Minh’s Notes

Human-readable chicken scratch

Minh Nguyễn
July 26th, 2005


Old habits

Kenny Hofmiester, the only student to be known more by his epithet than by his last name, has this to say about the prevalence of Net lingo, such as the ever-popular “omg”:

This trash needs to be purged from the Internet.

I was dabbling in the intricacies of the Internet before most people had ever seen that yellow Running Man on their desktops. In fact, by the time my friends had all started chatting on AIM, I had mastered typing and developed a strong habit of punctuating my sentences religiously. It annoyed my friends.

Maybe you’ve noticed the high typographical standards at my blog, and the pains I take to make a lengthy point. I certainly sympathize with Kenny’s sentiment – there’s gotta be something more to life than meaningless, misspelled drivel. (I never subscribed to the idea of the blog as a type of diary, anyhow.) But every now and then, I find some gems like this or this. This kind of post is meaningful and well-written, even if it’s not properly punctuated and capitalized.

These posts give me hope that we know what we’re doing. The Internet has given us this medium, and we are growing up around it. A great artist will start drawing simple, trivial things: boats, rollercoasters, stick figures. A great writer might start out with trivial stuff too, but they’ll come around.

The Internet works because it includes everyone. If we go around calling for the elimination of those not worthy to write – Wikipedians call this philosophy “deletionism” – how can we expect the Internet to thrive as a free exchange of ideas and experiences?

Just to start a contagious meme, how about a way to classify all the bloggers at Planet Xavier, adapted from “The Analytical Language of John Wilkins”:

  1. Those belonging to the Emperor
  2. Embalmed
  3. Trained
  4. Pigs
  5. Sirens
  6. Fabulous
  7. Stray dogs
  8. Those that are included in this classification
  9. Those that tremble as if they were mad
  10. Those that cannot be numbered
  11. Those drawn with a very fine camelhair brush
  12. Et cetera
  13. Those that have just broken a flower vase
  14. Those that resemble flies from a distance

Which one are you?