"Lolcateze: U Lernz it Or U Eatz Mai Dust Sucka" – is that the language of the future? What is it and where did it come from? You just saw an example of what has come to be called Lolcatese . Lolcatese had its origins on primitive Bulletin board systems which predate the internet. Named after the acronym LOL, "laughing out loud", Lolcatese is starting to evolve into a separate language all its own, complete with grammar and spelling conventions, and even pronunciation hints, although Lolcatese is primarily a written language. Grammar police do not take Lolcatese seriously as a language – such is the fate of Pidgins, Patois' and Creoles in general. But they may have to, and with the internet, it may be sooner than any of us imagine!
Students of grammar may note that in Lolcatese:
- articles are gone
- the words "to" and "for" are replaced by digits,
- pronoun case is generally done away with – "she" turns to "her", for example
- deliberate misspellings, derived from common typos, such as "the" for "the" are de rigeur
- verb conjugation (as if verbs in English weren't simple enough already) is simplified,
- verbs of being disappear and are simply implied and understood as in Russian or ebonics.
- non-typo pronunciation based respellings, such as "iz" for "is" are common
- snowclone expressions , based on gamer-speak or other popular culture, predominate
Lolcatese is easier to learn than English. It seems to be evolving as the lingua franca of the internet for social communication. The young will bring it forward with them as they age into the mainstream of society. It will infiltrate first to international trade, music and sports, then gradually the rest of society (ies) will catch up. In as little as another generation, there will be youngsters born who write Lolcatese before English. For these people it will be their mother tongue as far as written languages go, and they will push its expressive power as it graduates from becoming a written pidgin (written by no one natively) to a written creole (a pidgin derived language that acquires native writers over time). Will writing backwash and influence their spoken language? That remains to be seen.
Prediction for the future: Your grandchildren may receive a high school diplomas written in a recognized formalized and evolved version of Lolcatese.