fangirlisms et al.

brain in suspension

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adrian ☞ is a turkey
ITTO: Teenagers Revive Dead Languages Through Texting
A funny thing happened to several languages on their way to extinction -- they were saved, pulled back from the brink by teenagers and the Internet, of all things.
Do languages really die... or do they just get absorbed into more current ones? Let's not forget that English is the original hodgepodge, melting-pot, alt-language.

The importance of text brevity vs. techtalk coolness in determining the real reasons behind "brb" and "lol" adoption goes back to function vs. form argument—chatspeak owes its adoption to both. But is the dead languages ressurection/maintenance an indication of a deeper nationalistic leaning or just another cliquish youth thing?

In my high school days (which are heavily represented in this LiveJournal account, if one digs back far enough), Japanese was the cool (well, among anime nerds) language to learn, because of anime—nowadays, it's Korean pop that rules the alt-language roost, with teen amours calling themselves "dang-sin" and each other "namja" and "yoja." One of my old screennames was "kaiwaii_brat," with the "kaiwaii" horribly mispelled, but whatever. My pidgin Japanese was a mark of pride, my entry into a more worldly world, my special thing. Abercrombie and Fitch would later be my obsession once I spent a summer in China (and needed another way to distinguish myself from the "masses"). In college, I tried the WASP thing out (I look really awkward in pearls and a polo). These days, it's about wearing Longchamp in Hong Kong, speaking nasally-American in a <i>cha chaan teng</i>, and unironically wearing my prescription Ray-Bans when I go out clubbing (they're my daytime glasses, too).

I'm hardly the person to speak about nationalism's complicated relationship with language, especially since I am a runaway American in a mixed-up, East-meets-West-Old-meets-New-Communism-meets-Capitalism kind of city. But maybe, for these featured texters "abroad," it's about being more Mexican or more Filipino than the last guy—a mark of pride, since these two countries are ones with strong native cultures and a history of American cultural infringement (but what country doesn't? Except for Japan, maybe). A sort of Keeping Up With The Rodriguezes. Communicating in a rare, mothertongue language leads to the sort of cliquish exclusivity that goes beyond the usual teenish being hot, putting out, and procuring contraband coolness. It's deep, man. It's got roots. 

I'm just not sure how "cool" this text would be: 

u missed eric's hancock last nite! it was totes WCTD, BVH osm.


You missed Eric's (big signature move) last night! It was totally Washington-Crossing-the-Delaware, Burr-vs-Hamilton awesome.

I mean, I'd totally be down for "WCTD" to mean "EPIC." 


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