Marc’s GChat Status Expanded

January 4th For the Win/For the Loss

The first FTW/FTL of 2011!

For the Win! ūüėÄ

Dear Blank, Please Blank: I don’t recall who shared this website with me. If it was you let me know and I will edit with a h/t. Dear Blank Please Blank is similar in layout to FML, TFM, TFLN, and all the rest. I particularly like this site though because there is only so much fail I can take in one day. Dear Blank Please Blank has users submit entries using the format of a letter.¬†Some of my favorites:

Dear backwards baseball caps,
Thank you for allowing us to spot douchebags from afar.
Sincerely, college girls
Dear Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry,
Please send me my letter already. I’m tired of the Muggle world.
Sincerely, the kid who still believes in magic
Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn’t leaving till 5.
Sincerely, Unicorns

Forever Remix: I have no idea what unemployed people did when they got bored/realized they had blisters from writing cover letters/untucked from the fetal position before YouTube came around. In the midst of searching YouTube rappers remixing songs, I came across this rather incredible cover of Forever by four of the more popular YouTube rappers (I think). The song features Traphik, Dyme-a-Duzin, Dumbfoundead, Prince EA, and DPryde. Follow the link to take a look.

Winning Fantasy Football: I won my remaining fantasy football league this past weekend. I’ll spare you the gory details. I won my first four games, then lost six of nine, then got hot in the playoffs. Basically I am the 2008 Arizona Cardinals, except I won it all.

My Buddy Nick Defying the Odds: Congrats also go out to my buddy Nick, who has never played fantasy sports before. He won another league I was in using the team name, “What Am I Doing?” Way to go Nick.

New Hyperbole and a Half Post: If you aren’t reading hyperbole and a half, you need to. Head over to her blog to read about the year Kenny Loggins ruined her Christmas.

For the Loss!? ūüė¶

My Party Hosting Skills: If you attended my New Years party, and were ringing in the new year in my living room after I passed out at 12:45 or 1:00AM, I apologize. Blame the champagne flip cup and Four Loko assassinations.

The Next Great Baker: On Sunday I had the misfortune of catching TLC’s The Next Great Baker. The show features Cake Boss Buddy Valestro putting 10 bakers through a Top-Chef like series of challenges to see which will gain the “honor” of joining his bakery. The show is terrible. Buddy Valestro has to be one of the least likable reality show hosts in history. The show is ripe with twists that are only loosely linked to the challenges they are a part of (one of the episodes I caught had Buddy surprising the BAKERS with the task of cooking an authentic italian dinner for 100 people). The judges table segments are devoid of any suspense to the degree that Buddy compensates by taking on a persona that can best be described as “Gordon Ramsey and Tom Colicchio’s love child.”

The biggest issue;  these bakers are not the best in their trade (like the ones you see on all of those Food Network Challenge shows). When they have seven hours to complete a cake that would normally take them two days, the end product ends up looking like crap. The time constraints dramatically impact the quality of the work produced. Who wants to watch a bunch of amateur bakers produce cakes that look like crap? Do yourself a favor and stay away from this show.

Lots of birds dying: I’m not sure if you’ve heard yet, but a few thousand black birds fell from the sky on New Years Eve. Then, 500 birds died in Louisiana, and 100,000 fish in Arkansas again, and another huge fish kill in Maryland. It’s not so much the birds and fish dying that has me putting this in the “for the loss” column. It’s more the “this is further proof that we are living in the end times and the world will come to an end in 2012 as predicted” feeling I get when I see things like this happen.

I immediately regret this decision: Buyers remorse begins next week as House Republicans have scheduled a health care repeal vote for January 12. Democrats in the Senate have pledged to block any repeal of the bill, so this vote will be more about creating a spectacle than about actually effecting any kind of real progress. I imagine that this will be the case more often than not with the Republican controlled Congress.

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January 4, 2011 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment

These Abbreviations Should Be Retired…Now

Like 98% of DC (no seriously, I’m pretty sure Police/Fire/EMT employees were the only people working in DC from December 5th through yesterday) I took a brief hiatus from blogging for the holidays. Christmas was great. Went to visit the girlfriend’s family. Spent some quality time in upstate New York. Managed to avoid the northeastern snowpocalypse. Laughed at DC weather men/women¬†apologizing for costing the city millions because of incorrect weather models. Held a New Years Party. Conked out at 12:45 or 1:00 like a good host. Died on January 1st. Revived myself with a great brunch on January 2nd. Now, I am here.

OK!

Abbreviations can be broken down into three categories.

Practical Abbreviations: These abbreviations actually accomplish the goal of shortening a word that needs to be shortened. Examples include “cell” for “cellular” (side note: people over the age of 65 have refused to get on the “cell” bandwagon. Your grandmother will insist that you “call her cellular phone if you need her” more often than not) and “decaf” for “decaffeinated” (side note: I don’t think Starbucks would have gotten off the ground if not for this abbreviation). On a larger scale, we’re talking federal agencies (FBI), sports statistics (ERA), salutations (Mr, Dr.).

Internet Boom Abbreviations: These are abbreviations that grew from the boom in online dialogue. Phrases like, “lol” and “brb” and “omg.” As the internet grew, some of these abbreviations jumped off the computer screen and became commonly spoken abbreviations as well. Unfortunately over the past five years or so, 12-year old gamers, the Brits, and 35-year old internet trolls have murdered internet shorthand to the degree that future civilizations would not be able to decipher it.

Pop-culture abbreviations: Words or phrases that one would never think to abbreviate, until hearing said abbrev on a TV show, movie, spoken by your favorite celebrity. Some examples include “GTL” for “gym, tan, laundry” (made popular by the iconic Jersey Shore cast), “MILF” for “Mother I’d Like to Fuck” (made popular by American Pie, and an incredibly popular pornographic website that I’m pretty sure would get me banned from WordPress if linked to),¬†FML for “Fuck My Life” (made popular by the website with the same name), and “totes magotes” for “totally magotes” (made popular by the film I Love You Man).

I can get behind almost all abbreviations in these three categories. However, there is an emerging fourth category of abbreviations that really need to be stopped.

I call these, “anti-abbreviations.”

Consider the definition of abbreviation:

a shortened or contracted form of a word or phrase, used to represent the whole,

The “anti-abbreviation” bastardizes this definition in one of the following ways:

1) The abbreviation is longer than the original word, or takes longer to say than the original word

Sometimes they have more syllables (ie: GSW¬†for “gun shot wound,” h/t to my friend Keith). Sometimes, the amount of time it takes you to spit the abbreviation out is longer than the original.

For instance, the abbreviation of “cray cray” for “crazy.”

Try saying “cray cray” out loud.

Now say, “crazy crazy.”

Now, lets ignore the fact that using “cray cray” makes you sound at best like a toddler trying to learn how to speak and at worst a teenager tweeting death threats to Selena Gomez, when you said the two forms of crazy, tell me if you saved yourself anytime at all in using that abbreviation? I know I didn’t. So why does it exist? “Being cute” is not an adequate reason to abbreviate a word.

2) Completely and entirely unnecessary due to the length of the actual word

What is it about the two-syllable word, “crazy” that makes abbreviating it with a two-syllable abbreviation more convenient?

Anyone?……Bueller?

Nothing? Yes, that is correct. The answer is nothing. Another example of a word that often gets abbreviated is the word, “very.” Wanna know what it gets abbreviated to?

“v”

V?!

“Very” is so difficult to say and¬†write¬†that reducing it to the letter “v,” thus making it completely indistinguishable from a random keystroke or vocal twitch, is easier than writing it out or saying it aloud? V nice, v frustrated, v turned on. All uses of the word that I’ve seen before. All examples of times where it took me longer to figure out why they wrote or said “v” than it would have to process the common phrases of “very nice” “very frustrated” and “very turned on.”

You know what, fine. From now on, the following common words are going to be abbreviated by the first letter of the word; apple, bus, cat, dog, every, fine, good/great, hello, ignore, juice, knife, long, man, not, over, put/place, quit, really, short, time, under, very, wear, x……moving on, your, zebra.

So, next t y head to the store, I need y to pick up some uw and a l k, also the c and d need food.

Yup. This trend is making life easier for all of us.

3) Impossible to understand unless written in the right context

Coincidently, “v” for “very” also fits this category. The sports world has been doing this with sports injuries for quite some time. When sports announcers realized the .3 seconds (no really, it is .3 seconds, I timed it) it takes to say the word “injury” could be used to fawn over Brett Favre, they decided to just stop saying the word altogether. Now we get, “Wade is going to miss the rest of the game with an ankle,” or “Greg Oden is out for the season with the 7th knee of his career.”

It drives me crazy. Say the word injury! In any other context, not saying the word “injury” is a terrible abbreviation. If doctors didn’t say injury, patients would probably die.

Another annoying one, “perf” for “perfect.” Perfect does not need to be abbreviated. “Perf” could just as easily mean “prefer.” It is just way too difficult to understand unless it is put in the PERFECT context.

Another one, “ano.”

Wanna know what “ano” is an abbreviation of?

“Anorexic.” Yup, write ten sentences with anorexic abbreviated to “ano” and I’d probably correctly figure out what you were trying to say in three of them.

So, people of the world. I plead with you for common sense. This is not personal. There are abbreviations that I think are ridiculous that I left off this list because I can see their appeal to some people. Things like, “obvio” for “obviously” and “margs” for “margaritas”. HOWEVER, we all need to join together to prevent abbreviations from the aforementioned categories from becoming commonplace.

January 4, 2011 Posted by | Nonsense | | 7 Comments