I first came across this kind of spelling on Yahoo! Answers (peace be upon them), and thought I was reading the output of an educationally challenged Kindergarten kid.
However, close examination of the avatars of the perpetrators revealed that there was a conspiracy to pervert proper English usage and spelling that had been going on behind my back for who knew how long.
Once I had cracked the two keywords (“Teh” and “Cheezburgers”) I had that flash of insight that comes every once in a while. I noticed that there were a higher than normal number of “Kittehs” posting answers, and the avatars’ pictures frequently featured feline characters doing madly random stuff.
Then, a breakthrough: as a family we have three cats of our own, all variously handicapped with different personality problems and lack of intellect, and the most cerebrally challenged of these is Ninja (a black cat with a white moustache who has a robust attitude to personal space and property taboos).
At feeding time about a month ago, both of the other cats turned up as usual, but Ninja (full pedigree name “Dragon-Fisting Ninja Wrath of Buddha”) was nowhere to be seen. I called upstairs to my youngest son (17, and an addict hooked on World of Warcrack) to ask if he had seen Ninja.
“He’s on my bed, ruining up my shit.”
“Meh” said my daughter, and at that point I was initiated into the esoteric world of the Lolcatz and given the secret URL: http://icanhascheezburger.com
Now, the point I am making here is that I managed to surf the internet for over a year without once coming across this phenomenon. Does this make me a noob, dweeb or just someone’s Dad?
Of course, now I know about this phenomenon, “it’s completely, like, last year” according to my kids (sorry, kidz), so I have decided to try to start a viral internet phenomenon of my own. And to steal it from my daughter, as she seems to have invented the core philosophy independently.
I propose that all conversations that take place in any internet forum should now conform to the following set of guidelines.
Question: “Who (what/when etc) did/does/are whatever?”
Here are a few scenarios for illustrative purposes
Q: “How old are you?”
Q: “Spiritually speaking, should I wish bad stuff to happen to my enemies?”
Q: “Will this PSU be beefy enough to power my mega-bicep jet-powered quad-SLi gaming rig?
As you can see, not only does this approach strike a deep chord with today’s disaffected internet generation, but it works for ANY question. Which of us has previously been aware of the multiple shades of meaning encompassed by those three little letters?
In the examples above we have three similar but quite specific usages: the first example shows “meh” being used to say “None of your business!” succinctly and inoffensively. The second is a little more profound: here it means “Not only do I not care, but I don’t care in such an extreme way that I could not be bothered to read your question further than ‘Spiritually speaking…’”.
The third example is a little more deep than meets the eye: It could be taken to mean “I really don’t care” (or, more picturesquely, “I couldn’t give a flying f***), but look deeper. Can you not discern, after a few more moments thought that there is also the connotation “If you are capable of both affording and building such a pointlessly over-specced rig, why don’t you simply work it out for yourself or, to be brutally frank, just buy the most expensive one you can find with the biggest numbers before the word “Watts””?
See yah next week? Meh.