I've been thinking about private jokes, secret code words, and the like that develop in circles of friends, small communities and the like. I was feeling cranky and ranty about it, but upon reflection, I think it's a natural phenomenon to create them. I think it's also a natural phenomenon to feel hurt and left out when you don't get the joke.
A lot of private in-jokes came out of aiela's housewarming party, some of which I get, and some I don't. Private jokes and references are a sort of social shortcut, and not meant maliciously most of the time. It's a way of saying, "Remember how fun that party was? Remember how hard I made so-and-so laugh?"
On another site I post to, there's another private joke going around. Someone created a fake persona, a net moron so clueless he stretches the bounds of credulity. I finally posted something about it, and was let in on the secret. As people figured out it was a joke, they were let in, and were given privileges to post as the net moron. Some users are making jokey posts, but obviously some of them are trying to get those "not in the know" to respond to the new poster as a real person. I just think that's stupid, verging on kind of mean, so I'm refusing to participate.
I can't get too high and mighty about it, though, because I think it stems from a benign and natural impulse. dionysus1999
and I have a sort of "code" for when we're in social situations and need to communicate (i.e. "I'm bored stiff-- let's get out of here!). And when I was in high school, my best friend J.C. and I had a coded notebook we passed around. A couple friend were hurt and insulted that they were left out, and so a couple were let in on the cypher, but it was still a very small group, maybe 4 or 5 of us.
J.C. and I also had a VERY extensive private language that we could use in social situations, more elaborate than the nose-scratching and eye-brow raising that J. and I use at parties with each other. J.C. and I had a few code words, but much of our conversation could happen in a circle of 10 people with he and I exchanging looks, shrugs, and single words in a particular tone of voice, and we could have an entire conversation that no one else in the room could follow. That used to piss off and offend people 'not in the know' on occasion as well.
So, I'm not here to point the finger at anyone who engages in private jokes to say that what you're doing is rude or exlusionary or anything. J. and I have enough jokes that are couple-specific that I could fill a book. I'm just thinking about it as a social phenomenon and trying to figure out what I do think about it.