The Many Meanings of Alksgskdgjals;hjg

By Ashley Feinberg on at

You've seen it in a chat window. You've probably kldjhsljfalshj-ed a few yourself. In context it always makes since, but how can you properly explain the text-scream phenomenon of lakgjiosdgjitheiow? What does i;slahkdsgkuhdsj really mean?

Well, from a purely philosophical standpoint it's—er. It's sort of... Kind of—liklagjdsgajsdialgkds. Whatever. I give up.

The use cases of a good ojfdaghksdhjdk are vast and varied, so our own Eric Limer and I decided to try and pin it down on the only medium that makes sense—AOL Instant Messenger. Our attempt to work out the complexities of the problem, in the tradition of Socrates, follows.

Edited for clarity but not spelling or grammar.


Eric Limer: pi;ahgouiyftudygiukhalsijdk;'al (i am dead with laughter OR i actually hate you and everything you stand for): lol (fuck you i hate you and you wont ever even get it).

Ashley Feinberg: akldjgsjdgjiahds is different from haha because unlike HAHAHAHHAH (i'm hitting on you/manic), lkadsjghldkjst is the only thing that only is is expressible thorugh computers.

Ashley: Like whats the outloud equivalent of alkgjdsgjsgj'

Eric: Doubling over?

Ashley: In my head its me tearing down bookshelves and breaking shit, setting things on fire, bleeding from my eyeballs, what have you.

Eric: Yeah... man, fuck lol. Because lol is trying to digitise this super human thing. Whereas olahjdkjfdhkagsjhldahgs is this expression of rage with no human counterpart. It's so much more interesting.

Ashley: I forgot my notebook can i copy your maths howmework lol.

Ashley: Hitler is back the holocaust is starting again adlkgasjdgkjasdgljdasjdlgkbfs.

Eric: Yeah but it can also be much lighter while still being angry. Someone said something mildly embarassing auskhjdkagsdhjasd.

Eric: It's no so much rage as wordless exhasperation.

Ashley: What no I was GOING to say rage—exhasperated rage but a: WHY ISNT THIS PERSON BETTER aldkjdfasdagsjlkgad.

Eric Limer: That is a very altrustic and positive way to be enraged, Ashley.

Ashley: I've been likened to a bloggier, less-dead Ghandi.

Ashley: Ok but what about hahahhaldkgjhasijgoirjt i am laughing to keep from screaming

Eric: It's really just raw, completely context dependent emotion.

Ashley: Frustration, passion.

Eric: Frustration most frequently, but there's a lot of nuance to that frustration. Like, ailuh;skljdhgkash is a p uniquely context sensitive "expression" for a medium that is so devoid of context.

Eric: Like, you have to trust the recipient.You dont uaktfilvyjnsk;mdl'a,; at someone you dont really know.

Ashley: I mean you wouldn't be... Like, I can't think of a situation where you'd be gchatting/im-ing someone you don't know about something that would illicit alkdgjsjlgibsjfdaidgkfjbdgl.

Ashley: Because it's a shit talk thing, which is something you generally do amongst friends, or at least people you WANT to be your friends.

Eric: Yeah, it is kind of a shit talk thing but it can also be flattery? Not to the person you're talking to obviously, but about whatever you're referring to.

Eric: Like what about "ouiytdrytyftgjykuhlijko'pl this is perfect [link to a really funny thing]"

Eric: So good I cant stand it sort of thing

Ashley: Yeah or like if you're just mildly hungry.

Ashley: And its like "ladkjgksgldjsdgjfiskgl"

Eric: Now you're just abusing it. You're sick.

Ashley: Or what about when you want to express that you've lost your faith and no longer believe in an omniscient lord

Eric: Sure. Just like that.