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   Are you a Jejemon?


Let’s see if you can read this message without getting a headache.

EoszWpFhUeEhsxz.,!!Q4muXtah,?S@hnaLhaRn mh@1nt1NdH@nn N30wh Tton6 m3sZs49e kHou.,,jejeje!

If this is how you type words in text, chat, or social networking sites, you are probably a Jejemon. It is difficult to read but it simply says, “Hello po! Kamusta? Sana lang maintindihan n’yo ‘tong message ko.” Jejemonsters or Jejemons are a variation of Jologs. They use symbols and numbers to replace letters, thus, making their texts unreadable to the average person. What is a Jejemon and how would you know if you are one?

The term Jejemon originated from the misspelled expression of slight laughter on the net. Instead of hehehe, they type jejeje because they are too lazy to stretch their right index finger to the left. It could also be from the Spanish spelling of this sound because the Spanish J sounds like the English and Filipino H.

Jejemon, or Jeje for short, is a normal human being like you and me. It’s hard to distinguish Jejemons merely by appearance. They are commonly spotted around chat rooms and social networking sites like Friendster or Facebook. One easy way to distinguish them is through their writing. Jejemon’s writings use jejebet, which is a combination of English alphabet, numbers and symbols. These numbers and symbols are used to replace letters, depending on how a Jeje wants to spell a word. They often use letters such as H, S, Q, Z, and X to make the word longer. StiCkYcApS and inappropriate punctuations are also noticeable in their writing. And this wouldn’t be complete without their famous laugh, jejeje, at the end of their sentence. The above example is written in Jejenese (Jejemon’s language) using the jejebet. Aside from writing, Jejemons are also recognized by their style. They usually wear a rainbow-coloured cap called the jejecap, which is worn simply by placing it on top of their heads. They also do a jejepose in pictures, which is marked by inverted peace sign.

There are different levels or stages of Jejemons in terms of their knowledge in Jejenese. A report by GMA news director Jessica Soho features four levels of Jejemon. Mild Jejemon are those who can read and write Jejenese in shortened form. If letters such as F, S, X,Q, Z, and H started to appear, they advance to moderate level. Numbers and symbols substitutions distinguish the severe Jejemons. If their words are extremely hard to understand and cause headaches, they are on terminal level.

Jejemons have already conquered the World Wide Web. They are growing fast in social networking sites. Becoming a Jejemon is symptomless. You may become one without even realizing it. It is sometimes contagious if a Jejemon made contact with you through text and chat. To a normal individual, deciphering their message can cause severe headaches and annoyance.

If Jologs has a counterpart called Conyo, Jejemons have the Jejebusters or Grammar Nazis. Jejebusters discriminate the Jejes for their discrete Jologs style and irritating language. They ridicule them on the Internet and bully them on chat rooms. Jejemons and Jejebusters are now everywhere on the web. Many fansites are created for both groups where each expresses their own opinions. Jejemons are not only limited to Filipinos. Other cultures have their own variation of Jejemons with their own names and based on their own cultural context.

Ricardo Reyes is a member of ANAK.

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