Monday, September 18, 2006

stupid terminology

So I'm searching for a term that encompasses the following notion. Does it exist?

Herring's "CMC Forms" + non-standard spelling, punctuation, and capitalization

Does "CMC Forms" include these other features of online language, or does it just refer to things like abbreviation, onomatopoeia, emoticons, etc?

josh, you know better than to think that we have set terminology in this field ;)

what publication(s) does that "CMC forms" come from?
i'm not sure really. when she presented at salsa and when i spoke to her during the conference, she refered to 'CMC form'. i'll dig around some more and get back to you. damn it if i want to go through all the hassle of coining yet another new term >:(
I think it in general includes those things, but only in combinations that are considerably different from "normal" written language and therefore can be categorized as CMC-specific? Which is a vague answer, I know.
(don't remember the original citation either...)
i've just lumped those together as 'CMC-specific features' in the past rather than coin a new term for them. given that some of those features are bleeding into other written and spoken language practices more and more, though, would a better definition of CMC Forms be that they originated in CMC rather than are specific to it?
right. and they probably didn't even originate in CMC (the lack of standard cap, punct, spelling that is). i really want to talk about CMC forms (emoticons, innovative abbreviations, onomatopoeia) and 'non-standard writing conventions' but I'm not sure I want to get into the notion of 'standard'/'non-stnadrd'... yet.

I'll just call it "internet slang" and be done with it ;)
standard? did someone say standard?
i definitely think he said standard.
okay, that little exchange was unnecessarily ambiguous and creepy. squires and i are tackling the notions of standard and non-standard use as they're conceptualized in CMD in a conference paper, using punctuation practices as our starting point.

we's bringin variation back to the masses!
but who is defining this standard? are you making a distinction between "standard" and "norms"?
touché, salesman.

i think that broadly defining standard use in terms of norms would be difficult, since language norms are so specific to individual communities - the idea of standard language is certainly community-specific as well, but that community is typically framed as being many times larger and more pervasive, like the idea of standard english existing across america. as to who is defining the standard, well, let's go through that answer in a few steps.

first, we're drawing from the variationist literature on how to define standard and non-standard uses of language, with obvious modifications on how non/standard features are realized (since these are very often phonological in nature, and that quality isn't really relevant in written discourse); second, as researchers we're hypothesizing that the standards of standard written english will be held as the standard in online language use, since text-based CMD is, at its core, written language; and third, at the heart of our work, i think, is a consideration of how speakers are conceptualizing standard use online.

to that end, we might consider how speakers move from the use of certain features we classify as non-standard to the use of certain features we classify as standard as, say, the formality of an interaction increases; how language ideologies speak to standards of use (what can be gleaned from 'Come on, you go to school and write normal everyday, why can't you capitalize your words, write WHOLE words, and end with a punctuation...the appropriate puctuation!', for example); and various other methods that we're still mulling over.

squires may have more to add, and of course, comments welcome. this is new territory. difficult territory. rough terrain.
btw - we're working specifically with data from english CMD, and hence describing standard language in terms of standard written english.
Actually, I would include all those features as "CMC forms" but would contextualize and define what I meant by the term, since it is not conventionalized. Nastri et al., in a recent JCMC article (, call them "CMC-based orthography."

I believe that all would be included in what David Crystal (2001) calls "netspeak," which has the advantage of grouping them as a set of features that tend to co-occur, but which has the disadvantage of implying that CMC language constitutes a single linguistic variety.

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