Saturday, January 5, 2013

Damn Facebook, also, yay Facebook

So today Wendy decided to Like a company advertising on Facebook - Zipcar, to be precise.  Of course, she didn't actually do this, but Facebook just did it for her instead.  If you use Facebook you will probably notice that your friends do this all the time, and while occasionally it may be legitimate in the most part it is just Facebook or apps they have downloaded doing so without their consent.  Advertising is wonderful, especially the explicit endorsements that are made up!

You might want to consider what this means to you if your business is buying Facebook advertising based on Likes.  Just sayin'.

On the flip side, somebody linked me to this amazing site with many hilarious comics.  I recommend the exact comic I linked to, and also this and this.  That, to my mind, is the fantastic thing about Facebook - the ability to find hilarious and awesome things my friends sifted out of the random garbage the internet contains.

The other awesome thing about Facebook is reading terrible things you hate that people linked to and then getting into big online arguments about the articles in question.  You can't possibly offend anyone and also everybody learns to accept your point of view because you are obviously correct!  Also, there cannot possibly be anything more productive to do than argue on Facebook.  Right?

Note:  I argue on Facebook.  It is my version of eating donuts and watching reality TV.  Sue me.


  1. The Oatmeal is entertaining at times, but I find it hard to endorse or support anyone who encourages snobbery regarding the word "literally." When people decide that "literally" is literally the only work in the English language that cannot be used metaphorically or to exaggerate it literally drives me into a murderous rage.

  2. I thought the same thing, but when some people commented on a 'language police' Oatmeal post he responded in a way that made me reconsider. He talked about how he wanted people to understand what words meant and to be able to communicate more clearly; he made it pretty clear that he was trying to do two things. First, be amusing. Second, teach people who were honestly unaware of how formal English rules work. He wasn't intending to imply that no one *should* communicate otherwise, just that they would often be misunderstood.

    Given that I am inclined to give him a pass on language prudery because some people really do get all wrapped up in using literally 'properly' and knowing that can be useful.

  3. Well I don't literally hate him for having a poster on the word literally. I just like to get on people about getting on people about using the world literally. Two of the most common words used to mean "to a great extent" are very and really, both of which etymologically mean truthfully (the "real" in "really" is clearly the word "real" and the "ver" in "very" is the same "ver" as in veritable, verity, verify, etc.).

    It's easy to see why this happens:when people talk about powerful emotions the concepts of being sincere and being forceful are easily confounded. The first time someone said, "I really love you" they may have actually meant, "I sincerely and without exaggeration love you" because when someone is saying they love you their sincerity is just as powerful a message as a word there to exaggerate.

    The resistance to this same transformation happening to the word "literally" is just snobbery. If I were to say, "That was so funny that I actually in truth died laughing. I could feel my heart seizing up and dialed 911 and then I laughed so hard that I was clinically dead when the ambulance got there. They attached a respirator and managed to revive me at the hospital. All of this explains how I am telling you that I died laughing, and I say it to convince you the actual truth of the matter, that I was in fact legally dead for 4 minutes and 13 seconds because the joke you told was so funny. I am not exaggerating or being untruthful," you wouldn't suspect that I didn't understand what those words meant, despite not believing my story. When someone says, "I literally died laughing," assuming that they don't know what the word literally means is no more warranted.