There’s a piece up on BoingBoing about a cultural Internet phenomenon in east Asia called “orz”. If you look at those letters next to each other, you can imagine what the writer describes:

It illustrates a guy facing left and kneeling on the ground, the “o” means the head, the “r” means the hands and the body while the “z” means the legs. People use this pictograph to show they failed and they are despair or in a sad mood (“??” in Chinese or japanese Kanji) in the Internet.

(Unfortunately, that Chinese character didn’t come out.)

You can see the sheer defeat in that pictograph. The speaker has been beaten to his hands and knees. And yet I feel that there is a dark sort of humor to it, a grim commiseration that allows men going through orz to identify with each other, and maybe even laugh about it.

I found it interesting that they pronounce Internet pictographs, e.g. “greater underline less” and “XD”. (I also thought it was cute that he explained what the emoticons meant.)

Thanks for hosting the translation, BoingBoing!