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Teh funnay, it BURNS: Why internet catchphrases aren't funny

By Delirium in Op-Ed
Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 09:28:42 AM EST
Tags: catchphrases, internet sociology, kuro5hin ministering unto the masses (all tags)

Those of us unfortunate enough to both use the internet and retain some modicum of taste are no doubt familiar with the internet catchphrase: generally a moderately amusing (though not always) twist on normal English grammar that then gets repeated ad nauseum until you one day hear some guy in real life actually say "teh cool" out loud without a hint of shame (in fact, usually thinking he's being clever). Then, despairing for the future of humanity more than usual, you commit suicide.

Since it is kuro5hin's longstanding mission to improve the society in which we live, this article shall attempt to briefly explain why parroting stale internet catchphrases is not particularly clever.

An early incident

First, let's start with bit of history. Sometime in the year 2000, an internet humorist named Richard "Lowtax" Kyanka, proprietor of the SomethingAwful humor site and associated forums, created a character, Jeff K. This character was a teenaged would-be hacker but generally inept with computers. He spoke in a deliberately agrammatical and misspelled idiosyncratic dialect, using phrases such as: SINCE I AM TEH LEADERING JONRALIST OF TEH COMPUTAR GAMEING SCENE, I HAEV WRITTAN A REPORT ON WINDOWS WHISTLAR.

This shtick was pretty funny (at least for a while, and if you happen to like this variety of humor), but what was much less funny was that hundreds of people on the SomethingAwful forums now started talking like JeffK, in the mistaken belief that, because Jeff K was funny, if they would only spell "the" as "teh" and "you" as "yuo" and maybe use some incorrect grammar, they too would be operating at the pinnacle of internet humor. It turns out that this is not the case. In fact, it was so annoying that Kyanka began to ban people parroting these catchphrases, or at least to discourage them by adding word filters to the forums that would replace the annoying catchphrase of the moment with something else, such as "I AM AN UNFUNNY FAGGOT", every time someone tried to post it. This came as an unwelcome surprise to many posters, especially newer ones, but a bit of reflection ought to make it fairly obvious in hindsight.

Quoting jokes is often annoying

It's difficult to pull off stolen jokes. Comedian Dave Chappelle is pretty funny. He comes up with a lot of amusing skits and lines. You probably know someone, however, who thinks Chappelle is so funny that they insist on saying "FUCK YO COUCH NIGGA" every time an opportunity arises. This is not that funny, especially after one or two times. Now imagine that, every few months, a new group of people start saying "FUCK YO COUCH NIGGA", thinking they've just discovered the cleverest thing in the world. This is basically what happens with recycled internet catchphrases. If you're a computer scientist, incidentally, you're probably already familiar with the non-internet version of this phenomenon in the form of Monty Python quotes. Monty Python may be funny, but after years of it eventually you're going to snap and kill the next motherfucker who says "ni".

Did that guy really just say "pwn" out loud?

But, back to the internet. Fast-forward a few years, and now the unfunny morons in the SomethingAwful forums have spread to large sections of the internet. Some of them even venture into the real world, compounding the problem. Initially, the offline problems began with gamer nerds. You might recall the first time you heard someone say "pwn" in real life (pronounced "pone", apparently), and staring at them with jaw dropped wondering if they really seriously fucking said "pwn" out loud, and hoping to catch some hint that they were being sarcastic. A few years later and pwn is the least of anyone's problems.

A brief guide to self-improvement

So how do you avoid this sort of failure? (The failure is merely annoying, incidentally, not particularly epic.) A rule of thumb is that if you're going to parrot other people's jokes, you should at least not parrot the same jokes everyone else is also parroting, especially if they have been doing it for a long time already. When it comes to internet catchphrases, this includes all of them. In real life you might take some trend from one group of people, introduce it to a new group of people, and be seen as clever. However you are not unique in having access to the internet, so unless you invented something or aren't that many degrees of separation from the place where it was invented, you should assume that tens of thousands of people have already beaten you to it. You don't want to be the 150,000th person to jump on some lame trend.

In practical terms, if anything you're contemplating saying appears on Encyclopedia Dramatica, in the Urban Dictionary, on Fark, on random blogs, or in the vocabulary of your nerd friends, the joke is probably at least two years old and you should avoid it. Often they're 5+ years old, being basically watered-down versions of SomethingAwful jokes that may once have been mildly funny but are now so stupid as to be ridiculous. Even if you happen to hit on a relatively fresh trend, these are sort of the dregs of internet humor, purveying the most insipidly boring versions of "edgy", "random" humor, analogous to getting your rebellious, noncomformist fashion from Hot Topic. And of course, the only thing worse than humor that gets repeated so much that it's no longer funny is humor that's repeated a lot despite never having been funny at all. This is worse than saying "pwn" out loud, so don't do it.

Saying things that have not been said before

All is not lost, however. If you think a little, it is actually possible to make humorous comments that aren't lifted directly from 100,000 other people. If you try really hard, you can even go for jokes that are actually funny. Humorous allusions and injokes are fine, too, though fresh ones are better than the tired variety. Just have a little creativity and originality, please.


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Display: Sort:
Teh funnay, it BURNS: Why internet catchphrases aren't funny | 99 comments (93 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
All of your phrase are belong to us! $ (2.17 / 17) (#1)
by MichaelCrawford on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 06:30:40 PM EST

Looking for some free songs?

This brings up something else (2.88 / 9) (#15)
by b1t r0t on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 08:11:19 PM EST

It's amazingly annoying when someone mis-uses a meme. For instance, AYB is "All your SINGULAR-noun are belong to us". Anyone who uses a plural noun shows themselves to be a total lamer. It's one thing to spout internet memes and look like a dork, but it's a whole new level of stupid to spout internet memes incorrectly.

-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.
[ Parent ]
also (2.80 / 5) (#18)
by Delirium on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 08:20:39 PM EST

The Zero Wing phrase "somebody set up us the bomb" is (or at least was) funny because the "up us" is in the wrong order. It grates when people quote it as "somebody set us up the [x]", which defeats the whole purpose.

[ Parent ]
Well. (3.00 / 2) (#33)
by The Amazing Idiot on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:53:29 PM EST

I actually had the cart.

My gamer friends back in middle school didn't believe me... until they actually saw it.

I sure as hell didnt think it'd be something to remember. It was stupid.

[ Parent ]

Looking for some free songs? (2.50 / 4) (#81)
by Just this guy on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 01:04:45 AM EST

[ Parent ]
by lonelyhobo on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 06:33:07 PM EST

by lonelyhobo on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 06:33:47 PM EST


by b1t r0t on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 08:12:13 PM EST


-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.
[ Parent ]
I'M RICK JAMES BITCH (2.90 / 10) (#4)
by lonelyhobo on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 06:34:21 PM EST

Hope that helped (2.00 / 2) (#5)
by lonelyhobo on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 06:34:42 PM EST

+1 fp

YASE!!! (2.50 / 2) (#7)
by Delirium on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 06:44:31 PM EST


[ Parent ]
Have A Nice Day (3.00 / 2) (#14)
by b1t r0t on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 08:06:25 PM EST

-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.
[ Parent ]
OOO (2.60 / 10) (#9)
by tetsuwan on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 07:17:01 PM EST

Language changes as people are using it!!! Catchphrases are born, spread and die!!! WOW!

The only news here is that it's occurring on the internet and the cycles are shorter and more intense. Language use carries plenty of social cues. With the word "stale" you want to imply that you are among the first to adopt new expressions. They are stale because you've heard them before. "X fails it" is so 2005!

In other words, you are no better than a fashionista, complaining about the "stale" apparel of people around you.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance

using them when they're new isn't good either (2.50 / 2) (#10)
by Delirium on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 07:21:36 PM EST

I thought I covered that, but maybe it wasn't clear enough. Quoting other people's humor is at best mildly amusing because it reminds people of the original joke that they found funny. Quoting it incessantly gets more and more annoying, but it's not like being among the first people to quote Chappelle actually made you some sort of comedic genius.

I guess I focused more on "stale" catchphrases because they're the most annoying, but fresh catchphrases are pretty bad too. On rare occasions they can be used in a consciously mocking way (as most k5 uses of "X fails it" are/were), but even that's hard to pull off. Better to avoid 'em.

[ Parent ]

see also "forced meme" (NT) (2.00 / 3) (#17)
by b1t r0t on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 08:14:51 PM EST

-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.
[ Parent ]
You weren't just "not clear enough" (2.75 / 4) (#47)
by icastel on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 11:53:13 AM EST

You weren't clear at all.  

You complain about not just overuse of catchphrases, but pretty much their use in general.  By your logic, if someone invented a catchphrase, no one else should use it.  The very definition of "catchphrase" implies its repetitive use.  Where do you set the limits? 100 uses? 1,000 uses? Please enlighten us.  

Did you use a catchphrase today?

-- I like my land flat --
[ Parent ]

they shouldn't ever be used (2.50 / 2) (#50)
by Delirium on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 02:28:35 PM EST

that was my point.

[ Parent ]
Oh, I See (2.66 / 3) (#78)
by icastel on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 10:24:54 AM EST

Realistically, that's not going to happen.  Pretty much guaranteed.  So might as well get used to the idea and stop "getting your panties in a bunch" over it.

-- I like my land flat --
[ Parent ]
post to queue mocking this one (2.50 / 4) (#11)
by lonelyhobo on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 07:31:27 PM EST


[ Parent ]
sauce plox (3.00 / 5) (#12)
by b1t r0t on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 07:56:42 PM EST

The way I heard it, the intentional usage of teh (and probaby yuo) originated as a meme on a usenet video games newsgroup (I think it was rec.games.video.nintendo) from one annoying poster's bad spelling. In particular, I can find the misspellings in 1996 in rgv.nintendo and rgv.sega in a way which might have been meme-ish. But these examples weren't using "teh" as a superlative. (teh X) Even your Lowtax example isn't quite there yet. "Teh funnay" doesn't appear on usenet until August 2001.

The earliest "teh funny" I can find is July 1999 in alt.games.half-life:
but it seems dubious that this is using the "teh X" meme.

Also, more fun than saying "pwn" out loud is saying "pwnzor" out loud.

Some memes are intentionally annoying. The story I heard about "plox" is that someone was annoyed by "plz" being used all over some place. So he decided to change it to "plx", and quickly changed again to "plox" when he realized how much more annoying it was.

Anyhow, if you can't help but spout internet memes, at least learn what the current memes are. The lifetime of a good meme may be long if it can be adapted (e.g. "it's a trap == transvestite"), but the lame ones only last months. By the time you hear it on TV, it's probably already long dead. Like they say, "lurk more".

Saying things that have not been said before


-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.

interesting (2.66 / 3) (#13)
by b1t r0t on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 08:00:55 PM EST


I just noticed that this, one of the first "the funnay" messages, also has "sex0r" in it.

Oh, and I should mention that grammatical memes go back a LONG way. Back in the '80s, BBS culture had "warez" (which I only learned in this decade to pronounce the same as "Juarez"), and it also had sTuDlY CaPs and k-foo (k-rAd, k-k00l, k-hIp, etc.)

-- Indymedia: the fanfiction.net of journalism.
[ Parent ]

ah yeah (2.66 / 3) (#19)
by Delirium on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 08:24:20 PM EST

I didn't mean the SomethingAwful/JeffK example as a definitive origination of the "teh" spelling, just as an example of how internet humor can quickly turn into annoying internet catchphrases. In this case it seems ot have been accelerated by the fact that the site had both a front-page humor section and associated forums, which encourages anything vaguely funny posted on the front page to quickly become a forum catchphrase.

[ Parent ]
jews everywhere (3.00 / 3) (#34)
by l1ttledrummerb0y2 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 12:08:43 AM EST

[ Parent ]
zor -> x0r (2.50 / 2) (#71)
by SwingGeek on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 10:39:24 PM EST

Typically the "zor" mutation is spelled x0r as in hax0r or rox0r.

Which would make it pwnx0r.

[ Parent ]

+1FP for your mastery of tags. (2.50 / 4) (#22)
by TrumanTxapote on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 08:45:05 PM EST

"kuro5hin ministering unto the masses" is definitely gonna be my new catchphrase. Thanks for that.

But you cannot say this crap ain't funny after MMM's translation of that Finnish school shooter: "I did it for the lulz [I'm not making this shit up]". Best catchphrase ever!

ha (2.50 / 2) (#36)
by LittleZephyr on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 12:16:02 AM EST

You realize that 'i did it for the lulz' originated from 4chan, right?
(\♥/) What if instead of posting that comment,
(0.-) you had actually taken a knife and stabbed
("_") me in the eye? You murderer. ~ Rusty

[ Parent ]
You realise that (2.00 / 2) (#87)
by it certainly is on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 09:31:04 PM EST

it originated with the LJDrama clique (especially jameth), who later started Encyclopedia Dramatica, the vector by which it spread to 4chan?

kur0shin.org -- it certainly is

Godwin's law [...] is impossible to violate except with an infinitely long thread that doesn't mention nazis.
[ Parent ]

so what you're saying (2.25 / 4) (#91)
by Delirium on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 05:41:55 AM EST

is that LilDebbie, our own local more frequent user of the word 'lulz', is basically a livejournal poster? his diaries make sense now...

[ Parent ]
re-title: 'K5 How to avoid sounding like chlorus' (2.42 / 7) (#23)
by N0574 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 08:56:49 PM EST

tetsuwan is right though--can't see how stupid net catchphrases are any different from language in normal, IRL use except that their rise and fall are faster here. Also, a bit disappointed you didn't take the unfunny K5 irc clique to task for this sort of thing--displays a certain lack of balls in my view.

I don't know much about the k5 irc clique (3.00 / 4) (#24)
by Delirium on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:02:39 PM EST

I don't go on IRC, and I must've tuned out any on-k5 antics.

[ Parent ]
right... (1.77 / 9) (#25)
by chlorus on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 09:43:53 PM EST

you're the dog-eating douche with the leet-speak username, and yet somehow i'm the one you call to task for repeating lame internet memes.

"I always enter a thread butt naked." - Parent ]

shocked it didn't write "burrrnn" (2.00 / 8) (#28)
by N0574 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:14:33 PM EST

~~YFI, but current userid references cancer therapy btw, assworm.

[ Parent ]
cancer therapy? (1.50 / 6) (#30)
by chlorus on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:18:26 PM EST

uh ok, if you say so, but it's pretty clear transliteration of "nosta" into leet speak.

"I always enter a thread butt naked." - Parent ]

so you know l33t? (1.50 / 4) (#31)
by N0574 on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:35:47 PM EST

do you also know how to use google?

[ Parent ]
Awww... (2.75 / 4) (#52)
by CanSpice on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 03:26:06 PM EST

Look at them fight. It's so cute.

[ Parent ]
this would have been funnier if (2.00 / 5) (#38)
by Linux or FreeBSD on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 04:29:31 AM EST

your education and/or intellect were sufficient for you to understand what those google results actually meant.

[ Parent ]
Says the complete arse who insists on substituting (1.83 / 6) (#41)
by User 71708 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:13:41 AM EST

'the' for 'teh' AT EVERY FUCKING POSSIBLE OPPORTUNITY, and as chlorus has pointed out, has a retarded l33t-speak user nick. I sincerely hope you are killed by some Chinese guy one day, in the most unseemly and prolonged way imaginable, and publicly so.

I honestly can't believe you're responsible for teaching students. That's just wrong on so many levels.

'Now turn to thteh page where we dithcuss Ramen noodles thteh .. thteh .. thteh .. sage .. thteh .. thteh .. thteh .. sage ..'


"Ogg Frog's not going to be like that. When it hits 1.0, it's going to be bullet-proof, rock solid and with a GUI even my mom and Aunt Peggy can use." - MichaelCrawford, June 2006

"Some folks have made the reasonable accusation that Ogg Frog is just vaporware. It's not by any means, but I don't want to release it until it's ready. Why? Because I feel that the Open Source mantra of "Release Early, Release Often" doesn't serve the needs of my end users - you!" - MichaelCrawford, August 2007

"Maybe My CPAP Is Finally Helping .. If this keeps up I'll be able to resume work on Ogg Frog soon." - MichaelCrawford, May 2008

"It's coming Real SoonTM .. However, electricity is intermittent here in Africa and Zoolib needs extending to accommodate the XO&NO CARRI" - MichaelCrawford, June 2009

[ Parent ]
yuo are SO English (1.20 / 5) (#48)
by N0574 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 12:28:47 PM EST

you write this many words and still can't even insult me properly? Do you engage in such long-winded, self-involved monologues w/self too? You may now go back to sucking cholrus' cock.

[ Parent ]
Internet catchphrases are (2.00 / 2) (#26)
by JugularVain on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:03:51 PM EST

like illegal aliens coming across the border. There is always a new bunch to refresh the old catchphrases thinking all the time that it is something new.

ORLY? (n/t) (2.00 / 3) (#44)
by rdskutter on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:59:12 AM EST

[ Parent ]
I too am a victim of mindless mimicry. +1 n (2.71 / 7) (#32)
by livus on Mon Mar 17, 2008 at 10:42:02 PM EST

HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

I too am a perpetrator of mindless mimicry. (3.00 / 3) (#92)
by asret on Wed Mar 26, 2008 at 08:17:07 PM EST

Be happy. You're cute when you smile.
[ Parent ]
-1 (2.66 / 6) (#35)
by l1ttledrummerb0y2 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 12:10:49 AM EST

I'm hoping and hoping that the memes are less of an attempt at humor, and are actually in use as a sort of shibboleth. also, lurk moar.

see what i did there?

This (2.33 / 6) (#42)
by some nerd on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:30:47 AM EST

Most memes aren't funny most of the time, the exceptions being when they're new and the rare occasions they're spontaneously used well in an appropriate context. For non-retard users at least I believe your theory is correct. The exception is any derogatory reference to jews and/or WTC, which will be funny in all contexts forever. lol jews.

Home Sweet Home

[ Parent ]
This artakal wuz like A TRIUMPH! (2.50 / 8) (#37)
by tdillo on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:23:27 AM EST

I can makes note now? HUGH SUCCESS!

am i doin it rite?

I'm so embarrassed (3.00 / 6) (#39)
by SaintPort on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 06:41:21 AM EST

I have no idea why I am so amused by lolcatspeak and misspellings like yuo & teh...

But what's really bad is missing it. When I read pwn, I actually thought this was a misspelling of 'pawn'. In context it made sense, and still seems funnier to me.

In retrospect humor is kinda like religion, there's no accounting for taste or experience. If I think its funny, then for me, not laughing would be sin.

Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

pwning (2.33 / 3) (#72)
by SwingGeek on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 10:42:09 PM EST

I've recently started hearing pwn pronounced as "pawn", but with the same meaning as "0wn".

It even makes sense in a way. "You got pawned" means somebody made you their pawn.

[ Parent ]

Thus are crappy folk etymologies born (2.00 / 2) (#93)
by Just this guy on Fri Mar 28, 2008 at 05:47:56 PM EST

[ Parent ]
i can haz retarded story? (2.30 / 13) (#40)
by circletimessquare on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 07:49:07 AM EST

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Yuo haz lotsa retarded storee! (2.88 / 17) (#45)
by Wen Jian on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 10:16:29 AM EST

It was an experiment in lulz. - Rusty
[ Parent ]
Jeff K was preceded (3.00 / 11) (#43)
by rpresser on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:43:11 AM EST

by many years by BIFF!!1.
"In terms of both hyperbolic overreaching and eventual wrongness, the Permanent [Republican] Majority has set a new, and truly difficult to beat, standard." --rusty
for the lulz (2.75 / 4) (#46)
by evilgoatbob on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 11:36:46 AM EST

Or, surprises what they may be, like any other lingo people use "Internet catchphrases" as a way to identify themselves as part of a like-minded group with similar habits and backgrounds.

Face it, everyone may have Internet access, but most of them aren't going to have any clue what someone who says "You just got pwned noob," aloud is talking about. Even less will know that long cat is looooooooong, or that Millhouse is not a meme.

I am guilty (2.66 / 3) (#53)
by The Amazing Idiot on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 03:27:08 PM EST

Of using pwn with a group of friends..

We were playing Q3 arena together and I have a tendency of rail-juggling on that CTF bouncy map.

One of my buds was trying to rail me, but I tagged him, knocked him off the platform, bounced him up again, and railed him again.

I then said "Heh I pwned you good." When I said that, he buzzsawed me off my ledge. Everybody laughed their arses off.

[ Parent ]

Horsecock (2.66 / 6) (#49)
by WonderJoust on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 01:29:39 PM EST

You're welcome.

i like your style: bitter, without being a complete cunt about it.
-birds ate my face

Internet Catchphrases? (2.71 / 7) (#51)
by jbond on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 02:54:44 PM EST

You were lucky. We had to make do with recycling quotes from surreal British comedy programs.

Luxury! (3.00 / 6) (#56)
by Vampire Zombie Abu Musab al Zarqawi on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 04:40:29 PM EST

We had to work 25 hours a day reciting All in the Family, uphills both ways, then when we came home we'd eat hot grits, naked and petrified, before our father beat us to death with Comic. Book. Guy. jokes. for. ever. and. ever. And we liked it!

[ Parent ]
well (2.50 / 4) (#58)
by Delirium on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 05:29:15 PM EST

back in my day, Candide passed for subtle satire

[ Parent ]
the irony gave me teh cancer (3.00 / 5) (#54)
by thankyougustad on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 03:30:30 PM EST

No no thanks no
Je n'aime que le bourbon
no no thanks no
c'est une affaire de goût.

s/irony/cell phones$ (3.00 / 5) (#60)
by xC0000005 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 06:45:20 PM EST

Voice of the Hive - Beekeeping and Bees for those who don't
[ Parent ]
s/cell phones/hunger for cock/ (3.00 / 5) (#65)
by rusty on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 08:59:00 AM EST


There. fixed.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

the cutting edge of funny (2.75 / 4) (#55)
by rhiannon on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 04:34:45 PM EST

Keep the flame alive!

I continued to rebuff the advances... so many advances... of so many attractive women. -MC
am i the only one who thinks (2.18 / 11) (#57)
by loteck on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 05:28:34 PM EST

that something that is really funny is, by nature, indefinitely funny as long as it is used in the correct context?

granted, teh and yuo do not fit this. but given the right situation, a well placed AYB or recitation of the african/european swallow to coconut weight ratio can still produce some hearty laughs.

perhaps nerd humor is the best humor because it never dies for those who get it.
"You're in tune to the musical sound of loteck hi-fi, the musical sound that moves right round. Keep on moving ya'll." -Mylakovich

You are the only one (2.40 / 5) (#63)
by Wen Jian on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 07:22:51 AM EST

The african/european swallow thing was never funny. It just appealed to people who find that their nitpicking attention to detail and lack of big-picture vision sets them at odds with LIFE.

That they found it funny was then funny to the rest of us. A kind of meta-humour. In a grim, grit-your-teeth kind of way.
It was an experiment in lulz. - Rusty
[ Parent ]

oh well (1.50 / 2) (#66)
by loteck on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 12:03:11 PM EST

then i shall laugh alone and pity you, the humorless.
"You're in tune to the musical sound of loteck hi-fi, the musical sound that moves right round. Keep on moving ya'll." -Mylakovich

[ Parent ]
Hey, I can has sense of hyoomur! (1.50 / 2) (#76)
by Wen Jian on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 08:14:00 AM EST

Maybe it's even a good one.
It was an experiment in lulz. - Rusty
[ Parent ]
my sense of humor isn't dead (3.00 / 3) (#77)
by Delirium on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 08:52:20 AM EST

it's resting

[ Parent ]
WE CAN REBUILD IT (2.50 / 2) (#89)
by BJH on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 10:28:08 PM EST

Might take a bit more than $6m though.
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

[ Parent ]
zero-bombing this story (1.09 / 11) (#59)
by ray eckson on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 05:56:35 PM EST

both for idiots voting it up and idiots commenting in it

wampsy: hey ray why don't you start up a site. you could call it ray5.
rusty: I gotta fix that stupid cancel bug.
booger: How's that for daring to get ray eckson all sniffy, you cow?
poopy: Not that I'm gay or anything, but for you I might make an exception.
then GTFO loser [[]] (none / 1) (#95)
by yellow shark on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 05:55:57 PM EST

[ Parent ]
old story is old (none / 0) (#96)
by ray eckson on Fri Apr 18, 2008 at 06:04:59 PM EST

you're reading this shit?  lol @ the waste of time

wampsy: hey ray why don't you start up a site. you could call it ray5.
rusty: I gotta fix that stupid cancel bug.
booger: How's that for daring to get ray eckson all sniffy, you cow?
poopy: Not that I'm gay or anything, but for you I might make an exception.
[ Parent ]
What you say!! (1.75 / 4) (#61)
by the77x42 on Tue Mar 18, 2008 at 08:42:20 PM EST

"We're not here to educate. We're here to point and laugh." - creature
"You have some pretty stupid ideas." - indubitable ‮

i can haz articul? (2.66 / 6) (#62)
by j1mmy on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 02:34:39 AM EST

this is relevant to my interests

ZOMFG!! NERD RUSH!! KEKEKE (2.60 / 5) (#64)
by kbudha on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 07:58:20 AM EST

Preved! (1.50 / 2) (#67)
by fn0rd on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 12:50:46 PM EST

That's fucking hilarious. LOL at it. k tx bai

This fatwa brought to you by the Agnostic Jihad

Meh (3.00 / 5) (#68)
by Have A Nice Day on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 08:09:13 PM EST

Geeky, esoteric communities have been doing this for ages. Look at 1337 speak, or its predecessor in the crap and catchphrases the phone phreaks used before them. The communities are just bigger now. Meaning more tards to bleat and repeat things. OTOH, as someone who went along to one of the CoS protests last weekend, to gawk at all the internet weirdos, I found some of their protest placards and slogans quite amusing simply because they were netisms brought out into real life. A few hundred people all wearing V for Vendetta masks and chanting "Do not want" is a sight to behold. Can "teh" be used ironically?

Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
Yes I do speak paragraphs. (2.50 / 2) (#69)
by Have A Nice Day on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 08:12:22 PM EST


Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
that reminds me (2.75 / 4) (#70)
by Delirium on Wed Mar 19, 2008 at 09:02:57 PM EST

The instigator of the first "flash mobs", Bill Wasik, later revealed that he instigated them as a way of ridiculing the sorts of people who would show up to a flash mob—hipsterish people who want to be part of the next big thing, and engage in a sort of sheeplike attempt at nonconformity. So I'd say the joke is on the guys wearing the masks.

[ Parent ]
scientologist apologist (2.40 / 5) (#80)
by mikelist on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 04:18:07 PM EST

scum. >:<)-. we do not forgive, we do not forget, we, we, what is the next part?

that's kind of the point of anonymous. they can harness the power of the dilettante, the curious, the desperate to be a part of something. the gravity of the scientology issue (serious but less so than many other social problems)allows people to merely voice their opinion in passing and add to the voice of those who are actually central to this effort (if anyone really is). socially challenged or extreme anti-scientology individuals will do what they will do, but nobody is really responsible except for that individual.

i'm not a part of anonymous, but i applaud those who are, even the douchebags and twits.

[ Parent ]

I'm having many love for blue man! (2.40 / 5) (#73)
by buford on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 06:13:58 AM EST

I say, kootchie kootchie too!

if a man zeros you, he is a spastic with the scroll wheel, and should be pitied.
ORLY? (2.60 / 5) (#74)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 07:13:18 AM EST

Repeating Internet catchphrases is like posting articles on kuro5hin about people who are not as l33t as you.


I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour

WASSUUUUUUUUUUUP (2.90 / 10) (#75)
by CAPS LOCK on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 08:13:07 AM EST

the ironing is not delicious in the comments (2.75 / 8) (#79)
by aphasia on Thu Mar 20, 2008 at 12:01:50 PM EST

to this story.

In Soviet Russia, leetspeek would burn yuo, and if Chuck Norris saw this, it would only have had seconds to live.

I for one welcome our new humorless overlords.

"You have *huge* brass balls. Tex would be jealous." --ti dave

So, does your reference to epic failure count? (2.66 / 3) (#82)
by Pentashagon on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 04:12:08 AM EST

On one hand, if everyone said original things all the time we'd be left with a very vague and bland (but wordy) language. Referencing and building upon existing popular phrases and ideas is generally how literature advances and the ability to be succinct arises. On the other hand, repetition of a single catchword as a response to nearly any post is tantamount to swearing.

Personally, I still find the whole FAIL thing amusing, but give it another few months. Maybe we need a fp article on the etymology and proper grammatical uses of the word to properly kill its appeal.

don't catchphrase me, bro (2.88 / 9) (#83)
by theR on Fri Mar 21, 2008 at 05:18:37 PM EST

HAMSTERDAM (2.60 / 5) (#84)
by The Vast Right Wing Conspiracy on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 01:09:30 AM EST

I'm a pompous windbag, I take myself far too seriously, and I single-handedly messed up K5 by causing the fiction section to be created. --localroger

You're t3h sux0rz (1.66 / 6) (#85)
by glowing tits on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 02:58:51 PM EST

I find internet catchphrases quite funny. Why should I adopt your attitude? If it makes me laugh, I will certainly keep saying it.

You're no smarter than the rest of us. You're just obsessive compulsive and prematurely toilet trained.  You should be treated with high-dose intravenous SSRIs.

Your argument is PWN3D.

by undermyne on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 07:28:22 PM EST

how did this tripe get FP when it is missing substantial, obvious content.

"who in his right mind would hand over political power of an entire country, armed with nuclear weapons, to someone with a clitoris?" -
EPIC FAIL (2.25 / 4) (#88)
by BJH on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 10:16:16 PM EST

Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

BTW (3.00 / 3) (#90)
by BJH on Sat Mar 22, 2008 at 10:35:19 PM EST

Feel free to go eat TEH KOK SANDWICH.
Roses are red, violets are blue.
I'm schizophrenic, and so am I.
-- Oscar Levant

The one I hate (none / 1) (#94)
by Mylakovich on Wed Apr 02, 2008 at 12:49:10 PM EST

is when someone agrees with something, they quote it and write "Signed".

That post isn't the Declaration of Independence, you don't have to endorse it with your signature.

Increasing Expression (none / 0) (#97)
by Instr on Wed Apr 23, 2008 at 01:25:29 PM EST

In my experience, most uses of corruptions are used to indicate ironic detachment. Using "Teh Internet" means I'm not being serious in my discussion about the Internet. "The Internet" means that I'm seriously discussing the Internet.

Catchphrases, on the other hand, don't really seem to add to the complexity of the language and merely serve as in-jokes.

true (none / 0) (#98)
by Delirium on Thu Apr 24, 2008 at 09:05:00 PM EST

They tend to still grate after a while, though. I guess you can always change it up and come up with new ironic-detachment markers. Some semi-recent ones:
  • teh internet
  • the internets
  • the interweb
  • the intertubes
  • the INTERNET

[ Parent ]
addendum (none / 0) (#99)
by Delirium on Mon May 26, 2008 at 04:20:23 AM EST

This fellow has similar opinions

Teh funnay, it BURNS: Why internet catchphrases aren't funny | 99 comments (93 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
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