Re: Emily Post-ing

Subject: Re: Emily Post-ing
From: Judith Wisdom <wisdom -at- UDCEMAIL -dot- UDC -dot- UPENN -dot- EDU>
Date: Mon, 24 Jan 1994 05:37:15 EST

Karen Kay wrote:

> Judith Wisdom said:
> > But as a result there has emerged a tolerance
> > towards spelling and punctuation errors of the sort that are not revealed
> > in spoken language.

> Surely you mean in formal written language? Speech errors are quite
> common in spoken language, but don't generally hinder the conversation.
> When they do, we ask for clarification.

> Karen
> karenk -at- netcom -dot- com


You're right. In spoken language many errors don't hinder comprehension,
but when they do we ask for clarification. But what I was addressing was
the written language of E-mail, which because written reveals punctuation
and spelling errors but because of its (emerging) unique quality it
stands somewhere between written and spoken language in some respects,
when viewed sociologically, as interaction. As such and also as a result
of the poor editing capabilities on E-mail I believe a certain level of
tolerance for errors of punctuation and spelling has emerged, which I, for
one, feel somewhat indulgent about and often find to be a source of humor.
The "exercise" example was one of them. I knew quite quickly it was meant
to be "exorcise" as I would have had the person mispronounced "exorcise"
had we been conversing. Again, I am not arguing against excellence, just
suggesting that E-mail has its
own culture and thus language and linguistic style to some extent. Of
course, on a copyediting list this does pose a bit of a conflict. (You
should see what I do with my very literate, everyday close friends, re
spelling and grammar. And it's such fun. Besides, not fixing things
allows us to be in more frequent contact. It is less work. And that
frequency breeds creativity and joy.)

Judith Wisdom wisdom -at- udcemail -dot- udc -dot- upenn -dot- edu

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