farblog

by Malcolm Rowe

I CAN HAS STDIO?

lolcats, a well-regarded and venerable internet meme (canonical references: icanhascheezburger, xkcd), but until recently, rather restricted to labelling images of cats.

Until recently. Not any more: now — via Language Log — I see there’s also lolcode!

It’s like a twisted form of BASIC. For example, here’s how to count to ten in lolcode (example program COUNT!!1):

HAI
CAN HAS STDIO?
I HAS A VAR
IM IN YR LOOP
    UP VAR!!1
    VISIBLE VAR
    IZ VAR BIGGER THAN 10? KTHXBYE
IM OUTTA YR LOOP
KTHXBYE

I’m torn between astonishment at the fact that something like this is possible, and astonishment at the fact that someone would sit down and work it out1. But then again, I’ve long suspected that the existence of the internet is proof of a working implementation of the Infinite Monkeys theory (perhaps by means of RFC 2795?). Either that, or of a particularly disturbed emergent intelligence…

I’m also quite amused by the semi-serious discussion on language blogs about the linguistic properties of the lolcat dialect. Perhaps I should suggest an investigation into the possibility of machine translation for lolcat (a Google 20% project?).

KTHXBYE.


  1. What’s next, Lolcat on Rails? 

30 May 2007