HE SAID: Words with Friends

May 27, 2011

There are 3 facts that I know about myself: 1. I am a nerd…I like to think of myself as one of those, “cool nerds,” but even that probably isn’t true. 2. I am in love with my iPhone4. 3. In direct relation to fact #2, I am, quite literally, obsessed with the ‘Words with Friends’ application. At this time, I have approximately 12 games going…and yes, all those games are with actual friends, not with strangers. I’m not that desperate. It might even interest you to know that I am 1-0 all time against “She Said.” In fact, she was forced to resign because she didn’t play a single move after I started a game. I don’t want to say that’s typical of her, but it’s typical of her.

The beauty of having so many games going at once is pretty much at any given time, I have a move to make. This means that I can now cancel all the magazine subscriptions I have (ESPN, SI, & Entertainment Weekly for those wondering), not to mention stop risking my laptop further damage. Why? You might ask. Because I can bring my iPhone with me into the pooper and make a move. And if it so happens that it is a rare occurrence where I have no moves to make, I’ll play some Angry Birds. Of course, the former might be exposing myself to some future preparation H use, but eff it. The games are that fun.

Not that Words with Friends is perfect, mind you. As always, I do have some issues. First and foremost, they need to figure out how to eliminate trial and error from the game. I mean for effs sake, I threw down S-E-X-T-O-N with ‘x’ on a triple letter and the word on a double word for  a substantial amount of points. Turns out the word refers to a church official in charge of ringing the bell. You think if we were playing Scrabble and someone challenged me I would’ve been confident that it was an actual word? Hell no. I only played it because I just went to a Martin Sexton concert last month.

Along those same lines, and this is not the responsibility, but cheating simply should be punishable by banishment of the application. There are some people I play who play multiple words in a row that reek of cheating. There is trial and error (lame), and there is using words that Charles Rudolph Quirk (can you believe there is a Wiki page for ‘famous linguists’?) has never heard of (wrong). I feel like I should be able to point this out to the developers of Words with Friends, and on a case by case basis they can decide to delete the app from the wrong-doers phone and not allow it to be downloaded again. Too harsh?


SHE SAID: Case of the Mondays

October 6, 2010

I have a case of the Mondays on Wednesday, so it seemed more appropriate to post today.

For starters, here is an interesting grid from xkcd.


Here are some fabulous paper cut outs by Bovey Lee.  Since I cannot even do the traditional boy and girl holding hands, I’m in awe.


While in college at Duke University, this industrious student kept reports of all of her hookups.  Some of the highlights are listed here.  While she created a power point presentation for friends, she claims to never have intended the report to go viral or humiliate those named (too bad Deadspon included the names when it originally posted the list).

SHE SAID: Mainstreamedness

July 23, 2010

Samuel Johnson would have a field day with you.  On the one hand, yes language evolves and adapts, on the other, no.  You can’t throw a word and some suffixes together and celebrate your literary inventiveness.  Perhaps Jeremy has taken on a new occupation penning Sarah Palin’s speeches.

The main issue here isn’t whether or not a fan was a fan before the hype, but more whether or not the appreciation is genuine or not.  Because I have no issue with someone who genuinely appreciates something regardless of when they discovered their passion.

Passion is contagious and beautiful.  I love watching my friends enjoy something or do something they enjoy.  And it is our love of songs or movies or sports and our desire to share that love with those around us that leads to mainstream appreciation, which is what most who are producing something want.  I love my brother’s passion for the Red Sox, day in and day out.  I love my son’s obsession with Indiana Jones, even though the first movie’s came out when I was in grade school and Indy’s so mainstream that xBox and Lego are cashing in on his fame.  And I am not going to tell my boyfriend he can’t like the Kings of Leon because I introduced him to them once their third album was out.

I do, however, get annoyed by those who are fans only because it’s cool to do so.  The girl in high school who claimed a lifelong love of Led Zeppelin shortly after she realized her crush was a die-hard fan annoyed me.  The sports fan who only watches during the playoffs/finals/world series and won’t shut up about it makes me feel cheated.  The woman who buys not because she likes the item, but because she knows it’s “in” depresses me, as does her endless and ironically fruitless journey.  The friend who will only listen to small bands that have yet to go mainstream loses credibility because his appreciation is tainted.  And, making me listen to crappy new bands, each trying not sound like the band that influenced them, gets old quickly.

The real fan, the audience member who can enjoy as if he or she was the creator, the person ahead of the mainstream, on the cutting edge – is it all a quest to define ourselves as something beyond average?  Are we more special if we can truly enjoy or appreciate?  Better?  Cooler?  Smarter?

I think it would be fantastic if people didn’t feel the need to fake or build up passion.  Ultimately, however, I feel guilty judging and commenting on whether or not someone’s appreciation is genuine or not.  Do you have to feel like Bob Dylan is the eighth wonder of the world to be able to enjoy his music and message?  Do you need to have considered asking your girlfriend to marry you on the big screen at a Sox game in order to be considered a real fan?  Maybe Jeremy and my frustration over enjoyment and the genuineness of said enjoyment is only our juvenile refusal to share a favorite toy.

SHE SAID: Texting/Email Abbreviations

July 3, 2009

Jeremy is concerned about coming across as a “lazy, fat slob who does nothing but watch movies and 90210 repeats all day” and I probably come across as an uptight and dour over analyzer.  So, to continue in that vein, I’m going to go off on email and text abbreviations.


The reason I have an issue isn’t entirely because they are lame.  While I understand that point of view, I also understand why they are useful.  Yes, it is easier to type “k” instead of “okay”.  Especially if you’re driving while drinking a hot cup of coffee, turning up the volume on the radio and IM-ing on your phone, all of which some people find acutely necessary at times.  I have an issue with the younger generation (no, I am not 80 despite how that came out) abusing and relying too heavily on this electronic slang before understanding and correctly applying grammatical rules of language.

When I was in high school, this was in the mid-nineties (after pinch rolling jeans and scrunchies but before boot cut jeans and spaghetti strap tank tops), we didn’t have cell phones.  We didn’t have text/SMS messaging, instant messaging, we didn’t even have email addresses (exclude the occasional kid who had a compuserve email which consisted of seventeen million numbers@compuserve.com).  Shortening the language for quick communication wasn’t an issue, and people still couldn’t get it right.  A high school acquaintance started off a paper about the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the start of the WWI with “King Willy was like wow.”  King Willy being Wilhelm II.  We couldn’t get language right without proper study back before we had no excuse.  How can we expect proper sentence structure and language flow now?

Still not 80.

I will accept almost anything in a text message.  You write gr8, yes, I will chuckle and think it’s lame, but I don’t expect much.  Texting is the fast food of the written word.  I’m also pretty lenient on email.  Capitalization, run-ons, sentences ending in a preposition, misspellings, it’s okay.  But, gr8 in an email?  I’ll draw the line there.  And I made fun of a friend who wrote: “U r correct. How u been? Might be grabbing a burger. U ought to join if u r free.”

As far as words like pwn are concerned, while flirting with the slippery slope of abbreviation, they are ultimately different.  While suspect because the etymology is based on a possible typo, pwned and the like are different in that they are how language is developing and being effected by the world wide web and instant communication.  While I might not utilize it, I agree with Samuel Johnson that language cannot be contained and is constantly evolving.  I’m not fighting evolution, but I am daring to say no to bastardization.

Brb, lol, rotflmao, gr8, omg, tmi … WTF!  Are you really laughing out loud?  I am you.  Not u.  Is it that hard to give the y and the o equal attention?  Anyone who resorts to the abbreviations becomes a twelve year-old girl to me.  And while twelve year-old girls are wonderful, I don’t respect their command of the written word, nor do I think anyone over 12 should be taking tips from them on communication.  Because I don’t want to “be all” anything.  And I don’t want to start every conversation with “Oh my God” and end it with “TTYL”.

HE SAID: Texting/Email Abbreviations

July 3, 2009

Once again, Nifer, you are relatively spot on with your social commentary here.  I’m simply going to elaborate a bit on your thoughts.  Before that however, I’m going to rip on you for even knowing the term ‘pwn.’  I for one, had never heard of it.  I was forced to use AltaVista, er I mean google, to find out what it means.  According to most of the sites I found the general consensus seems to lead to this definition of pwn, “to own, in the sense of defeat, usually pertaining to online gaming.”  Wow, you are a huge geek. Do you lead a sercret online gaming life no one knows about?  Is the real reason you decided to be a freelance designer was so that you could sit at home and take over the World of Warcraft?  Seriously, how the fuck do you know the word ‘pwn?’ Please divulge!  All in jest, had to get that out there though. Haha.

It’s my last word that I really want to focus on, ‘haha.’  I could have very easily used the ‘lol’ thing in that spot, but instead of using a lame ass term like that, I used one extra letter to actually convey the fact that I was indeed, laughing.  That’s what kills me about most of these text abbreviations.  For the most part, there are always substitutes (in many cases actual real words) that aren’t nearly as lame.  Lol = haha. TY = thx (not quite as lame) = thanks (a whole effing 4 extra letters).  Y = yes.  FO = fuck off.

Now, like you, I do give some leeway when it comes to text messages, given that usually you have a limited amount of characters.  But lets face it, how often are you really in danger of coming close to that limit?  I thought for a minute I’d give leeway to younger kids too who like to chat online.  Mainly because they might not be quite as good at typing since they are younger, and use that whole “hunting and pecking” routine.  But you know what? Screw that.  Practice those longer words and sentences and you might get to know QWERTY a whole lot quicker.

There is a caveat for the difference between texts and emails now.  With the amount of people who own iphones and blackberrys, the line between a text and an email has become blurrier than my vision last week (before I embraced my dorkness and got a pair of spectacles).  When sending an email from one of these phones, is it really that much different than a text? Anyway, some food for thought on America’s Birthday weekend.  Wait, this last point about about iphones/blackberrys leads me to a final thought…perhaps more annoying than everything above is the signature, “sent from my verizon blackberry” or something along those lines.  I don’t really give a shit, and neither does anyone else.  I don’t have one personally, but it can’t be that difficult to change that signature.