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Banned Words List Carries Its First Emoticon

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the bet-they-have-power-in-the-upper-penninsula dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 333

DynaSoar writes "Lake Superior State University in Michigan's Upper Peninsula ('The land of four seasons: June, July, August and Winter') has just published its 34th annual List of Words to Be Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness. Besides such unsurprising inclusions such as 'green' corporations being 'game changing' due to concern with their 'carbon foot print,' this year's list contains an emoticon for the first time — not a smiley face or variant, but the 'heart' symbol made from the characters 'less than' and 'three.' It's perhaps a sign of the evolution of language, or at least of this volunteer linguistic watchdog group, that a symbol compounded of two characters, neither of them a letter, is considered not only a word, but a particularly egregious one."

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333 comments

A cause for celebration (5, Funny)

slim (1652) | more than 5 years ago | (#26280809)

Let's celebrate.

\o/

Re:A cause for celebration (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281067)

Is that a devil fist or a woman laying on her back?

Re:A cause for celebration (0, Troll)

windsurfer619 (958212) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281231)

It's a terrorist fist jab.

Re:A cause for celebration (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281297)

CE-LE-BRATE Good times, come on!

  (^_^) (o_o)

Re:A cause for celebration (3, Funny)

pha3r0 (1210530) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281619)

<(^^<)
<(^^)>
(>^^)>

dance for the <3 of it

You just dated yourself. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281687)

Get out of here; Slashdot is for kids!
--
http://www.madonna.com

Re:A cause for celebration (5, Funny)

awpoopy (1054584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281535)

Man
   \0/
    |
  _/`\_

Woman
   \0/
    |
  _/^\_

Re:A cause for celebration (4, Funny)

machine321 (458769) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281579)

You're giving me a 3 on.

Re:A cause for celebration (1)

machine321 (458769) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281603)

That, of course, was supposed to be a <3... if the preview function didn't take a half hour to run I might actually look at it.

3 is the emoticon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26280871)

Since the article doesn't explicitly list it, the banned emoticon is 3.

Re:3 is the emoticon (1, Funny)

Nos. (179609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281283)

Well at least they didn't ban four or two, without those, we wouldn't have the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

2 = 4/2 (2, Insightful)

cromar (1103585) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281403)

What is the answer to life, the universe, and everything?

2!

Well, you're only half right...

Re:3 is the emoticon (1)

Inner_Child (946194) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281549)

Well hell, how am I ever going to count properly again?

Link to the list (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26280885)

http://www.lssu.edu/banished/current.php [lssu.edu] They appear to either hate political discourse or the sound-bite products of political discourse.

Re:Link to the list (1, Informative)

lysergic.acid (845423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281521)

slashdotted. here's the text:

"It's that time of year again!"

Lake Superior State University "maverick" word-watchers, fresh from the holiday "staycation" but without an economic "bailout" even after a "desperate search," have issued their 34th annual List of Words to Be Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness. This year's list may be more "green" than any of the previous lists and includes words and phrases that people from "Wall Street to Main Street" say they love "not so much" and wish to have erased from their "carbon footprint."

Environmental buzzwords are getting the axe this year. "Green" and "going green" received the most nominations.

GREEN - The ubiquitous 'Green' and all of its variables, such as 'going green,' 'building green,' 'greening,' 'green technology,' 'green solutions' and more, drew the most attention from those who sent in nominations this year.

"This phrase makes me go green every time I hear it." Danielle Brunin, Lawrence, Kansas.

"I'm all for being environmentally responsible, but this 'green' needs to be nipped in the bud." Valerie Gilson, Gales Ferry, Conn.

"Companies are less 'green' than ever, advertising the fact they are 'green.' Is anyone buying this nonsense?" Mark Etchason, Denver, Colo.

"If something is good for the environment, just say so. As Kermit would say, 'It isn't easy being green.'" Kevin Sherlock, Hiawatha, Iowa.

"If I see one more corporation declare itself 'green,' I'm going to start burning tires in my backyard." Ed Hardiman, Bristow, Va.

"This spawned 'green solutions,' 'green technology,' and the horrible use of the word as a verb, as in, 'We really need to think about greening our office.'" Mike McDermott, Philadelphia, Penn.

CARBON FOOTPRINT or CARBON OFFSETTING - "It is now considered fashionable for everyone, tree hugger or lumberjack alike, to pay money to questionable companies to 'offset' their own 'carbon footprint.' What a scam! Get rid of it immediately!" Ginger Hunt, London, England.

Mike of Chicago says that when he hears the phrase 'carbon footprint,' "I envision microscopic impressions on the surface of the earth where an atom of carbon forgot to wear its shoes."

Christy Loop of Woodbridge, Va., says that 'leaving a carbon footprint' has become the new 'politically incorrect.' "How can we not, in one way or another, affect our natural environment?"

Presidential election years are always ripe for language abuse. This year, the electorate grew weary of 'mavericks' and 'super delegates.' As Michael W. Casby of Haslett, Mich. said, when he suggested banning all of the candidates' names, "Come on, it's been another too-long campaign season."

MAVERICK - "The constant repetition of this word for months before the US election diluted whatever meaning it previously had. Even the comic offshoot 'mavericky' was terribly overused. A minimum five-year banishment of both words is suggested so they will not be available during the next federal election." Matthew Mattila, Green Bay, Wisc.

"You know it's time to banish this word when even the Maverick family, who descended from the rancher who inspired the term, says it's being mis-used." Scott Urbanowski, Kentwood, Mich.

"I'm a maverick, he's a maverick, wouldn't you like to be a maverick, too?" Michael Burke, Silver Spring, Md.

FIRST DUDE - "Skateboard English is not an appropriate way to refer to the spouse of a high-ranking public official." Paul Ruschmann, Canton, Mich.

Of course, the economy couldn't escape the list this year.

BAILOUT - "Use of emergency funds to remove toxic assets from banks' balance sheets is not a bailout. When your cousin calls you from jail in the middle of the night, he wants a bailout." Ben Green, State College, Penn.

"Is it a loan? Is it a purchase of assets by the government? Is it a gift made by the taxpayers?" Dave Gill, Traverse City, Mich.

"Now it seems as though every sector of the economy wants a bailout. Unfortunately, ordinary workers can't qualify." Tony, McLeansville, NC.

"Don't we love how Capitol Hill will bailout Wall Street, but not Main Street"? Derrick Chamberlain, Midland, Mich.

Speaking of Wall Street and Main Street...

WALL STREET/MAIN STREET - "When this little dyad first came into use at the start of the financial crisis, I thought it was a clever use of parallelism. But it's simply over-used. No 'serious' discussion of the crisis can take place without some political figure lamenting the fact that the trouble on Wall Street is affecting 'folks' on Main Street." Charles Harrison, Aiken, SC.

"The recent and continuing financial failings are not limited to 'Wall Street,' nor should one paint business, consumers, and small investors as ' Main Street .' Topeka (where I work), and Lawrence (where I live), Kansas, have no named ' Main Street .' How tiresome." Kent McAnally, Topeka, KS. "I am so tired of hearing about everything affecting ' Main Street .' I know that with the 'Wall Street' collapse, the comparison is convenient, but really, let's find another way to talk about everyman or the middle class, or even, heaven forbid, 'Joe the Plumber.'" Stacey, Knoxville, Tenn.

Internet and texting blues -MONKEY - "Especially on the Internet, many people seem to think they can make any boring name sound more attractive just by adding the word 'monkey' to it. Do a search to find the latest. It is no longer funny." Rogier Landman, Somerville, Mass.

<3 - Supposed to resemble a heart, or stand for the word 'love.' Used when sending those important text messages to loved ones. "Just say the word instead of making me turn my head sideways and wondering what 'less than three' means." Andrea Estrada, Chicago.

Overuse in news and entertainment

ICON or ICONIC - Overused, especially among entertainers and in entertainment news, according to Robyn Yates of Dallas, who says that "every actor, actress and entertainment magazine show overuses this." One of the most-nominated words of the year. "Everyone and everything cannot be 'iconic.' Can't we switch to 'legendary' or 'famous for'? In our entertainment-driven culture, it seems everyone in show business is 'iconic' for some reason or another. "John Flood, Bray, Wicklow, Ireland. "It's becoming the new 'awesome' - overused to the point where everything from a fast-food restaurant chain to celebrities is 'iconic.'" Jodi Gill, New Berlin, Wisc. "Just because a writer recognizes something does not make it an icon (a visual symbol or representation which inspires worship or veneration) or iconic. It just means that the writer has seen it before." Brian Murphy, Fairfield, Conn.

GAME CHANGER - "It's game OVER for this cliché, which gets overused in the news media, political arenas and in business." Cynthia, Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

STAYCATION - "Occurrences of this word are going up with gas prices.'Vacation' does not mean 'travel,' nor does travel always involve vacation. Let's send this word on a slow boat to nowhere." Dan Muldoon, Omaha, Neb.

"The cost of petrol forces many families to curtail their summer voyages and a new word has sprung, idiotic and rootless..." Michele Mooney, Los Angeles, Calif.

DESPERATE SEARCH - "Every time the news can't find something intelligent to report, they start on a 'desperate search' for someone, somewhere." Rick A. Hyatt, Saratoga, Wyo.

NOT SO MUCH - "I wish that the phrase was used not so much," says Tom Benson of Milwaukee, who notes that it is used widely in news media, especially in sports, i.e. 'The Gophers have a shot at the playoffs; the Chipmunks, not so much.' "Casual language usage is acceptable. 'Not so much?' Not so much." David Hollis, Hubbardsville, NY. "Do I like concise writing? Yes. Do I like verbose clichés? Not so much." David W. Downing, St. Paul, Minn. "A favorite of snarky critics and bloggers." Jeff Baenen, Minneapolis, Minn.

WINNER OF FIVE NOMINATIONS - "It hasn't won an Academy Award yet. It has only been NOMINATED!" John Bohenek, Abilene, Tex.

IT'S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN - Nominated by Kathleen Brosemer of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., for "general overuse and meaninglessness. When is it not 'that time of year again?' From Valentine's sales to year-end charity letters, invitations to summer picnics and Christmas parties, it's 'that time' of year again. Just get to the point of the solicitation, invitation, and newsletter and cut out six useless and annoying words."

i guess that's one way to get your second-tier university media attention.

in any case, the words/phrases banned seem pretty arbitrary. i mean, 'at this point in time'? what are they going to ban next? 'and'? 'the'? just because a word or phrase is common/popular doesn't mean it's overused. just like trademark holders who try to prevent people from using their trademark as a generic noun or verb, this kind of lexical elitism simply demonstrates a lack of understanding of how language evolves.

also, the inclusion of certain phrases like 'green,' 'carbon footprint,' 'bailout,' etc. seem based entirely on the submitter's ideological or political disagreement rather than any linguistic or stylistic problem with the phrase's popular usage. honestly, some of the reasons given by people for adding a word are quite retarded--like the suggestion by the last submitter that writers should cut out opening phrases to "get to the point." if these people had their way everyone would write like telegraph operators.

bet-they-don't-have-much-though (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26280889)

What a bunch of loosers!

Pity they didn't include "loosers" (4, Insightful)

Finallyjoined!!! (1158431) | more than 5 years ago | (#26280933)

Or maybe ban the losers who constantly spell lose as loose.

Re:Pity they didn't include "loosers" (2, Funny)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281045)

Or maybe ban the losers who constantly spell lose as loose.

It's gotten to the point that I involuntarily flinch every time I see the word 'looser', even in the correct context.

Re:Pity they didn't include "loosers" (2, Funny)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281601)

Or maybe ban the losers who constantly spell lose as loose.

It's gotten to the point that I involuntarily flinch every time I see the word 'looser', even in the correct context.

I will become rich and famous when I invent a way to make loosers flinch over the internet.

Re:Pity they didn't include "loosers" (3, Informative)

Samah (729132) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281667)

Or folks who think "would of" is an acceptable replacement for "would have".

wtf (5, Funny)

pohl (872) | more than 5 years ago | (#26280905)

<3  is supposed to be a heart!?  And all this time
I thought it was mammaries or butt-cheeks, depending
on the context.

Re:wtf (2, Funny)

oahazmatt (868057) | more than 5 years ago | (#26280975)

Maybe it's just tapped? Like some weird cardiac mana?

Re:wtf (5, Funny)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281117)

( . )( . ) = Boobies
( O )( O ) = Boobies with big nipples
[ . ][ . ] = Robot boobies
( : )( . ) = Triple Nipple Boobies
( % )( % ) = Pierced Boobies
( @ )( @ ) = Epic Boobies
( ^ )( ^ ) = Perky Boobies
( , )( ' ) = Lop-sided Boobies
( U )( U ) = Long nipple Boobies
\ . /\ . / = Saggy Boobies
| . | . | = Man Chested
( . )( . )( . ) = Total Recall


There are inevitably more. Add to the list.
This has been a public service announcement.

Re:wtf (5, Funny)

cavtroop (859432) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281245)

my fav:

( . Y . )

Re:wtf (2, Funny)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281453)

All hail the push-up.

Re:wtf (5, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281451)

Boobies, nah, I'm an (_!_) man.

Re:wtf (1, Funny)

loafula (1080631) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281617)

What is that, a pair of testicles?

Re:wtf (1)

internetcommie (945194) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281713)

Looks more like a crack and a hole to me.

goatse emoticon (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281555)

=O=

Re:wtf (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281835)

Excellent post sir.

Re:wtf (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281317)

<3 is supposed to be a heart!? And all this time I thought it was mammaries or butt-cheeks, depending on the context.

Actually...

What the traditional "heart shape" actually depicts is a matter of some controversy. It only vaguely resembles the human heart. Some people claim that it actually depicts the heart of a cow, a more readily available sight to most people in past centuries than an actual human heart. However, while bovine hearts are more similar to the iconic heart shape, the resemblance is still slight.

The "heart" shape could also be considered to depict features of the human female body, such as the female's pubic mound or spread vulva. The tantric symbol of the "Yoni" is another example of a heart-shaped abstraction of a woman's vulva. In the introduction to The Vagina Monologues Gloria Steinem writes, "[The heart] was reduced from power to romance by centuries of male dominance."

from Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]

Re:wtf (1)

Piranhaa (672441) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281739)

Actually it's an icecream cone.

Look! Humor! (3, Insightful)

Phasma Felis (582975) | more than 5 years ago | (#26280949)

Cue a bunch of humor-impaired Slashdotters exploding in 5...4... Shit, too late.

Re:Look! Humor! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281537)

Well, all right...

zomg wtf why is this not in idle why did it appear on my home screen i wasted my precious time reading it ill never get that time back slashdot has gone downhill this isnt news for nerds why am i reading it i hate it why cant we just stick to news on my personal minutiae thats what news for nerds should be all about not this humor crap i traded my emotions for efficiency for a reason you insensitive clods stop that laughing one of these days youre going to wind up dead just like your idiot hyena cousins

There. That should do it. Happy to help!

How about banning THIS emoticon first? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26280951)

8===D~~ ~ ~ ~*-_0 (your mom)

Stupid lamness filter.

My dear Friend,

I know of no Medicine fit to diminish the violent natural Inclinations you mention; and if I did, I think I should not communicate it to you. Marriage is the proper Remedy. It is the most natural State of Man, and therefore the State in which you are most likely to find solid Happiness. Your Reasons against entring into it at present, appear to me not well-founded. The circumstantial Advantages you have in View by postponing it, are not only uncertain, but they are small in comparison with that of the Thing itself, the being married and settled. It is the Man and Woman united that make the compleat human Being. Separate, she wants his Force of Body and Strength of Reason; he, her Softness, Sensibility and acute Discernment. Together they are more likely to succeed in the World. A single Man has not nearly the Value he would have in that State of Union. He is an incomplete Animal. He resembles the odd Half of a Pair of Scissars. If you get a prudent healthy Wife, your Industry in your Profession, with her good Economy, will be a Fortune sufficient.

But if you will not take this Counsel, and persist in thinking a Commerce with the Sex inevitable, then I repeat my former Advice, that in all your Amours you should prefer old Women to young ones. You call this a Paradox, and demand my Reasons. They are these:

1. Because as they have more Knowledge of the World and their Minds are better stor'd with Observations, their Conversation is more improving and more lastingly agreable.

2. Because when Women cease to be handsome, they study to be good. To maintain their Influence over Men, they supply the Diminution of Beauty by an Augmentation of Utility. They learn to do a 1000 Services small and great, and are the most tender and useful of all Friends when you are sick. Thus they continue amiable. And hence there is hardly such a thing to be found as an old Woman who is not a good Woman.

3. Because there is no hazard of Children, which irregularly produc'd may be attended with much Inconvenience.

4. Because thro' more Experience, they are more prudent and discreet in conducting an Intrigue to prevent Suspicion. The Commerce with them is therefore safer with regard to your Reputation. And with regard to theirs, if the Affair should happen to be known, considerate People might be rather inclin'd to excuse an old Woman who would kindly take care of a young Man, form his Manners by her good Counsels, and prevent his ruining his Health and Fortune among mercenary Prostitutes.

5. Because in every Animal that walks upright, the Deficiency of the Fluids that fill the Muscles appears first in the highest Part: The Face first grows lank and wrinkled; then the Neck; then the Breast and Arms; the lower Parts continuing to the last as plump as ever: So that covering all above with a Basket, and regarding only what is below the Girdle, it is impossible of two Women to know an old from a young one. And as in the dark all Cats are grey, the Pleasure of corporal Enjoyment with an old Woman is at least equal, and frequently superior, every Knack being by Practice capable of Improvement.

6. Because the Sin is less. The debauching a Virgin may be her Ruin, and make her for Life unhappy.

7. Because the Compunction is less. The having made a young Girl miserable may give you frequent bitter Reflections; none of which can attend the making an old Woman happy.

8thly and Lastly They are so grateful!!

--Ben Franklin, June 25, 1745

Re:How about banning THIS emoticon first? (1)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281491)

my day has been made. best O-T ever. and ben is my hero.

Can we ban these lists? (-1, Troll)

Rog7 (182880) | more than 5 years ago | (#26280959)

None of these words or phrases need to be banned as much as this list does, along with every other list that swarms the 'news' this time of year.

Overuse and general uselessness indeed. =P

Umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26280969)

You mean

<3

isn't "kiss my ass" ?

That explains a lot.

Slashdotted in...... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26280981)

3...........2............1...........

I thought it would have been this: (5, Insightful)

rikkards (98006) | more than 5 years ago | (#26280983)

8====D

Re:I thought it would have been this: (5, Funny)

SoundGuyNoise (864550) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281299)

That's one big smiley face!

Re:I thought it would have been this: (2, Funny)

jank1887 (815982) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281525)

just a really long nose.

Re:I thought it would have been this: (5, Funny)

kv9 (697238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281679)

That's one big smiley face!

... or are you just glad to see me?

Yes kill it (1)

tb2007 (1418641) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281007)

Okay yes we can ban that one.

A long time ago my friend had a AIM screen name. It involved the "3", well it took me months to understand why it was in the screen name.....that helped to explain why people were using it on forums and such.

I mean WTF, a 3 plus is not a heart. Only people that think it looks like a heart would invent something so stupid.

Oh boy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281009)

I love censorship. 3 ... 3? ... oh dammit. Slashdot has ruined my opportunity to be ironic.

New Summary (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281043)

Some no-name college makes a list of phrases that they think are stupid and they get on the news.

Someone sees '<3' and nerdgasms. The aftermath is left here on Slashdot.

This is not news, it's spam.

Move along please.

bash.org (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281047)

What's that one bash.org quote?

a: I love her with all my 3

b: You love her with all your less than three? Inches?

Wait I thought.... (5, Funny)

Megatron3W (1442245) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281055)

And all along I thought it <3 stood for Boobs on a cone.

Re:Wait I thought.... (2, Funny)

Starayo (989319) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281265)

I wonder if I could patent that. It would likely make somebody very, very rich.

But... (5, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281057)

I <3 monkeys and have set up a green organization so to achieve our directive and maintain a low carbon footprint, along with my wife to protect them. My wife is a bit of a Maverick and is trying to run for president but I am ok with being First Dude.

Re:But... (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281155)

Don't be a prick, Larry. We are all tired of that story.

Re:But... (1)

kv9 (697238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281723)

I <3 monkeys and have set up a green organization so to achieve our directive and maintain a low carbon footprint, along with my wife to protect them. My wife is a bit of a Maverick and is trying to run for president but I am ok with being First Dude.

that list was pretty spot on; you, not so much.

a flashback to the 90's (1, Interesting)

hort_wort (1401963) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281073)

Does anyone else remember when their teacher used to make the comment "'Ain't' is not a word... it isn't in the dictionary." Then finally someone looked it up and it WAS in the dictionary? People define the language, the language doesn't define the people. Those grumpy folks publishing this stuff need to remember that.

If they really wanted to preserve English, they'd still be using "thou" and whatnot. Don't get me started on why the Bible is usually still in Old English... Most people don't even realize that it's already a badly translated mix of Aramaic and such. Thankfully, it's been retranslated finally into the "new international version".

Oh great, now I'm ranting. I should get university backing and publish an official list of pet peeves too.

Re:a flashback to the 90's (4, Interesting)

siride (974284) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281147)

The KJV is in Early Modern English, not Old English. Old English is incomprehensible to modern speakers. u scealt witan over æm e u segest ær u spricst.

Re:a flashback to the 90's (1)

siride (974284) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281175)

Fuck you Slashdot and your inability to even handle Latin-1, to say nothing of Unicode. DIAF.

Re:a flashback to the 90's (1)

moose_hp (179683) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281237)

People define the language, the language doesn't define the people.

So, I take you haven't heard of the new edition of the newspeak dictionary?

Re:a flashback to the 90's (3, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281289)

My bible is in Hebrew, you insensitive clod!

Actually, if you are referring to the bibles that the Gideon society leaves in hotel rooms, that is in modern English. You can tell it is in modern English because, as a native English speaker, you have little difficulty reading it. Also, "wife" is not spelled "wyf," as it would be in middle English, and it does not read like German or contain any "ash" (æ) characters, at it would if it were actually old English.

Language evolves - deal with it (5, Insightful)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281089)

Americans leave out the "u" in colour, armour, neighbour, etc. We no longer pronounce "night" as [ni:xt] or [ni:t] (IPA [wikipedia.org] ). We could come up with a huge number of examples, but why bother? Language evolves over time, words lose or gain meaning. It's a natural process. You'd think an academic institution would understand this simple concept, but I guess grabbing headlines is more important than practicing proper academia.

Emoticons are just an evolution of a new language. It's actually quite extraordinary. We have now created symbols that can represent simple meanings cross-culturally and cross-linguistically, and these symbols are popularized in large part by the youth of the world. They are creating a whole new language right before our eyes. I wouldn't be surprised if we would soon be able to communicate simple messages between different cultures that speak different languages via symbols (some would argue we already can). It's a shame that institutions such as this one and the "get off my damn lawn" crowd are ridiculing such an extraordinary example of the human ability to adapt and break down communicative barriers.

Re:Language evolves - deal with it (1)

SpeedyDX (1014595) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281129)

Sorry, I guess the second-to-last consonant in my second formation of "night" got filtered out. It's supposed to be the IPA symbol for the palatal-velar fricative, if any of you cared/were wondering.

Re:Language evolves - deal with it (1)

siride (974284) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281369)

Slashdot raped my Old English, so I feel your pain.

Re:Language evolves - deal with it (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281415)

Oh, the palatal-velar fricative. Of course! Thanks, that explains it!

Re:Language evolves - deal with it (1)

siride (974284) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281527)

There is no palatal-velar fricative. He meant palatal fricative. Hopefully, that clears everything up!

Re:Language evolves - deal with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281185)

Tell that to the people who argue about "begs the question"; that's a losing battle that they just refuse to give up.

Re:Language evolves - deal with it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281509)

1. You believe "begs the question" should be synonymous with "raises the question"
2. You know other people who think so
3. You assume that "begs the question" is correct

Now that "begs the question"

Re:Language evolves - deal with it (2, Informative)

Astabon (917642) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281197)

You do understand the school does this as a lark each year, right? You did read the actual story?

Get Off My Lawn, Punk (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281267)

I'm always amused how people -- who will defend to the death the word "hacker" 's right to still today mean what it did for three weeks in 1994, despite over a decade of evolutionary use to the contrary -- insist that emoticons retain any value outside of of a fat-fingered person's text messaging.

There is an art and a skill and a subtlety to the written word, something we developed over thousands of years of evolution. When I see our species reverting to pixelated cave pictographs, it makes me wonder whether stone knives and bearskins are next.

Re:Get Off My Lawn, Punk (3, Insightful)

siride (974284) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281433)

"Hacker" still means what it used to mean, but only among the community of for-fun programmers. So those people who get incensed about it are half-right. They are generally wrong, however, because in the common parlance, it really does truly mean someone who breaks into computers. Context almost always clears up whether it is meant to be used in the common fashion or in the jargon fashion. "I spent all weekend hacking on my Perl module" is clearly positive (well, unless you hate Perl) and would only be used amongst people who know what any of that means anyways.

Re:Get Off My Lawn, Punk (1)

sitarah (955787) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281845)

No, there's an art and skill and subtlety to communication and the human mind. It's not just the written word. Speech has just as much nuance.

I know Latin and Japanese fairly well, in addition to handfuls of words, sentences, songs, and poems in many other languages, because it is a hobby of mine. I have found that there are words in these other languages that English does not have an equivalent for. When I think of something really, meltingly cute with a child-like simplicity, I use the Japanese word kawaii. Adorable and cute are not quite right. Similarly, mu -- unask the question -- has a certain connotation and elegance to it that 'unask the question' lacks.

In the same vein, <3 means something to me that an English word cannot convey. :D is different than :) and =), too. There are subtle levels of happiness and silliness there. They are complex. They change with context. They get a message across consistently. The fact that they are made out of punctuation is the only thing that separates them from a word -- and honestly, even words and letters are just stick drawings anyway. A letter just happens to represent a sound. Why is it superior? It seems a little arbitrary.

Yes, we have a dictionary to agree on a letter's pronunciation and its related words. We just don't need one for emoticons, because they're generally so obvious. <3 is heart and love, but my social circle has a nuanced definition of it unique to us -- just like we have an certain nuanced definition of the word taters.

Yes, people can use emoticons to be mentally lazy, expressing generic 'happy' rather than a specific level of happiness, but they can do that in words, too. People will be lazy no matter what. You can't blame the tool for that.

Are there other objections?

Re:Language evolves - deal with it (4, Interesting)

Lobster Quadrille (965591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281395)

We have now created symbols that can represent simple meanings cross-culturally and cross-linguistically

We had these thousands of years ago, on the walls of caves.

Re:Language evolves - deal with it (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281399)

It's not that they don't recognize that it has meaning or that it's a word: Far from it. (By including it on the list they are explicitly acknowledging that it is a word, in fact.)

They are saying that it, like the rest of the words on this list, has been over-used and misused to the point of uselessness, where any meaning it once had is now worthless.

It's not that they disagree that it is a word. It is that they think it had a meaning and lost it, because people use it to mean anything they want.

Language is not equal to spelling. (1)

DigitalReverend (901909) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281485)

Armor, Armour, Armer all all pronounced the same way. Language relates to the spoken word, how it is spelled is up to the intellectuals and academicians. Spelling makes not difference in language. Which is why it surprises me that a symbol that has no unpronounceable is included in this tongue in cheek policing of the language.

Re:Language evolves - deal with it (1)

flahwho (1243110) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281637)

those of us who 3 2yell "GET OFF MY DAMN LAWN" should have some say.

Why the hate, LSSU? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281099)

Me: LSSU! <3
LSSU: </3
Me: :(
LSSU: ( ^_^ )
LSSU: <(^_^<)
LSSU: (>^_^)>
LSSU: (o^_^)O
LSSU: O(^_^o)
Me: :D
LSSU: (>O<)
Me: D:

Re:Why the hate, LSSU? (3, Funny)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281523)

That's the poorest BNF I've ever seen!

This one isn't banned? (1)

ConfrontationalGrayh (1199233) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281113)

8======D I mean really! :D

My favorite, but absent (1)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281135)

Where's the ASCII Goatse guy when you need him?

Re:My favorite, but absent (1)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281693)

Where's the ASCII Goatse guy when you need him?

(O)

Re:My favorite, but absent (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281719)

This is all I could come up with (I'm not sure it's worth wasting more than 5 seconds on):

(/o\)

who has a better one?

Variants (1)

theredshoes (1308621) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281159)

Variants include /3 for a broken heart, $ to convey a financial motive for love, and 4 as the superlative of 3.

Re:Variants (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281435)

Variants include ... 4 as the superlative of 3.

Wowza, that makes no sense. x 3 implies x 4 If you really wanted to make a more powerful statement about your love, you should use 2 instead.

Re:Variants (1)

theredshoes (1308621) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281605)

I didn't make it up, the "biggest" green monkeys from Boing Boing made up four as a superlative of three dealie. I understand superlatives in language, not mathematics. :(

Re:Variants (1)

theredshoes (1308621) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281827)

If you are into ads, these are a trip. I vaguely remember the Honeywell ones, that's about it.

101 Classic Computer Ads [boingboing.net]

No Love (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281279)

</3 Lake Superior State University

Pointless (0)

zieroh (307208) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281359)

Language is whatever conveys meaning that is mutually understood between the speaker and the listener.

English, in particular, has no governing body that dictates the proper use of the language. I am fairly offended that these people have appointed themselves as some kind quasi-arbiter of our language.

Re:Pointless (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281591)

Language is whatever conveys meaning that is mutually understood between the speaker and the listener.

English, in particular, has no governing body that dictates the proper use of the language. I am fairly offended that these people have appointed themselves as some kind quasi-arbiter of our language.

2/3 of human communication is non-verbal. It conveys meaning and is mutually understood to some degree (culturally dependent). It is comprised of kinesics, proxemics and chronemics, and except for thew subest comprised of predetermined signs (sign language) is not language.

As for the rest, do yourself a favor and go look at the section this article is in, and see if you can't head off that impending valium deficiency.

Re:Pointless (1)

WiredNut (1287460) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281741)

2/3 of human communication is non-verbal.

How do you know this? Is there any way to quantify the amount of communication? If I had to guess, I'd say print communication alone would seem to comprise far more than 2/3...

OMG my junk has just been censored by /. (4, Funny)

GlobalColding (1239712) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281371)

(_)_)/////////////////////D OMG I got Filter error: Please use fewer 'junk' characters. I cant use fewer characters, then it wouldnt be to scale...

For the record... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281385)

We don't care 'cause UPers are savages.

Signed,

All Us Trolls

This makes me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281393)

Very very /3

Is this the one? 3 (1)

micromuncher (171881) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281423)

How about 3? Or maybe 3{.

My personal favorite ..!.

The opposite of <3. (5, Funny)

alanwj (242317) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281439)

For some time now I've been using >=3 as an emoticon for "hate". Rarely do people seem to get it, though.

Re:The opposite of 3. (1)

lattyware (934246) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281705)

That's because that's obviously the evil-cat-mouth smiley. Come on.

They forgot an obvious one..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281497)

"Vista"........AKA Mojave

Its a heart? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281581)

I always thought it was a buttcone.

Sommerville, Mass??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26281625)

many people seem to think they can make any boring name sound more attractive just by adding the word 'monkey' to it," wrote Rogier Landman of Sommerville, Mass.

That would be Somerville. Right up there with loosers and there/there/they're and are/our

I for one refrain from reading any comment until.. (2, Funny)

koutbo6 (1134545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281651)

one of them is filtered as insightful +5

Less than three music are going to be disappointed (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281731)

"Less than three music" is a nice radio station [lt3m.com]

Are these word monkeys serious (1)

vorlich (972710) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281849)

How can anything in Michigan be removed from the Queen's English?
Won't they have to tear up the declaration of independence (I think perhaps that should be in capitals:-) )
Even Her Majesty's own subjects don't speak whatever the Queen's English is. Just listen to the now invisible glottal stop in estuary English (cue Amy Winehouse album) "To'al" or the south's strange pronounciation of Wednesday as Wendsday.
If Michigan wants to rescue the Queen's English, I suggest they email an apology to Our Lizzie at Buck House, send a back payment for all that unpaid stamp duty, start drinking tea again, change all of their Boulevards back to streets, start driving on the wrong side of the road again, charge citizens over one hundred pounds per year to watch the telly, start making films at Hollywood, rename (American) football to armoured-rugby and then start playing (proper)football again and declare President Elect, Barack Obama King...

I could go on...

Broken hearted? (1)

tgrigsby (164308) | more than 5 years ago | (#26281899)

Seriously? Someone decided that an emoticon for the heart should be banned altogether?

Sounds to me like someone got dumped for the umpteenth time in a row, can't even get his mother to go to lunch with him, and is still carrying a grudge that the Valentine he made with crayons, construction paper, and glue and gave to his second grade teacher ended up in her trash basket by the end of the school day folded around a gray wad of chewed DoubleMint gum.

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