I’ll begin by mentioning that this title is misleading. This so-called rant concerns the people using it. Now, people go about saying 4chan is full of “cancer,” and it is, but so is the rest of the Web. I’m all for slang, lulz, and the like, but seriously, the users have taken things too far.
My first issue is this: “Anime” style emoticons. They’re not cute. They’re not edgy. They’re not funny. They’re not more expressive. They’re stupid, obnoxious, and more often than now, indecipherable. Try these ones on for size:
3. >_<# Now, according to an article I just read which comes complete with its own decryption key for these vile things, the first one expresses solemness, the second expresses perverted thoughts, and the third uses a pound sign as a modifier to add a "popping vein," expressing anger. Now, I can almost see how the letter u can express a downtrodden sort of emotion, since one may examine the letter u as a downturned eye. H for dirty thoughts, though? I certainly don't get a line through the center of my eye when I'm getting a little randy. The third one looks to me like someone talking in a phone while crossing their eyes. Of course, I understand some of the regular emoticons are hardly easy to follow, either, but those are far easier to ignore. Finally, here's a bonus Anime-style, which will lead me into my next point: =^_^= That is a cat. I have never known more people in my life who adore cats as I do now as a result of the Internet. I can understand loving animals. They're great. I have rats, myself, and I love them, but you never see me typing something like ">^..^<" to mimic a rat to people I'm communicating with. But it's not just emoticons, either. People constantly express felinity over Internet-based communications media. Phrases such as "right meow" have found their way into my chat logs literally thousands of times. I realize this particular line came from a movie, but other cat-related messages are just as common. I know a number of people who open a conversation by saying "mew" or "meow," or restart a conversation with the same. It certainly raises the question, "does this person want to be a cat? Well, if he or she does, that’s fine, but I don’t want to talk about it. One rarely sees a pre-op transsexual popping online and saying, “hey old buddy, just reminding you, I want to become a girl!” This is an exaggeration, I realize, but the point remains. Felinity on the Internet, or anywhere, really, is… well, it’s been done, and now it’s time to stop doing it.
One final thing: I really, really hate cats.