HUMA final paper

HUMA final paper - Isaac 1 Katherine Isaac HUMA 17100...

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Isaac 1 Katherine Isaac HUMA 17100 Professor Lenore Grenoble March 14, 2008 i despise u The growing popularity of instant messaging and e-mail communication in the past ten years has spurred a linguistic phenomenon that David Crystal, in his book Language and the Internet, refers to collectively as Netspeak 1 . Shortened words and hundreds of acronyms for common phrases make Netspeak difficult to understand for those who are not familiar with its usage. Even if people unfamiliar with Netspeak figure out that LOL means “laugh out loud,” they are still confused as to why anyone would remark, “Laugh out loud.” It makes no sense in speech, but in instant messaging and e- mail communication, it makes perfect sense! Although there is no agreed upon definition or proper use for LOL, Netspeak users can gauge its meaning in context. This makes for an interesting parallel between Internet communication and spoken communication. Internet communication draws from spoken communication, but there are features of Internet communication—like the usage of LOL—that do not exist in spoken communication. People recognize that there are a myriad of dialects of every language, and yet we still consider two totally different dialects of any language to be the same language. It is when those dialects become mutually unintelligible that we tend to identify them as different languages. Netspeak is unique because it collectively can be considered a dialect, but there are also the dialects of the language from which the Netspeak is drawn 1 When I use the term Netspeak in this essay, I am referring to Internet speech with an English base.
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Isaac 2 that cause a wide range of variation in Netspeak. From reading Derrida’s essay titled “Difference,” I understand that written communication is at a remove—arguably a double remove—from spoken communication. Because there is no immediate social interaction in writing and because emotions cannot always be accurately gauged, written communication is inferior to spoken communication.
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course HUMA 17100 taught by Professor Grenoble during the Winter '07 term at UChicago.

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HUMA final paper - Isaac 1 Katherine Isaac HUMA 17100...

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