Agriculture
Silk’s superpowers
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Making the most of a meal
Amphibians
Newts
Salamanders and Newts
Toads
Animals
Monkey Math
Feeding School for Meerkats
A Microbe Nanny for Young Wasps
Behavior
Contemplating thought
Baby Number Whizzes
Brainy bees know two from three
Birds
Songbirds
Pheasants
Albatrosses
Chemistry and Materials
Big Machine Reveals Small Worlds
Hitting the redo button on evolution
Screaming for Ice Cream
Computers
Galaxies far, far, far away
Nonstop Robot
Programming with Alice
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Downsized Dinosaurs
The Paleontologist and the Three Dinosaurs
Have shell, will travel
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
Earth
Earth Rocks On
A Dire Shortage of Water
Slip Slidin' Away—Under the Sea
Environment
Groundwater and the Water Cycle
Food Web Woes
A 'Book' on Every Living Thing
Finding the Past
Salt and Early Civilization
Chicken of the Sea
Traces of Ancient Campfires
Fish
Mahi-Mahi
Whale Sharks
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Food and Nutrition
How Super Are Superfruits?
Chew for Health
Moving Good Fats from Fish to Mice
GSAT English Rules
Who vs. That vs. Which
Who vs. Whom
Capitalization Rules
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Mastering The GSAT Exam
GSAT stars reap scholarship glory
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Exam Preparation
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
GSAT Mathematics
10 Common Mistakes When Preparing for the GSAT Math Test
Detecting True Art
It's a Math World for Animals
Human Body
Electricity's Spark of Life
Kids now getting 'adult' disease
A Fix for Injured Knees
Invertebrates
Flatworms
Snails
Tarantula
Mammals
Seal
Raccoons
Blue Whales
Parents
The Surprising Meaning and Benefits of Nursery Rhymes
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Raise a Lifelong Reader by Reading Aloud
Physics
Echoes of a Stretched Egg
Project Music
Dreams of Floating in Space
Plants
Making the most of a meal
Plants Travel Wind Highways
Seeds of the Future
Reptiles
Snakes
Boa Constrictors
Iguanas
Space and Astronomy
Planning for Mars
Melting Snow on Mars
Galaxies Divide Sharply Along Color Lines
Technology and Engineering
Reach for the Sky
Machine Copy
Beyond Bar Codes
The Parts of Speech
What is a Verb?
Adjectives and Adverbs
Pronouns
Transportation
Robots on a Rocky Road
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Revving Up Green Machines
Weather
Polar Ice Feels the Heat
Watering the Air
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
Add your Article

The Snappy Lingo of Instant Messages

The following is part of an actual conversation between two college students, Gale and Sally. Gale: hey I gotta run Sally: Okay. Sally: I'll ttyl? Gale: gotta do errands. Gale: yep!! Sally: Okay. Sally: :-) Gale: talk to you soon Sally: Alrighty. It would sound silly to say these words out loud, and you wouldn't write like this in a school report. Still, the conversation made perfect sense when Gale and Sally fired it off to each other on their computers. he young women were having an instant messaging (IM) conversation. Each person could see what the other was writing every time one of them pressed the "return" key, even though they were in different places. Now, scientists are studying instant messaging, cell phone text messages, and e-mails to try to understand how technology is changing the way we communicate. The research belongs to a field called linguistics, the scientific study of language. Changing language Change is a natural part of language development. The words you like to use are probably a little different from those that your grandparents used when they were young. Reading a play by William Shakespeare shows how much language can change in 400 years. Nonetheless, some language experts worry about the future of languages. They cringe when people break the rules of grammar, fail to use proper punctuation, misuse a word, or even invent a new one just for fun. They don't like the way slang words and pop phrases creep into the way we write and speak. Another worry is that computers are speeding up the spread of English around the globe and forcing people to neglect their native languages. Like some species, languages have been dying out at an alarming rate, and some linguists fear that the Internet might be partially to blame. Another group of researchers, however, is fascinated by the interaction between language and the Internet. Instead of killing languages, the rapid rise of Internet communication has opened up an exciting new branch of linguistics, says David Crystal. He's a linguist at the University of Wales in Bangor. "We should be exulting, in fact, that the Internet is allowing us to explore language in a creative way," Crystal says. "This is a new branch of study. Like no other study of language change in history, it allows us to follow the rate of change of grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary." Computer talk Researchers now have a name for instant messages, cell phone text messages, and e-mail. They call it computer-mediated communication, or CMC. CMC is different from speech in a number of ways, Crystal says. There's no immediate feedback to an e-mail, for one thing. You can have multiple IM or e-mail conversations at once, which you can't have when you're talking directly to people. And on the computer, you lose the effect of emotion and tone of voice, no matter how many smiley faces you use. Computer messages are also different from normal writing. You can edit e-mails by cutting and pasting. You can add links. And you can get responses more quickly than you would from a letter. All of these developments have led to the most rapid change in language since the Middle Ages, Crystal says. He encourages teachers to embrace the technology and its creative possibilities rather than fight against the trend. Language shortcuts such as "ttyl" (which means "talk to you later") obviously have no place in school reports, but events like text-messaging poetry competitions can be educational and fun. A British newspaper named The Guardian, for example, offers cash prizes to readers who come up with text message poems, using 160 characters or less. You can find the winning entries at books.guardian.co.uk/textpoetry (Guardian). Men versus women Studying IM conversations can also be an interesting way to learn more about culture, relationships, and differences between men and women, says Naomi Baron. She's a linguist at American University in Washington, D.C. In one study, Baron analyzed 23 IM conversations between college students (including the one at the beginning of this article). In total, there were 2,185 transmissions and 11,718 words. She was surprised by what her data turned up. For one thing, the messages were far less sloppy than she expected. Students seemed to be careful about what they wrote, and they tended to correct their mistakes. In fact, she says, students seemed to pay more attention to what they said in messages than they did in papers submitted for grading. There were also major differences between men and women in how they used IM technology. Men tended to write in short phrases, while women tended to write in complete sentences. Women also took longer to say goodbye to each other. Baron concluded that messaging between women is more like writing than speech. Messaging between men is more like speech than writing. From questionnaires, Baron learned that most young people have between one and 12 IM conversations going on at once. "I couldn't imagine just having one IM conversation," one student said. "That would just be too weird." Before the invention of CMC, having that many conversations at once would have been practically impossible. These patterns suggest that IM is something completely new in the history of communication, Baron says. "I think we're entering a new era," she says, "in the way we think about speech and writing and how much control we have over the level at which we wish to interact and what kind of style we use." Internet activity In recent years, the rise in the use of Internet communication has been greatest among young people. And the United States accounts for 20 percent of all Internet activity, says Brenda Danet. She's a researcher at Yale University in Connecticut and Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Still, more and more people of all ages are using the Internet for longer stretches of time in countries around the world, especially in places such as China. And non-native English speakers make up at least two-thirds of Internet users, Danet says. Nevertheless, her research has shown that English is used most of the time on international mailing lists because it's the language that most people have at least some knowledge of. The size and structure of keyboards also makes it particularly difficult to write in languages such as Chinese, Japanese, and Arabic. The wide use of English online makes many linguists worry that people are neglecting their own languages and abandoning their own cultures. It's also true, however, that the Internet has opened up an explosion of possibilities for rapid communication across cultures. It might also be a good forum for the preservation of disappearing languages. "Is the Internet contributing to the extinction of languages, or can it help revitalize them?" Danet asks. Only time will tell. Secret notes In the meantime, computer-mediated communication seems to be here to stay, says communications researcher Simeon Yates of Sheffield Hallam University. The more we use IM, text messaging on our cell phones, and other new technologies, he says, the more they shape our lives and relationships. People can now manage their schedules from anywhere and change plans at the last minute. They can send secret notes to each other over their phones without making a sound. People have even discovered ways to get across complicated feelings and emotions in only a few words. A few generations ago, no one could have imagined that we would be communicating over computers in real time without ever speaking a word, Yates says. Now, people feel helpless without their e-mail and cell phones. "This is basically your social life," Yates says. "When I ask British college students what they would do if I took their cell phones away, they say they couldn't live without them." New technologies may open up additional communication possibilities in the future. So, keep typing away. Just remember that technology shapes you every time you use it. And that could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on how you look at it. yup. OK 4 now. C U soon. ttyl!!!

The Snappy Lingo of Instant Messages
The Snappy Lingo of Instant Messages








Designed and Powered by HBJamaica.com™