Don’t Blame The Internet & Texting For The “Death Of English.” It’s Literally Been In Progress Since 1998!
About two weeks ago, someone at Gizmodo noticed via an imgur post that Google had updated the definition of the word “literally” to include an informal definition which actually contradicts the formal definition. The post on imgur was titled “We did it guys, we finally killed English.”
Forgetting the obvious hilariousness of them using the word in its own definition causing an endless feedback loop and a possible paradox in the space-time-grammar continuum I want to talk more about the people who said that we have finally been successful in killing the English language with this new definition of a word which contradicts what it actually means. When this was all playing out online I heard and read many people opine that it was the fault of our current school systems or the youth of today or the rise of texting and social media which has caused this calamity to occur. While I agree that it is extraordinarily silly to use the word literally in this contradictory manner and will never do it I hate the break the news to everyone but this isn’t a new or recent development and has actually been a long time coming.
First we jump back to the year 2002 when actor and comedian David Cross released a double-CD comedy album (with very NSFW language) called “Shut Up You F###ing Baby.” On it, was a 2 and a half minute rant about misusing that word which you can listen to below (warning, includes lots of swearing): Read more…
I have been using Google’s relatively new service called Google Now on my Android devices and absolutely love it. It learns about you as a user as you continue to use your phone and makes suggestions for you accordingly. However, for me one of the best features that it offers is the integration with your Google Calendar. Not only does it pop up upcoming events from your calendar in its own list of cards and on its widget but it will give you “Time to leave” notifications. Depending on what you have told it previously is your “Default Transportation Mode” it will alert you when to leave for upcoming calendar entries based on your current GPS location, the distance to the next entry, and the traffic along the way. It will pop up a “Time To Leave” notification on your phone without any alarm set or anything giving you a few minutes lead time to actually get out of wherever you are. It also gives you the option of instantly opening up directions to your next appointment with one simple click of an on-screen button. Read more…
First, an apology to all of my contacts who I inadvertently spammed. I got taken in by SkillPages a service that is gaining users by spamming contacts of new members as soon as they sign up to the site.
I guess this is going to happen to the best of us sooner or later and it happened to me today. Even though I am generally super, duper cautious about what apps and sites I allow to access my data today I slipped up and the results were…horrible. I received the below email this afternoon and thought to myself “Cool! A new site for connecting from a business perspective. Being the social media addict that I am I’ve got to check it out. As well, I know Jamie and he is a good guy who I trust not to send me spam. I am going to have to check this site out.”
What I should have done was google the site. If I had, I would have seen these autocompletes*:
The above does not look like the kind of site I want to be associated with or allow to have my information without a lot more research. The third result is VIRUS for crying out loud! That is not promising but it gets worse.. Below is a screenshot of the Google search results for just the word “SkillPages”*: Read more…
I know that I have no right to do this and my blog is not widely read enough to do this but it is Anti-SOPA Day when many sites are doing something to protest the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (PROTECT IP Act aka Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011) laws in the USA.
Wikipedia shut down for the redirecting people from the regular homepage which looked like this (notice the notification at the top?):
That’s awesome and I fully support their protest of it because those laws are just plain silly but I think The Oatmeal with its usual irreverence totally won the explaining what SOPA & PIPA are and why they suck game with this animated GIF (a type of image) – also available at http://theoatmeal.com/sopa – on their page:
Wikipedia: You did a damn good job! You made it extremely noticeable and had sharing buttons for Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. Sorry though, Oatmeal totally won. Mainly because they used humor for their awesomeness and because they encouraged people to share the humor. I mean that literally, at the bottom of The Oatmeal’s page it says “P.S. Please pirate the shit out of this animated GIF.” Therefore, I think I am doing my part for the move against SOPA and PIPA by putting that image of awesomenss up for all y’all to grab.
If you want to know a bunch about SOPA and PIPA check out this TED Talk below by Internet writer and NYU professor Clay Shirky called “Defend Our Freedom To Share (Or Why SOPA is a Bad Idea)”:
Here is the direct link to it http://www.ted.com/talks/view/lang/en//id/1329.
If you go to Google this holiday season there are a number of hidden messages or in-jokes which you can be a part of just by searching. Usually these kinds of things are called “Easter Eggs” but I don’t if it’s a fitting name since the winter holidays do not include Easter. That’s why they are definitely either – in my mind – “Holiday Eggs” or maybe even “Google Eggs.”
If you go to Google and type in certain key words you can get a little extra little addition for some extra holiday cheer. For Hanukka you can use the variations:
- happy hanukkah
- happy chanukah
One other one you can try is “let it snow” which starts snow on your browser window and eventually fogs it up as you see above and below.
And once the ‘window’ is all ‘fogged up with the snow’ your search button becomes a defrost button if you want to reset it. But wait! not so fast! You can use your mouse once the window is fogged up to write on it!!! Check out the image below and you’ll see what I wrote.
But Google didn’t stop there. They made sure everyone was included! There’s Christmas…
For Christmas type:
- merry christmas
As well, they also did Kwanzaa…
For Kwanzaa you can type:
- happy kwanzaa
Seems that Happy New Years & New Years don’t do anything. Boxing Day doesn’t work either in case you’re wondering.