John Pederson (“Javert” in We Know) gave a terrific presentation yesterday at the WiscNet Future Technologies Conference — I’m hoping that he posts some notes at his blog (sadly, no recording of the presentation itself). Because he adverted to his use of LOLcats in the presentation, I spent a certain amount of time online yesterday exploring lolcat culture, with occasionally delightful, frequently painful, and generally illuminating results.
This morning, as if on cue, Boing Boing pointed to an analytical history of Lolcats from the Axis of LOLcat-dom, I Can Has Cheezburger?. McRaney covers many of the bases, and comments pick up some loose ends (such as the O RLY? owl). Still, I was left wishing for a little more intense wit in treating a topic that engages four or five of my favorite discourses (language, visual communication, humor, technology, dissemination); I was hoping for something more like Anil Dash’s account (that predates McRaney’s by a couple of weeks). I had been hoping that Language Log would pick up Anil’s cue, “The fact that we can tell no cat would talk like this shows that kitty pidgin is actually quite consistent,” but instead Mark Liberman notes the possibility, then changes the subject (albeit to Wodehouse).