It started not too long ago. A message or a text. Then I saw it more on the face page. A response to something that I said, which clearly was brilliant: “Totes.”
Totes? What does this mean, I wondered. Like, Isotoners? Umbrellas? A cute little bag that you carry your lunch inside? Totes. Huh. I dismissed it as an autocorrect or typo and forgot about it.
Then it happened again. Someone declared, “this is totes random but….”
I have no idea what was so random, I was stuck on the word “totes.” What the hell does this mean? So I decided I would use my highly trained investigative journalist mind to unravel this mystery.
I googled it.
Totes, it seems, is shortened speak for the word “totally.” As in, the English language is being totes destroyed by the totes laziness of this totes embarrassing usage of the word totes.
This desperate need to shorten and clip words blows my mind. I cannot speak for anyone else, but I didn’t spend hours at St. James diagramming sentences just so that I could LOL and WTF at them later. Incidentally, how in the hell did LOL come to use anyway? I realize it is the shortened way to say “laugh out loud,” but back in my 7th grade note-writing days, we did that by writing “ha” which is actually shorter. What genius came up with LOL? And then took it a step further to ROFLMAO. Has anyone ever rolled on the floor laughing, or laughed their ass off? Couldn’t the same effect be achieved if you simply wrote, HA HA!
Now it appears WTF has been replaced by WTAF, which adds the word “actual” in it (which also makes my friend Lara irrationally ragey — also not a word but I like that one). But it appears that WTAF is just the modern version of “huh” which is also a letter shorter. Don’t even get me started on how www is the shortened version of world wide web, but when you SAY www, you are saying six additional syllables than if you had just gone ahead and said “world wide web.”
Remember when acronyms were used for good, and not evil? KISS — keep it simple stupid. HOMES — Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie, Superior, the Great lakes. NASA — need another seven astronauts (too soon?).
Anyway, I felt the need to get to the bottom of this totes ridiculous phenomenon. Turns out I am saying that wrong, too. Because it is not totes ridiculous. It’s totes ridic. It’s cray-cray. Ima say it prolly so cray-cray it for realz could turn my brain to mush. Which would be the exact opposite of totes adorbs. If that happened — FML. Obvi, I’m jelly of ppl who can avoid this sitch.
(somewhere there is someone who understood all that)
This makes me sad. It makes me so sad. I wonder if this is what Shakespeare would think if we plopped him down in front of an episode of any television show ever made. WHAT THE HELL ARE THESE PEOPLE SAYING? I want to say that this is just the evolution of like, grody to the max and gag me with a spoon, but NO. Because that was fun. And also, words. Full on words. “Gag me with a spoon” is extremely descriptive, you know EXACTLY what I am saying.
Naturally (natch?) I decided this matter needed immediate attention from my husband. It took a fairly long, somewhat slow conversation in order to explain to him what is happening here, what people are saying, how to understand it. The result? The next day, Jim sent me a text in the morning. “Are you awake?” “Yes,” I replied.
“I totes knew you were.”
And it has begun.
These words that are making us crazy, we’ve now spent so much time ripping on them, they are becoming part of our daily conversations. We’re officially cray-cray on the reggae (I have no idea what that means).
Case in point — dinner. There we were, sitting at family dinner (we have family values) and Jim and I were discussing something. I can officially say I have no idea what we were talking about. But the words “totes” and “ridic” were fluid. I def don’t know what was said. It’s possible he said he had to go to the libes (that one came from a friend of mine). We spoke of our besties and Christmas prezzies and the deets on what we had for breks.
Hank was watching us, slowing putting his food to his mouth (and missing half of it — for hell’s sake, he’s 10, when is he going to learn to eat without half the food falling onto his shirt?), watching us back and forth like the world’s slowest ping-pong match. He finally cleared his throat and said, “uh, why are you two talking like teenagers?”
I don’t know, kid. It’s like a virus. A ridic, awk, presh, gorg, cray-cray, and bee-tee-dubs adorbs virus. Whatevs. I need a vacay.
Somebody, gag me with a spoon.