A time traveler from just 10 years ago would have no idea what this billboard is saying

by Joey deVilla on June 27, 2017

Click the photo to see it at full size.

Lan Bui, who works at mobile marketing firm Leanplum, posted the photo above on LinkedIn, which I found through our mutual friend Analise Perry. It occurred to me that there’d be some people today who’d find it cryptic, and it would be a complete mystery to a reader from a mere ten years ago.

“Lit” has had a slang meaning for over a century, “AF” would make sense to someone from a decade ago once you expanded the acronym, and a designer from that time period might call refer to the little pictures of fire as “pictograms” rather than “emoji”.

It might take longer to explain what “mobile marketing” is to someone from 2007, because it’s hard to imagine doing marketing on the devices, network and software of that era:

A still from the “Stevenote” where the iPhone was introduced.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Greg Ogarrio June 27, 2017 at 2:18 pm

Ha! But wouldn’t a time traveler likely have seen the future and known what Lit AF stood for even if they had only started time traveling in 2007? Well, maybe not, if they only time travelled forward to 2008, but that would seem a quite modest use of time traveling capability.

2 Joey deVilla June 27, 2017 at 3:38 pm

I’m thinking of a “Doctor’s companion”-style time traveler — one who gets dragged into the adventure rather than initiating it. And I know a couple of Bitcoiners who’d squander time-travel capability just to see how much their BTC is worth next year.

3 Greg Ogarrio July 5, 2017 at 11:24 am

Then there’s the question if someone time travels at all it could disrupt the space-time continuum, meaning Leanplum might never have erected that billboard in the first place, rendering this comment I’m typing irrelevant.

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