I am not certain that I understand lolspeak or its origin, though I think it must have started at some point with texting teens. (I do understand that LOL is "laughing out loud.") I am quite certain that I do not understand the online phenomenon of lolcats, but they seem to be everywhere. Now, however, there is a lolcats Bible, titled LOLcat Bible: In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat maded teh skiez an da Erfs n stuffs. You can find most of the lolcats Bible on the web also at the LOLcat Bible Translation Project. Here is a snippet of "translation" from the online lolcat Bible John 3:16-17:

"So liek teh Ceiling Kitteh lieks teh ppl lots and he sez 'Oh hai I givez u me only kitteh and ifs u beleeves him u wont evr diez no moar, kthxbai!'Cuz teh Ceiling Kitteh not snd hiz son 2 take all yur cookies, but so u cud maek moar cookies 4EVAR!"

I simply do not know what to make of this project, though I do think that naming God the "Ceiling Cat" is inspired...not inspired, inspired, but laugh out loud funny inspired. I think that Jesus is called the "Ceiling Kitteh."

Any thoughts? Can anyone shed more light on this project? I take it that the goal is humor, but can even more good than humor come from it? Or is this a sign of the degradation of our culture and the Bible? These questions come, I remind you, from the one who wants one only one translation of the Bible in English. But certainly lolspeak is not English, is it?

John W. Martens

Follow me on Twitter @johnwmartens

Comments

Marie Rehbein | 12/13/2010 - 4:22pm
IDK definitely means I don't know, but it might be irrelevant to ever try to say I didn't know.  Worrying about something to the degree that you would have to try to explain yourself by saying you didn't know something seems to have no place in this method of communication.  It seems to be all present and future directed.

What is pwn?

I think I find this as funny as you do, and I guess someone somewhere could be moved to check out the real thing based on encountering this lolcats Bible.  Probably our liking it, though, would make it unpopular.

I have to say that I text my kids without using abbreviations.  I like the word feature.  It makes me pretty fast on the keypad.  When my children see me texting, they are impressed by my speed, especially given that a lot of features on my phone are a complete mystery to me.  However, when I ask them to send a text on my behalf, I frequently have to have them translate it so that I know what I "sent".
Marie Rehbein | 12/13/2010 - 11:51am
I don't know what to make of it either.  When my daughter was ten and using my phone for her texting, I was moved to ask whether her friends had trouble in school given their apparent inability to spell or use appropriate grammar and whether she was acting dumb to fit in.  I think those who text a lot recognize that their communications contain typos and ungrammatical shortcuts in addition to code names so that people do not exactly know what is being said about them.  It is pretty funny.  Also, LOL means lots of love and lots of luck in addition to laugh out loud - context determines the meaning - just like translating the Bible.
Vanessa Landry | 12/18/2010 - 1:55pm
About the arguments of liberal vs. conservative... and this idea that the younger people might somehow be exempt from this, ''There is nothing new under the sun.''

We are seeing the play of ideas 1,000's of years old echoing out in new technologies.

It is only our relative experience that make something new or old.

As for the LOLCAT bible...

How is this different from the Jive Bible that came out in the 1970's? or was it the 1990's when they did the Hip Hop Bible? There are many other examples, but these are the only two that come to mind.    As far as I can tell, people have been mucking about with translations of the bible since Gutenberg made printing available to the masses.

Although, what this means about our current culture's attitude of God's Book, I can only suspect that it is another echo of mankind trying to reach out to God in their own way.
It is, perhaps, another iteration in the quest to make the Bible more accessible.

I should hope that the many branches of Catholic thought, both conservative and liberal, can both agree that God does have a sense of humor.  It's a matter of OUR view of what God's humor is where the tension lies.

So, going hand in hand in child-like joy to the throne of God, or rank guileless blasphemy?   On the balance, I'm not sure either. :)

Though the idea that this makes the bible *easier* to read, or more *relevant* makes my teeth itch... but that's a personal reaction. I don't find LOLspeak that easy to read, to be honest. Thees and Thous are easy in comparison.  (I just revealed my age!)

BTW (By the way), The origin of LOLCats, to my knowledge, is icanhascheezburger.com.  Just wait until they bring out the ''illustrated'' edition!

It is one of those phenomenon that is so universal to the human experience that all my friends, conservative and liberal, can and do enjoy it. I have heard it even has a following in India, where the culture of humor is... vastly different.

Kang Dole | 12/14/2010 - 8:09pm
When I read this blog, (or, more specifically, when I read In All Things), I actually, shockingly find myself wishing that commenters were more like those on "younger" sites, where meme-culture 4-Chan influence dominate: instead of paragraph after paragraph and post after post (tl dr) of what frequenty amounts to the same old "conservative vs. liberal" flame wars being reenacted, posters could just use a simple gif or macro t make their point. The arguments would be no more predictabe and no less nuanced. Think of how much less scrolling would be required!

Incidentally, I wuld contend that there's a tension between people who use lolspeak and engage via "interwebs" language with a high degree of self-awareness, and those who honestly don't know how else to proceed. I'm not sure who's better off, frankly.

As for the lolcat Bible, it's actually been around for a few years. I don't know-I'm still waiting for them to move on to something like Jubilees. The translations may be a bit rough around the edges, but they're still better than those on Conservopedia.