Digital Intellectual Elitism (Or “How I Think Technology Increases My Awareness of Stupid People”)

I’m going to be crossing two different types of communication here so please, forgive me. I’m curmudgeonly. This is what we grouchy people who look up to Statler & Waldorf as role models do. For the tl;dr crowd: I want to poke people in the eye who speak and spell like shit online.

My last post asked whether or not Chuck Grassley was an LOLCat. I don’t think that was entirely fair. Sure, the way he writes and types into his Twitter account is an example of both spelling and grammar atrocities. If I had my way, every time he typed into his Blackberry I’d smash his knuckles with a hammer. In all honesty, though, he isn’t that bad.

Maybe I’m just making excuses for the old, Iowan goat. I thought I would cut him some slack especially after the following report came out: Researchers describe txt sp3ak as “brain workout” for kids. There are several interesting points in the article pertaining to the connection between texters and their ability to communicate in an abbreviated language:

What they found was not what everyone has come to expect—that kids who engage heavily in abbreviated chat would perform poorly on spelling tests—but that kids’ text speak generally mirrored their real-life skills.

Which is all fine and well and good. I’m old school – I still type out full words and sentences in my text messages. It makes it so much easier to read since I’m on an iPhone and I could read through messages as conversation threads rather than individual text from various phone numbers. And I’m not going to begrudge anyone who is texts and uses the occaissional abbreviation. You have a limited amount of space to get your message across so the use of ‘U’ in place of ‘you’ is somewhat tolerable.

The kick in the pants is when you read through either online discussion forums or Facebook conversations and people are grossly abusing text speak in a medium that doesn’t need to be abbreviated. Or, even worse, reading through a person’s posts and they sound like complete imbeciles. You can almost feel the dumbing down of society when you read a person’s post and the entire thing is written phonetically:

dint lissen 2 wut she sez! i wuz wit u wen she sed it! U goin out 2 nite?

I want to strangle people who do that. Unless you don’t have a firm grasp of the English language (i.e., it isn’t your native tongue), there is no excuse for a grown adult to type like they’re writing out the song titles and lyrics to a Prince album. Yes, Prince, I partially blame you for butchering people’s grasp of basic spelling and grammar.

That’s the first part of this rant. Let’s extend this even further and cause that vein in my forehead to bulge. Come on! Let’s just raise my blood pressure for the fun of it and see if I keel over and pass out!

The second, shorter part of this rant is about the people who seem so far beyond help that it borders on not being funny. I like the LOLCats. I love going to sites like http://icanhascheezburger.com and reading the poorly spelled, pidgin English. Why? It’s done by CATS. These normally aloof creatures are given a voice which is almost the exact opposite of what we generally believe cats to be like. The LOLCats transform the feline from delicate, graceful animal to simpleton nincompoops.

I’ll admit, what rubs me the wrong way is going to that site and reading the comments. What? You don’t believe me? Here’s a prime example – click the picture below and then read the comments that follow.

funny pictures of cats with captions

I think I’m having a stroke due to an overdose of stupid.

I thought texting was bad. This abomination takes the cake. I can’t tell if people are trying to be cute or funny or if they are all just social recluses living in their mother’s basement and wearing their wolf shirt because they actually think it makes them cool (please don’t wear one of those – that meme died within a week of it’s inception).

Ugh.

I once knew a really cute woman that lived in the same apartment complex as me. Absolutely adorable woman with a nice personality and a kick ass body. The only problem was that, at certain times during a conversation, she’d bust out with the baby talk. As soon as that happened I wanted to toss her into a burlap sack along with a few heavy rocks and throw her into the river.

People, people, people please stop it. PLEASE. The only time you should talk like that is when you think you have a witty caption that you want to put on a picture of a cat using the Impacta font with a 2 point black stroke.

Or if you’re a Senator from Iowa.

Face it, this is a fight I don’t think I can win. Have at it, stupid people. Enjoy ruling the future.