Archive for May, 2008

lolcat literacy

May 17, 2008

I have been pondering about writing something about lolcats for quite a while, but lots of people have been commenting on them, so I have held back. However, I am increasingly concerned about the widespread tendency of people to understand lolcats as devoid of any education and sophisticated use of language. Some people patronizingly link lolcat-language to babyspeak. In order to draw attention to the growing discrimination against lolcats based on their perceived disability to write purrfick grammr I decided to make this small survey of lolcat literacy available to my discerning readers.

Consider this stereotypical view of lolcats, blatantly accused of causing illiteracy!

Lolcats are being accused of degrading the English language with their ignorance and apathy.

Contrary to popular belief many lolcats have a keen interest in language and learning. In fact, many lolcats claim desks and libraries to be their favourite places.

lolcat in dictionary verbing your nouns

lolcat imporving her range of vocabulary

lolcat lost in reading

lolcat lost in reading

library lolcat

lolcat browsing library

lolcat grabbed by story plot

It is not just the materiality of books locats are fascinated with. Lolcats love reading books. Studies have shown that lolcats prefer reading novels of the fantasy genre over all other genres. Lolcat reading includes Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”, C.S. Lewis’ “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and of course, “Harry Potter” by J.K. Rowling.

The following case study shows that lotcat literacy is a situated social practice.

The average lolcat overcomes initial difficulties motivated by her desire to communicate and stay in touch.

technorati lolcat

Locats have shown a great admiration for the beauty of the English language, always trying to improve their literacy skills, expanding their range of vocabulary, and even master punctuation.

literacy lolcat improving her grammar

Literate lolcat improving her grammar.

apostrophe lolcat

Lolcat using apostrophe where it should.

Here are some samples of lolcast using big words almost correctly. This serves to show: lolcats are not cognitively challenged!

Lolcts have a also a great affinity for computers. Most of them are digitally literate, many of them keen bloggers or wikipedia editors. An empirical study of over 1500 cats has shown that 89% percent of lolcats own a computer and a high speed internet connection. ( 2007)

Lolcat demography

Here is a sad example of lolcat discrimination – an innocent lolcat accused of stealing the internets, while in reality many lolcats are highly trained computer specialists.

Discrimination against lolcats has been compared with sexual and racial discrimination, however leading lolcats claim that it is all about being a cat. Some people express such phobia of lolcats that they want to get rid of them alltogether. “We must rid the internet of not only LOLCATs, but of all cats.” says downwiththeinternets, (2008)

Despite all prejudices, discrimination and social disadvantages and long gruelling work hours many lolcats are successful high school and university graduates. However, until now only a few are holding respectable teaching and research positions in universities.

lolcat studying for exam

Lolcat studying for exam.

lolcat writing dissertation

Lolcat writing dissertation.

Lolcat writing thesis

Studies have shown that lolcats on average do not cheat or plagiarize more that the human population.

lolcat physics

Lolcat scholars are known to employ creative methodologies, thinking both inside and outside the box.

Lolcats have been accused of being politically indifferent by being impossibly cuddly. But having attractive looks does not indicate low intelligence (necessarily)! Some lolcast have been forming oppositional political movements, as you can see here – a radical locat activist politizising – dismissing derogative assumptions about lolcat language and culture.

We would argue with Ethan Zuckerman that “Web 2.0 was created to allow people to share pictures of cute cats.” Zuckerman states that pictures of cute cats may be an important part of political activism as “making activism viral probably means making it funny as well as political and heart-wrenching.” (The Cute Cat Theory of Digital Activism, 2008)

theory lolcat

Locat theorizing

It is about time locats receive the respect they deserve. The MIT is one of the first universities to open their catdoors to lolcats and locats lovers. Read more about a recent lolcat panel discussion “I can haz case study?” at ROFLcon held at the MIT.

Guardian (2008) Internet celebs gather to swap memes

Wired (2008) ROFLCon: It’s Not Easy Being Memes

Cat Power

Chiu Kevin (April 25 2008) Really Short Summary: LOLCATS Panel: I CAN HAZ CASE STUDY? ROFLCon

Dash Anil (April 23, 2007) Cats can has Grammar

Dash Anil (April 30, 2007) Cats, Comics, and Closure

ELFN 2007 (April 24th, 2007) LOLspeak as a Second Language (LKSL-101) in Five Easy Steps

Green Joshua (2007) Oh Hai! Cats, the internet, and tactical communities #19 receiver magazine

Herwig, Jana (April 27 2008) Niedlichkeit als kulturelles Bindeglied (Online wie Offline)

Higgins Chris (April 19, 2007) Image Macros: I’m in Your X, Y’ing Your Z

Pedantic overanalysis of LOLcats not pedantic enough, says blowhard

Linguistic Mystic ( May 29 2007) im in ur programmz, codin in ur dialect: LOLCode and Feline Dialectology

Linguistic Mystic (Feb 7 2007) im in mai blog, postin’ bout cats: The Cuteness of Grammatical errors

Lischka Konrad (2008) Kindliches Kätzchen-Englisch überrollt Netzforen Spiegel online


Lolspeak Wiki SpeakLOLspeak

Merchant Guy (May 28 2007) Lolcats

McRaney David (May 8 2007) A Special In-Depth Analysis by – L337 Katz0rz

Newitz Annalee (Jan 22 2008) Evolution Explains Why Lolcats Control Your Mind

Robin (April 18th, 2007) I Can Has Talking Animals?

Thomas Angela (July 23, 200) Lolcats Literacies: oh hai… pass me teh towel?

Zuckerman Ethan (March 8 2008) The Cute Cat Theory Talk at ETech


LOLTrek Start Trek meets lolspeak

HOBOTOPIA Hand drawn comic strip about stray lolcats, based on lolcat meme



May 16, 2008

The only photo I managed to take when I was in Finland recently, at the airport on the run just before leaving. What a language!

animated poetry

May 9, 2008

Intersting 1-minute typo animation with a poem by Tom Waits:

This blackboard animation is fun:


May 9, 2008

Abby and Erin, by crimfants

Yesterday I found out that I have received the research grant by the FWF, the main body for research funding in Austria, for a project about media literacy in primary schools, which I developed last year. This means my research work will be funded for at least three more years!

sparkling science

May 9, 2008

Create your own custom glitter graphic!

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von dugger.devon dugger.devon dugger.devon dugger.devon dugger.devon dugger.devon

My bid for a research project about „Sparkling Science: Computer games, media education and learning through inquiry” (Computerspiele, Medienbildung und forschendes Lernen funded by Austrian Ministry of Science) has gone through the first round of reviews (all very positive) and I have been invited to submit the full proposal. Just handed it it. Phew.

Create your own custom glitter graphic!

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