In a land where God is ‘Ceiling Cat’

Some things I just don’t get.

I’ve learned there is an Internet phenomenon (yes, a bad sign) called lolspeak, a “pop language” that involves misspelled words, messed-up grammar and a worship of cats.

I mention this only because certain proponents of lolspeak have decided to translate the entire Bible into their language of fun. They claim to be 61% done.

128340989882968750ceilingcatar.jpgWhy? I haven’t a clue.

An LA Times blogger wrote this about the project:

Sure, the Internet has more than proven itself as an invaluable tool for research, communication and business. Still, sometimes the best features of the Web are the most banal – namely those that let you kill time online while at work or school. Perhaps no other online project of the moment is greater testament to this than the Lolcat Bible Translation Project ( www.lolcatbible.com).

Thanks to thousands of slacking office workers, procrastinating students and cat lovers worldwide with fast DSL connections at the ready, over 30% of both the New Testament and Old Testament have been translated into “lolcat” speak, a.k.a. “lolspeak.” It’s based on the popular Internet meme and subsequent diversionary website Lolcat.com (and, lately, the even more popular Icanhascheezburger.com), where users upload pictures of their pets with embedded words in a “cute” cat-speak (example: “um, hai, yur home early!”).

And while the Bible has been translated before into Net-bred English variants (most notably an ebonics version of the Good Book), the Lolcat Bible Translation Project aims to be the first Bible a cute kitten might comprehend.

I still don’t get it.

Here is how the lolspeak version of Genesis begins:

Boreded Ceiling Cat makinkgz Urf n stuffs

1 Oh hai. In teh beginnin Ceiling Cat maded teh skiez An da Urfs, but he did not eated dem.

2 Da Urfs no had shapez An haded dark face, An Ceiling Cat rode invisible bike over teh waterz.

3 At start, no has lyte. An Ceiling Cat sayz, i can haz lite? An lite wuz.4 An Ceiling Cat sawed teh lite, to seez stuffs, An splitted teh lite from dark but taht wuz ok cuz kittehs can see in teh dark An not tripz over nethin.5 An Ceiling Cat sayed light Day An dark no Day. It were FURST!!!1

6 An Ceiling Cat sayed, im in ur waterz makin a ceiling. But he no yet make a ur. An he maded a hole in teh Ceiling.7 An Ceiling Cat doed teh skiez with waterz down An waterz up. It happen.8 An Ceiling Cat sayed, i can has teh firmmint wich iz funny bibel naim 4 ceiling, so wuz teh twoth day.

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.