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Summary: LOLspeak Grammar and Memes

So, we r goin 2 talk bout LOLspeak Grammar. Yez, Im bean serious, but we r going 2 talk abot dat in an academic wai. U mite ask wut iz LOLspeak. Itz teh language ov teh LOLcats, teh language dat “fuffly animas” r supposd 2 speek if they cud speek. Itz wut ur readin nao. I hope u has enjoyd dis an got sum idea bout LOLspeak grammar.

From ASCII codes to LOLspeak grammar, online languages change according to the context and their popularity among users. For instance, LOLspeak became popular through LOLcats memes, but we cannot tell that the language was coined with the memes since it originated in web chats, when people were looking for an easier way to type. However, as the LOLcats are now considered the natural place of this language, it is necessary to understand what memes are. I’m sure you can imagine a meme, still, how would you define it?

Davison says that “An Internet meme is a piece of culture, typically a joke, which gains influence through online transmission” (133). The term was defined in The Selfish Gene, by Richard Dawkins. Dawkins discusses memes as cultural ideas and behaviours which share some similarities with genetics. Dawkins ideas are not about Internet memes, but the concept works quite well. For instance, he says that a meme is an idea created by human minds that “propagate itself, from brain to brain” through imitation (192). We can clearly see that Internet memes shares the essence of the description provided by Dawkins. Furthermore, they rely on their popularity to be maintained, and there is no copy-fidelity since each person adapts memes according to their intentions. As a part of memes, the LOLspeak language is spread with them in a kind of viral loop. Nevertheless, as a form of expression, without the images, LOLspeak can also be found in other genres.

Linguists and semioticians say that only two things can change language: time and usage. I guess time is passing, and I also guess that more and more people are using LOLspeak language. So, I’d like to finish this with a question, even if LOLspeak has been used for fun, do you think it can gain some power to change English Grammar? Don’t be so drastic here, I don’t mean that it can change grammar completely, but perhaps introduce new words and make some structures be grammatically accepted.


2 thoughts on “Summary: LOLspeak Grammar and Memes

  1. I found it pretty much impossible to avoid making my own LOLcats for my post — did you have as much fun as I did??

    Posted by elisevist | March 3, 2013, 5:12 pm
    • When I finished my text, I thought that I should have written it all in LOLspeak grammar and I wouldn’t have to review it since the mistake is the “perficktion”. But I’vent made my own LOLcats :/ I was just looking for memes that could fit the text.

      Posted by Débora Antunes | March 3, 2013, 5:36 pm

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