Friday, August 28, 2009

Weekend Assignment # 282: I CAN HAZ LOLCATS?

Last week I showed two offline friends my "I CAN HAZ HEALTHCARE" poster, and ended up having to explain about LOLcats and what "can haz" means. That little cultural divide inspires this week's Weekend Assignment:

Weekend Assignment: #281: Create a LOLcat (or a LOLdog, or a LOLpig, a LOLhorse or whatever). If you can do it with your own pet photo, great (I'm looking at YOU, Sara and Sarah), but alternatively you can just describe what it would look like. Don't forget the humorous caption! Here's a "lolbuilder" to help you out.
Extra Credit: Do you like "lolspeak" and other Internet slang, or mostly find it annoying?

[Update #1: I have been taken to task for not explaining about lolcats and the language thereof, for those of you who may not have made it to those areas of "teh interwebs." Here's a quick glossary:

  • LOLcats - funny pictures of cats doing cute things, posted online, usually captioned in a peculiar form of internet slang known as "lolspeak," a humorous mangling of English inspired by the accidental wackiness of "Engrish." From LOL = laughing out loud + cats. The motherlode of such things is on the website I Can Has Cheezburger? Of particular interest are Ceiling Cat (a cat peeking down from ceiling tiles, with spinoff pics and a mock-religious following), Helmet Cat (a cat wearing a helmet made of melon rind, or possibly a hollowed out lime) and Bacon Cat (John Scalzi's cat, Ghlaghghee, with bacon taped to her side). Unsurprisingly, I prefer LOLdogs myself
  • I CAN HAZ (or I Can Has) = May I have (a)....
  • OH HAI - Oh, hi! (as in being nonchalant after being caught in the act)
  • MAI = my
  • UR = your. Most often found in the construction "I'M IN UR ____, _____ING UR _____." An example would be a cat looking at a Webster's, captioned, "I'M IN UR DICKSHUNARY, SPEELIN UR WERDZ."
  • KTHXBAI (and variants) = okay, thanks, bye!
  • KITTEHS = kittens or cats
  • TEH = the
For more, check out the various internet slang dictionaries, decoders and guides as well as lolcat websites. You can also get your very own lolname at (Mine is apparently "Kernel Snookums," which doesn't suit me at all.) There is even a project to translate the entire Bible into lolspeak. This begins,

Genesis 1: Boreded Ceiling Cat makinkgz Urf n stuffs

1 Oh hai. In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat maded teh skiez An da Urfs, but he did not eated dem.

2 Da Urfs no had shapez An haded dark face, An Ceiling Cat rode invisible bike over teh waterz.

There is much more to this subject, but that's enough to give the uninitiated a taste of what we're discussing and replicating here.]

[Update #2: for those of you with no easy way to come up with pictures of your own to caption, here are three of mine you can use in your entry. Click on a picture to get to my relevant Picasa gallery, where you can find more pictures to use. Please add "Photo by KFB. Some rights reserved." to any photo of mine you post on your own blog, k? Thx bye!

Photo by KFB. Some rights reserved.
From the Picasa album Hermitage No-Kill Shelter

Photo by KFB. Some rights reserved.
From the Picasa album Hermitage No-Kill Shelter

Photo by KFB. Some rights reserved.
From the Picasa album Trouble Dogs

end of Update #2]

My own answer is also my response to Carly's Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot for this week, which calls for pictures of laundry. My photos are technically rather crummy this time out, but they'll do:

I'm strongly ambivalent about Netspeak in general, and the spelling and grammar of lolcats in particular. There are enough assaults on correct written English as it is, with the online and offline worlds both rife with sloppy punctuation, and a generation (at least) more comfortable with the abbreviations of texting and Twitter than the actual words from which they spring. My allegiance is with real English, as taught in school and promulgated in books - well, most books. When I try to use the lolcat patois, I find it difficult to make myself misspell a word, even for humorous effect. Yet at the same time, I'm fascinated by the very existence of this odd dialect. Why "can haz?" Why "hai" instead of hi? What are teh rulz of the language of kittehs? Is there somewhere I can take a course in it? (Answer: iz here.) If I did, would I do better in it that I did in my French lit course? I doubt it! So I guess I'll struggle along with my hybridized English and lolspeak as needed.

How about you? If you have a camera, catch your pet (or in a pinch, your human) doing something interesting, photograph it, and add a funny caption - spelling optional. Post the result in your blog, along with your comments about Internet slang, and please, please include a link back to this entry. I'll be back next Friday with a roundup of your responses. Like this!

For Weekend Assignment #281: Writers or Actors?, I asked whether you pay more attention to actors or the behind-the-camera talent (writers, producers and directors) when deciding whether to watch a film of tv show. We had a good turnout this week, so let's get right to the excerpts from your responses:

New participant (and veteran Leaper) Jo said in comments...

Hi Karen,
Scott Bakula is definitely my favorite actor as well as one of the nicest people I know so yes, I'll watch almost anything he's in. Even saw Lord of Illusions although I hated that one. Not my cup of tea. But some movies I'll watch because I've read the book. The Time Traveler's Wife was one of those and so are the Harry Potter movies. I'll usually go to a Pixar or Disney movie because they do quality stuff - UP was one of those - although Monsters vs Aliens stunk.

Guess I have to say except for Scott, it's the subject matter that draws me into a movie, not the actor. TV - it's the writing definitely. That's first. If it's not well written, I don't stick around to see how good the actors are - usually.

Duane said...

Aren't they both important? Doesn't one group complement the other? I'd lean toward the writers, producers and directors, but my set of favorites would be small. The actors would influence my decision, but the material, the kind of movie or show it is would influence me the most. I'd rather see Kevin Costner in Dances with Wolves than The Bodyguard.

Florinda said...

Given that answer to the extra-credit question, it seems like my answer to the first question would be the "behind the scenes" people...and if I think about it a little more, that's probably right. Since I spend most of my non-watching time reading, it makes sense that I would have an affinity for the people who create the premises, develop the settings and themes, and put the words in the characters' mouths. The actors bring those characters and words to life, and when the part is cast just right - when you truly can't imagine someone else in the role - they're integral to the project. But without the writers, producers, and directors - who sometimes overlap in two or even three of those roles - there would be no project in the first place.

New participant Amy (welcome, Amy!) said...

The truth is, the writers, producers, and/or directors probably have the most consistent impact. While I am definitely attached to certain actors and actresses, when I hear a certain creative mind is behind a project I am automatically curious. This is especially true for television. For me, the name Joss Whedon inspires ridiculous loyalty. J.J. Abrams, Rob Thomas, Eric Kripke, Howard Gordon, David Fury, Jane Espenson, Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse, Tim Minear, Bryan Fuller....all those names will make me take notice.

Mike said...

I am leaning towards the writers and directors. As Karen says, they bring the idea to the show or movie. They create the world, the characters and most everything about a movie. Without them you would have people walking around and making stuff up the whole time. It would be the world's worst improv session.

That's it for tonight! Many thanks to Jo, Florinda, Amy and Mike for their help this week. If you're reading this (and you are), I hope you'll follow their example, and jump in with your own Weekend Assignment entry. Here are the guidelines if you'd like to participate:

  1. Please post your entry no later than Friday, September 4th at 6 PM. (You can also post your response in the comments thread, but a blog entry is better. )
  2. Please mention the Weekend Assignment in your blog post, and include a link back to this entry.
  3. Please come back here after you've posted, and leave a link to your entry in the comments below.
  4. Visiting other participants' entries is strongly encouraged!
  5. I'm always looking for topic ideas. Please email me at mavarin2 on if there's a Weekend Assignment theme you'd like to see. If I use your idea, you will be credited as that week's "guest professor."

That's it! Simple, huh? I look forward to seeing your lolpix!



Carly said...

Hey Karen

Awww... how cute are they? I just love the pups!

barrettmanor said...

Drop me a line, please?

Florinda said...

OK, just for you, I have ventured to the land of LOLdogs.

Suzanne R said...

Perfect laundry shots with the pups, and I just have to LOL at them. Very cute!

barrettmanor said...

I has lolcat!

Mike said...

Can I get an extension until Friday late morning. I didn't have time before work today.


Mike said...

Can I get an extension until Friday late morning. I didn't have time before work today.


Mike said...

OK, I'm in. Thanks!