Monday, April 30, 2012

Text-Speak:101 - YOLO

Have you done this?
In our uninformed past, after receiving a sad text, we replied LOL, thinking we were sending lots of love...only to discover later how hurt our friend was when, having told us about their cat's death, we'd sent back laughing out loud!
Just when we 'of a certain age' (ie: from an era when we actually said what we meant, not communicated in abbrev!) thought we'd got a good grasp on text-speak, along comes another...YOLO.
No, it's not low-fat yoghurt. It means you only live once and comes from young black communities in the US. Its used as a verb for doing something badass, something that takes balls, or something a person wouldn't do in a normal day. Similar to you've only got one chance to live or enjoy it while you can, people use it to persuade their friends to take risks or dare them to do something.
The phrase has been around for eons - the 007 movie title You Only Live Twice (1967) was a play on it - but this shortened version YOLO has got popular since appearing late last year in a US rap song.
Why did no-one
buy these?
As with most of these acronyms, there're multiple meanings, such as:
You Obviously Lack Originality...You Obey Lord's Objectives (that's for all the hip God-Botherers)...and YOLO is also San Francisco Bay area slang for cocaine!
California has a county called Yolo, where many residents are amused that their area's name is hip. They find it hilarious that beautiful people in New York might wear shirts saying YOLO in giant letters. In fashionable Brooklyn boutiques, track jackets reading YOLO sell for US$100, but in Yolo County, the locals have no special reason to have any great civic pride. In fact their Chamber of Commerce lost thousands on a run of Yolo County tee-shirts that failed to spark any consumer interest!
Maybe they could dust 'em off and sell 'em in the Big Apple.
After all...YOLO!

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