Alex and I had a fight the other morning. I have no idea about what, but as with most of our fights, it was deadly serious and involved a lot of vigorous (mostly mental) flipping of the bird and we forgot what the fight was about mere seconds after he left for work.
Remembering that I was mad and that he was mad, but not remembering about what, I emailed him just before noon.
Alex: “Hi. What up?”
Me: “Are we still mad?”
Alex: “We aren’t. Are we? J”
Now, aside from the fact that he clearly didn’t even remember that we were mad, which is reason enough for me to be mad again, I was irked by his use of that “J.”
See, I’ve been noticing that “J” tacked on in all kinds of emails lately and I haven’t been able to figure out what it meant.
At first I thought maybe it was just a common typo, like the “j” key was in the wrong place on the keyboard and people just somehow hit (the shift key and) the “j” key on a regular basis. I studied the computer keyboard more than once before deciding that this couldn’t be the case.
But then what could it be? Could it be short for “JK,” which is in itself short for “just kidding”? I thought about that for a while, but discounted that theory after deciding that people couldn’t possibly be that lazy.
(Evidently, however, people (me) CAN be that dumb. What is wrong with me that I spent that much time on this?)
Then I started wondering if it was like one of those acronyms that you have to look up in the Urban Dictionary the first time you read them, acronyms like FML or FTW. Here’s the thing though, you can’t look up “J” on Google. And even for more specialized sites, the only thing you will come up with is that J means joint and I don’t think the emails I’ve been getting that use that “J” are talking about marijuana.
Fortunately, here was my golden opportunity to find out what the “J” meant. Someone I can ask
without looking like an idiot who already knows I’m an idiot used it. (FTW)
So I asked Alex in another email what the “J” meant and he was all, “Huh? What J?” so I wrote him back and quoted what he had said and he was all, “Those are smiley-face emoticons,” like I’ve never seen a fucking smiley-face emoticon before.
Hint: J ≠ :) They are just NOT the same thing. Naturally, I continued to eat up Alex’s lunch hour with the following email:
Me: “A ‘J’ is an emoticon? No, it’s not. It’s a letter. Where are the eyes? Is it sideways? Right side up? What?”
Alex: “Listen, man. All I’m saying is that when I type in a semi-colon and parenthesis it makes an emoticon on my screen. But, apparently it turns into a ‘J’ on your screen. Jeez. L (that is a frowny face!).”
Naturally the “L” threw me into a total tailspin. That’s a new one.
Me: “Wait. Is that a joke? Did you really type a frowny face? Because it’s an “L” on my screen. Are you making fun of me?”
Then Alex offered up his most confusing email yet.
Alex: “Not a joke. Frowny face for sure. Not making fun of you. J=J L=L LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!”
Then my head exploded.