Social Question

eponymoushipster's avatar

Why do some people feel the need to be "cutesy"?

Asked by eponymoushipster (20197 points ) February 11th, 2010

This seems to be a more and more prevalent problem these days. Whether it’s due to internet memes, a person’s own sad life or whatever – why do some people want to use speech reminiscent of “I Can Haz Cheezeburger” or whatever? Or be overly gushy with people – even someone they’ve never met in real life?

Are they just sad and lonely, and need a way to connect? Do they think being cutesy will make people overlook their lack of confidence or make up for other shortcomings in their life? Is it just that Daddy didn’t give enough hugs?

It tends to be especially popular with young, emo-ish girls. Does this cutesy trend spike from the music they listen to, to a certain extent, or the pop culture they delve into? Are they under the impression that life is cupcakes and puppy dogs and by speaking in such a manner, being “huggy” and whatnot, everything will be a fairy tale?

Where is this trend coming from, and, more importantly, when is it going away?

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116 Answers

tinyfaery's avatar

I think people baby talk because they think that it might endear them to the person they are speaking with.

Smone (Asmonet) is cutesy and I find it, well, cute.

tragiclikebowie's avatar

I blame anime.

Just kidding.

Blackberry's avatar

Lmfao….I blame anime and geeky internet culture too, it probably came from those ‘lolcats’ or something. This stuff seemingly appeears out of nowhere and just becomes funny, kind of like pedobear….....

tedibear's avatar

@eponymoushipster – I agree, it is annoying. And I’m ready for it to stop. Sadly, this type of cutesy nonsense has been around forever and it’s not going away. I remember it clearly from junior high, high school and college. It was annoying then, it’s annoying now. IMHO, of course.

I think you just see it more because of websites like Facebook and MySpace. People can post rainbows, smile faces, hearts, fairies, blah blah blah to other peoples’ profiles. What cracks me up are the people who think, “Oh, I’m so special to this person I don’t even know in real life because he/she sent me a heart fairy rainbow puppy!”

lostinyoureyes's avatar

ilu bb

tee hee

Just kidding. I don’t know why people do this, but I know people don’t do this in real life. If only we were less cold in real life… at least it shows people want to connect.

phoebusg's avatar

I think it is a compensation.
Normally you can attach your emotions to what you say – through intonation on the phone – body language and intonation in person.
They feel the need to make a more emotional communication, and implement things that had a similar effect on them. But, it didn’t have that effect on you because you have a different pre-conception of written expression etc.

JimmyG's avatar

It has nothing to do with the internet, check the human genome…there’s a cutesy gene in there.

Axemusica's avatar

I blame cats!

rangerr's avatar

Because not everyone is a tactless asshole.
Some people actually have a heart.

faye's avatar

And especially to do it to cats!!

mrentropy's avatar

I only do it to my animals and I’m pretty sure they hate it.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@rangerr having a heart doesn’t involve going “O HAI I LUVZ U. <3<3<3 hug me? I’m a special flower”.

@Grisaille that was my second guess.

tinyfaery's avatar

My kitties love it. They tilt their heads and look at me like I’m crazy. Then they come rub my leg.

chels's avatar

Why not? Just because you don’t find it cute, doesn’t mean it isn’t.
Also “Whether it’s due to internet memes, a person’s own sad life or whatever” really? Sad life? I talk like that and I sure as hell don’t have a sad life.
Why do I do it? Because it’s cute. If you don’t like it, ignore it. :)

tragiclikebowie's avatar

My dog thinks I’m psychotic.

I’m a special flower!

rangerr's avatar

@eponymoushipster Because it’s just what people do. Ignore it and grow up.

Grisaille's avatar

@eponymoushipster You were close

And I do it to my cat all the time. Not in lolcat speak, but super fucking dweeby.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@rangerr don’t you have another “crazy” tumblr picture to take? i suppose that’s what people do, too.

@Grisaille it’s a rough one.

@tragiclikebowie you totally are. you totally are.

Hydrogenbond's avatar

I think that people do it because they are insecure about their confidence and assertion. Being “cutesy” allows you to get what you want through people feeling sorry for you. I find it very annoying and do actually feel sorry for them when they speak like this.

Hydrogenbond's avatar

@Grisaille – Another reason I don’t like our president.

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Your_Majesty's avatar

It doesn’t really matter as long as it’s still in politeness context.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

BOOM HEADSHOT!

Axemusica's avatar

Ok, lets try to have a nice non-aggressive debate peoples.

Dr_C's avatar

I don’t think this has anything to do with insecurity, awkwardness or even any emo-related adjectives. I just think some people find it cute and use it to communicate with like minded friends.

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tragiclikebowie's avatar

I’ve only found it really annoying in one girl I knew who did it all the time, anime faces and all (^.^), but she was the girlfriend of the guy I had the hots for, so I was completely biased.

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Axemusica's avatar

t(*_*t)
how’s that for cute? ;P

rangerr's avatar

@Axemusica Very cute. <3

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tinyfaery's avatar

Awesome

cyn's avatar

what happened to fluther?
):

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shrubbery's avatar

[mod says]: Ok guys, can we please refrain from personal attacks and keep our quips on topic? thanks.

Dr_C's avatar

Internet meme’s will show up in internet conversations…. such is life.
also.. ali this is the first time i’ve seen you go all mod-ish on a thread.. i like it!

J0E's avatar

Is this kind of talk annoying? Yes, quite honestly, it can be. Is it harmful, no, not in any way shape or form. This is really a petty issue to be getting into a fight about.

We should be arguing about the iPad instead…

deni's avatar

becuz best fwendz luv each other so vewwy much

I find it annoying and have filtered the people out of my life who talk like this on a daily basis. Not just for this reason, but because they are in general annoying and usually quite dull.

TooBlue's avatar

What ^she^ said. And quite frankly I’d rather look like a “tactless asshole” than try and talk like a 5 year old in an attempt to be “sweet” and “cute”.

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ChaosCross's avatar

Honestly I think it is their way of falling into the cracks of popular culture to be better accepted.

jonsblond's avatar

wow….what the fuck did I miss here!

How’s that for cutesy?

loser's avatar

I don’t know but for some reason I wanna be a flower.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

LOLLLLLLLL…I’m lovin’ it.

eponymoushipster's avatar

@loser youre a gladiola in my book.

arnbev959's avatar

This seems to be a more and more prevalent problem these days. Whether it’s due to internet memes, a person’s own sad life or whatever – why do some people want to use speech reminiscent of “I Can Haz Cheezeburger” or whatever? Or be overly gushy with people – even someone they’ve never met in real life?

Language, for me, is a domain where I don’t particularly like “cutseiness” So “I Can Haz Cheezeburger” really does nothing for me. But that’s just a matter of style.

As for being “gushy” with people you’ve never met in real life—this is something I’ve had some trouble with. Despite my heavy use of the computer, I do have some wariness for non-face-to-face communication. But one thing, probably the most important thing, that Fluther has taught me, is that the medium doesn’t matter all that much. That is: while communication is much easier and fuller when done in person, all interpersonal communication has the same ultimate effect.

I don’t think “gushiness”, over any medium, is a bad thing in itself. It’s only when the total sum of communication is made up of gushiness, when there’s no substance underneath it, that it is problematic.

“Are they just sad and lonely, and need a way to connect? Do they think being cutesy will make people overlook their lack of confidence or make up for other shortcomings in their life? Is it just that Daddy didn’t give enough hugs?”

I think it’s quite the opposite, really. Sad and lonely is the person who has some kind of a problem with beautiful things, or with people who love beautiful things. If you get something out of ignoring the part of your humanity that is drawn to beauty, or if you don’t have one, or if you think that that it is a “problem” of our culture that rabbits are adorable, all I can really say is: I’m sorry. Because you’re missing out.

Yes, perhaps our culture has overdone it. Perhaps the interwebs are too full of rainbows and unicorns. Repetition will make you sick of anything. You can only see so many “lol cats” (in my innocence, an innocence I’ve tried very hard to maintain, I’ve never actually come to know exactly what an “lol cat” is. Cultural virginity is an impossible goal, however, so despite my efforts I think I have a rather clear picture, if not a complete knowledge, of the cultural phenomenon the term refers to,) without getting sick of them.

A wise man once said “Everyone needs to get a cat.” I think this is the truest thing I’ve heard all week. Perhaps I’d modify it to say everyone needs to get a rabbit. (Again, just a matter of style.)

I myself may be a bit sick of seeing reproductions of beautiful, heart warming things on the internet. But that doesn’t devalue the essence of beauty. That doesn’t cheapen the loveliness of a sunset; that doesn’t constitute a “problem” in my book.

Allie's avatar

I don’t mind an “lol” or an “omg” when it’s in context, like when someone actually makes a joke. Other times I feel like it just makes you look stupid. Especially when it seems like all they do is the same mindless banter over and over. It’s probably partly memes, it’s probably partly attention seeking… it’s all ridiculous. It’s the worst when it turns into a conversation on a thread (or something similar). That’s what phones, text messages, AIM, or Skype is for.

@petethepothead “It’s only when the total sum of communication is made up of gushiness, when there’s no substance underneath it, that it is problematic.” Amen.

“or if you think that that it is a “problem” of our culture that rabbits are adorable, all I can really say is: I’m sorry. Because you’re missing out.” I think there is a difference between “Wow, that may be the most beautiful rabbit I’ve seen” and “OMGGGG!!! Rabbitrabbitbunnyrabbitbunny. Fuzzyfuzzy. I can haz rabbit?!?!??!??!!?? LOLLLL!!!!!!!” Agree?

TooBlue's avatar

@petethepothead your answer made no sense whatsoever. Not trying to give out flame bait or anything but I have no idea what you are on about.

faye's avatar

@TooBlue He’s answering the question posted point by point and very well.

TooBlue's avatar

Do you think you could sum up his answer for me and how it relates to the question? Or anyone else maybe?

tinyfaery's avatar

“Fire bad. Tree Pretty.”

tinyfaery's avatar

Lurve to whomever can name that quote.

Cruiser's avatar

@eponymoushipster I have noticed this same trend and is why I have doubled up on my arsenal of creme pies….

judochop's avatar

It’s just a form of comedy.

cyn's avatar

@tinyfairy, fragments!

arnbev959's avatar

@Allie: Agree. There’s a huge difference between the language used to express feelings, and the feelings themselves.

SuperMouse's avatar

It is a silly willy twend that dwives me cwazy. I spoke to my babies in a sing-songy voice, but I tried really hard not to use phrases like go boom boom or boo boo. It makes me nuts when asshats, online or in real life insist on communicating in this manner. I think most of the folks who use it do so because they think it is well, cute, and maybe even endearing. To me it is just grating.

TooBlue's avatar

No one’s going to take up my offer? This confirms my theory that nobody actually thoroughly read petethepothead’s answer before giving it a great answer. Sorry to be so anal about it. But I’m like that quite often.

tinyfaery's avatar

You said asshat. Hee.

faye's avatar

@TooBlue I read pete’s answer, understood it, don’t want to expain it.

rangerr's avatar

@TooBlue Ask Pete, not us. It’s his response. It’s not our place to explain.

TooBlue's avatar

HAHA It’s okay if you guys don’t understand something so obscure.

tinyfaery's avatar

I answered. I summed it up.

robmandu's avatar

I blame Elmer Fudd and Tweetie bird.

SeventhSense's avatar

I think Petethepothead and Allie said similar things. The one similar thing being that the act of being cutesy was less of an issue than the perceived offense of cutesy. It’s just a means that people add emphasis to a statement or attempt to connect. And certainly maybe used to excess by the young and less jaded among us. It makes me feel a little connection with someone at times. Other times it’s just silly. I think some people are much more emotionally driven and some more mental and some just want to add a little human element to their words. In the pursuit of proper netiquette though an emoticon is still best to avoid misunderstanding. And killing each other with marshmallows and hearts is certainly better than the alternative.

faye's avatar

As a child, aka young and less jaded, I hated cutesy crap and have ‘til now. I never did draw hearts instead of dots on my i’s.

DominicX's avatar

I don’t really know what you’re talking about, to be honest.

With all the gloominess prevalent in people these days, we need all the happiness we can get. In my mind it’s never going to be a bad thing.

Amen to this quote of @petethepothead: “I think it’s quite the opposite, really. Sad and lonely is the person who has some kind of a problem with beautiful things, or with people who love beautiful things. If you get something out of ignoring the part of your humanity that is drawn to beauty, or if you don’t have one, or if you think that that it is a “problem” of our culture that rabbits are adorable, all I can really say is: I’m sorry. Because you’re missing out.” GA and I couldn’t agree more.

As a fan of bubblegum dance, cute Japanese music, anime, and cats, “cute” is a big part of what is pleasing to me. Especially when I am dating a boy who is insanely cute.

eponymoushipster's avatar

to be clear, as @Allie pointed out, i don’t have a problem with “beautiful things”. i have a problem with people who put on an act of ultra-cutesines, either for show or to compensate for some other issue.

the “wubby dubby” crap does not equal a “beautiful thing”.

as eloquent as @petethepothead was, his understanding of my point was incorrect. Like @Allie said, there’s a difference between “That is a beautiful flower” and “O hai flwr, i give you mah luv cuz u cuteh. <3 <3”. that’s bullshit.

DominicX's avatar

@eponymoushipster

I guess I don’t see much of the latter, not to mention that can only really exist on the internet (or in text messages) and typing isn’t necessarily a reflection of how someone acts in person. To me, that last sentence is just bizarre and wouldn’t be all that appealing to me. I like cute, but not to the point of just being plain weird.

tinyfaery's avatar

@liminal Ding ding ding!

SeventhSense's avatar

@eponymoushipster
But honestly who cares? You just don’t take them seriously but they’ll connect with someone which seems to be what they need.

augustlan's avatar

This is certainly nothing new. As a child of the 80s, I can tell you that being a “Valley Girl” was all about the cute. When I was a teenager… other teenagers had no issue with “Valley speak”, but my grandmother sure did. As far as she knew, though, it was just me talking like that. I think what is new is that people of all ages are in much more frequent communication with one another now. So, people of all ages are much more exposed to communication of all styles. Not necessarily a bad thing, I think.

Symbeline's avatar

It annoys the hell outta me too. Of course people can do whatever they want, doesn’t make em any lesser of human beings, but it’s almost sickening haha. I hate it when people finish all their words in ee’s sounds, like owies and I hate it when they say things like Me gotta go beddie bies! I’m like stfu lol.

But eh to each his own, I don’t know why they do it cuz I usually avoid those online people like the plague. Even if they’re actually cool and intelligent I don’t care, I can’t stand all those anime freaks who masturbate over pictures of flying cats and then tell me I have no life because I only get out of my basement to get drunk or study dead people.

And yeah lolcatz. I love cats, but those are getting out of hand. It’s not the material that’s so bad, rather than the fans who make me sick, like as if there wasn’t anything else to do online but laugh and oogle at pictures of cats with text added to the pictures that are worthy of a mentally retarded person’s speech.

But yeah, we need variety in this world, and people have the right to act or do what they want, but in that repsect, I have the right to be a biased Nazi and say that they suck and should learn to type like normal people and I’m also tired of them getting mad at me if I don’t use the Japanese words for cute and nightmare when I happen to be unfortunate enough to find myself in a discussion with them.

Worse than furries those fuckups.

[/rant]

Say what you will, self projection, something missing in my life, my existence is too dark park or I’m jealous…I care not. Cute online people are lame.

tinyfaery's avatar

@augustlan For sure. Like, totally.

Jude's avatar

@Symbeline here, have a drink. ;-)

bezdomnaya's avatar

I try to ignore ‘cutesy’ speak as much as possible. If it happens to be a person I contact regularly, I try to make a point to type everything out fully and punctuate correctly in hopes that the other person will follow my lead. I have no idea why this became an acceptable form of writing. It takes me 20 minutes to decipher those texts (if I don’t give up first).

SeventhSense's avatar

@Symbeline
don’t know why they do it cuz I usually…
I suppose you meant because or as a result of? :)

Facade's avatar

Some people just think it’s funny or want attention. Being cutesy is one of the many parts of my personality. It’s pretty much involuntary and not noticeable enough to annoy people =)

Symbeline's avatar

@SeventhSense If you can assure me that saying “cuz” is cute, I swear I’ll never say it again.

SeventhSense's avatar

@Symbeline
‹(•¿•)›

Jude's avatar

When I see it online (and in abundance), sure, it can be irritating. I think of my cousin’s 13 year old and her text (computer) speak. It can cause an eye twitch or two. But, like Auggie said, back in the day, our folks and people a bit older, perhaps, found the way that we talked to be “annoying”.

So, I read through it, perhaps, cringe and get over it..

rangerr's avatar

@Facade You ARE cute.

Symbeline's avatar

@SeventhSense (>‘o’)>—[============>^(‘_’`^)

Being cute is too much work for how lame it is. XD

Facade's avatar

@rangerr Not as cute as yew <3

SuperMouse's avatar

@augustlan as a child of the 80’s who grew up just over the hill from the San Fernando Valley, all I have to say is that response is totally wrong! I never thought of “Valley Speak” as being about the cute, it was so for sure totally 100% about the bitchin – still is if you ask me.

augustlan's avatar

Radical. Totally.

rangerr's avatar

@Facade nuh uh. u is teh cutest. <33

Facade's avatar

@rangerr Ohai. No yew iz. Kthxbai.

Jude's avatar

@Facade is naturally cute.

chels's avatar

@rangerr and @Facade are teh cutest ladiez in teh whole wurld, yespls.<3<3

jlm11f's avatar

[mod says:] Enough with the off topic, girls. Regardless of whether you use whisper or not. Back to the scheduled program…

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judochop's avatar

Wow, I actually took the time to read through this entire thread. I would love to take a giant crap on this, really. First off who the hell cares? Secondly, are you really going to concern yourself to the point of debate with something that you consider about as cool as swine flu? It’s the internet, feel free to move on if it annoys you. I also read that some of you have “friends” that talk like this? Really, where are those people? The whole “haz,” and “nomnomnom” thing spawns from comedy. It is not built out of insecure dialect or the need to feel like one fits in better, yes…If you take it seriously then you are a moron. As for the GA’s above that speak of glitter, rainbow, facespace stickers and various bits of ugly, those bare no more meaning than a simple “hi.” I’ll agree they are ugly but look at the world around you, most people have really bad taste. Get used to it and stop bitching about it. It makes you sound like the grumpy old neighbor that won’t let you get the frisbee if it happens to fly in to the yard. There is a ton of annoying shit out there, from Ed Hardy to spray tans in January to men wearing tight ass girls jeans but the internet and text speak??? That’s like opening a magazine you don’t like everyday and then bitching about it, as if you are forced in to being annoyed. Move on please, leave some of the “cute, somewhat” funny shit alone.

arnbev959's avatar

@SeventhSense brings up an excellent point: “In the pursuit of proper netiquette though an emoticon is still best to avoid misunderstanding.”

Language is “a particular kind of system for encoding and decoding information” (Source.) In other words, language is a way of encoding thoughts so that they can be transfered to another person, a process which is necessarily an imperfect one. For language to be effective, there needs to be a shared vocabulary with meanings that anyone can interpret.

But the overwhelming majority of human communication is non-verbal. The internet is a fairly new medium, that often relies on words only.

It almost pains me to write “lol” at times, but I don’t always have a choice. If I were with someone in real life a simple facial gesture might be all the feedback I’d provide. But silence isn’t usually an acceptable response when your sole means of interaction is through text on a screen. You are forced to say something.

Since so much of communication is non-verbal, there are things you can say in real life, that, while accompanied with certain body movements, clearly convey the intended message. The same things, when they appear as text on a screen, may easily be misinterpreted by the receiver.

Some of the “cutsey” phrases are really just useful, if limited, adaptations of our language that help solve the problems of non-face-to-face interaction. While “lol” is hardly an eloquent way of expressing yourself, it does have the benefit of having a standard meaning that most people can correctly interpret. If someone were to say “That was very funny,” it might well be misinterpreted as being sarcastic, even if the sender didn’t mean it to be.

ucme's avatar

@judochop Perfect answer. The question reveals all anyone needs or cares to know about those with such negative opinions on something so trivial. Professional whingers, get a life.

tinyfaery's avatar

What’s a whinger?

thriftymaid's avatar

I want to know what the answers were that were removed by moderation. Don’t they know that drives us crazy? Oh, cutesy—exasperating.

ucme's avatar

@tinyfaery Sorry lost in translation.It’s what we English call anyone who complains a lot.In this case a little too audibly over such a trivial matter.

tinyfaery's avatar

Gotcha.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I agree with @judochop
why are you even concerning yourself with what teenage girls pass for conversation – there are bigger issues out there and bigger annoyances…I think that this has to do with how young girls feel they’re allowed to talk – not to make bold statements or express their opinions but to put everything down in a ‘cutesey’ way so that they’re accepted – does that really seem that foreign to you?

SeventhSense's avatar

Like many questions this can be wrapped up quite simply:
“Who gives a flying fuck?”

Jude's avatar

“Who gives flying fig out of a rolling donut” :)

EmpressPixie's avatar

Because creating an ingroup lexicon can strengthen relationship bonds. I suspect this happens online somewhat more often than in real life as a reflection of the lack of other ways to strengthen these bonds—it’s hard to go out drinking or see a movie or even eat dinner with your online friends, but you can create a shared speech.

It’s a well known phenomenon with couples. Couples that do this, by the way, on average have longer relationships that they report as more fulfilling.

FutureMemory's avatar

“O HAI I LUVZ U. <3<3<3 hug me? I’m a special flower”.

Kill it with fire!

desiree333's avatar

I think these people have low self confidence and are compensating for their lack of a personality. They probably think that these qualities make them adorable and more likeable. It usually makes them just look like they do not have one original thought in their head though. I find these people are usually also the ones that act stupid in front of boys, why they do it is a mystery to me.

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