Thursday, February 26, 2009

The exclusionary and self-justifying nature of hashtags #DYSP

Earlier this morning, in complete compliance with California law, I entered the following message into fftogo:

stopped at a train track. #dysp

All industries and societies, probably including your own, have their own jargon which not only makes it easier for people within the industry or society to communicate, but also serves an exclusionary purpose by ensuring that outsiders have no idea what you're talking about.

Among the other things that hashtags such as #dysp do, they also serve these two purposes. In this case, the second purpose (exclusionary) is beneficial, because if I had spelled out the words in the acronym "dysp," people unfamiliar with the phrase in question would probably misconstrue it.

"What do you have against Steven Perez?" they would ask. "Why are you slamming Steven Perez? What has this guy ever done to you?"

Now perhaps you're one of the readers of this blog who has no idea what "dysp" stands for. The acronym stands for a phrase which took currency on FriendFeed and elsewhere, the phrase being "Damn You Steven Perez!" (often typed in ALL CAPS, but it's early in the morning so I'll spare you). This phrase was used frequently in FriendFeed, and eventually led to the creation of a (then-)private FriendFeed room, the sole purpose of which was to assemble a video of people saying the golden phrase.

The video was released mid-day on Perez's birthday, but he did not have a chance to watch it until later, so his reaction was delayed. (Oh, and be sure to watch past the first minute and 30 seconds.)

For me, use of #dysp instead of the full phrase also confers another benefit. You see, I have a problem saying, or even typing, the word "damn." Even when it is not preceded by the name of a deity, the implications of the term are truly harrowing when you think about them. So I'll use this substitute or another substitute here and there, and when referring to the golden phrase I'll use #dysp and feel better about myself, telling myself that I'm not damning anyone, but just d'ing them.

Of course, that is a danged crock, and my self-justification of my actions isn't fooling anyone. Or Anyone with a capital A.

Oh should I just say, "This is not optimal, Steven Perez"? TINOSP?

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