Tuesday, 20 February 2007

Last thoughts on txtspk

Gilly Salmon made an useful contribution to one of out discussions and quoted her colleague Sylvia Jones:

The aim of communicating in a discussion forum is to make points that communicate your ideas to other contributors. In an educational conference at graduate level, it might be assumed that the ideas being communicated are quite complex. This is because messages to conference are intended to make points or proposals about the topic of the conferences, plus take issue with other peoples' points of view. However, the aim of the conference is that students do contribute, so, as well as making your points clearly, contributors have to write in a friendly and courteous way to encourage others to respond. Thus, not only will txtsk not be able to communicate more complex ideas, but it will not be able to meet the requirements of inclusivity and courtesy. Thus, the twin functions of language in an educational conference, to engage in discussion and maintaining a friendly tone cannot be met by txtsk. These functions demand quite a lot in terms of language and I do not think a simple checklist would be a lot of help. However, a resource illustrating friendly and inclusive communication, identifying good and bad practice might help."

I wonder though if it is really the case that txtspk is incapable of articulating complex ideas?

Txtspk appears to work through the omission of vowels (e.g. txtspk) and the replacement of certain sounds with a single character (e.g. gr8 for great) in order to significantly reduce the number of chracters used in a message.

There's surely no reason for txtspk to be incapable of complexity. However, it was never developed for this purpose.

Maybe the problem with txtpsk is that it is an inefficient use of language for anything other than short functional messages such as CUB L8R - Call you back later?

Anything longer, and the reader is forced to translate and infer meaning in a way that actually slows down the processes of communication.

Ez really.

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