince people otherwise.

  35. ck, the Irate Lump says

    YOB – Ye Olde Blacksmith wrote:

    It might have been typed out on a phone thus explaining a bit of the unusual punctuation and such.

    Seems unlikely. Phone keyboards tend to automatically capitalize words like “I” and “I’ve”, as well as any names and proper nouns that are in its built-in dictionary. It would actually take additional effort to produce that on a phone.

  36. iankoro says

    hey i dunno maybe this guy has some really good points and he’s thought things through but it’s hard to say because it’s all written in a huge run on sentence that’s a little bit difficult to totally decipher but I don’t know, maybe he’s just a great guy who’s a little misunderstood I don’t think so though he’s probably kind of a turd but who knows though really he could be some kind of scientific genius either way he must be an english major I mean who else could possibly be capable of writing the world’s largest sentence not me that’s who I’ll say that much

  37. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I can comprehend most of the misspellings and apostrophe abuse by reading phonetically, The one I kant [sic] get over is using lair to mean liar. The fact is was used repeatedly would contradict saying “it was typo”
    I’m stukh [sic]

  38. says

    KG @ 39 said:

    Yes, and it’s good to remember North Korea is a democratic republic. Right there in the name (“Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”) it says it.

    Yup, they practice a form of One Man, One Vote. Kim Jong Un is the Man, he gets the Vote.

    (All credit to Terry Pratchett for that one).

  39. rq says

    iankoro
    You left a comma in there. And it’s “i’ve” not “I’ve”, sheesh. No points.

  40. Owlmirror says

    I see that brave free speech hero Jordan Peterson is now suing Wilfred Laurier University for saying mean things about him. I also predict that, like Michael Shermer, his thuggish attempts to abuse the legal system will not cost him any support among his supposedly anti-censorship fans.

    Out of curiosity, I perused Canadian defamation law, and discovered that it was similar to UK law, except in Quebec, which is more similar to French law.

    However, there is an interesting paragraph:

    While few defamation cases go to trial, because of the deterrence value of threatened litigation,[26] there can be negative consequences arising from the trial itself. Canadian defamation law permits broad latitude in argument and exempts, with absolute privilege, comment made by way of argument, even if the arguments or positions advanced are noxious, intimidating or astonishing, or amusing enough to be quoted widely in the press (true or not).[citation needed] Some noted Canadian lawyers have advised that every possible alternative to litigation should be employed by a client genuinely fearful of reputation loss, before filing suit, simply because the “scorched earth” tactic has become so common.[26] If defendants have a reason to resist, such as preserving freedom of political speech, the likelihood of negative publicity is magnified. The infamous McLibel case is often cited as a warning against spending vast sums and ending up with bad publicity and an uncollectible judgment.[26]

  41. KG says

    chigau@41, unclefrogy@44,

    I considered whether unclefrogy@29 was being sarcastic in the sentence I quoted, but the context:

    To me however you could argue that Stalin is one of the few people in history that was to the right of the Nazis.

    that really encapsulates the big problem with the right wing public’s “understanding” of what is Communism and socialism.It is good to remember that the Nazis were the national socialists right there it says it. The biggest difference between them I see is one is decidedly more overtly anti-Semitic.

    suggested otherwise. (The quote within a quote is from David Klopotoski@24.) I see now that the passage could be interpreted differently, but of course the “right wing public” is prone to claim that the Nazis were/are leftists, not that Stalin was a rightist. (Which he wasn’t; Stalin was a left totalitarian just as Hitler was a right totalitarian. Trying to redefine left and right so all the nasty people belong to the side you dislike causes, and is generally symptomatic of, confusion.) So it’s still unclear how the quote-within-a-quote encapsulates the problem of the right’s view of socialism/communism, or how the reader is supposed to know that the following two sentences mean what unclefrogy now says they were intended to mean.

    here are some of punctuation marks I tried to use in the screed above to make sense ….,,,””;;::?!—*# but I gave up – unclefrogy@29

    Punctuation has a useful function. Use it, if you care about being understood – although I’m not sure how you would punctuate #29 to make its meaning clear – or if you have any consideration for the reader.

  42. KG says

    Zeppelin@46,

    In this instance, I think Chomsky oversimplifies, if you’ve represented him correctly. The seeds of totalitarianism are already there in Marx (recognised at the time by Bakunin and other anarchists, and in fact, I’d be very surprised in Chomsky, as an anarchist, disagrees); Lenin and Trotsky had a reasonable claim to represent a development of Marxism, and Stalin to represent a continuation of Leninism. Despite its horrendous brutalities, the Soviet regime did produce a huge reduction in material inequality (the Nazi regime did not), which was reversed following the counter-revolution of 1991.

  43. fernando says

    The Nazis had an important faction, lead by Roehm, that truly suported socialist politics in Germany: nationalizations of banks, factories, the end of the nobility of the prussian “junkers”, submission of the rich families, and power to the soldiers, farmers and workers.

    That Roehm also was the leader of the Sturm Abteilung (a nazi militia with millions of men), and when he was talking about: “The first part of the Revolution (when the NSDAP toook control of Germany after the elections of 1933 and the death of Hidemburg) ended. Now we must advance to the second part” to his SA, he wanted some kind of socialist revolution.

    Hitler and other nazis, pressed by the “junkers”, great companies owners and bankers, asked to Roehm be put aside, and to the NSDAP totally forget that ideas about socialism, nationalism, power to the workers, etc.

    And Hitler, with the suport of the SS and a cunning plan of Reinhard Heydrich, organized the destruction Roehm and his suporters (the left wing of the NSDAP), falsely accusing them of treason.

    Roehm, and almost all the oficcers of the SA, where killed, some of them shouted “Heil Hitler” when facing the executioners, because they thought that was a putsch agaisnt the NSDAP and Hitler(!).

    That was the Night of the Long Knifes, in wich the SA loosed almost all power, the SS ascended to be the most powerful nazi militia, Roehm and the socialist wing of the NSDAP was terminated and Hitler received full suport fom the prussian “junkers” and other rich families in Germany in his politics.

  44. says

    Being a Nazi Röhm of course wasn’t into that whole international solidarity between working peoples thing that’s supposed to come with socialism.

  45. cherbear says

    Giliell@33
    I’m getting kind of suspicious. I’m thinking this might have been a ploy for them to get stuff to sue about, hence why he is suing the staff and not the TA.

  46. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    This stream of consciousness kind of writing with no capitalization, no punctuation, it’s simply slang. This is likely a very young person. Most of us know why younger generations are wont to develop their own slang, so I won’t make this screed longer still by going into that. What I find fascinating about that slang is that it isn’t just the usual wording differentiation or a new turn of phrase, but an iteration in written structures. Kids would get a laugh reading the indignant comments here about their lack of punctuation and capitalization, every bit as much as some kid in the past would get a rise out of their parents being incensed upon hearing some new slang term they’re using. They’re toying with the structures of writing as their slang.

    When written electronic communication became the norm it was inevitable that slang would rear it’s head in ways particular to that medium. It’s interesting what form it’s taking. So for instance the lack of capitalization, which might simply be conducive to speed when typing. It takes a tiny bit of effort to use capitalization when typing, so that’s done away with. But also the lack of punctuation. My thought on that is perhaps that is influenced by some applications having character limits. There would be a tendency to forego punctuation in favor of informational content. One of the base principles of slang is informality and having the person who is receiving the message having to suss it out without the benefit of punctuation is in line with that too.

    It’s not like kids sit down to make determinations of what form slang should take, there are many factors involved. It’s more like the function of electronic messaging effects the form.

    Disclaimer- In my extended family kids between 10 and 14 are allowed devices, with the understanding that their activity is closely monitored. At 15 they’re given autonomy, usually. I’m often times enlisted as a monitor to help out perusing their feeds. I’ve had to read many many messages the kids send back and forth. So I’m no lingual expert, just this joe who notices things, so don’t take any of this screed as gospel.

  47. rietpluim says

    Slang is intelligible tot anyone who knows it. How is making texts incomprehensible slang?

  48. DanDare says

    A bit too much argument rellying on labels as ill defined proxies to what is actually being discussed. Left, right, marxist and socialist are terms with varying meaning to people. Drill down to the actual meaning at least once early in the conversation please.
    We have the concepts of a community ensuring a reasonable spread of wealth among its constituants. The concept of labour being a right to access wealth or ownership of productive assets being such a right. The idea of social heirarchy being a right to wealth access and also being a cause of it. There are concepts of humans having a lean on or ownership of other humans. The need for rules that regulate and the ways in which those rules can oppress or priviledge.
    When you use the labels which concepts are you associating with them?

  49. unclefrogy says

    KG
    the comment I made about puctuation was revering to the e-mail above that started as the subject of theis thread feel free to get your red pen out on anything i have written.
    My point was that they both were totalitarians first and foremost it was the nature of the situation that they found at their beginning that gave them a vainer of right or left. Given time I think hitler would have had to nationalize everything as well. here is no independent thought nor action to be permitted in either regime. There was still hierarchy a de-facto class divide in Russia but it was a different one from every where else.
    Th Chomsky quote says it much clearer than I could hope to
    uncle frogy

  50. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    # 63 rietpluim
    It’s intelligible to them. That’s kind of the point of slang, establishing a group identity. If it’s not intelligible to you then clearly you’re not part of that ingroup identity. I mean, every generation has their own slang and typically the previous generation finds it to be a little unintelligible at times, or downright seditious at worst.

    Chigau @ #64 provided a textbook definition of slang and simply states its not slang. You know, maybe that’s right. What I’m simply saying is that, as electronic modes of communication have come into full swing, and as younger generations are growing up with them, perhaps slang is taking other forms. Since technology has allowed texting/writing to be as common as verbal communication, it’s not only conceivable that will have an effect on the younger generations slang it seems inevitable. To me at least.

    If Chigau doesn’t want to call that slang, okay. But if we take the first line from that wikipedia article and examine it.

    Slang is language (words, phrases, and usages) of an informal register that members of special groups like teenagers, musicians, or criminals favor (over a standard language) in order to establish group identity, exclude outsiders, or both.

    That’s exactly what that person is doing I think. They’re not simply functionally illiterate me thinks. Not just them. As I stated, I recognized that style of writing immediately as something I’ve seen other kids in my family doing. In an accelerated communication age, where texting takes a predominant role in everyday conversations, thinking that medium wouldn’t have an effect on something like slang seems a little counterintutitive. And that’s all my comment was really, just an intuititive observation.

  51. MattP (must mock his crappy brain) says

    Mrdead Inmypocket
    Is TimeCube just using slang? Because that is exactly how that comment reads – a breathless, stream of consciousness rant by a crank.

  52. KG says

    When you use the labels which concepts are you associating with them? – DanDare@65

    The labels “left” and “right” are unambiguous*, except for their use by people who want to associate all the particularly nasty dictators with the side they dislike; no-one really has any difficulty telling the difference, but some people pretend to for rhetorical purposes: the left favours greater economic equality, the right opposes it. “Marxist” means, er… what Karl Marx believed and advocated. “Socialist” is the only one of the terms you mention in which there is serious ambiguity, because both parties calling themselves socialist, and their opponents, have so watered down the meaning it used to have (advocacy of common ownership of the means of production), that capitalism with a welfare system and some degree of redistributive taxation is now frequently called “socialism”.

    *Which does not mean absolutely precise, because absolute precision is not a feature of natural language.

  53. KG says

    If it’s not intelligible to you – Mrdead Inmypocket@67

    The passge PZ quotes is entirely intelligible, it contains no slang words or phrases, it’s just stupid, semi-literate spew.

  54. KG says

    fernando@58 is correct that there was a faction within the NSDAP that took Hitler’s anti-capitalist rhetoric seriously. That he crushed it, and crushed it so easily, demonstrates that it was never more than a lure dangled in front of the working class, and that the right-wing forces that backed him (the army, big business, the Catholic Church, nationalist politicians) were well aware of this.

    Given time I think hitler would have had to nationalize everything as well. – unclefrogy@66

    Well maybe it would be a good idea to read something about how the Nazi economy actually functioned. I recommend Adam Tooze The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy. For a start, “Given time” doesn’t even make sense in this context: the economy, as well as the political system, required a war of aggression, which would end either in catastrophic defeat (as in fact it did), or in looting of the conquered areas on a massive scale, with a consequent death toll that would have dwarfed even the historical Holocaust.

  55. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    #70 WMDKitty — Survivor
    Funny. I laughed.

    @72 KG

    The passge PZ quotes is entirely intelligible, it contains no slang words or phrases, it’s just stupid, semi-literate spew.

    Okay, someone says it’s unintelligible and you say it is. Either way that’s not my point. My point is, that screed is a possible iteration in slang, but it isn’t simply words or phrases, it’s format. And I find that fascinating. If it were simply a new word or turn of phrase that might be interesting but not unexpected, no real novelty there and not worth much discussion. Every generation does it.

    I thought this wouldn’t be unnecessary but here we go. Historically, interpersonal communication between humans has predominately been auditory. Verbal communication has “ruled the roost” up until, lets say, the turn of the last century. Give or take. (Is that to say nobody wrote letters, books, telegrams etc? Not at all. What I’m talking about is common everyday communication between humans. That mostly happened verbally. If you wanted to talk to someone you either sought them out or called them on the phone. You could have written a letter, yes, but that was far less common. We’re talking “predominance”.)

    But in the last couple of decades electronic messaging, texting, has taken the lead. Or at the very least written language has become as commonplace as verbal communication. The blatantly obvious difference between verbal and written communication is that verbal is auditory and written is visual.

    My very simple observation is that perhaps that recent shift in format from audible to visual may have effected the use of slang. Rather than just making up a new word (which kids undoubtedly still do), it may be that an iteration in slang could be a visual variation in language.

    The lack of punctuation and capitalization, the stream of consciousness verbosity, it serves the precise same purpose as verbal slang, as a formal register that kids are using differentiate themselves, establish ingroup cohesion, to confound others (especially older generations) etc. But what I find fascinating is that, even though it’s serves the same purpose of traditional slang, it’s an iteration of the visual structure of the message rather than being an iteration of word use.

    So if we understand that everyday communication has largely been transformed from predominately audible to visual in recent decades, is it very unexpected that slang might be changed by that too. What might kids growing up texting each other embrace as a way to differentiate themselves. Of course they will still make up new words and turns of phrase, but I think what we are looking at is not simply illiteracy.

    it’s just stupid, semi-literate spew.

    I would opine it was largely ignorant not stupid, there is a difference. Ignorance has a remedy, education. Stupidity generally doesn’t. Lets try not to transpose our opinion of their assertions and sue it to squelch any curiosity we might have about said phenomenon. Understanding what may be happening there is not to condone or be sympathetic to their opinions in any way. It might be gratifying to simply shrug off their screed as stupid and semi-literate simply because we disagree with their views. But I’d rather mine it for the curiosity that it is.

  56. chigau (違う) says

    Mrdead Inmypocket
    Why are you so insistent on using the term “slang” for the quoted email?
    Linguists already have definition of “slang” that has served for many years.
    Linguists also have a large glossary of terminology that would serve your needs.
    Are you connected to the Internets?

  57. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    # 75 chigau (違う)

    Why are you so insistent on using the term “slang” for the quoted email?

    Because I think it is slang. I see some saying it’s simply illiteracy, but as I’ve said I have seen that particular format used by young people before. The nearly complete lack of capitalization and punctuation is clear evidence that it is being done, not simply out of “stupidity”, but deliberately. For example the very first word in that screed is lower case, THAT is done deliberately. It’s not simply the fact that they didn’t know to capitalize the first word in a sentence. (But then again what do all adults say when they hear kids talking in slang? “You sound like an idiot” more often than not. As a way to show their derision.)

    So I suspect it’s not illiteracy, it’s purposeful. And if it’s not illiteracy then what is it? Is nobody curious about that. I’m not saying I’m a linguist and this is a hypothesis, it’s just an observation. What we see in that e-mail is the essence of slang, but it’s more interesting than that. Again, the curious part is that it’s not simply variation in words or figures of speech, the “slang” is a visual change in structure. Perhaps due to the changing nature of communication from predominately being audible to visual. And you would think that, if the nature of communication has undergone such a drastic change that kids embracing that as a way to express themselves would be an inevitability. So if the nature of communication has gone from audible to visual, perhaps that has had an effect on how slang is expressed. (Yes I used the word “perhaps” deliberately there)

    If you’d prefer not to call that slang then do as you please. I have no qualms with that. The idea is fascinating nonetheless.

    Linguists already have definition of “slang” that has served for many years.

    From the link you provided earlier in the thread.

    Linguists have no simple and clear definition of slang, but agree that it is a constantly changing linguistic phenomenon present in every subculture worldwide.

    Under “Defining slang” it also goes on to give a kind rule of thumb for defining “true slang” if it meets at least two criteria. I’d say that the visual iteration I’m talking about fits at least two of those. 1st and 3rd.

    What you’re arguing here is that this does not fall under the traditional definition of slang. Okay maybe that is so. That’s not a valid argument IMO. What I’m talking about is possibly somethings new, so if it does not fall under the traditional definition of slang, oh well.

    So lets say you’re right, under the traditional definition of slang what I’m talking about isn’t slang. I accept your argument as such, under previous definitions that is not slang.

    Now, I will argue that our definition of slang is probably going to have to expand. Since the predominant mode of communication has changed from audio to visual in the last couple of decades, and kids are growing up with that reality. There are bound to be iterations in how text is used as a way to differentiate themselves etc. I’m not talking novel and creative fonts either. Since the lack of punctuation and capitalization is strictly visual and clearly an arbitrary change in nonstandard informal register used by kids for ingroup identity and all that happy crappy. Either expand what “slang” means or we could come up with some other term for it.

    I’d suggest the problem here is not that this does not meet the criteria of slang, but that any traditional definition of slang has not, thus far, encompassed the changing nature of communication in the last couple of decades. Maybe what is needed is that we expand the definition of slang.

    in fact what i think ill do is sit here and regret having brought this up at all because im not interested any longer in splitting hairs over whether that falls under a traditional definition of slang just hang the whole damn thing last word to you if youd like MrDead out

  58. Dunc says

    Either expand what “slang” means or we could come up with some other term for it.

    “Argot” would probably be the most appropriate term.

  59. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    Me Deadinmypocket,

    I’d suggest “genre”. Slang is usually (though not exclusively) used to refer to spoken language, and is generally seen at the level of words and short phrases. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it used to refer to conventions in punctuation or capitalization.

  60. KG says

    MrDead Inmypocket@76,

    I see some saying it’s simply illiteracy

    That’s because there are clear signs of semi-literacy* quite apart from the lack of capitalization and punctuation: “to” for “too” (at least three times), “lair” for “liar” (twice, so not just a slip of the fingers), “misrepresentation” for “misrepresenting” (twice), “a response from your nonsense” instead of “a response to your nonsense”, “other wise” for “otherwise”, “just look at what happen” for “just look at what happened”…

    So if we understand that everyday communication has largely been transformed from predominately audible to visual in recent decades

    No, it hasn’t. Even the most text-happy young person will still be talking a fuck of a lot more than they’re texting.

    I would opine it was largely ignorant not stupid, there is a difference.

    Yes, there is a difference, and this screed is stupid. This numpty has just swallowed a farrago of lies and regurgitated it. That’s stupidity.

    *Which was the term I used – the writer is not illiterate, since they can make themselves understood in wriitng.

  61. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @ KG:

    (twice, so not just a slip of the fingers)

    To be fair, muscle-memory can cause consistent typos if one normally types one word more commonly but a word with closely related spelling is being attempted at a time when one is typing quickly or with little reflection. Last night I re-read something where I was helping other writers develop themes in their writing. I misused “it’s” and “its” a couple times, use “them” when I should have used “theme” far too many times, and more.

    In this particular unpunctuated context I actually agree with your overall conclusion, but I did think “it happened twice, so it’s not a typo” probably generalizes a bit too far.

  62. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    #77 WMDKitty — Survivor

    given his inane defenses of that illiterate, unintelligible word-spew.

    I’m “defending” that screed? That is terribly disingenuous.

    I’ll give you this much. I didn’t automatically condemn what was said. I probably should have done that before I expressed curiosity. As a show of ingroup cohesion to instill in others, like yourself, a feeling of solidarity. I’m not sending out the appropriate signals that identifies me as someone who disliked what was being said. That was insensitive of me, so I apologize for any distress that caused you.

    My first instinct is to dissect something to see what makes it tick. But others here may not have the same priorities. PZ’s post was supposed to say “This person says things I don’t like and they’re stupid to boot” Then we’re all supposed to comment and show just how stupid they and their ideas are by explicating their lack of punctuation and whatnot. Therefore establishing how “correct” we are in our thinking and whatnot.

    Okay I got all that and I acknowledge that my first instinct to simply dissect the screed out of curiosity doesn’t really feed into that and I’m being insensitive by not expressing those cohesive behaviors. Social awkwardness has always been a failing of mine.

    And now for a facetious spin. If someone farts at a party and everyone condemns them for their bad manners and I wonder about the nature of farting. That does not mean I’m defending the practice of farting at parties or anyone who does it.

    #78 Dunc

    “Argot” would probably be the most appropriate term.

    That’s French for slang. We could call it αργκό or 1337 speak. I’m reading the Wikipedia page on argot and it says Victor Hugo referred to it as both “the language of the dark” and “the language of misery.” Maybe that would be a better term. Perhaps unnecessarily cryptic. If you refer to slang people generally know what you’re talking about, when you say argot they might have to visit an encyclopedia. (I had to)

    #79 What a Maroon, living up to the ‘nym

    I’d suggest “genre”.

    That’s accurate. But after you label it a genre, what genre? That seems to be the crux of the problem, if what we’re seeing is a particular form of writing kids are using, a technique, and I chose to call it slang, which is a genre of communication. But some say it isn’t of that genre. There you have it.

    Some have taken exception simply because that doesn’t fit the traditional definition of slang. I think that misses the point. iI did call it slang, simply because that will get the principle across more easily. The iteration serves exactly the same purpose as slang. Yes, I understand that “slang” has traditionally referred to verbal communication (Though slang is written also).

    Admittedly I’m having difficulty articulating this. So lets look at it this way. Lets take for granted that throughout history slang has been predominately verbal. I think that is simply because of the logistics of communication, because verbal communication with others has been the easiest way to communicate. But what if (emphasis on “what if”) in the last couple of decades there has been a generation where written language has become as predominate as spoken language. So communication has gone from predominately audible communication to equally visual. What effect might that have on slang. Will kids develop visual slang? Because of the transformation of communication from audio to equally visual they might embrace an iteration in visual format as an ingroup identifier rather than new words/phrases.

    This is not even that profound of an observation really. And I freely admit that it’s possible that’s not what is seen in that screed. I’m simply observing that I’ve seen that exact particular form, content, technique used by other kids. So, can we call that slang, is that the best term for it? I’m open to whatever possibilities. It’s an iteration in visual form, but not necessarily in wording or phrase. So if the essence of slang is to differentiate themselves as an ingroup by word/phrase iteration, and that is being accomplished in another way, what do we call it if it’s a visual iteration. I’m thinking we might be able to expand the definition of what slang is to fit that medium, or perhaps another word for it. That’s all I’m really getting at here, that it’s at least a little interesting and also that it’s not very easy to pin down as a “genre” of communication. (Could be a passing fad that dies out very quickly. But since there is no foreseeable end to text communication I think not)

    Just out of a sense of curiosity I think it’s worth thinking about the possible ramifications of daily communication being carried out by text rather than speech and what effects that may have on language in general. Had I known this would trigger such a regressive response here I definitely would have kept my ruminations to myself. I mean, someone is accusing me of “defending” the ideas in that screed simply because I find it curious. I’m insensitive and crass to others needs sometimes but I’m not an asshole. Well, I try not to be an asshole anyway. Okay I am an asshole. But I don’t agree with what they said in the email in any way. So there.

    #81 KG

    That’s because there are clear signs of semi-literacy* quite apart from the lack of capitalization and punctuation:

    There is, I agree. But that doesn’t mean that format is not purposeful. So lets say you have someone who is not very good at punctuation or capitalization. Wouldn’t they be more likely to adopt a type of slang that does away with conventionality altogether. That way their ignorance is not so apparent. It’s not a matter of whether they are either using slang or they are illiterate and we disagree which it is. Those are not mutually exclusive, could be both.

    No, it hasn’t. Even the most text-happy young person will still be talking a fuck of a lot more than they’re texting.

    You’re missing the point altogether. As I said previously

    in the last couple of decades electronic messaging, texting, has taken the lead. Or at the very least written language has become as commonplace as verbal communication.

    So how to resolve this. Are we supposed to conduct a survey to see if kids today talk more than they text. Which is ridiculous on the face of it. The point is that texting happens a lot more than it did.

    So lets take your assertion to be true, kids still communicate with each other verbally more than they text. Still, the use of written communication has increased many fold in the last couple of decades. People certainly text more than they did at any time throughout human history. So here is my solution, to satisfy you I will dial that down to “Written language has become *almost* as commonplace as verbal communication”. Now that the hair is split are you satisfied, KG? It makes zero difference in what I’m talking about here.

    Yes, there is a difference, and this screed is stupid. This numpty has just swallowed a farrago of lies and regurgitated it. That’s stupidity.

    I recognize how important it is that we disparage the things that person wrote and that we should all be condemning them for it for various reasons. But lets not amputate our curiosity to spite our faces.

    We all have our own perspective on something like that. You clearly see it as an opportunity to condemn someone you don’t agree with. I see it predominately as a curiosity and secondly as a tragically ignorant soul in need of some education. There is room for many perspectives here, amigo.

  63. What a Maroon, living up to the 'nym says

    That’s accurate. But after you label it a genre, what genre? That seems to be the crux of the problem, if what we’re seeing is a particular form of writing kids are using, a technique, and I chose to call it slang, which is a genre of communication.

    Slsang is not a genre, at least not as any linguist I know of would use the term. Here, for example, is what Wikipedia has to say about genre:

    In philosophy of language, genre figures prominently in the works of philosopher and literary scholar Mikhail Bakhtin. Bakhtin’s basic observations were of “speech genres” (the idea of heteroglossia), modes of speaking or writing that people learn to mimic, weave together, and manipulate (such as “formal letter” and “grocery list”, or “university lecture” and “personal anecdote”). In this sense, genres are socially specified: recognized and defined (often informally) by a particular culture or community. The work of Georg Lukács also touches on the nature of literary genres, appearing separately but around the same time (1920s–1930s) as Bakhtin. Norman Fairclough has a similar concept of genre that emphasizes the social context of the text: Genres are “different ways of (inter)acting discoursally” (Fairclough, 2003: 26).

    A text’s genre may be determined by its:

    Linguistic function.
    Formal traits.
    Textual organization.
    Relation of communicative situation to formal and organizational traits of the text (Charaudeau and Maingueneau, 2002:278–280).

    Slang may be incorporated into a genre, such as, say, internet tirades, but slang is not in itself a genre.

  64. KG says

    Social awkwardness has always been a failing of mine. – Mrdead Inmypocket@83

    Rather, condescending arseholishness. But that doesn’t really work very well when you use incorrect terminology (slang for what is clearly not slang), or make absurd claims (people texting more than talking) and then get huffy when challenged.

  65. Mrdead Inmypocket says

    #84 What a Maroon, living up to the ‘nym

    Slang may be incorporated into a genre, such as, say, internet tirades, but slang is not in itself a genre.

    As stated what I wrote is incorrect. Slang is not a genre in and of itself, it’s not a unitary or discrete phenomenon.

    On a side note. Intimating that I’m on a tirade is very rude. I seldom comment here. As of late, health wise, I’m on an upturn and feel up to it. So here I am. And what do I get for piping up. Rudeness. Class act there, What a Maroon, living up to the ‘nym. And as is common at my age yet another friend has passed. Even though I said I was done a while back I found I needed some distraction. But really this community can be such a downer at times.

    Back to the subject at hand. Is that screed illiteracy or something else. If it’s something else, what is it. To get the principle across I likened it to slang. I observe that it serves the same purpose as slang except it’s not simply a iteration of wording or turn of phrase, it’s an iteration in format. Due to vehement, and I would opine a somewhat reactionary, objections to calling it slang things have gotten a little sidetracked. Okay that’s fine. What is important is that we all know what’s being talked about. So maybe we should take the palaver away from the arena of some wanting to defend the traditional definition of slang.

    #85 KG
    How is anything I wrote condescending?! Very deliberate attempts at self-deprecating humor and I was honestly acknowledging my failure to recognize the needs of others commenting here. And you perceive that as a patronizing, superior attitude? That’s… uh, pretty screwed up interpretation of what I’m writing.

    I’d be the first to admit that my mental faculties aren’t half what they were forty years ago, back in my 50’s. (Wait let me check, twelve eights are ninety six, Reykjavík is the capitol of Iceland, Hadrian’s Wall is not really the Anglo-Scottish border.) Yes, I can still get by. Not to mention the fact that I have couched this entire premise on the fact that I’m largely ignorant of linguistics. I think that criticism is bullhockey, KG.

    As far as getting huffy. Proof, IMO, you’re definitely reading my comments in some kind of tone that isn’t there. In fact I find your hostility very confounding. It’s not just your comments to me, hostility is pretty much par for the course whenever I see you comment with anyone. I wouldn’t think of prying into your personal life, KG. You’ve clearly got something going on and I wish you peace of mind, for whatever that’s worth.

    But we are completely off whatever this was about. Provided a little distraction from life, though the encounter turns out to be dreadfully depressing. It’s a wash. I think I’ll go read about slang.

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