Vexen Crabtree 2015

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Sociology, Theology, Anti-Religion and Exploration: Forcing Humanity Forwards


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Vexen Crabtree 2015
vexen

Internet and SMS slang communication

Internet and SMS Slang Communication

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That's, eh.. "media" and "medium" but you knew that, right ;)
(Frozen) (Thread)

Part of my ulterior motive for such essays is that I make a lot of silly mistakes :-)

Erm... should I write "media" instead of "mediums"? If so I'll correct.
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

Yup, media is a plural of medium. So you speak of two media, or "the media", but a single medium.
But I was just teasing you, really, I don't go around poking at people's spelling mistakes, honest! :)
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

*corrected* (on site, left LJ as it is)

I prefer it to be right.
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

Not that I isagree with what you have said, except to add that the snobbery and Pretentiousness works both ways, some people using "l33t 5p33k" as a way to mark themselves out as part of the internet in croud.
Also there are cases where people take l33t so far nobody has a clue what they are saying. At this point it becomes counterprouctive.
(Frozen) (Thread)

Abbreviated "codespeak" really came in back in the days of the original telegraph - when everything was done using Morse code. There was [and still is] a whole slew of codes used
to rapidly transmit messages in a standard, compressed form, irrespective of the languages used by the senders/receivers.

See this for more details.

While similar such things may have a place in situations like SMS where the sender is constrained by limited message-size, I find "l33t 5p33k" particulalry offputting in normal, bandwidth-unconstrained communications. It just looks ugly, and tends to make me think the sender probably has little of worth to say. Call me elitist if you wish, but remember that when you're using text-based communications, the only impression the reader can get is in what you send. And impressions last. If you come over as if you can't string a sentence together, you can't complain if your audience won't read what you say.

I hope that the next generation of mobile phones will come with spell checkers
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

I think the extremes of "official" and "l33t" are both negative!
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

standard written communication uses different words to technical manuals. Every media has different style

I don't think there is a 'standard written communication'. Just about every form of written communication has a different style. However, I accept that SMS and Internet chat are media with their own styles.

I think a large part of it is snobbery or pretentiousness, or perhaps insecurity

As one who doesn't enjoy decoding 'chat-speak', I'll say this: Maybe you could call me a 'language snob', although I won't dislike anyone just because of their bad grammar or spelling. I don't believe I'm pretentious, either (I don't think I claim to be anything I'm not). Nor do I think I'm insecure. If I lacked confidence, I wouldn't be posting this.

Snobbery [...] because they are capable of talking correctly in _one_ area (such as written English) they think everyone else has to follow *their field's* rules. But they're wrong... in SMS and Internet chat, shorthand is the normal way to communicate

You imply that SMS and Internet chat aren't written English. I assume that wasn't intended.

I don't mind abbreviations in SMS messaging. As SMS messages are limited in length, it may be necessary to abbreviate words to fit.

In Internet chat, it isn't necessary to shorten words due to length limits. Here, the reason is speed, in order to comment before the conversation moves on. This is understandable, although I often prefer a considered, thoughtful response to a hurried one.

In both Internet chat and SMS, abbreviations are fine, as long as all participants accept it and can understand.

you should learn and understand what it all means, and accept it

The problem is that you can turn this around: why shouldn't those who use the abbreviations learn, understand and accept the unabbreviated forms?

Pretentious because the things they're complaining about really aren't that important

If the issue is unimportant, why write this essay?

As long as the message is clear within it's medium it parses correctly

Ironically, I can't parse this.

Who reads a technical manual with an aim of correcting it's English and turning it into "normal" English?

A technical manual should be written in a correct, standard form of language. This is necessary if its readers are to understand. If you are referring to technical terms/abbreviations, these should also be defined.

Insecure because I think that these people don't admit that perhaps they're not fully understanding the communication medium [...] they're too stuck up to accept "new" forms of communication

Personally: I use Internet chat, but not SMS. Neither I nor those I talk to use 'chatspeak'. Yes, I understand the medium.

If the people you're complaining about don't want to accept "new" forms of communication, why are they using SMS and Internet chat at all?

It's fun, friendly, fast, easy, quick and efficient. In real time chat, these are essential

Abbreviations don't have to be fun and friendly. What about 'FOAD'? Also, none of those attributes are essential. Useful, yes, but not essential.

Cons: It's associated with youth culture

Is an association with 'youth culture' (which youth culture?) a bad thing? Why?

Criticizing people in informal computer chat rooms, forums, usenet, other informal Internet areas or mobile mediums is misguided

This says that all criticism of people in these media is misguided. I'm sure this is a mistake, as that's not what the rest of your essay is about.

After spending your whole essay talking about SMS and Internet chat, you're expanding your arguments to include Usenet, 'forums' (which forums?) and so on? It's better to say what you're arguing about at the beginning of the essay, instead of waiting until the conclusion.

Usenet and message boards differ from SMS and chat rooms, and I don't believe they should be lumped together here. Unlike Internet chat, message boards and Usenet don't take place in real time. This makes it irrelevant that 'chatspeak' is faster to type.

You may notice that I don't directly disagree with you. I do, however, think the arguments you use are weak in their current forms and could be presented a lot better.
(Frozen) (Thread)

"I don't think there is a 'standard written communication'. Just about every form of written communication has a different style. However, I accept that SMS and Internet chat are media with their own styles."

By standard I mean written English as would be accepted by an English teacher. I almost said "or a businessperson", but, I think business-speak has developed a slight lingo all of it's own too!

Your second and third sentances seem to clash, I'm not sure if I'm misreading them. The second agrees, and the third agrees, but the third starts with a "However, " as if it disagrees!

"As one who doesn't enjoy decoding 'chat-speak', I'll say this: Maybe you could call me a 'language snob', although I won't dislike anyone just because of their bad grammar or spelling"

I don't use them either. As you won't dislike anyone because they use netspeak, (is that what you meant by "bad grammar or spelling"?), the chances are you're right; I wouldn't call you a language snob. I never use net speak, but, I don't call myself a language snob either... basically because I don't go around telling people, for example in a chat room, not to use text speak!


"You imply that SMS and Internet chat aren't written English. I assume that wasn't intended."

I phrase it like that to differentiate between normal English and SMS and Internet chat English.

Vexen:
"you should learn and understand what it all means, and accept it"


"The problem is that you can turn this around: why shouldn't those who use the abbreviations learn, understand and accept the unabbreviated forms?
"

Because they already know the unabbreviated forms - people (hopefully!) aren't taught netspeak by their parents, they have to learn to abbreviate real English. If you don't, for example, understand Scottish accent then it's wrong (no matter that you don't understand it!) to ask Scottish people to speak in a southern accent... even if they can speak in a less heavy accent, if they're in Scotland to ask them to is confused; the same with text speak. In the right place and time, it is the how the lingo has developed. Although you might ask people to explain what they mean by something, you can't ask them to stop speaking like that, it'd be poor netiquette.




"Personally: I use Internet chat, but not SMS. Neither I nor those I talk to use 'chatspeak'. Yes, I understand the medium."

There are a number of sentances in your response, one-line comments, the one above is one of them, where I'm left simply thinking: Why are you telling me this? I don't use Internet chat or SMS and I understand them too! Woo!

Vexen:
"Criticizing people in informal computer chat rooms, forums, usenet, other informal Internet areas or mobile mediums is misguided"


"This says that all criticism of people in these media is misguided. I'm sure this is a mistake, as that's not what the rest of your essay is about."

My sentance is indeed phrased badly, it needs to say "Criticizing the type of English people use in...", but when in context I think it's still understandable... if it was an important page I'd edit it, but it's just a big really, and not structured as an essay... well, not structured at all really.

I did notice you don't directly disagree... I've snipped much of your response and only replied to bits where you asked questions or where I could say something.
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

Since different people have taken your original post to mean different things, I'd just like to clarify that by 'chatspeak' I mean fairly well-known abbreviations such as '4' instead of 'for', and 'lol' for 'laughing out loud'. 13375p34|<, wEiRD cApITaLiZAtIoN, creeyaitiv mizpelin, and m1xX7|_|r3z 0v 7|-|33z are different matters that have already been addressed by other people.

Your second and third sentances seem to clash, I'm not sure if I'm misreading them. The second agrees, and the third agrees, but the third starts with a "However, " as if it disagrees!

I probably could've phrased it better. I meant that I disagreed with part of your sentence but accepted the main point.

is [chatspeak] what you meant by "bad grammar or spelling"?

Not necessarily. You can write badly without using chatspeak. I also wouldn't necessarily call chatspeak 'bad' if it's used in its proper context of SMS and Internet chat (unless it's so incomprehensibly written that it's more trouble to decode than it's worth), among people who are happy with its use.

I don't go around telling people, for example in a chat room, not to use text speak!

Whether I would do this depends on the situation. If I were in a chat room or other conversation with an agreed rule among the participants of 'no chatspeak', anyone joining in and using chatspeak would be asked to stop. In a chatspeak-using channel, I wouldn't do that (although I don't see how someone could object to a polite request for explanation of anything particularly obscure).

pfy: "The problem is that you can turn this around: why shouldn't those who use the abbreviations learn, understand and accept the unabbreviated forms?"

vexen: Because they already know the unabbreviated forms - people (hopefully!) aren't taught netspeak by their parents, they have to learn to abbreviate real English.

But then the two groups of people have a common standard for communication (i.e. ordinary English), yet one group insists that the other learn a different communication style. This seems silly, and, well, snobbish. Therefore I still don't believe this part of your argument stands up. There are reasons to adopt chatspeak, but I don't think acceptance towards one's fellow humans is one of them.

There are a number of sentances in your response, one-line comments, the one above is one of them, where I'm left simply thinking: Why are you telling me this? I don't use Internet chat or SMS and I understand them too! Woo!

As I've said, I dislike chatspeak (and I believe I'm allowed to do so). This meant that I read some points in your article as attacks on my character, motivations and beliefs. Whenever I saw such an attack, I offered myself as a counterexample to your assertion.
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

IfFf u reEllL11ly wan meE 2sPEeK lyk TiS, i kiin dooO iT


Or I can be grammatically correct, and you can understand what I say.

Personally, I have no issues with abbreviations such as 'brb' or 'lol', but when people start typing like my first sentence, it a) takes more time and b) is much harder to read than standard english.

I have no problems with minor grammatical errors, or doing certain things in order to type faster. For example, I always type in all lowercase on AIM. Yes, that's faster and not any harder to understand, especially as I still use proper punctuation.

But when it no longer even appears to be english, it's pointless.
(Frozen) (Thread)

I wouldn't say that it's "pointless", as then people wouldn't do it... but they do... it serves as the lingo used (hacker speak in the example you gave) in some circumstances between some people, sometimes in jest, and as such if you don't understand it, it's tough. Like an accent, or the complex shorthand English adopted by two close long-term friends!
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

*rolls eyes*

It's people trying to be cool, following a trend, and making themselves look like idiots while doing so.

After a point, writing like that is no longer english in any way, shape, or form, and it's impossible for anyone to understand.
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

With haxor, it is very much a youth culture look-cool kind of thing. Partially it's also intentionally obscure and obfuscated so that only "insiders" can read and write it. Many social cliques have some kinds of filters to establish who is "in" or "out", and in the internet community haxor-speakers are one such group.

With Internet chat, text speak, I agree that after a point it *does* become a different language, and to be amongst those who use it extensively is an alienating experience.

What's worse is that such language formation is not going to go away, and I believe it will become stronger as the Internet developed. What used to be the in-language of those who telegraphed or morsed, is now a language that most the population of developed world is coming into contact with. I don't believe telling it's communicants to speak otherwise is appropriate as long as it is confined to the proper context and Internet media.

I think no-one here actually uses |\|3T 5p34k, so this is a one-sided discussion, is our disagreement that I think it an acceptable way to communicate in certain places, and you do not?
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

I think no-one here actually uses |\|3T 5p34k, so this is a one-sided discussion, is our disagreement that I think it an acceptable way to communicate in certain places, and you do not?

Yes.
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

More comments on this page can be found on the grammar_whores community:

http://www.livejournal.com/community/grammar_whores/1781175.html
(Frozen) (Thread)

\o/
(Frozen) (Thread)

Actually, I was at usenet in the 90's so I got the idea.
My main problem with the net is that I dunno who im talking to. I am at Vexen's web now, so I know he will read it someday. And I know who you are, vexen, from reading your webpages, but your visitors? Have no idea.

In any case, I feel lost online, always. I think I log off here and log into another area, where there's local girls. If they got a picture and a nice smile I'll say hello and maybe we will meet. In flesh.

But for the most, we will never meet. Therefor, the internet is mostly an idiotic waste of time. But with exceptions. Your pages are great, vexen.

Keep going.

(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

Re: Pwn3d

(Anonymous)
Jesus Christ ya'll are too damn serious!!
(Frozen) (Parent) (Thread)

Disagree

(Anonymous)
Correcting internet slang is terribly pretentious and even futile. There is no need for it.

However, correcting spelling was included in the question, and I do this very often. I do not believe that this applies to your statements. The reason for this belief is that misspellings are not a communication medium, and they are incorrect even in today's internet slang. Misspellings obfuscate the writer's meanings, as opposed to helping it reach the internet community more easily, as internet slang does so well.

Internet slang is shorthand. It is a lot quicker and easier and I use it myself. I couldn't imagine writing "I'll be right back" instead of "brb" every time I left my computer. It would not serve the same purpose to write "That was funny. I am laughing." in place of "lol". Internet slang is used and accepted and hardly ever corrected.

However, misspellings should be corrected, in my opinion. I believe that this actually helps the original writer. It is not meant as a malicious criticism, but rather a constructive criticism. I know I appreciate it when corrected, because I sometimes overlook misspellings accidentally.
(Frozen) (Thread)

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