… and not just in the way you might think:
That’s right, I went there. †
This time it’s not just the military’s fault, as many things titled that often are. Although they are involved. Back in 1945, an American scientist named Vannevar Bush (no relation the other Bush) created a way to link microfiche films together. After years of intensive extrapolation, his work yielded two progenies: one military, and one civilian. Ironically, the civilian project was spearheaded by a Brit at a little place in the Swiss hills called CERN. Unfortunately, heir project was called “World Wide Web,” and although it seemed innocuous enough at the time, the United States came along in about 1992 and well, “jacked their ass like a looter in a riot,” which is to say, they set up a web server at Stanford University.
At this point, the only top-level domains available were the nation-wide (.uk, .fr, .ch, et al.) domains, and .edu, until we privately annexed .com (commercial), .net (network), .org (organization, commonly non-profit), .mil (Who needs a fucking top-level domain for their military? We do, so piss off), and .gov (because apparently just using “.us” was too much to ask). Over a course of about 4 years, they went about commercially deploying and distributing this new “world wide web” technology at a merciless pace over a network of private computers. Other countries soon followed suit, but let’s look at it like this: we’re definitely the only country with on the list of top 10 GDP/capita with more than 16.4 million people.
There are only 301,000 Icelanders, but because of geothermal power,
each one of them can party down on your ass all night long.‡
Adam, get to the point already, you say? Faithful reader, my point is this: The American Internet is has supersaturated the solution. Although we make up only 4.5% of the world’s population, we control 35 of the internet’s 50 most visited sites. It’s safe to say we do most of the visiting, too. As a result, we’re becoming more and more comfortable with interjecting what can be called, “internet shorthand” into our daily lives. When this carryover occurs over a period of time, it winds up in scary, important places, like the dictionaries and regional vernaculars – and that’s scary shit!
As what can be seen as the monopolistic purveyors of these newest types of media, we are the torch-bearers for the closest thing there can be to a world-wide language. Because of this, we have an obligation to the rest of the world not to go and fuck it up. Sure, I’m fine with languages melding together. That’s where all languages come from. What I mean is that if I’m alive to see reputable news sources world-wide “ROFLing,” or “your” becoming a Webster’s-sanctioned replacement for “you’re,” I’m going to do something dramatic, along the lines of eating someone’s pet dog.
In closing, I’d only like to add one thing: it’s not that hard to misplace a semicolon here or there. I’m not talking about that – punctuation is confusing as shit. And I don’t care who does and doesn’t know what a gerund is. I’ve never once needed that tidbit of information, despite years of competing on the bar trivia circuit. What I’m talking about, is letting what we’ve got going on continue at it’s kudzu-esque pace. Also, maybe a constitutional amendment. What, couldn’t hurt, right? Then maybe my grandkids won’t need an English-to-Lolspeak dictionary in order to read it. Is that too much to ask?
†: I’ve never actually been “there.” ††
††: “there” is Tehran.
‡: The sun doesn’t even come up in December. Bitch.