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Language in Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) 6 December 2010


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Title: Language in Computer-Mediated Communication (CMC) 6 December 2010

Language in Computer-Mediated Communication
(CMC)6 December 2010
What are the main situational features of CMC?
Oral/written One way/two ways Public/private Asynchronous/synchronous

Mobile phone

  • emails (one-to-one or one-to-many, asynchronous,
  • Instant Messaging and Internet Relay Chat
    (one-to-one or one-to-many, synchronous, written
    and oral)
  • Forums, Newsgroups, Listservs, Mailing lists,
    Distribution lists and Bulletin Board Systems
    (one-to-many, asynchronous, written)
  • MUDs (Multi-User Dimensions) and MOOs
    (Object-Oriented MUDs) (multiple players,
    synchronous, written),
  • we can now add
  • weblogs (one-to-many, asynchronous, written)
  • podcasting (one-to-many, asynchronous, oral)
  • wikies (many-to-many, asynchronous, written).

  • A MUD (originally Multi-User Dungeon, with later
    variants Multi-User Dimension and Multi-User
    Domain), is a multiplayer real-time virtual world
    . MUDs combine elements of role-playing games,
    player versus player, interactive fiction, and
    online chat. Players can read or view
    descriptions of rooms, objects, other players,
    non-player characters, and actions performed in
    the virtual world. Players typically interact
    with each other and the world by typing commands
    that resemble a natural language.
  • Traditional MUDs implement a computer
    role-playing game set in a fantasy world
    populated by fictional races and monsters, with
    players being able to choose from a number of
    classes in order to gain specific skills or
    powers. The object of this sort of game is to
    slay monsters, explore a fantasy world, complete
    quests, go on adventures, create a story by
    roleplaying, and advance the created character.
    Many MUDs were fashioned around the dice-rolling
    rules of the Dungeons Dragons series of games.

  • Mud Object Oriented is similar in structure to
    MUDs, but there is not the game component.
  • MOOs aim to interaction, education and social

What are the notable linguistic features of
CMC? Note that the proportion of these features
exhibited by a CMC text can vary enormously
according to criteria such as text-type and the
personal characteristics of the individual writer
(including age, identity, etc.).
  • Orthography
  • informal ("phonetic") spelling
  • do wot I did
  • luv from SD
  • dunno how easy itll be
  • speed-writing (esp. with mobile phones)
    combination of informal spelling with letter
  • omission
  • thx 4 yr txt
  • absence of capitalization (even with pronoun I
    and proper names)
  • got your email. ill be over later on in the day.

2. Vocabulary informal If you give it to me to
look at in the summer hols Ill be able to have a
peek at it myself sometime. I thin the N lot
managed to dagger it quite effectively. Oh goody.
... Even goodier. use of interjections At
last phew! This was the last bid with N, oh,
ages ago. Not back till Saturday grooh. use
of "in"-terms and abbreviations (BTW, ROTFL,
PTB) BTW have you heard an update on the
continuing saga?
3. Grammar "telegraphic" language Have
forwarded the N email. Will do, but am not back
in office until Tuesday. "chaining" (multiple
coordination/subordination in sequence)
4. Discourse and Text use of interaction
features (e.g. questions) ill be over later on
in the day, ok? The main trip up seems to be that
what we were thinking of is not in this call, am
I right? "stream of consciousness"
writing just one more thing, do i want to go to
england to teach in a school??? do i? oh well,
ill decide that when i have to.
message-comment structures in e-mail, etc. gt
Have just had your payslip and returned tax
card. Oh goody. hypertext (in the WWW)
5. Paralinguistics and Graphics spaced
letters in case youre wondering why things went
R E A L S L O W just now multiple
letters PLEEEEEASE alternative markers for
emphasis now _now_ capitalization
("shouting") little or "excessive"
punctuation do i want to go to england to teach
in a school??? "smilyes" (emoticons) Instead
of using it as a control key you have to do two
keypresses ( Why not join the most exciting
thing since Sues hedgehog followed Tim round the
building ) Anyone wanna buy some CPROS lottery
tickets? )
What do these features tell us about CMC? 1.
CMC demonstrates a mix of features drawn from
prototypically spoken and prototypically written
media (including sub-types of these e.g.
telegraphic language) 2. Text-type has an
important role in determining the nature of the
language used in CMC. Overall, however, the trend
is towards a more informal, "spoken" style
of writing. This is especially obvious at the
paralinguistic/graphic level, where additional
means have been developed to represent effects
that are possible in face-to-face interaction but
not in writing. 3. The constraints of real-time
interaction seem to be responsible for many of
the features of CMC language. These seem then to
have diffused into asynchronous text types. 4.
Socially, there seems to be some trend towards
group solidarity amongst users of CMC. Several
linguistic choices appear aimed at reducing
social distance and emphasizing group membership.
  • Succinctness and precision are highly valued and
    abbreviations can contribute greatly to a concise
    style, such as in text-messaging and chats. Here
    are some examples

afaiK As far as I know
bbl Be back later
cul8r See you later
icwum I see what you mean
imho In my humble opinion
jam Just a minute
otoh On the other hand
ttutt To tell you the truth
  • AE In Any
  • BTW By the way
  • FM Fine
  • FC Fingers
  • FWIW For what it's
  • FYI For Your
  • FUA Frequently Used
  • IITYWTMWYBMAD If I Tell You What This
    Means Will You Buy Me A Drink?
  • IAE In any
  • IANAL I Am Not A
    Lawyer, also IANA... such as CPA
  • RTFM Read the F(?)
  • SNAFU Situation
    Normal All bleeped Up
  • SITD Still in the
  • TANSTAAFL There Ain't No Such
    Thing As A Free Lunch
  • TIA Thanks In
    Advance (also AtDhVaAnNkCsE)
  • TIC Tongue in cheek
  • TLA Three Letter
    Acronym (such as this)
  • YMMV Your Mileage May

Smileys / emoticons
Smiley principale   Smiley secondari   Significato   Emoticon  
-) ) oppure )- oppure  oppure )-gt oppure  gt oppure gtgt_ oppure - oppure oppure (_) oppure . contentezza, sorriso, felice o tono scherzoso/amichevole
-( ( oppure (- oppure  oppure (ltlt Broncio, tristezza
-D D oppure D oppure DDX-D oppure XD oppure XDBD8D Riso / ridente,ho appena detto una stupidaggine
-P -p oppure P oppure pP oppure p linguaccia o "oops"
- oppure  normale, è anche usata come emoticon universale
8-) 8 ) oppure 8)B-) oppure B ) oppure B) "Figo"
'-( ' ( oppure '('- oppure ' oppure '' ( oppure '(' oppure ''-lt oppure ' lt oppure 'lt' lt oppure 'ltT_T oppure T.T oppure (T_T)Y_Y oppure Y.Y oppure (Y_Y)ç_ç oppure ç.ç oppure (ç_ç)- oppure _ oppure . piangere
-S S oppure SS confusione, imbarazzo o disagio infastidito
_at___at_ -? oppure  ? oppure ??_? oppure ?.? incuriosito
-) ) oppure )- oppure  oppure -gt oppure  gt oppure gt(_) oppure _ oppure _ ammiccante o occhiolino
-O O oppure O stupore ("a bocca aperta")
_ -_- oppure -.- con le varianti -.-" o -.- noia, sonno, ma anche bramosia o sarcasmo
-/ / oppure / oppure / -I oppure  I oppure I oppure -\ oppure \ infastidito o imbarazzante
(Z.Z) (-.-)Zzz annoiato
o_O O_oo.O oppure O.o- oppure oppure (-)_ oppure (_)oO oppure OoOO stupore, shock
o_0 0_oo.0 oppure 0.o0o oppure o0 confusione, diffidenza
gt_lt è.é oppure è_é fastidio, seccatura
U_U u_u oppure (U_U)U.U oppure u.u oppure (U.U)V_V oppure v_v oppure (V_V)V.V oppure v.v oppure (V.V) superiorità
ù_ù Sentire di aver ragione
lt_lt gt_gt sguardo stranito
_ (_) oppure ___ oppure (.) oppure . commozione o ammirazione
- -x oppure x oppure bacio
\o/ ballare
_ (_) stordimento
x_x X_X oppure (X_X)x.x oppure X.X oppure (X_X) nervosismo
OwO (OwO)w oppure (w) Grande sorpresa o meraviglia
-Q___ Q___ oppure QQ___ oppure Q oppure ç sbavare
3 -3 oppure 3x3 tenerezza
-_at_ _at_gt-_at_ oppure gt_at_ oppure gt( arrabbiato
_at_gt-- rosa (fiore)
_ (_)(X_X) oppure X_X oppure x_x(X.X) oppure X.X oppure x.x Morto
_at_-) _at_ ) oppure _at_)_at_)_at_- oppure _at_ oppure _at__at__at_-gt oppure _at_ gt oppure _at_gt_at_gt Pensiero Stupendo (Mente che pensa in modo diverso) o idea diversa dalle altre
lto) \(_)/ festeggiare
  • Netspeak, is a type of language displaying
    features that are unique to the Internet ()
    arising out of its character as a medium which is
    electronic, global, and interactive (Crystal,
    Language, 18).

  • Netiquette (a portmanteau formed from "network
    etiquette") is a set of social conventions that
    facilitate interaction over networks

  • Email (n) (v)
  • Originally spelled e-mail (electronic mail)

greeting formats
  • No greeting at all
  • First name
  • Dear first name
  • Hi
  • Hi first name
  • Nickname
  • Hello
  • Hello first name

  • If you are sending a reply the contact has
    already been established and you are in one sense
    continuing a dialogue that has already started.
  • It is very unusual to find the sort of formal
    greetings structures that characterise official
  • Indeed there are times when it is quite hard to
    know how to start an email, if youre writing to
    someone who has more power than you.
    Over-formality can appear sycophantic (servile),
    overfamiliarity rude.

Exchange of emails between two colleagues. They
have arranged a meeting for October 18, where Liz
is going to present some documents to Alan.
  • Consider
  • Aspects of formality/informality
  • Modes of address
  • Openings and closures
  • Use of idioms
  • Purpose of each email

  • Dear Alan
  • Im humming and haaing abt Friday 18. I think Ian
    will be coming to the meeting but I shd be able
    to meet you later IF done anything constructive
    which is a big if at the moment- Im certainly
    aiming to have a piece to submit but at present
    feels like Everest to climb havent even started
    redraft due to crazy psycho witch at work (I have
    my own stalker!!! calling me for an hour or more
    at home in the evenings!!) plus additional wall
    to wall crap. Not making preemptive excuse but
    forewarning. Hope this temporary glitch only I
    swear on my life that if I thought I couldnt
    deliver the thing at all wld tell you up front so
    you cld get someone else! So am hoping not to
    welsh on our deal but feel honourbound to tell
    you might HAVE to delay past 18th Oct. V
    embarrassed as I know I suggested this date.
    Mortified. Dont miss deadlines ever vv bad
  • Hope youre ok
  • Liz

  • Hi Liz
  • No need to panic not sure I can make it anyway.
    Would rather re-programme to Nov 4. Any good?
  • A

  • One of the peculiarities of IRC is the
    organization of conversational sequences and
    exchange structures
  • On IRC overlaps and interruptions are impossible.
    Each utterance is simply displayed in the
    chronological order in which it is received by
    the Irc system. This means that disparate strands
    of conversation are juxtaposed, forming sequences
    that intertwine to form a multidimensional text.
  • By scrolling a chat you can notice indipendent
    speech actstranscribed chronologically. The kind
    of sequence is different both from oral
    conversation and from a written text
  • ltKeelsgt booooooooo
  • ltAriadnnegt K e e l s !!! You in and out today?
  • ltbubigt keels, dont scare me!!!!
  • ltShaquillegt ariadnne - what the hell is your
  • ltKeelsgt who are you bubi
  • ltAlvingt bubi what does your friend want to do in
  • ltAlvingt Shaquile you r the problem,
  • ltAriadnnegt shaq i have no problem you were the
  • ltBubigt al. He wants to live and work, i guess
  • ltAlvingt bubi depends what sort of qualifications,
    experience, intentions, area
  • ltShaquillegt Alvin spell your name
  • ltAlvingt GRRRRR

  • Conciceness to emulate oral conversation
  • short gaps between conversational turns
  • an average message size of 6 words convey the
    requisite of expressivity and meaning
  • competition for attention
  • Alcune strategie adottate regolarmente nelle
  • Reduced syntax,
  • use of symbols ed acronyms
  • parole troncate,velocizzano e stringano la
    comunicazione. Ad esempio
  • ltFrankgt Y r excused
  • ltKeelsgtGooby gonna, try and do somthing smart
    for once
  • Personal pronouns often obmitted

  • Gli acronyms e i TLAs sono largamente utilizzate
    in chat per rispondere a questa esigenza di
    brevità. Talvolta anche i nicknames sono
    abbreviati, in particolare quando sussiste un
    rapporto di familiarità tra gli interlocutori e
    quando è difficile farne lo spelling.
  • Es. Sqhaquille in shaq Ariadnne in Ar
  • Per amor di sintesi, le vocali delle parole sono
    le prime ad essere sacrificate
  • Es. bb ppls per bye bye peoples pls
    per please
  • Spesso le parole sono troncate quando il suono
    prodotto dalla lettera sarà lo stesso di quello
  • Es. Where r u from? (are you)
  • Well i gotta go c u (see you)
  • Y r excused (you are)
  • In alcune IRC communities sono emerse alcune
    abbreviazioni, successivamente diventate di uso
    comune in tutte le chat. Come ad esempio
  • re abbreviazione di hello again o rehi
    per hi again
  • espressioni utilizzate per ri-salutare qualcuno
    uscito e rientrato in un channel

  • Paralinguistic and prosodic elements
  • strategia ortografica complessa, finalizzata a
    compensare l assenza di intonazione e di
    elementi paralinguistici nell interazione
    scritta. Si è fatto ricorso allinvenzione di
    espedienti linguistici estrosi ed innovativi per
    ricreare gli effetti della voce, della gestualità
    e della intonazione. Ciò è stato reso possibile
    dall uso creativo delle maiuscole, della
    punteggiatura e dello spelling.
  • Nel caso che segue, la reiterazione delle
    lettere o ed a è utilizzata per esprimere il
    prolungamento del suono e per dare intonazione
    espressiva al discorso
  • Cooolll per cool
  • Baaaaad per bad
  • Anche la punteggiatura è spesso utilizzata per
    ricreare leffetto della lingua parlata. Punti
    sospensivi e trattini sono impiegati per creare
    leffetto pausa. Inoltre, alcune forme
    ortografiche hanno un valore espressivo
    completamente diverso da quello svolto
    nellortografia ufficiale ad esempio le capital
    letters non sono quasi mai utilizzate come prima
    lettera dei nomi propri, bensì per esprimere
  • In questo contesto infatti ltAgagaxgt utilizza la
    maiuscola per far comprendere lo spelling del suo
    nome (
  • ltGenevievegt re agagaz
  • ltAgagaxgt no, not agagaZ, - agagaX
  • Oppure, come in questo caso, per enfatizzare
  • ltLilusgt I cant less than go WOOOOW

  • Colloquial verbalizations and nom-standard
    spellings appear to be self-conscious selected in
    preference to standard linguistic expressions.
  • I chatters frequentemente costruiscono
    simulazioni grafiche di espressioni sonore come
    ridere esclamare , abbaiare, cantare, riproducono
    il rumore del motore delle macchine da corsa
  •         hahahahahahaha (risata)
  •         aaaaaaahhhh (esclamazione)
  •         wouarffffff (cane che abbaia)
  •         mmmmmmmmmmmMMMMMMMMMM poc poc (rumore
    del motore della macchina da corsa)

  • Onomatopoeias are widely found in Net jargon, as
    it is often necessary to get across an action
    such as a sigh or moan, without having sound
    capabilities to send the sound itself.
  • IRC communities use a set of codes and
    conventions which represent gestures typical of
    face to face communication
  • Hugs, kisses, offers of coffee, yawns, shaking
    hands, smile, sorry, rose, hit , the popping of
  •  are symbolically represented actions. The
    lexeme indicating an action is sono tutte azioni
    rappresentate simbolicamente. La convenzione
    utilizzata per far ciò è racchiudere tra
    asterischi il lessema rappresentativo dellazione
  • ltariadnnegt A N N E M A R I E !!!!!hugs
  • ltalvingt G day Keels shakes hand

  • Weblogs (Portmanteau/blend of web and log)
    or blogs are a form of on-line personal
    publishing, an extension of a homepage. They are
    dynamic webpages, updated on a regular basis, and
    are half commentary and half journal, allowing
    individuals to express their views and stimulate
    critical thinking among their readers via
    diary-like entries and comments, and hosts of
    embedded links to various sources of information
  • Traditional CMC has been denoted by the lexeme
    netspeak the merging of this term with other
    conventional forms of communication has created
    blogspeak, a lexeme which designates a new
    variety found in blogs, namely the blending of
    speech and writing.
  • Blogspeak A language developed for and used in
    internet journals, or blogs, by their keepers, or
  • (http//

  • Between privacy and publicity
  • Between oral conversation and writing (written
    speech talky writing )
  • Between formality and informality

  • POST 1
  • Your logo made me laugh. There it is, on the
    left. See it, kids? I like it. A lot. And I do
    sometimes feel like Polly in a rabbit suit. What
    city is that? It looks like New York. I think
    Polly in a rabbit suit would be better off in New
    York. Wait, is that that blasted Montgomery
    building? Is that San Francisco? Im never moving
    back there, boy. Now you're definitely not
    sleeping on my couch.
  • Luckily, Im not Polly in a rabbit suit. I'm a
    fucking real live rabbit, OK? Why is that so hard
    for you little monkeys to wrap your little monkey
    brains around?
  • POST 2
  • Heading making clever pun on blog Im a
    journalist. see my daring posture vis-a-vis
    blogs they are too influential to too small a
    group of people. popular bloggers are bad and the
    taste of the blogosphere is incorrect or
  • google is making things worse. it's giving me
    opinions when i expect primary sources. me not
    able to linkthrough!
  • people link to each other. too many people link
    to the same people. it's not just unimaginative,
    its unfair to me just because i dismissed this
    for a while but now i want in and all the good
    blogroll spots are taken.
  • i hate you bloggers. i refuse to even link to
    snooty snoot. i hope kottke sees this.

  • neologisms new coinages and new formations
    (combinations with suffixes/prefixes, blends,
    abbreviations, acronyms) which have arisen and
    are arising around the stem blog
  • blawg a weblog written by lawyers and/or
    concerned primarily with legal affairs
  • bleg to use ones blog to beg for assistance
  • blego used in reference to self promotion on, or
    as part of, blogs
  • blerd someone who spends too much time on his
    blog and, as a result, is bereft of social skills
  • blog in/out log in/out of a blog
  • blogal related to blog
  • blogchalk a short piece of information given to
    blogsurfers about name, gender, age, place,
    interests and languages spoken by the blogger. It
    is made up of a frame, a text and a code that
    can make blog indexing easier on search engines
  • blogger a person who maintains a weblog. Also
    the name of Googles blogging service
  • blogglet a very tiny blog, by someone who is
    pressed for time, or is very sparing with their
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