[no subject]

From: Brett Wetzell <wbwetzel -at- EOS -dot- NCSU -dot- EDU>
Date: Wed, 21 Aug 1996 16:51:37 -0400

I can't help but notice that in a discussion group like this "ettiquette" and
parameters for communication differ greatly from other discussion groups on the
Internet. Not that it's bad at all, but I'm interested why. Other groups I've
participated in all seem to approach Usenet/listserv posts with an informality
more akin to spoken conversation, but also have all the "flaming" absent from
normal conversation. (There is significantly less grammar-attack flaming here
than, say, alt.usage.english.)

In language/English groups, everyone must proofread and read over what they
wrote before they send it. It is as if these are the only realms on the
Internet where written language hasn't transformed (some might say "mutated")
to acclimate to the Internet's media (or at least not as much). If you don't
what i mean, think about looser standards for typing with proper
capitalization, but more strict standards for how you use caps (ALL CAPS IS
*NOT* EMPHASIS - it's yelling).

I think Eric made the analogy of approaching a post to this list as a
presentation before a large group of people. I think this is an excellent way
to approach any discussion group. However, in language groups, it's
as though the "speaker" isn't just demonstrating his/her ability to articulate
a point, but the ability to also present the point in a written article handed
to each member of the audience--a tough and restricting demand on the speaker,
but a plausible one for any writing professional to strive for. If a point is
hindered though...

I wonder if this has more to do with the fact that our profession demands
practicing writing with precision and spotting instances where it is not so, or
that language professionals are largely new to the communication forms on the
Internet. Should we try conform to a written standard (e.g., Standard Written
English), follow the natural "jargon"/written dialect on the Internet, or meet
both somewhere in between when participating in an online discussion regarding
a specific use of language itself?

Brett Wetzell

~Finding 25 messages waiting for me every day makes me feel loved. Blessing a
~chosen few of them with my eyes makes me feel powerful.

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