Friday, June 30, 2006

Genetically engineering a viral meme--The Art of Flingering

So, while working on my midterm, I suddenly had the urge to create a pop-culture phenomenon. Not a fifteen-minutes of fame thing, but an "emoticon"-type revision of the way we communicate in popular internet forums, blogs and such.

You've, no doubt, heard of l33t speak which is a method of internet discourse wherein letters are replaced with numbers of approximate visual equivalence (along with a few other grammatical idiosyncracies). You've also, no doubt, heard of emoticons, the creation of human faces with paranthesis, periods, commas, hyphens, whatever, to display emotion in the otherwise cold forum of cyberspace.*

So, without further ado, I give you my creation (well, actually, there's still a little bit of prefatory ado to dispense with, but bear with me). As a frequenter of political blogs, where the discourse in the comments sections can plumb the depths of paranoia, insanity and full-throated rage, all in the space of one syllable, I have created a new language to better express the explosive, trembling rage which seems to seize people when they comment. I don't have a name for my language, but, tentatively, I'll call it "flingering." When you flinger, you simply flail your fingers about as you type in all caps. These, you create approximations of words, but with many extraneous letters. The effect is both comic and an indication of an ironically feigned rage.

A sample: say I want to write "How are you doing today?" It might come out something like this:


At first, it may take a while to get used to the proper method of finger flailing, flingering. Your message needs to flirt with unreadability, and yet remain solidly readable to a person willing to take the time and appreciate quality flingering.

Of course, I don't mean my creation to be reserved just for political settings. It can also be used by 13 year girls gossiping on messenger, or commenters on personal xanga sites, or facebook wall graffiti.



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