Sunday, November 06, 2005
more linguistic variation in cmc.
if NE1 is up 4 goin out 2day u can call me!
i thought this kind of speech style had died awhile ago, but evidently it's still alive and well. i know the lay term 'aol speak' is thrown around to describe it, but that's more a register reference, and also encompasses a whole mess of other features (and will probably also get our asses sued by AOL) - is there a better reference for the actual alphanumeric-y feature used here? any articles that talk about it?
otherwise, you know, feel free to make up your own.
Two questions: was this on an away message? And, is it possible the person was parodying (like with 1337)?
Also, a hypothesis (emphasis on 'hypo'): is it possible that this represents an influence from texting, wherein I do see people using numbers more to represent sound values, because of the nature of the technology (for those who don't use predictive text, NEway)? Here in the US anyway, we went from online-CMC to texting, and I wonder if it's possible that some phone-CMC strategies are now being retroactively put into play in online-CMC.
i think the use of it may be on the decline, and that it's overexaggerated in media coverage (i.e. every pubescent american does this!!!!), but all of my research has focused on an age demographic that isn't likely to use this style as anything but parody. i think that age (and american youth culture) has a lot to do with this, especially now that we have a specific group who uses cell phones and text messaging and instant messaging in a marriage of communication. i think the text message link is something to think about.
i'll have to look up the dissertation - is it finished, or in progress?
If it was an AIM convo I guess I'm confused about why they address "anyone" - is it a multiparty convo?
Regardless, I find this style interesting: it seems like way more effort than normal typing: you have to learn a whole new way of typing that incorporates numbers and unnatural shiftkey-using (is there such a thing as "natural" shiftkey-using?), which for me anyway, I usually conceive as being somewhat "separate" from letter-typing. I don't even use the same fingers; I type all letters with the index finger of my right hand. Then again, I could totally just be inept.
it might sound kind of unnatural, but i don't think it's any more unnatural than a standard-english speaking child purposely switching to AAVE forms, or consciously shifting vowel realizations to fit into a crowd. i went through a stint in high school where i'd type 'your' as 'yr', and it didn't take long before it came naturally. i know of an academic heavyweight who does the same thing fairly regularly. i think it's all about style, baby.
his response was simple - that it's quicker for him, and that he's been doing it so long that it's just natural to shift into it during certain modes of communication.
something to keep in mind!