Quote of the week

What is this I don’t even — oh, okay, it’s a defense of the language used on the Internet, by Tia Baheri (as distinguished from “the language used on the Internet by Tia Baheri”):

[W]e’re taking a group of people who have insider knowledge of the English language (or at least a good grasp of it) and placing them in a new, unfamiliar, virtual space. This space introduces visual aids to language in the form of photos and gifs, the ability to comment on someone else’s text in a reblog and the ability to communicate a lot of information in very few words using hashtags. We also see the creation of tone in a toneless medium. In order to simulate conversational patterns in writing we SHOUT WHEN WE’RE SUPER EXCITED or *psssst whisper when we’re pretending to tell someone a secret while perfectly aware that anyone on the internet can read what we’re saying.* slash the coolest bit tho is that u can like ironically forgo all capitalization and punctuation just write in a weird speech pattern its ok everyone will still understand maybe it even helps read the text more quickly because nothing is interrupting the flow of words

In short, this dialect results when people who already share a language are given new tools. The result isn’t a butchering of English language but a creative experiment with it. Am I claiming that the Internet as a whole is operating on a level of postmodernism that would make Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut and Thomas Pynchon seem like novices? maybe i am maybe im not u punk wut of it like who r u to tell me otherwise

I don’t always get a QOTW from Twitter, but when I do it’s from Nancy Friedman.


  1. Charles Pergiel »

    22 November 2013 · 10:27 am

    There’s chatter, and there is conversation. They are two different modes of communication, used for communicating two different kinds of information. My family chatters, I have no idea what they are talking about.

  2. fillyjonk »

    22 November 2013 · 1:05 pm

    And more “insiderism” – once in a while you run across someone who USES ALL CAPS and doesn’t realize that that construes shouting.

    I will say the “stream of consciousness,” unpunctuated, text-speak-containing stuff makes me twitch. But that may be because I get so many student e-mails that are like that. “hi i meant to catch you after class but i forgot and i have a really big problem i can’t take the test on the day that u scheduled it for and i thought it would b cool if you could give me the test on wensday instead kthanks bye”

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