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The 'Jejeje' And Jejemon Epidemic

bjcyrix By bjcyrix on
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What is a Jejemon? There have been different definitions and descriptions of a Jejemon but at the very core of it is its etymology. The term “jeje” is a derivation of the word “hehe” which means sly laughter. The ”-mon” came from the term “Pokemon” of the famous anime. Thus, making the word Jejemon a variation of Jeje Monsters. Basically, they are people who brought text speak to a whole new level. They substitute letters for numbers and add other unnecessary letters to the spelling of what they were trying to convey.

It has been going on for some years now. I have friends who would text “jeje” instead of “hehe”. I didn’t get it at first but someone finally told me. It can be quite annoying and I tolerate it since it's their freedom of speech, but this year, the Jeje Fever seems to have reached its boiling point. With the boom of the Jejemon language or Jejenese as they call it, I learned that there are now levels of being a Jejemon. There’s the mild, moderate, severe and terminal level. I saw a sample of how the severe case is, and well, it just gave me a headache. Try reading this:

“eOwWhH EbR1, AaiH LlyHk h@NginG o0uhHt N ZtArBuckKzz. caHm jH0iN MeEH dtHerhe.”

Translation:

“Hello everyone, I like hanging out in Starbucks. Come join me there.”

Though it is a way to express oneself, it does have some disadvantages. It threatens the grammar and spelling skills of people. It alters the normal sentence structure of their local language when translating to Jejenese. Most importantly, it can be seen as a form of disrespect to the kind of education that all people should have.

There are theories as to how the Jejemon language evolved. It is speculated that those who were not good in spelling and grammar used Jejenese to hide their skills or lack thereof by compensating with being cute like alternating “Hello” with “eow”.

Jejemons have become so popular that fan pages have popped up all over social networking sites like Facebook. Not only that, they also have created their own website, online store, and various Jejemon community sites. They were featured on some tv shows, and even Justin Bieber took a shot in tweeting a Jejemon phrase.

Recent views and trends have uncovered and identified a Jejemon’s fashion sense. It combines hip-hop, rock, emo-core, metal, and original Filipino music in one ensemble. The blogger Marocharim itemized how a Jejemon would put together his/her getup:

Example 1: Imitation Havaianas, hip-hop shorts, Saosin shirt, eyeliner/mascara, trucker cap.

Example 2: Imitation Converse, skinny jeans, Three-Stars-and-a-Sun shirt, bandanna, sunglasses, trucker cap.

Example 3: Imitation Crocs, striped knit stockings, fishnet stockings, denim cut-offs, tube top, eyeliner/mascara, Fly shades/Shutter shades, dyed hair in cornrows.

(Hmmm, and as I'm typing this, I hear the radio is blaring out a song about Jejemons.)

On the other side of the fence, not all people welcomed the existence and growth of these Jejemons. This opposition force is called “Jeje Busters”. These are people, institutions, or organizations that dislike the use of Jejenese and work to eradicate their existence and hopefully purge the school systems of this kind of language.

Now, I raise this question: Is it just a fad? Or is it here to stay? Personally, I think it's just a fad. Numerous kinds of teen slang or language have evolved over the generations. Those just die as the generations move on to other trends. Who knows? This Jejemon trend might already blow over by next year. Or maybe not. The point is, people move on. The real question is: would it be sooner or later? That’s just what I think, anyway.