A linguist explains the grammar of doge. Wow.
February 14, 2014 9:29 PM   Subscribe

"...In this sense, doge really is the next generation of LOLcat, in terms of a pet-based snapshot of a certain era in internet language. We’ve kept the idea that animals speak like an exaggerated version of an internet-savvy human, but as our definitions of what it means to be a human on the internet have changed, so too have the voices that we give our animals. Wow."
posted by forza (61 comments total) 44 users marked this as a favorite

 
many amaze such wow
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:58 PM on February 14


much doge
posted by trip and a half at 10:01 PM on February 14


such analysis
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:04 PM on February 14 [10 favorites]


Huh. I hadn't been paying attention to this whole doge thing very much. I just figured it was some sort of mean mockery of Japanese attempts at communicating in English. I clearly need to get out more (stay in more?).
posted by barnacles at 10:04 PM on February 14


This is cool, thanks for posting it.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 10:06 PM on February 14


what
posted by Ceiling Cat at 10:12 PM on February 14 [10 favorites]


so linguist
much discuss
very thinking
wow
posted by threeants at 10:17 PM on February 14 [19 favorites]


Something else that I think is interesting about it is how much the orthography mirrors that of fan-translated manga, including the comic sans. It especially reminds me of chibi/SD manga.
posted by klangklangston at 10:20 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]


Any analysis of Doge which leaves out the influence of Lynda Barry's "Fred Milton, Beat Poodle" is hopelessly incomplete.

It's all a riff on Fred Milton, whether people know it or not.

So deeply #1!
posted by edheil at 10:27 PM on February 14 [14 favorites]


I've been trying to figure out the sudden surge of interest in the elected rulers of the Venetian Republic. This makes it slightly clearer. Slightly.
posted by McCoy Pauley at 10:48 PM on February 14 [22 favorites]


Came here to say what edheil said. When I first encountered this sillyness online for the first time I thought for sure Fred Milton #1 wow!, had invaded the tubes. Alas it was not to be
posted by edgeways at 11:00 PM on February 14


You guys... it's
WOW
     so words     
much speak   
          very language
       WOW
Come on, this is serious business! Formatting!
posted by Justinian at 11:09 PM on February 14 [31 favorites]


There's also the influence of the previous (but not as widespread) meme "Moon Moon, the Stupidest Werewolf". As a result, webcomic artist Lar DeSouza, during his weekly art live-stream, photoshopped up canine anime characters Sailor Moon Moon and Tuxedoge Mask. (You're never alone on Valentine's Day with the Internet, but you can be in VERY strange company)
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:16 PM on February 14 [3 favorites]


Much beans. Such plating. Wow.
posted by oneironaut at 11:18 PM on February 14 [15 favorites]


what
posted by Ceiling Cat at 1:12 AM on February 15


You're washed up, CC. Yesterday's news.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 11:27 PM on February 14 [13 favorites]


It's kind of fascinating how quickly stuff seems "old" these days. I mean, "rage faces" were, what, maybe a year or two ago, and now they feel like something our grandparents enjoyed, and are vicariously embarrassing to see someone try to be funny with now.

In conclusion, you're going to regret that doge tattoo.
posted by maxwelton at 11:37 PM on February 14 [13 favorites]


    such regretful
so tattoo
         much Ocean City
  so grammar

posted by DoctorFedora at 11:44 PM on February 14 [17 favorites]


It's kind of fascinating how quickly stuff seems "old" these days.

I first really noticed this with All Your Base. It was in response to a crack involving the phrase "for great justice" that I first heard someone say without irony, "that is so three weeks ago."
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:47 PM on February 14 [2 favorites]


So brisk. Wow. Such moon.

It's pronounced "doggy," right? I guess it doesn't matter.
posted by feloniousmonk at 11:54 PM on February 14


I believe this thread deals with pronunciation issues pretty comprehensively.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 12:05 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


What's blown my mind is how popular dogecoin is right now, blowing litecoin and bitcoin out of the water. I mean, cryto-currency is normally
                WOW
     such serious

          many goldbug
                such anti-government
And then along comes the enthusiastically illiterate Shiba fans...
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:22 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


Contrast this with first-generation internet language, demonstrated by LOLcat or 1337speak

This seems to me to be a very late-to-the-party interpretation. If anything, LOLcat is is already the fourth or fifth generation, and dogespeak is better grouped with it.

Somewhere in between leetspeak (from the 1980s, at least!) and dogespeak we have AOL-isms like wRiTiNg lIkE tHiS, the infection that is sms-abbreviations (now more popular thanks to twitter), etc. There are probably relevant examples from any major communication channel, e.g. IRC or usenet.
posted by beerbajay at 12:52 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


It's pronounced 'Dogue'.
posted by colie at 12:54 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Dogue Howser?
posted by beerbajay at 1:17 AM on February 15


It's pronounced 'Dogue'

as in, Dogue Mahone.

Wow.
Such drunken
Many Shane
posted by scody at 1:17 AM on February 15 [9 favorites]


Huh. I always (admittedly semi-disinterestedly) assumed it was someone trying to imitate a sort of "moe" Japanese schoolgirl's Engrish affectations. Thus, the shiba inu connection (as a Japanese variant of LOLcat).
posted by darkstar at 1:46 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Speaking of Over-Analysis of New Memes (even MORE annoying division)...
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:48 AM on February 15 [14 favorites]


G00d po1nt about h0w teh sp3lling has impr0ved & l33t & l3tters 4 numb3rs n0w l00ks h0pelessly d4ted!!!!!1one!!!!
posted by TheophileEscargot at 1:56 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


plox
posted by headless at 2:26 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Huh. I always (admittedly semi-disinterestedly) assumed it was someone trying to imitate a sort of "moe" Japanese schoolgirl's Engrish affectations. Thus, the shiba inu connection

yeah I think this article is pretty out of the loop, but that's to be expected with these things. the imageboard culture that this stuff comes out if is, by its nature, pretty much incomprehensible to the mainstream. by the time it reaches the point of cultural saturation where articles like this are possible, it's totally irrelevant.

at this point doge is on it's third iteration: dogecoin was so named (wow ) explicitly because it was already a stale annoying meme, essentially as an announcement of "this is the absolute least serious we could possibly take this". which was absolutely essential, as crypto-currency with bitcoin and litecoin had culturally gone so far up it's own asshole as to be almost impenetrable to the average person, the only way to make it palatable was to parody it.

anyway: so meme, very misunderstand
posted by young_son at 2:42 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


Pretty soon we'll be mixing metaphor with the grownups
posted by LogicalDash at 3:39 AM on February 15


It's kind of fascinating how quickly stuff seems "old" these days.

The Onion, from 2011:
According to a study released this week by Brown University's Department of Modern Culture and Media, it now takes only four minutes for a new cultural touchstone to transform from an amusing novelty into an intensely annoying thing people never want to see or hear again. ...

"A wide-scale backlash is initiated shortly after four minutes," Calder said. "This is usually the point when one is no longer able to turn on a TV or engage in a normal conversation without hearing someone make a clumsy reference to the now painfully stale entity."
posted by ibmcginty at 3:58 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


This is neat. It is also interesting that doge pics are sometimes full of hints of rage and violence and fear. Then the ungrammar is an expression of the anguish of being misunderstood. Definitely a lot more interesting than lol cats
IMO
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:08 AM on February 15


The second factor that goes into doge is the general principle of internet language these days that the more overwhelmed with emotions you are, the less sensical your sentence structure gets, which I’ve described elsewhere as “stylized verbal incoherence mirroring emotional incoherence”
This is a great piece.
posted by Doofus Magoo at 5:45 AM on February 15 [13 favorites]


This is the roadmap to the decline of our civilization.

Wow.
posted by tommasz at 6:04 AM on February 15


Yeah while the taxonomy of Doge grammar is pretty good, the history is way off. I see basically three stages, demarcated much differently:

1. 1337 speak is the tribal identity code of the computer-obsessed technophiles who innovated the online forum as a communication medium. Generally marked by substituting letters and words with replacements that work by visual pattern recognition to hint at the correct original, but also includes programming and tech references like $DEITY and NO CARRIER.

2. Short speak is a practical system of abbreviation for people who don't have a proper keyboard, don't know how to type, or don't have a lot of room to express their thoughts such as in a SMS or tweet. Smilies are firmly part of this as well as usages like C U L8R.

3. Caption talk is a humor medium. Unlike 1337 and Short talk, which are usually about conveying information, Caption talk is almost always about getting a laugh and is distributed much differently. All Your Base, LOLcat, and Doge are all examples, and the medium is pretty broad. LOLcat doesn't always involve cats or even animals but almost always an image, and Doge is identifiable by its funky grammar even without an image. I would also class things like Rickrolling, Downfall parodies, and Gangnam Style as video versions of the same phenomenon.

At this point 1337 speak has withered mainly because it is no longer a badge of technical inside knowledge. Short speak will remain with us as long as phones without keyboards and Twitter. Caption talk will continue to evolve as new memes strike funny bones.
posted by localroger at 6:13 AM on February 15 [8 favorites]


Doge Cristoforo Moro
posted by bukvich at 6:15 AM on February 15


so wow
much adjective
very noun

posted by DoctorFedora at 6:17 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


"Yeah while the taxonomy of Doge grammar is pretty good, the history is way off. I see basically three stages, demarcated much differently:

1. 1337 speak is the tribal identity code of the computer-obsessed technophiles who innovated the online forum as a communication medium. Generally marked by substituting letters and words with replacements that work by visual pattern recognition to hint at the correct original, but also includes programming and tech references like $DEITY and NO CARRIER."


I really don't think the contents of the jargon file, which comes from multiple early eras of computing, can be usefully or accurately conflated with 'leet speak, which was an artifact of BBS culture and arguably is in a more direct lineage w/AOLish cant, SMS/Twitter spelling & etc.

Jargon.txt usages were widespread on USENET, but rather less so in the BBS scense. And the old schoo hackers were often not thrilled about the confluence of the two, as the version of jargon.txt canonized by the printed edition of the New Hacker's Dictionary signaled.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:26 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


snuffleupagus, I'd argue that the jargon file is actually a fourth (and previous) stage, which is obsolete for mostly the same reasons as 1337 even though it's a different thing. Jargon was the identity code of people who worked professionally with computers in college or corporate settings before microcomputers were widely available. 1337 is the identity code of mostly teenage hackers who connected via BBS. Those two worlds collided when Usenet got popular and amateurs and n00bs flooded channels previously inhabited mostly by college educated professionals.

1337 has mostly dropped out of use because in addition to not being a very good tribal identifier it's annoying as hell if you're not used to it. Most of the jargon file has now either entered general usage (cruft) or been abandoned (feep) as there really isn't a medium exclusive to the people who work in data centers any more where it can remain isolated and continue evolving without contamination by things like 1337.
posted by localroger at 7:12 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


lolcat will win. lolcat has legs, doge doesn't.
posted by jfuller at 7:13 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


It's kind of fascinating how quickly stuff seems "old" these days. I mean, "rage faces" were, what, maybe a year or two ago, and now they feel like something our grandparents enjoyed, and are vicariously embarrassing to see someone try to be funny with now.

I'm not sure this is a 'these days' thing. The pre-web fads at my primary school in the 80s - yo-yos, those fortune-telling paper pyramid things, odd luminous socks, &c. - had a coolness lifespan of three months, tops.

Rage comics were a 4chan staple in 2008 - if they've only just passed into 'vicariously embarrassing' territory, they've had a pretty decent run, at least compared to odd luminous socks!
posted by jack_mo at 7:18 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


I'd argue that the jargon file is actually a fourth (and previous) stage, which is obsolete for mostly the same reasons as 1337 even though it's a different thing.

Fair enough.

Most of the jargon file has now either entered general usage (cruft) or been abandoned (feep) as there really isn't a medium exclusive to the people who work in data centers any more where it can remain isolated and continue evolving without contamination by things like 1337.

I agree, although I think there's still a class of terms from the jargon file (or usage patterns traceable to it) that persist in the IT world without having entered general use. But definitely hybridized, from having gone beyond the boundaries of data centers.
posted by snuffleupagus at 7:18 AM on February 15


barnacles: "Huh. I hadn't been paying attention to this whole doge thing very much. I just figured it was some sort of mean mockery of Japanese attempts at communicating in English. I clearly need to get out more (stay in more?)."

Shibe/doge is actually the collision of a couple of older memes, animal macros (lolcats) and interior monologue captioning. I haven't seen images specifically like the ones in the Know Your Meme article, but I did see the Powerpoint Guide meme, another offshoot, around tumblr long before shibe started taking off.

Also, yes, the word "doge" was used once, incidentally, in Homestar Runner but I sincerely doubt it's the source of the meme. Spelling things incorrectly to get at that "emotional incoherence" mentioned in the article is definitively A Thing on tumblr. I think doge is much more closely related to the meme of saying things like "im cry" or "creys" instead of "I'm crying".
posted by capricorn at 7:22 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


1337 is getting wider use now, ironically, by non-programming types trying to make their passwords more secure from programming types.
posted by oneironaut at 7:39 AM on February 15


> It's pronounced "doggy," right?

Say it any way you like. I can't hear you.
posted by ardgedee at 7:48 AM on February 15 [2 favorites]


Can we turn on Comic Sans for this thread?
posted by schmod at 8:02 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Is it me or is it just natural to hear Christopher Walken when reading doge?
posted by linux at 8:02 AM on February 15 [7 favorites]


It's pronounced 'Dogue'.

I think you're confusing it for the celebrity couple name tabloids have settled on for Donal Logue and his clone.
posted by aaronetc at 8:33 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Can we turn on Comic Sans for this thread?

img tag, we need the img tag, to reply in doge
posted by infini at 9:10 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Doge is sooooooo not moe.
posted by maryr at 9:11 AM on February 15


(I mean, look at those tiny little eyes.)
posted by maryr at 9:11 AM on February 15


BTW, a few more previous doges, the last of which actually makes this a bit of a double, but it's from MeTa so it seems fair to leave it.
posted by maryr at 9:16 AM on February 15


On the advice of my 13 year old financial consultant, I've converted all of my retirement savings to Dogecoin.
posted by Edward L at 9:19 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


Dogefilter. Wow
posted by fallingbadgers at 10:41 AM on February 15


such bean plate
go away
meme
wow



I'm 60 years old, and I spend way too much time speaking with weird grammar and strange phrases to people my age who don't hang out on the intarwebs. They don't know it's funny, the joke falls flat, and then they look at me weird.

I can haz LOL, pleez?
posted by BlueHorse at 10:52 AM on February 15 [3 favorites]


In a nutshell, autocorrect killed LOLspeak
posted by mantecol at 1:51 PM on February 15 [2 favorites]


On the advice of my 13 year old financial consultant, I've converted all of my retirement savings to Dogecoin.

Elon Musk retires on Mars, you retire on the moon.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 5:54 PM on February 15


It's pronounced "doggy," right?

It's the same G as in "gif".
posted by madajb at 6:08 AM on February 16 [8 favorites]


That's what I said!

(I was probably not the first person to say it either.)
posted by maryr at 7:45 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]


It's the same G as in "gif".

To the death!
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:57 AM on February 17


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