I think we, as a society, need to revive the art of letter writing. It seems to me that most of our written interactions reflect the only manuscripts we composed, school notes.
For example, the classic junior high, prepubescent note:
“HEY! What’s ↑? How R U? Fine here. Do you like Sam? Circle YES or NO.”
It has turned into our every day dialectic but with a new technological slant. “LOL. BFF? WTF? ROLF.”
The aftermath is our inability to express ourselves without slang shorthand and abbreviations. I was noticing this while searching for a friend on myspace. Profile headlines are an opportunity to greet your viewers and friends. From what I can see, there are four types of headlines.
First, people who try to use profound sayings by quoting famous authors or bestow their “wisdom”. However, I think they fail to remember that their audience is usually their friends who already know that the user is neither enlightened or profound. If they are not their friend and just searching on myspace, I highly doubt that they are concerned with the poetic logic of the world’s great thinkers or contemplating their astuteness. Those people are not wasting their time on myspace but are off studying academia and curing cancer. There are millions of examples, but I’ve chosen three. Christine, 22, “LOVe NEVEr FAiLs.” Hillary, 17, “Before you speak, Listen. Before you write, Think. Before you pray, Forgive. Before you quit, Try.” Amy, 21, “When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. (Jimi Hendrix).”
Type number 2 is my favorite, White Trash headlines. This includes headlines that are specific to a person, such as an ex-boyfriend, but do not directly say so. It’s a bonus if they end with the phrase “You know who you are,” which is equating to stretching their pale, scrawny from their meth habit muscles because their target cannot remove the headline. Some examples: From one of the 28978 people with a display name of Princess, 14, “WHEN U THINK OF LOVE U GET SAD BECAUSE U HAVE KNOW ONE TO GO OUT WITH”. Or Dee, 24, “YOU’VE SEEN MINE.. SO LET ME SEE YOURS”. Crystal, 17, “10.17.06 ♥; you`re where i want to be.” Finally, my favorite, Heather, 21, “I Love My Babe Matt So Much In The Whole Wide World! =)”
The third type is movie and song quotes. Again these are often posted to make the user’s page seem complex and deep and other times it’s just to make their viewer laugh. At this moment, I’m using the quote “Shout! Shout! Let it all out!” as my headline (from the awesomely bad song, “Shout,” by Tears for Fears). More examples: Monica, 24, “Life’s a box of chocolates…. (Forrest Gump)” Jenn, 20, “It’s hard to stay mad when there’s so much beauty in the world. (American Beauty)”.
Finally, the fourth group is funny headlines derived from inside jokes. These are only humorous to those who are acquainted, mostly likely close companions, of the user. Obviously they do not appeal to strangers and probably are not meant to. Amy, 27, “I Hate Ketchup”. Lauri, 30, “This bag is all I have left of my dignity”. Rachel, 22, “i want a vagina…oh wait i have one”
I think we, as Americans, should be frightened by our lack of literary skill. We need to educate our students on these things before they graduate from high school. It seems like a valuable skill that one would need in order to get a job. Frequently in interviews, a person is asked, “What is your best asset?” I don’t think answering, “I’m HoT. ToO HoT fOr YoU,” will help. Also, on résumé, we really should greet our potential employer with a headline or career objective that states something besides, “hi, i’m rachel (ew i guess..) & i looove to smile ! =).” Of course, my blog isn’t exactly a Pulitzer Price material. In fact, I’m a complete and total hypocrite. But so are you, and you know who you are.
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