February 27th, 2006

ozarque figure

Linguistics; "politeness" protocols online; summing up...

I'm grateful to all of you for participating in the discussion that began with the query from kelathefinn about giving/taking/repairing offense in online communication.

It may be that almost all of the information in your comments was already familiar to most of you, and perhaps it's all available elsewhere online under headings like "netiquette." But I don't think there's any substitute for the personal anecdotes that you've posted, or for your detailed explanations of the various decisions you've made in these situations (and have observed others making).

Thanks to your help and generosity, I now have five very large files of information and data that I can refer to for writing the book on verbal self-defense for kids, especially with regard to hostile e-language and cyberbullying. And all I have to do to collect a large corpus of hostile online interactions (the way I collected a large corpus of offline verbal altercations before writing my first Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense book in 1979) is travel from blog to blog. My goal then was to find the pragmatics rules for the grammar of hostile American English; it's the same goal this time, except that online language has now assumed major importance in that grammar. Whether I'll be able to organize and analyze everything in a way that will be useful to today's kids remains to be seen, but I certainly have an abundance of material to work with.

We've come to the end of this specific discussion, I think, and can move on, but if you have additional items to add they will always be welcome.
ozarque figure

Linguistics and science fiction; recommended link....

"Pottery Recordings," at http://tenser.typepad.com/tenser_said_the_tensor/2006/02/pottery_recordi.html#more . It starts like this:

A couple of days ago on the LINGUIST List, Mike Matloff mentioned a story from The Raw Feed that claimed:

"Belgian researchers have been able to use computer scans of the grooves in 6,500-year-old pottery to extract sounds -- including talking and laughter -- made by the vibrations of the tools used to make the pottery.  Here comes the VIDEO (the interviews are in French, but you'll hear the pottery recordings as well)."
ozarque figure

Link to sad news....

The February 27, 2006 online Seattle Post-Intelligencer has an obituary article for Octavia Butler, written by John Marshall: "Octavia Butler, 1947-2006: Sci-fi writer a gifted pioneer in white, male domain."

Losing Octavia, and losing the work she would have written, is heartbreaking; the science fiction community (and not just the "white, male" part of it) is in mourning.

The story is at http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/books/260959_butlerobit26ww.html .