In the beginning, which is to say January 2007, there was I Can Has Cheezburger, a special place for cuuute kitty photos with absurdist, oddly spelled, strangely syntaxed captions. The captioned photos, also called image macros, became known as LOLcats, a blend of the "laughing out loud" acronym and "cats."
In April, Anil Dash (vice president of Six Apart, which begat TypePad, which begat this blog and many others) acknowledged and analyzed the phenomenon in his post Cats Can Has Grammar. Dash identified three primary formulas in LOLcats syntax:
- I'M IN UR X Ying your Z. This construct, based on i'm in ur base, killin ur d00ds has morphed into a catch-all structure for annotating cat pictures.
- Invisible Item. Variations on the seminal Invisible Bike, these are images of cats, usually in midair, with captions that prompt us to fill in imaginary objects or actions that complete the scene. There's something brilliant to these images, speaking to our mind's ability to intuitively extrapolate unseen details.
- Kitty Pidgin. And finally, the newly dominant lolcats, of the family I Can Has Cheezeburger? These seem to be spawning nearly infinite variations, and have exploded in popularity since being named "lolcats" instead of the more general "image macro" or "cat macro".
Infinite variations indeed!
Here, for example, we have "Geoffrey Chaucer's" LOLPilgrims, a.k.a. I Can Hath Cheezburger, a witty mashup forsooth:
Jezebel leapt gracefully into the act with LOLVogue (and here, too)--actual fashion photos with LOLcats-type captions. ("We're in ur magazeen, puttin werds on your mod-uls.") Which in turn spawned French LOLVogue. You'll have to link over to Jezebel to see the very clever, fashion-insidery images; they're in Bitmap format, which TypePad doesn't support. (Are you reading this, Mr. Dash?)
(Hat tip to Verbatim.)
Recently we experienced a fleeting visitation from the aristocrats of LOLcats: Realisticats, who use "proper grammar" and tell brutal truths, e.g.:
And now, lo, we have been blessed with The Holiez Bibul, a translation-in-progress of Old and New Testaments into kitty pidgin. Jump into the collaboration if you're feeling up to the task. For inspiration, here are the opening verses of Job 1 (all spelling and syntax intentional and authentic):
1. In teh land of Uz wuz a man calded Job. Teh man was goodz, afraid of teh Ceiling Cat and evilz.
2. Teh man hadz seven sunz and tree doters,
3. And lots of sheepz and camlez and rinoceruseses and servnts, srsly.
4. His sunz tok turns mading cookies, and they all eated them.
5. And Job wuz liek "Oh noes! Wut if cookies were sin? Gota prey, just in cased."