It’s always struck me that the stored knowledge and wisdom of the human race is a clear indication of the state of the world at the time that information was recorded: So, our prehistoric ancestors recorded the great hunts and the beasts that sustained them on their cave walls; as society developed, our record keeping began to focus on religious matters and affairs of faith. Towards the end of the Dark Ages, science began to illuminate our collective understanding of the word around us – a state that endured for centuries, with the establishment of our bastions of learning, and libraries. In more recent times, the accumulation of knowledge has been transformed by the advent of photography and audio recording – for the first time it became possible to accurately record key events and document life in all its facets – the acquisition of knowledge became subtly aligned with the accumulation of information; understanding became less important, whilst raw data became the new alchemy.
Most recently the internet has ramped up the flow of data beyond all reason, but as a consequence, I can’t help thinking we have lost the plot somewhat. To the outside observer we’ve progressed from hunter gatherer, through spiritual enlightenment, scientific endeavour and on to a V’ger-like accumulation of information. That’s the point at which we should have stopped and evolved into Homo omnipotentsis – unfortunately, we decided that we were more interested in funny cat pictures and pointless memes instead, and have retrogressed to become Homo ROFLensis! Our imagined outside observer perusing our single most capacious store of knowledge and information would have to conclude that the priorities of the human race were basically porn, statements that Bieber can’t hold a candle to ‘real’ artists, and the banalities of everyday existence about which no-one has any interest but are compelled to share anyway. Actually, not funny at all.
However, returning to my point… When the internet is not intentionally trying to be amusing, there are some genuinely funny gems that you can stumble upon whilst navigating its tributaries, like this one that cropped during a recent techy search for information about a background Windows process I was interested in:
Hmm… A rouge process? I presume the ‘expert’ in question is watching their monitor through rose-tinted spectacles? After my initial confusion, which I’ll admit lasted for several minutes, before I finally twigged. At which point I very nearly did fall off my chair and roll on the floor, laughing! I suppose the transposition of the letters U and G, transforming rogue into rouge isn’t really all that funny, but it tickled me at the time and brightened my day. It’s one of the curses of modern day communication – typos, along with their freaky cousin, auto-correct, are dually responsible for mangling the written word often beyond comprehension, and frequently with unintentional hilarious results.
And not one of us has escaped their fiendish clutches, especially in SL. Even the most assiduous typist – and I know a few – has found themselves unintentionally spewing forth nonsense, suffered from irritable vowel syndrome and constipated consonants, and made a complete hash of even the simplest sentence. I’ve seen people misspell OK, BRB and LOL – which surely sets the bar at a record low for the English language – when you can’t even spell txtspk correctly, there’s little hope for communication as a whole.
However, if it wasn’t for typos, I don’t think inworld conversations would be half as much fun as they are – like the time a friend proclaimed to the room that he was the Count of Monte Christo… realising just a moment too late that his Count had become something rather less polite! It’s surprising just how damaging the loss or transposition of a single letter can be, changing the whole meaning, context and thrust of the conversation: ‘fishing’ becomes ‘fisting’, ‘shirt’ becomes something far less savoury, and ‘licks windows’ becomes ‘licks widows’, (just don’t ask about that one!).
Who would have thought, back in the days of proper typesetting and before the proliferation of personal communications technology, that such a humble error could become the bane of our lives? Or, put another way, an endless source of fun and frivolity?
Either way, we’re stuck with it!
Speak my language
The Cure – Speak My Language