I am the missing link . . .

I am the Missing Link . . .

As a child, I spent hours happily looking for reading material to subvert, pervert and invert my young mind. This reading material was written in what was once known as the King’s English, perhaps now the Queen’s English . . . possibly known in the U.S. as the President’s English.

Whatever.

My point is that I developed a working vocabulary in English, and felt quite comfortable flinging around words with gusto . . . until the last decade. But now I’m going to have to go out immediately and buy a dictionary for dinosaurs, because of  words (I use the term loosely) like ‘hash-tag’ and ‘meme’ and “tweet.”  We won’t even get into some of the slang tossed around by teens and twenty-somethings, because I consider it a foreign language. Sadly, as my hips grow, I become ever less hip.

Speaking of foreign languages, I remember laughing at an overseas Prime Minister a few years back, because of his outrage that American slang was polluting French. Now the joke’s on me. Electronic weirdness and today’s miniscule attention spans are assaulting writers everywhere. And we can no longer hide in our rooms like the hermits that we are. We must learn to Twitter. At best, this term conjures up a Disney character for me. At worst, clips of Hitchcock’s The Birds.

I could handle : )  and : ( and ; ) . . . I could figure out abbreviations like LOL or ROTFLMAO . . . but please, WTF is a hash-tag? And do we want to examine the etymology of this term too closely? (Kidding . . . I do realize that the ‘hash’ comes from the # in front of the tag. I’m not quite as stupid as I look.)

And how about meme? I know what a mime is—the guy in clown shoes and makeup who performs silently in a universe all his own. But meme? Despite my official class on Twitter yesterday (thank you, Harlequin, for taking pity on your more mystified authors!) I seem to have missed the definition of this term. Of course I will be off to Google it immediately–after first publicly embarrassing myself with this blog. 

Finally, let’s take a dinosaur’s eye view of  bit.ly—a term that Professors Emeritus Jenny and Amy threw out yesterday. I sit here squinting at it over my coffee and frowning. Here’s what my brain does with it: Bit? Bite? Dog bite? Inspector Clouseau of Pink Panther fame, asking, “Does your dog bite?” “No.” Chomp. “Owww! I thought you said your dog didn’t bite!” “That’s not my dog.”

This is all before my brain gets to the “ly” part of bit.ly, which is the truly offensive part. If you’ve been writing for any length of time, chances are you’ve had some Greater Authority (be it a critique partner, an editor, or a random contest judge) smack your hand and tell you to stay away from “cheap adverbs.” To be specific, the “—ly” adverbs.

So bit.ly is bothering me on so many levels, but most because I haven’t yet figured out what it means . . .

My notes define it as something which “shortens, shares and tracks” my links. Riiiiiight.  I swear that when it comes to technology, I am the Missing Link. Does that mean that someone will be along soon to bit.ly me?

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “I am the missing link . . .

  1. LOL, I know what you mean. I think we need a dictionary just for Internet slang.

  2. I have SO no intention of learning the bastardized part of ANY language. Believe me, I’ve tested this out or over a year and find that I am missing NOTHING by NOT faceboking, twittering and slanging around on blogs. But I DO use that time to read, something suppossedly no one has the time to do anymore, mainly because of all this new technology. Don’t you find that, uhm, ironic?

  3. Twitter is really alien communication, you know. Even Stephen Hawkins warns us not to talk to them. I think Harlequin may have gone over to the dark side! Beware the bit.ly!

    • Piks, you are too funny. And since I don’t have a handy teenager around, I’m so grateful to H/S for showing us the light . . . even if I make fun of my learning process. LOL.

  4. The Urban Dictionary has been a great help to me. Google it. It’s kept me current.

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