June 13, 2007

Rebus and Culture Gaps

I've noticed that the rebus seems to have gone the way of the dodo for the most part, having been replaced with the emoticon. :(

I guess part of it is that many symbols that we use no longer have common names.

I was helping another coder here debug code earlier, and I told him to insert a "bang" at the beginning of a clause. He looked at me quizically and said, "Bang? What's that?" He's had the same reaction to me calling an asterisk a "splat."

Most people get ones like:

I ♠ your cat.

I can see some causing issues, like:

I ♣ baby seals.

...doesn't mean the same if you read it as "I shamrock baby seals."

Others depend on your pronunciation in order to get them, like:

I ♦ your arms tonight.
(Hint: Think 80's popular rock.)

What other types of jokes or means of communication that were popular in your youth have gone the way of the telegraph?

1 comment:

Okie said...

Rebuses (or is it Rebii?) are only as dead as you let them be. Granted, I tend to rove in 'puzzling' circles and as such I speak with a certain bias, but I encounter rebus style communication at least a couple of times a month...and love every minute of it.

(and your 'diamond' rebus is quite a stretch IMO, but still pretty good...)