Her eyelids slowly make their descent down toward her cheeks. The rhythmic tumbling of dirty laundry in the washer and the steady tapping of rain against the window pane coo her to sleep. Both promising to wash away the filth of the world that clung to her threads and car treads.
"If only there was something to cleanse the filth of my heart…nothing. For now, I guess I sleep."
I don’t know why I’m so tired lately.
Is it so much to ask for a comfortable place to sleep and someone to rub my back until I slip into a slumber? Mayhaps I can wake to the sound of a breeze sneaking in and out of the leaves of a tree. Some freshly squeezed juice on the bed side table? And the melodious tune of him stirring in his sleep.
If you have any doubt that the hashtag is a frighteningly powerful tool in our modern vocabulary, imagine a person you care about texting you that song’s title line out of the blue: “You’re beautiful.” Now think of the same person texting, “You’re #beautiful.” The second one is jokey, ironic, distant—and hey, maybe that’s what that person was going for. But it also hammers home that point that the internet too often asserts: You’re not as original as you once thought. “Beautiful” is analog, unquantifiable, one-in-a-million. #Beautiful, on the other hand, is crowded terrain. Ten more people have just tweeted about something or someone #beautiful since you started reading this sentence.
As more and more of our daily interactions become text-based — people preferring texting to phone calls, workplaces that rely heavily email and instant messaging—we’re developing ways to stretch our written language so it can communicate more nuance, so we can tell people what we mean without accidentally leading them on or pissing them off. Periods have becomemore forceful, commas less essential, and over the last few years, the hashtag has morphed into something resembling the fabled sarcasm font—the official keystroke of irony. Putting a hashtag in front of something you text, email, or IM to someone is a sly way of saying “I’m joking,” or maybe more accurately, “I mean this and I don’t at the same time.”
Thanks to Twitter, the hashtag has become an important linguistic shortcut. But while everyone from Robin Thicke to Beyoncé has used the symbol as part of their art, only a few have truly taken advantage of its culture-jamming possibilities.