Lisa Paul, in the comments, delivered a round bitch-slap to me for missing the obvious possibility that the following faux-pas could be an attempt to emulate the Brooklynite coloquialism “S/he was robbed” and convey their accent. She could be right. However…I like my take on it better ;). Can anyone confirm whether the author of the MSNBC story is from Brookly?

—original story follows—

Nastia Liukin had a bad day yesterday at the Olympics. Not only did she lose the gold due to a scoring decision, she’s the occasion for MSNBC, one of the more prestigious news sites on the internet, deciding to dump English in favor of LOLCAT-speak.

You heard it here first, guys. According to this page, Nastia Luikin “wuz” robbed. And she wuzn’t just robbed once, she “wuz robbed” twice. Once in paragraph two’s lead sentence, which says “It seems that she wuz robbed,” [sic] and once in paragraph three, which restates the imperative as a teasing question: “Wuz Luikin robbed?”

She Wuz Robbed!!!
LOLspeak hits MSNBC

It’s one thing when a blogger does it – people who are on the net all day sometimes reflexively revert to IM shorthand or lolcat-ese. Dumb, but excusable.

It’s quite another when a professional news organization (one of the biggest in the world), includes this kind of juvenile idiocy in their news reporting. I guess that an eighth grade reading level isn’t low enough anymore for some press corporations – they’re changing their writing standards to “Eighth grade Instant-Messaging level.”

Now, by the time you read this, somebody over in the editorial department of MSNBC might have gotten a fucking dictionary out or, you know, USED A SPELLCHECKER on their page and caught the review. If not, let’s not tell them, ok? Let’s just spread this meme *everywhere.* Let’s embarrass the hell out of them. Let’s get everyone so hopping mad about it that maybe, just maybe, people will look to see if a journalist, an editor, or a copy editor can spell before they’re hired. Maybe we’ll even get lucky and schools will start requiring (and encouraging) that students demonstrate basic traffic-sign level literacy before promoting them up the academic ladder to be with their friends.


  1. Sorry but “WUZ ROBBED” is NOT LOL-speak. It’s a very well known sports phrase dating from back to the turn of the Century (19th to 20th!). It was mostly associated with baseball. Some believe it dates from the headline of a New York area paper that detailed a game that the Brooklyn Dodgers lost, but should have won. The headline read: “We Wuz Robbed”. I believe the attempt was to approximate how a Brooklynite-on-the-street would have described the event.

  2. Hey, I finally tracked down the “We Wuz Robbed” quote. According to this site (http://www.eastsideboxing.com/news/bearden0407.php) it was said by Joe Jacobs, manager of the German fighter Max Schmeling. Apparently Schmeling seemed to have handily won a match that was then awarded to his opponent. The press widely quoted the colorful response of Jacobs who was a Jew from the Lower East Side.

    Lisa – hat’s off. Thanks for keeping me honest!

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