Jan. 3rd, 2010

bloodyrosemccoy: (Beastly)
MOM: I had the strangest experience on Facebook recently.

AMELIA: Oh?

MOM: Yes, it was bizarre. You see, I am in a group with some of my old classmates from school, and I posted a long comment about my views on healthcare. I have to admit, I was doing it partly because the guy who runs the group is a die-hard conservative, and I may have been baiting him a little. But the rest of the group started commenting on it, too, and they were getting a pretty good debate going, along with some jerks who were simply throwing insults. But then, a day or two later, I got on and found that my comment had been deleted! The guy said it was “irrelevant.” You are laughing—why?

AMELIA: You were trolling?

MOM: What?

AMELIA: You were trolling! You posted a rant on a messageboard, wank ensued, and then the mod put on his Mod Hat and baleeted the thread, declaring it OT.

MOM: What the hell did you just say?

AMELIA: The same thing you just said, only in jargon.

MOM: You mean this happens a lot?

AMELIA: Enough that it’s got its own vocabulary, yes. Welcome to the internets.

MOM: Oh, god.


And this is why I’m an anthropological linguist—I find it fascinating how very much language can adapt to describe the remarkable breadth of human experience. Mom can describe things totally out of my depth (the Sixties, for example, or Catholicism); and I have simple terms for things new to her experience, like the internet. Language is wonderfully flexible, and the stuff we come up with is infinitely creative.

Plus, there’s just something hilarious about being able to yell, “HEY, GUYS, MOM STARTED A FLAMEWAR!” Gives you warm fuzzies all over.

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