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Banned Words List Carries Its First Emoticon 333

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the bet-they-have-power-in-the-upper-penninsula dept.
DynaSoar writes "Lake Superior State University in Michigan's Upper Peninsula ('The land of four seasons: June, July, August and Winter') has just published its 34th annual List of Words to Be Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness. Besides such unsurprising inclusions such as 'green' corporations being 'game changing' due to concern with their 'carbon foot print,' this year's list contains an emoticon for the first time — not a smiley face or variant, but the 'heart' symbol made from the characters 'less than' and 'three.' It's perhaps a sign of the evolution of language, or at least of this volunteer linguistic watchdog group, that a symbol compounded of two characters, neither of them a letter, is considered not only a word, but a particularly egregious one."
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Banned Words List Carries Its First Emoticon

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  • by slim (1652) <john@hartnup3.14.net minus pi> on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @11:11AM (#26280809) Homepage

    Let's celebrate.

    \o/

  • Link to the list (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @11:14AM (#26280885)
    http://www.lssu.edu/banished/current.php [lssu.edu] They appear to either hate political discourse or the sound-bite products of political discourse.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by lysergic.acid (845423)

      slashdotted. here's the text:

      "It's that time of year again!"

      Lake Superior State University "maverick" word-watchers, fresh from the holiday "staycation" but without an economic "bailout" even after a "desperate search," have issued their 34th annual List of Words to Be Banished from the Queen's English for Mis-use, Over-use and General Uselessness. This year's list may be more "green" than any of the previous lists and includes words and phrases that people from "Wall Street to Main Street" say they love "n

    • by Roger W Moore (538166) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @01:00PM (#26282351) Journal

      They appear to either hate political discourse or the sound-bite products of political discourse.

      They clearly love irony though. A US university trying to ban words from the Queen's English?

  • wtf (Score:5, Funny)

    by pohl (872) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @11:16AM (#26280905) Homepage
    <3  is supposed to be a heart!?  And all this time
    I thought it was mammaries or butt-cheeks, depending
    on the context.
  • Look! Humor! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Phasma Felis (582975)
    Cue a bunch of humor-impaired Slashdotters exploding in 5...4... Shit, too late.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Well, all right...

      zomg wtf why is this not in idle why did it appear on my home screen i wasted my precious time reading it ill never get that time back slashdot has gone downhill this isnt news for nerds why am i reading it i hate it why cant we just stick to news on my personal minutiae thats what news for nerds should be all about not this humor crap i traded my emotions for efficiency for a reason you insensitive clods stop that laughing one of these days youre going to wind up dead just like your idiot

  • by rikkards (98006) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @11:20AM (#26280983) Journal

    8====D

  • New Summary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @11:25AM (#26281043)
    Some no-name college makes a list of phrases that they think are stupid and they get on the news.

    Someone sees '<3' and nerdgasms. The aftermath is left here on Slashdot.

    This is not news, it's spam.

    Move along please.
  • by Megatron3W (1442245) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @11:25AM (#26281055)
    And all along I thought it <3 stood for Boobs on a cone.
  • But... (Score:5, Funny)

    by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @11:26AM (#26281057)

    I <3 monkeys and have set up a green organization so to achieve our directive and maintain a low carbon footprint, along with my wife to protect them. My wife is a bit of a Maverick and is trying to run for president but I am ok with being First Dude.

    • Don't be a prick, Larry. We are all tired of that story.
    • by kv9 (697238)

      I <3 monkeys and have set up a green organization so to achieve our directive and maintain a low carbon footprint, along with my wife to protect them. My wife is a bit of a Maverick and is trying to run for president but I am ok with being First Dude.

      that list was pretty spot on; you, not so much.

  • by SpeedyDX (1014595) <speedyphoenix&gmail,com> on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @11:29AM (#26281089)

    Americans leave out the "u" in colour, armour, neighbour, etc. We no longer pronounce "night" as [ni:xt] or [ni:t] (IPA [wikipedia.org]). We could come up with a huge number of examples, but why bother? Language evolves over time, words lose or gain meaning. It's a natural process. You'd think an academic institution would understand this simple concept, but I guess grabbing headlines is more important than practicing proper academia.

    Emoticons are just an evolution of a new language. It's actually quite extraordinary. We have now created symbols that can represent simple meanings cross-culturally and cross-linguistically, and these symbols are popularized in large part by the youth of the world. They are creating a whole new language right before our eyes. I wouldn't be surprised if we would soon be able to communicate simple messages between different cultures that speak different languages via symbols (some would argue we already can). It's a shame that institutions such as this one and the "get off my damn lawn" crowd are ridiculing such an extraordinary example of the human ability to adapt and break down communicative barriers.

    • by SpeedyDX (1014595)

      Sorry, I guess the second-to-last consonant in my second formation of "night" got filtered out. It's supposed to be the IPA symbol for the palatal-velar fricative, if any of you cared/were wondering.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Astabon (917642)
      You do understand the school does this as a lark each year, right? You did read the actual story?
    • I'm always amused how people -- who will defend to the death the word "hacker" 's right to still today mean what it did for three weeks in 1994, despite over a decade of evolutionary use to the contrary -- insist that emoticons retain any value outside of of a fat-fingered person's text messaging.

      There is an art and a skill and a subtlety to the written word, something we developed over thousands of years of evolution. When I see our species reverting to pixelated cave pictographs, it makes me wonder whet

      • by siride (974284) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @11:55AM (#26281433)
        "Hacker" still means what it used to mean, but only among the community of for-fun programmers. So those people who get incensed about it are half-right. They are generally wrong, however, because in the common parlance, it really does truly mean someone who breaks into computers. Context almost always clears up whether it is meant to be used in the common fashion or in the jargon fashion. "I spent all weekend hacking on my Perl module" is clearly positive (well, unless you hate Perl) and would only be used amongst people who know what any of that means anyways.
    • by Lobster Quadrille (965591) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @11:53AM (#26281395)

      We have now created symbols that can represent simple meanings cross-culturally and cross-linguistically

      We had these thousands of years ago, on the walls of caves.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's not that they don't recognize that it has meaning or that it's a word: Far from it. (By including it on the list they are explicitly acknowledging that it is a word, in fact.)

      They are saying that it, like the rest of the words on this list, has been over-used and misused to the point of uselessness, where any meaning it once had is now worthless.

      It's not that they disagree that it is a word. It is that they think it had a meaning and lost it, because people use it to mean anything they want.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @11:30AM (#26281099)

    Me: LSSU! <3
    LSSU: </3
    Me: :(
    LSSU: ( ^_^ )
    LSSU: <(^_^<)
    LSSU: (>^_^)>
    LSSU: (o^_^)O
    LSSU: O(^_^o)
    Me: :D
    LSSU: (>O<)
    Me: D:

  • Where's the ASCII Goatse guy when you need him?
  • by GlobalColding (1239712) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @11:51AM (#26281371) Journal
    (_)_)/////////////////////D OMG I got Filter error: Please use fewer 'junk' characters. I cant use fewer characters, then it wouldnt be to scale...
  • How about 3? Or maybe 3{.

    My personal favorite ..!.

  • by alanwj (242317) on Wednesday December 31, 2008 @11:55AM (#26281439)

    For some time now I've been using >=3 as an emoticon for "hate". Rarely do people seem to get it, though.

  • one of them is filtered as insightful +5
  • "Less than three music" is a nice radio station [lt3m.com]
  • How can anything in Michigan be removed from the Queen's English?
    Won't they have to tear up the declaration of independence (I think perhaps that should be in capitals:-) )
    Even Her Majesty's own subjects don't speak whatever the Queen's English is. Just listen to the now invisible glottal stop in estuary English (cue Amy Winehouse album) "To'al" or the south's strange pronounciation of Wednesday as Wendsday.
    If Michigan wants to rescue the Queen's English, I suggest they email an apology to Our Lizzie at B
    • by Dahamma (304068)

      How can anything in Michigan be removed from the Queen's English?

      Oh, come on, everyone knows that upper Michigan has been part of Canada for years.

  • Seriously? Someone decided that an emoticon for the heart should be banned altogether?

    Sounds to me like someone got dumped for the umpteenth time in a row, can't even get his mother to go to lunch with him, and is still carrying a grudge that the Valentine he made with crayons, construction paper, and glue and gave to his second grade teacher ended up in her trash basket by the end of the school day folded around a gray wad of chewed DoubleMint gum.

  • There's a Russian joke about emoticons (I'm sure totally made up).
    During his first orbit, Yuri Gagarin was asked if he was enjoying the view, to which he responded "the view is three equals eight."
    3=8 ("zayebis!" or rough equivalent of "fucking awesome!")

    You kinda have to have you mind in the gutter to see this one (but I'm sure most slashdotters will do just fine ;)).

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken

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