HATE as netspeak

This is a LJ entry posted in March 2008 after I got tired of reading things like "I HATE that movie" or "I HATE that band". In netiquette terms, this means they are saying it with such passion they are shouting. I just found someting wrong with that.

I've noticed that people seem more likely to type "I HATED that movie" or "I HATED that book" or "It filled me with a deep seething HATE" on message boards and chats lately. The things attacked are often liked by at least some of the population, and are maybe adored by some of the population, but are not without problems. I know in the language of the Internet that certain typos and phrases become veritable memes of shared expression: moran*, teh, pwned. This is something of another stage of that.

I imagine HATE (all caps) is another sort of meme. It's a way of saying "I disagree with the populace at large. I think the faults are not overcome by the talent. Rather than say the movie/book/album/band was not all that it is cracked up to be, I will proclaim my individuality by screaming the word hate at it."

Now that I think about it, the term is almost always applied towards something that is generally liked and especially something that is generally considered significant. The person busting out his all-caps key (and, sexist as it is, the dozens or hundreds of cases I have seen of this writing style have tended to all be male) is as likely as not saying "I'm different". No one says "I HATE Starship Troopers 2" because that is assumed. If anything, that would be a case for "I LOVE..."

Maybe it is a byproduct of media overload. Maybe we have a reached a point where there is a enough of everything so that we feel alright with dividing things into things that gave us pleasure and things that do not and the things that failed to give us utmost pleasure wasted our time from the things that would. Also the Internet has paved the way for ultimate fanboyism, and this HATE is a way of fighting back.

The ultimate sadness, of course, is that so many people that are quick to use the phrase HATE are quite shoddy in their reasons to explain why they chose the 'Net equivalent of screaming out in a crowded room. "Um, it just was random." "Um, it just made...um...no sense." "It, um...sucked."

Other variations include "WORST movie ever" (thanks to the Simpson's Comic Book Guy and IMDB.com, this seems to be the originator of the all-caps bile speech) and "This movie gouged out my eyes and left me BLIND. Go to HELL and BURN, Adaptation."

* I HATE the use of the word moran. I also hate how fast people link to that picture with "Welcome to the Internet" tag. Fucking Eternal September, indeed. What are you, 12? "I can mispell words like ebervody else, weeeeeeee!"

One of the best responses to that came from a friend of mine, and went something like "My take on hate is that it's the opposite of love. No shit, right? A lot of people, most, apparently, don't approach it as such. Unless I'm willing to invest the same amount of emotion and time negatively as I do with my wife, my daughter, coffee, gaming, and writing positively, then I can't say that I hate it. Sure as fuck don't hate any movies."

Quoted for truth.

Written by W Doug Bolden

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