Let me share to you one of my current favorite websites, one that never fails to make me laugh: icanhascheezburger.com. If you haven’t been to this website before, then you better get there fast to see what I mean. No wait, let me just give you an example so you’ll see why I like this website:
I’m a sucker for cat (and other cute animal) photos. One of the favorite emails I receive everyday is the Cute Overload email, where I can ogle at all the cuteness they send everyday. :) But seeing the captioned pictures in I Can Has Cheezburger (ICHC) just tickles my funny bone that sometimes my teammates give me weird looks for my sudden giggles when I’m browsing the site. I mean, who can resist this?
So in the spirit of sharing, I gave the URL to my teammates and lately, Mike (free plug!) and I were obssessed with learning this kind of talk. We thought it was l33t speak first, but we couldn’t find a list of l33t words, except for pwn, haxor, teh, lolz and lulz, plus the amazingly hard to understand 1337 7124/\/51473|) \/\/012|)5 (for those who didn’t understand, that seemingly unintelligible set of numbers and symbols mean leet translated words…if you understood that, well…er).
Then last weekend, I finally found out what we’re trying to learn. It’s not leet speak, it’s actually lolcat speak. Or speek, if you may allow me to write. :)
According to Wikipedia, lolcats are:
Lolcats are images combining photographs of a cat with a humorous and idiosyncratic caption, said to have its origins in the 4chan imageboards as the Caturday phenomenon. The name “lolcat” is a compound word formed from lol and cat. The phenomenon is also referred to as cat macros. Lolcats are created for photo sharing imageboards and other internet forums. Lolcats are similar to other anthropomorphic animal-based image macros such as the O RLY? owl, but the cuteness of cats “enhances” the appeal and increasing prominence of the Internet meme.
Apparently, Lolcat speak is how cute little critters like those two I posted above speak. Or maybe it’s how they make humans speak once they are seen. Which is true since I found myself speaking somewhat like that whenever I ogle at cute cute cute photos. :D
The programmer in me is just tickled with this. Look at the LOLCODE syntax:
CAN HAS STDIO?
VISIBLE "Hello world!"
This particular block of code displays the classic Hello world. But just look at the keywords! The opening of statement is HAI (meaning “Hi”), and the Can Has STDIO? statement calls the STDIO library. Visible prints, while (and this is my favorite part) KTHXBYE ends the entire block.
Can you imagine seeing a program coded like this? Okay, maybe not, but if you’re a programmer and you know about these Lolcats…well, how cute can this be? Look at this other example:
CAN HAS STDIO?
I HAS A VAR
IM IN YR LOOP
IZ VAR BIGGER THAN 10? KTHXBYE
IM OUTTA YR LOOP
This one is a block of code that displays the numbers 1 to 10 and then terminates. Can you just imagine how one codes this? Haha, I am thinking seeing furry cats making cute goo-goo eyed faces and doing all sorts of cutesy antics while this is being programmed. Can you see it?
And even if I feel like LOLCODE is just a big joke, people are actually developing it. Future developments of LOLCODE are as follows:
- LOLCODE needs to be approachable.
- LOLCODE needs to be fun, both to code in, and to read the code of (if it’s not fun, then the community is doing it wrong).
- LOLCODE should be a teaching language.
- LOLCODE should be clean and kid-safe.
They’re definitely doing great on the second bullet, but I can’t imagine how this could be a teaching language. :P Seriously. I think the whole class would be giggling if this were taught.
On another note, here’s my own version of Lolcat…only it’s not a cat. Taken during one of our many funny moments at work. But
rly really, we’re not always liek like dis this. :D