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174460.  Tue May 15, 2007 6:07 am Reply with quote

Oh, sure it is.


174465.  Tue May 15, 2007 6:19 am Reply with quote

I believe the young people would say "lol" at this point...

But as for a means of denoting the presence of sarcasm in text, we need look no further than the Irony Mark.

It's depicted by Hans Mof at post 160012.

174829.  Wed May 16, 2007 4:43 am Reply with quote

If you look at them sideways then they make a face.

Sideways?? Isn't that what the young people would call "a bit of a reach"? Imagine if all symbols had to be read sideways; the highway code, or Nosmo King, or "This Way Up." That's the silliest thing I've ever heard in my efil.

Smileys are apparently vitally important in e-messaging as they ensure that you're not misconstrued because the recipient cannot see your expression.

Which is so different from letters, of course.

Incidentally - we know the first e-spam was sent in Victorian times; did people ever use smileys in telegrams?

174839.  Wed May 16, 2007 5:03 am Reply with quote

Instant messaging (which is, I think, where smileys gained their popularity) is a lot different from correspondance by letters.

Much more like a social conversation, as you're only writing short comments. Short comments are easier to take out of context IMHO.

The spam I get doesn't generally contain smileys, just long, poorly constructed paragraphs. It wouldn't surprise me if victorian spam was similar.

174841.  Wed May 16, 2007 5:06 am Reply with quote

As far as the sidewaysness being a push, well meh, just due to the restrictions of keyboards I suppose.

174842.  Wed May 16, 2007 5:08 am Reply with quote

eggshaped wrote:
Instant messaging (which is, I think, where smileys gained their popularity)

Depends how you define "popularity."

Smileys were popular with internet users when using email, long before instant messaging came about. It evolved into more elaborate ascii art, examples of which you can find on 'tinterweb. Ascii cows seemed to be very popular, for some reason.

However, at that time, the number of people using the internet made up a very small proportion of the public at large. Certainly the advent of the world wide web massively increased the number of people interested in the internet and this, along with (as you say) instant messaging, lead to smileys becoming known more widely in the general population (though I'd imagine SMS messages also fuelled that interest a bit at around the same time)

174843.  Wed May 16, 2007 5:11 am Reply with quote

Tim Shortis is carrying out a Phd in text messaging as a vernacular language at London university's Institute of Education, studying 600 texts written by Bristol teenagers. He said that abbreviatons, emoticons such as :-) (smile) and other well-publicised features of text slang are used far less than popularly believed.

He said: "There's a moral panic about young people and language, a populist alarm. But the examples you see in the media are rarely used. You get initialisms such as LOL for laugh out loud and letter and number homophones such as r and 2, but they are not as widespread as you think. There are also remarkably few casual misspellings."

The abbreviations common to texting are nothing new, he said. The use of the letter u to stand for the word you was first recorded in 1897 on the "U need a biscuit" cookie brand.

Some of them seem quite witty to me:

L8R G8R (See you later alligator)

A3 (Anytime, anywhere, anyplace)

:-) Smile; :-)... Drool

174846.  Wed May 16, 2007 5:18 am Reply with quote

Depends how you define "popularity."

Err, I meant exactly what you said in the rest of your post. :-S

174847.  Wed May 16, 2007 5:20 am Reply with quote

There's also 1337 ("Leet"), on which suze is an expert. I included this in the Saga Mag QI quiz last Christmas, though they cut it:

RU 1337?

a) Y35
b) /V0
c) ! cl0/V7 l</V0\/\/ vv#47 1337 /\/\34/\/5

The answer depends on whether you understood the question, which is written in "Leetspeak", the language of the "leet" (elite) on the internet. Put another way, leetspeak uses typed text to spell out messages that your grandchildren can understand but you can't. Look at the question again, but this time concentrate on the shapes made by the print rather than the normal meaning of the characters. The question says "Are you leet?", and the answers are: a) Yes b) No c) I don't know what leet means.


174863.  Wed May 16, 2007 6:14 am Reply with quote

Aww, fancy cutting that one!

I have indeed spent rather too long researching 1337 - it made me feel a bit dirty at times. It's just about classifiable as a actual language by now, and there are a few people around who actually speak it. (Yes, it worried me as well.)

That research by Tim Shortis which you mention is interesting - he notes that txtspk is by no means unusual on GCSE scripts but rare on A level scripts. That doesn't really surprise me, but I'll be interested to see what happens over the next few years. It could go one of two ways - either it will start to appear on A level scripts as well, or it will die right away and appear to have been little more than a passing fashion. I tend to favour the former, and as I've said before I think that "u" may replace "you" altogether in the long term.

I'm slightly surprised by his comment that there are "remarkably few casual misspellings" though. I'm a bit of an MSN-head, and I confess that I use the likes of "cos" and "tho" rather a lot in my MSNing ("thru" rather less). The people with whom I have MSNual intercourse the most often vary here. (edit of some personal details now that this forum is in the public domain.)

Last edited by suze on Wed Aug 27, 2008 6:33 pm; edited 1 time in total

174866.  Wed May 16, 2007 6:32 am Reply with quote

I find myself incapable of writing other than in complete sentences, even in 'notes to self' and it's a real pain - a low-level form of dysfunctionality, I think. My son sustains half-a-dozen conversations simultaneously on MSN by dint of treating them rather as one would an evening in a very crowded bar - half-completed sentences, little laughs, not really paying attention, etc, and it's a real skill.

174909.  Wed May 16, 2007 8:01 am Reply with quote

suze wrote:
I'm slightly surprised by his comment that there are "remarkably few casual misspellings" though.

Bearing in mind he's talking about text messaging, might not that simply point to the fact that nearly all phones come with predictive messaging nowadays which will happily spell the word right for you.

Though it wouldn't pick up things like the common lose/loose confusion, so I'd be interested to see how prevalent that was.

823049.  Sat Jun 11, 2011 12:20 pm Reply with quote

suze wrote:
(edit of some personal details now that this forum is in the public domain.)

Am trying to understand this. Why was the forum first restricted and to whom?

823088.  Sat Jun 11, 2011 6:37 pm Reply with quote

This is one of the research forums, originally only used by the Elves as a kind of repository for their, well, research. But when the forum was opened up to the rest of us, presumably there was some info there that they didn't fancy any old random person from the Interet popping along and seeing ;).

823208.  Sun Jun 12, 2011 8:50 am Reply with quote

That's right. I don't know exactly what I said there, but clearly I didn't think it ought to be on the public forums. It may possibly have given someone's e-mail address; as a rule people do not thank one for publishing their e-mail addresses anywhere that Google can find them.


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