ReadLiterature.Com ~ TalkLiterature.Com

These are the archived discussions. To participate in active "Talk Literature" discussions go to the
homepage of ReadLiterature



Dave Barry, smilies and literature - Posted by Lale on 10/4/2002, 18:00:06


From Dave Barry - In Cyberspace


Chapter 10 - Using internet shorthand ~ How you can be just as original as everybody else:




Internet people love acronyms because they make communication much more efficient, as we can see from the following typical conversation:


Person A: What’s up?

Person B: Not much. <g>

Person A: LOL. HEFY? <g>

Person B: ROTFL.



This may look to you like a bunch of “gobbledygook,” but these people are actually having an extremely witty conversation, Internet style. To help you decode it, here’s a table of common internet acronyms:



“grin” ~ The <g> is widely used on the Internet to indicate that the writer meant the preceding statement to be humorous. Interestingly, the preceding statement is almost never even remotely humorous. Internet people apparently believe they can make their statements humorous by putting “<g>” after them.


Examples of typical usage:


I live in Akron. <g>

The French poet Jean Baptiste Racine was born in 1639. <g>





“Laughing Out Loud” ~ This indicates that the writer is laughing out loud. It is generally used in response to a statement that has a “<g>” after it.




Person A: We had some rain today. <g>

Person B: LOL





“Rolling On The Floor Laughing” ~ This is used in response to a statement even funnier than that is a merely LOL. There is just no end to the hilarity on the Internet.




Person A: We had some rain today, but it turned to sleet. <g>

Person B: ROTFL





“Hot Enough For You?” ~ This hilarious "zinger" always gets everbody ROTFL.





“Pardon Me For Jumping In” ~ This is often used in conjunction with another acronym IMHO, which stands for “In My Humble Opinion.” These courteous acronyms help keep the Internet civil and polite.




PMFJ, but IMHO, you suck.





O.J. Is Obviously Guilty, But Under Our Legal System We Must Respect The Jury’s Verdict, Although It Frankly Would Not Trouble Me In The Slightest If He Drove His Golf Cart Off A Cliff”




The other popular form of Internet shorthand is the emoticon. Emoticons are a very clever use of standard punctuation marks to express a human emotion. Here’s how they work.


Suppose you’re typing a statement such as:


I am feeling happy


The problem with this is, the reader cannot be absolutely, 100 percent sure what emotion you’re feeling when you type this. So at the end of the sentence, you type a colon (:) followed by a closing paranthesis ()). Now your sentence looks like this:


I am feeling happy :)


See the difference? Instead of just a flat, emotionless statement, you now have a flat, emotionless statement with a weird punctuation mark at the end.




Without emoticon:


Over 7,000 men died at Gettysburg.


With emoticon:


Over 7,00 men died at Gettysburg :(




Of course emoticons have been around for hundreds of years, as we see from these actual reproductions from original manuscripts:


Call me Ishmael :)


Alas poor Yorick, I knew him well :(


It was the best of times :) It was the worst of times :(




Posted by Tony on 11/4/2002, 17:11:38, in reply to "Dave Barry, smilies and literature"


That stuff is good in the hands of dave barry especially. I will have to reread that wonderful book that I havent looked at in years. LOLRFOF

BTW Dave Barry lives here in Miami and he comes to some of the local literary events, even for small time fledgling literary writers without much fame. He very nice, modest, and unassuming. You would think he is a guy who works at a hardware store and not a famous, prize-winning, rich writer who even had a tv show modeled after him. He is also an excellent rock guitar player.




Posted by len on 11/4/2002, 18:42:42, in reply to "Re: Dave Barry, smilies and literature"


Tony notes, re Dave Barry:


>He is also an excellent rock guitar player.


I read his column every week, and I always enjoy that he manages to get an "and that would be a great name for a rock band" jibe into almost every one.


I always wanted to name a band Titanium Patella. Or Tray Sheik.






Posted by Lale on 12/4/2002, 0:27:22, in reply to "Re: Dave Barry, smilies and literature"


: to get an "and

: that would be a great

: name for a rock

: band" jibe into

: almost every one.


Since age 10, I have been finding great band names in biology classes (The Amoebas), in newspaper headlines, in university (The Counter Electromotive Force), in email messages (a recent one is "Little Green Felt Dots"), in books, everywhere. When I discovered Dave Barry, I also learned that he was doing this too. This was my thing. I was doing it. And now, my obsession, or hobby, or weirdness is no longer unique.




Here is an excerpt from Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs:


============ excerpt ============


It would not trouble me if the radio totally ceased playing ballad-style songs by Neil Diamond. I realize that many of you are huge Neil Diamond fans, so let me stress that, in matters of musical taste, everybody is entitled to an opinion, and yours is wrong. Consider the song "I Am, I Said," wherein Neil, with great emotion, sings:


I am, I said

To no one there

And no one heard at all

Not even the chair.


What kind of line is that? Is Neil telling us he's surprised that the chair didn't hear him? Maybe he expected the chair to say, "Whoa, I heard THAT." My guess is that Neil was really desperate to come up with something to rhyme with "there," and he had already rejected "So I ate a pear," "Like Smokey the Bear," and "There were nits in my hair."




It turns out that Neil Diamond has a great many serious fans out there, and virtually every one of them took the time to send me an extremely hostile, spittle-flecked letter. In a subsequent column, I combined the key elements of these letters into one all-purpose irate-Neil Diamond-fan letter, as follows:


Dear Pukenose:


Just who the hell do you think you are blah blah a great artist like Neil blah more than twenty gold records blah blah how many gold records do YOU have, you scumsucking wad of blah I personally have attended 1794 of Neil's concerts blah blah What about "Love on the Rocks," huh? What about "Cracklin' Rosie"? blah blah If you had ONE-TENTH of Neil's talent blah blah so I listened to "Heart Light" forty times in a row and the next day the cyst was GONE and the doctor said he had never seen such a rapid blah blah What about "Play Me"? What about "Song Sung Blah"? Cancel my subscription, if I have one.


========= end of excerpt =========


How does one write a letter to Dave Barry anyway? His email address is not on Miami Herald (web site). But he often includes portions of letters he receives in his columns and books. So some people must have managed to get through to him.






Posted by tony on 23/4/2002, 5:22:42, in reply to "Re: Dave Barry, smilies and literature"


PS Just saw Dave Barry Saturday night at a reading for a new book--a non literary thriller--written by the head of the writing program I was at. Characteristically as soon as the author thanked dave for coming he kind of blushed and left as soon as the opresentation was over. nice guy