This is the face that launched a thousand captions. It’s the image and accompanying caption that the now heavily trafficked website icanhascheezburger purportedly swiped from Something Awful, a comedy site. This is the flagship “kitteh”. What this little picture has spawned goes beyond the sharing of silly cat images–it has birthed a whole lexicon of slang (kitteh pidgin), inspired several offshoots, and ingrained itself into our popular culture on a multinational scale. In fact, there is now an effort underway, seriously, to write a ‘lolspeak’ bible.
It’s probably a bit hypocritical of me, as I’m sure this blog is fraught with bad spelling and form, but I’ve never really approved of the types of grammatically incorrect shortcuts that texting (or txting) allows people to get away with. But, this I can tolerate. I’d go as far as saying that I think it’s great.
37: Lol Menagerie
Lol, for those that may not be aware, is text and IM shorthand for ‘laugh out loud’. Anything other abbreviations that you may not understand on these page, just check the ICHCwebsite (link above) and check out their kitty speak dictionary. Pics such as the ones in this blog entry are image macros. Image macros are all the rage. Most people find the bad grammar particularly effective in helping them to further anthropomorphize their pets. (Don’t we all talk to our dogs and cats in baby talk?)
Cheezburger was given life in 2006 by Eric Nakagawa and Kari Unebasami. They have since sold the domain to investors for, oh, just a couple of million dollars. It now hosts hundreds, if not thousands of photos as well as side projects such as Graph Jam, which puts a graphically businesslike spin on the inconsequential. See below:
When I obsess about something, I obsess about it properly. I’m proud to say that I have trawled my way through the whole cat gallery. Happily, I have the other pages to explore. One of the reasons that cheezburger is so successful is that it involves a mighty bit of audience participation. In fact, the site reports that it gets between 8 and 9 thousand submissions daily and that they weed it down to the dozen (or so) best entries to post. Here’s one of my favorites:
Another reason that people return for multiple visits to the site is that it utilizes a callback kind of technique. There are actually some ongoing themes within the lolcat universe, believe it or not. For one, there’s the story of an elephant seal (sometimes other animals make guest appearances on the site) on the lookout for a ‘bukkit’, the heavenly drama of ‘ceiling cat’, and, of course, the ongoing quest for that cheezburger. This all makes sense if you start at the last page and work your way to the present day entries. A personal recommendation from me to you. Here’s one particular image that has led to countless callbacks:
Similarly inspired and enjoyable websites include the following:
ihasahotdog This, as you may have guessed, focuses on the canine set. It’s great, but I’ve sort of come to the conclusion that cats have funnier faces and are therefore, more successfully captioned. But, here’s a pretty good example of a decent loldog:
There’s even a site dedicated to captioning stills from The L Word and other lesbian-centric programs. That’s how far this lolconspiracy stretches!
See the pic from the Showtime network drama below:
Man I feel like I’ve hardly had to do any work towards this entry at all! Thanks lol writers! Posting your hilarious pics has meant that I could watch more t.v. today instead of trying to be witty on this blog.
I’ll leave you with what I’ve chosen as my current screen saver at work. It’s a lolowl. Actually, it’s from a series called ‘o rly?’ Basically, it’s a collection of photographs of people and animals who look like they might be about to say ‘Oh really?’.