There’s a new top dog in town, and he’s been infiltrating the meme-speak of a few Superlinguo co-workers. This meme is easily spotted thanks to the colourful comic sans, bad photochopping and prevalence of Japanese Shibe Inu dogs. But, of course, it also has its own vocabulary, which is why we’re so interested in it.
There’s a great article on Slate that ponders how to pronounce doge. Like several of the experts quoted there, we’re in favour of a pronunciation that rhymes with ‘vogue’.
Some of the more salient features:
Very template, much lexical slot
A collection of quantifiers (so, very, much, such, many), which are used with words that they are not combined with in Standard English:
such doge, very meme, much wow, etc.
This makes up the bulk of material for image captioning. It’s also the feature that is most salient when attempting to invoke the doge meme in the absence of images.
All Doge images must have at least one wow. Preference is for non-capitalised, occasionally as part of the templates above, and generally in greater numbers than lol (which is permissible, but not necessary).
Spelling and grammar notes
Spelling is not that irregular, and much easier to understand than LOLspeak. The spelling errors that are made are less about a phonetic representation of a cute way of speaking, and more about clumsiness at typing - think additional, missing or switched characters.
Grammar is not that irregular either. Most grammatical irregularities come from the mismatching in the phrasal templates. Apart from that the most you get is a bit of irregular tense. There’s also much less irregular person marking than in LOLspeak - but this could be because doge-speak is only used in short phrases.
We’re enjoying the current run that doge is getting - as with all language-based memes it will be interesting to see how much longer it makes its way into our inboxes and text messages.