How To Write Like A Wanker
No matter what Flash-blinded web monkeys would have us believe, the
Internet is a text-based medium: especially its major discussion forums
(IRC and Usenet) where people from all over the world can interact and
share information. A popular misconception about text messages on the
Internet is that, to be an effective communicator and earn the respect
and admiration of your peers, you must be able to write lucid prose;
that your messages, articles, posts and pages must be easy to
understand and pleasant to read.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
Popular sites filled with cutting-edge Internet cognoscenti (such as Slashdot
and ShackNews) give the lie to this harmful and destructive myth: they
are brimming with horrific grammar, atrocious spelling, gratuitous
abbreviation and childish, arrogant attitude. To be "in" on the net,
you must write like a wanker.
Just as every house needs a foundation, every brilliantly immature net text
is built on a strong structure of ignorance, sloth, and mindless
misguided belligerence. You cannot afford to ignore this section.
Hey, if it made e.e. cummings look like a visionary, surely it'll do
the same for you, right?
Wrong. It makes you look like a lazy fuckwit. (Unless you demonstrate that you
can use the shift key: for instance, by using characters that demand
it, like double quotes. Then it makes you look like a pretentious
fuckwit.) Even if you somehow manage to pull off the no-caps style with
grace and flair, the best impression you will make is that of a fuckwit
admirer of e.e. cummings. That puts you one up on ninety-eight percent
of the Internet, but you're still a fuckwit.
that should be "Dont punctuate". Skipping out on important
punctuation---apostrophes especially---is an effective way of letting
the reader know that you can't be arsed to write properly. This gives
you an opportunity to annoy your reader with poorly emphasized,
amorphous run-on sentences. If you want to write like a wanker, you
must take every chance to annoy your reader.
Apostrophes are fairly easy to deal with---just skip them entirely---but hyphens are
problematic. You might use spaces instead ("African-American" becomes
"African American"), but this runs the risk of correctness (many people
would accept "African American" as proper usage). Unfortunately, you
run the same risk by simply omitting the hyphen ("e-mail" becomes
"email"). Unless you're trying to come across as a pretentious wanker
(see "Don't capitalize", above), you're probably better off avoiding
hyphenated words, and going with whatever looks least intelligent
("africanamerican", "e mail") when it's unavoidable.
Fucking up your punctuation is a conservative but effective way of
exposing yourself as a retard in front of the Internet.
1. Pluralize with Apostrophes.
"Pluralize with Apostrophe's" This one small tactic is guaranteed to annoyanyone
with even a passing knowledge of proper grammar. With a single
keystroke, you demonstrate that you're completely incapable of handling
the simplest rule of the English language, and reduce your more capable
comrades to fits of mute frustration at your wilful idiocy.
2. Overuse Mutated Ellipses.
Never use a comma, a dash, a (semi) colon, or a period. If you absolutely
must punctuate---to end what would otherwise pass for a sentence, for
instance---toss in either two, or four (or more) dots as an
"ellipsis".This will come across as lazy, gutless, and flippant all at
once: pure wanker.
3. Overuse Exclamation and Question Marks.
Nothing shows your reader how serious you are better than five or six
exclamation marks at the end of a sentence. Nothing will make your TA
answer your question more quickly than a string of question marks.
Bonus points for mixing the two in a question you really want answered.
Extra bonus points for stuffing three or four exclamation marks into
the middle of a sentence. If anything that should have been an
exclamation mark actually comes out as the numeral '1', you can be sure
that your reader thinks you are a wanker.
4. Star Out Offensive Language.
Because calling her a 'cunt' would be rude, but calling her a 'c*nt' is
Write Like You're on IRC.
A real wanker considers his time infinitely more valuable than his
reader's. (You are a real wanker, aren't you?) Accordingly, don't
hesitate to conserve key strokes. Address your reader as 'u'; 'you' is
time-consuming and obsolete. Never 'see' something if you can 'c' it
instead. Refer to groups as 'ppl' rather than 'people'. Don't put a
task off until 'later', do it 'l8r'. Tell your critics to 'stfu'
instead of asking them to 'shut the fuck up'. If your reader has the
time to actually read the drivel you post, they surely have the time to
decode your dribbling shorthand.
Don't forget the cute misspellings. You're a wanker, but you wank to 'pr0n', not
'pornography'. Aspire to be 'kewl', but don't try to be 'cool' except
on hot summer days. Don't neglect leetspeak, either: use the '0r' form
of verbs as often as possible ('hax0r', 'ownz0r', 'wanx0r'). Replace
'o' with '0','e' with'3', 't' with '7', and so on. And while we're at
it, be sure to write in an exaggerated ghetto/ebonic style if you're
obviously not black. Nothing says "wanker!" louder than James Francis
Spalding III sending out 'greetz and propz to all [his] hos and homies
in da hood'.
Use an Inappropriate Format.
Never send a plain-text email or make a plain-text Usenet post; send HTML
instead, preferably with browser-specific extensions. If your system
cracks down on such things (obviously trying to stifle your breakout
creativity), use a gratuitously incompatible character set, like
Shift-JIS Japanese. Or just embed SmartQuotes (which the real world
interprets as VT320 control codes) in your text.
If you're writing for the web, you'll want to post Word documents instead of
HTML, and be sure that they're from the most recent version of
Word---you wouldn't want anyone to think that you're behind the times
(or read your work), would you? Avoid standard document formats like
PDF, PostScript and even RTF like the plague: you don't want the
un-l33t masses to be able to read your work, do you?
Ignore Proper Spelling and Usage.
The English language is full of homonyms, for example 'they're', 'there',
and 'their': confuse them at every opportunity. "i hate my parents
there car sux0rz." (Note also the run-on sentence, leet-speak -0r verb
form, uncapitalized 'i' and stunted, unwanted ellipsis.) While you're
at it, don't forget to make glaring, obvious spelling errors:
'reasonabel', 'buisness', and 'mesage', for instance. (Bonus wanker
points if you play the ESL card to explain your inability to operate a
simple dictionary, though this applies more to gratuitous misspellings
than---a wanker would use 'then'---misuse of homonyms.)
As one of my friends is fond of pointing out, a gratuitously bad command
of the English language doesn't necessarily indicate a
dumb text. (If nothing else, a kitten walking across a keyboard may
randomly type a Zenkoan.) To present yourself as a proper wanker,
you'll have to do better than sloppy spelling and atrocious grammar;
you also have to demonstrate that you genuinely have no fucking clue
what you're talking about.
Make Personal Attacks
If someone's arguing with you, the best way of refuting them is to call
them a'fag' or a 'Nazi'. ('Pedophile' is rapidly gaining popularity in
this regard, too.) Make up wild and false accusations against them:
"Mike just got out of prison for raping puppies, so he obviously isn't
qualified to have an opinion about Unreal Tournament." Ignore their
argument and attack their credibility: "Oh yeah? Why should I listen to
someone who sells heroin to kindergarteners?"
Claim False Credentials
If you're discussing copyright law, claim to be a copyright laywer. If
you're arguing about tobacco's effects on one's health, claim to be a
doctor. (No matter what, claim to be a s00per 31337 h4x0r d00d: that
always goes over well.) Refuse to provide any substantiating evidence,
and for bonus points, grossly misuse jargon.
Make Shit Up
Are your arguments getting shot down because you can't back them up? No
problem: just pull some statistics out of your ass and go nuts. "Well,
the crime rate goes down by 33 to 37 percent in states with gun
control, so clearly pro-gun control people support mugging little old
ladies." If anyone ever asks you where you get your figures, make vague
references to articles, journals, or even television programs. "I read
an article in the paper a few months ago that showed the earth was only
six thousand years old because carbon-dating is bogus."
When challenged, make vague references to
shadowy conspiracies hiding the truth.
Another good way to make yourself look like a total wanker is to twist other
people's positions beyond credibility. If you're arguing with a member
of the NRA, for instance, assume that they support private ownership of
main battle tanks and rebut appropriately.
Cite Urban Legends
Chevy Impalas with rocket-assisted take-off packs crashing into cliffs.
Tourists waking up without their kidneys in bathtubs full of ice. Swiss
aerodynamicists rigorously proving that bumblebees cannot fly. Take
these so-called "legends" as gospel. Remember, anything and everything
you can find on Snopes is a fact ... unless it has a green dot next to
Emphasize and Misinterpret Religion
Trying to convert your audience to whatever religion (or sect) they're not is
a fool proof way of looking like a complete wanker. Be careful; if
you've had a religious upbringing, you may accidentally take a
familiar, moderate position: this is counterproductive. Insist loudly
that the Bible is the literal word of God to a community of skeptics;
claim that "deviants" are "going to Hell" on alt. sex ; whatever you
do, remember that the best way to convert the heathens is to loudly
denigrate their beliefs. Don't actually bother learning about any of
the religions you impersonate; feel free to just make shit up.
Be sure to cite the Book of 'Revelations'. That one always scores big
wanker points with any Biblical scholars who happen to be watching.
Don't forget that Wicca is synonymous with Satanism. For that matter, all
religions with no concept of "the devil" are Satan-worshipping cults.
You don't need something as limiting and backwards-thinking as a point to
grace all of the IPv4 address space with your wanking writing, hell no!
Start your masterwork with a skimpy rebuttal of what the last guy said,
then make a fifteen paragraph digression into a dubious explanation of
how quantum chromodynamics proves the existence of Atlantis.
If anyone complains that you're off-topic, call them a Nazi.
Post Non Sequiturs
This is important: Never stay true to any local topic. If you're posting to
a newsgroup for Unix mail programs, talk about the World Series, or
cute little puppies, or try to convert them all to Christianity (if
they talk about daemons, they must be Satanists, right?) If you're
replying to a message-board post on Quake III, ramble on for ten
paragraphs about lint from your navel.
Make Stupid Threats
When someone takes issue with your writing, never fail to make dark h4x0rly
threats about '0wn1ng' their computer. Tell them you'll "hack into
their box", plant terrorist plans and child pornography, and tip off
the FBI. (This works especially well if they live in Europe.) Tell them
that you and "your friends" (yeah, right) will come by and "bust a cap
in [their] ass". (This works really well if you're on different
Try to avoid making truly grandiose threats, like
breaking into the SAC missile control computer (because, of course,
it's gotta be connected to the Internet) and turning their home town
into a glowing glass parking lot. People will think that you're being
sarcastic, and might even consider you witty.
Material from: Matt Olson of infernus.net