Queen Mum dies :-(

Michael Watson mikejw@cruzio.com
Mon, 01 Apr 2002 15:33:47 -0800

>gawd - the dialectizer. it's been YEARS.  i'd hoped i'd never have it
inflicted on me again. 
>who are you REALLY, mike of santa cruz? 

When I figure out who I am (post-midlife crisis) I will let you know :-)

I was reminded of the dialectizer by a very interesting book I am reading
called "Language and the Internet" by David Crystal (Cambridge University
Press). Apparently, they are using this book as a course book at the local

"Both email writers and chatgroup writers look for responses, but whereas
the email writer is surprised if no response arrives (didn't you get my
email?) the chatgroup writer is not unduly disturbed if a message fails to
elicit an individual reaction. Chatgroup messages are contributions to an
on-going discussion. The aim is to influence the discussion, to correct a
misapprehension, to express agreement, to remind people that you exist, to
'sound off', to 'have your say'. If anyone is minded to reply specifically
it is a bonus. A lack of reply is not taken personally. Even in those cases
where a writer asks a specific question of a group ('Does anyone know where
I can get...?), the absence of a reaction probably means only that nobody
who read the message knew. There is no sense of personal responsibility here
-- unlike email"

He goes on to expound on the truely new way in which language is used in
MUDs and MOOs. I have never tried these but now am motivated to look one up
and see what is going on. He explains that these groups have evolved very
insular subcultures and do not welcome newcomers very well. We'll see.


"Everyone is a fucking Napolean" - Ani Defranco