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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A Brief History of OCSL and ROFL

A lot of folks on twitter have confronted me with the question "When are you going to quit twitter, for good?". Of course, my rather poor jokes and even worse observations have played no small part in contributing to this situation. I have been able to shrug of this question with the reply "I shall quit twitter, once I get my invite to Quitter". Har. Har.
Recently though, I am being flooded by the question "What the Hell/F*ck is OCSL?". In a world of 140 characters, people tend to notice an additional 4 characters being pushed into their twitter time lines.
To introduce you to OCSL, I would like to take you back to the time when I used to tweet all day and drink coffee analyze functional modules of code at work. I was having a light hearted conversation with Anjana, about how people are never actually ROFL (That is Rolling on The Floor Laughing, for those from the stone age) or LMAO even though they claim to be. Seriously though, just think of it. You are engrossed in your work when a hilarious tweet pops up on your time line. You double over laughing out loud, managing to slip from your chair and finally landing with a dull thud on the carpeted ground. The boss, shocked at the sound of loud hysterical laughter, comes running over to your cubicle to see you on the floor, separated from your posterior, which somehow managed to detach itself from the rest of your torso. Highly unlikely, Isn't it? Especially when you have a boss whose idea of fun is working over the weekend, trying to propose improvements to that patched up piece of junk code that you are struggling to maintain.
Who are we kidding? Its a well known fact that we react to those jokes with a smile on our face, a hand over our face the only thing preventing us from looking moronic to our colleagues.
This is the phenomenon that Anjana and myself christened as On Chair Stifling Laughter. In the greatest traditions of the internet, it got a four lettered abbreviation: OCSL.
Quite naturally, the next step was to make this christening official. I tried submitting OCSL to that great registrar of arcane abbreviations on the internet, Urban Dictionary. They turned down my entry stating that my geek credentials weren't good enough.
I had a dream, one where OCSL rubbed shoulders with ROFL, LMAO and LOL, and it seemed that Urban Dictionary was hell bent on ensuring that it never materialized into reality. Driven to the bottle out of despair thanks to the weekend, I was ready to sell my soul in exchange of my dream being a reality. Which was when Kristopher rings me up and informs me that his OCSL entry to Urban dictionary was accepted.
Being an honest interpretation of facts, our friends on twitter began to popularize the word in their tweets. Of course, initially Anjana and myself had to indulge in a lot of shameless plugs to set the ball rolling. Pretty soon, it was also covered in the mainstream media.
And that, my friends, is the story of how OCSL came into being, punched its way into Urban Dictionary and gave ROFL, LMAO and other such abbreviations a run for its money. As for Anjana and myself, we got the sadistic satisfaction comparable to the kings of yore, who must have gotten their kicks by adding a couple of pages to our thick history text books every time they waged a war or constructed a mausoleum.