Author and NYU professor Katie Roiphe has a fascinating culture essay in Sunday’s New York Times, in which she jumps headfirst into the messy lives of teenagers, specifically the way they write online. “The Language of Facebook” is hinged on the work of young-adult authors Lauren Mechling and Laura Moser, whose serialized novel My Darklyng has run on Slate throughout the summer. Their innovation, though, includes the story outside of the story, taking place on Facebook and Twitter on fictionalized accounts representing Darklyng’s characters. Roiphe uses their work as a springboard to analyze the parlance of the medium, showing Times readers just how kids today interact with typed words. But Roiphe, as a professor of journalism herself, must have been responsible for about 13 aneurysms around the Times office, with copy editors getting the worst of it:
On the serialized novel, and of its authors, Roiphe writes: “What’s fascinating is that Natalie’s page may seem fake and stilted and artificial, but only in the way all teenagers’ Facebook pages seem fake and stilted and artificial.”
And then she provides examples. Many, many examples, none of which — rest assured — have ever seen ink in the Grey Lady before, or likely will ever again. Here’s the list of new words and phrases that, we imagine, won’t be getting added to the style guide anytime soon:
- just had the longest day EVERRRRRR
- I died it was so awkward!!!!!!!
- Robert in twilight is so ahhhhhhhhhhhhh
- You look soooooooooooooo cute!!!!!!!
- I miss youuuu hahaha
- that would be satirrrrrrrrrre
- missssssssss you girlieeeee!!!!!
- I cantttttt believe you are going awayyyyyyyyyy
We get it, we get it.
That said, Roiphe’s whole essay is well worth a read. LOL.