Internet and language

Jun 21st, 2015
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. It is plain that they areapotentiallyhelpfulbutextremelycrudewayofcapturingsome of the basic features of facial expression, but their semantic role is limited. They can forestall a gross misperception of a speaker’s in- tent,butanindividualsmileystillallowsahugenumberofreadings.

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Internet and language pp.36smileys or emoticons (a name deriving from Emote, used in MUDs to convey actions: p. 180).18 These are com- binations of keyboard characters designed to show an emotional facial expression: they are typed in sequence on a single line, and placed after the nal punctuation mark of a sentence. Almost all of them are read sideways. The two basic types express positive atti- tudesandnegativeattitudesrespectively(theomissionofthenose element seems to be solely a function of typing speed or personal taste):. It is plain that they areapotentiallyhelpfulbutextremelycrudewayofcapturingsome of the basic features of facial expression, but their semantic role is limited. They can forestall a gross misperception of a speakers in- tent,butanindividualsmileystillallowsahugenumberofreadings (happiness, joke, sympathy, good mood, delight, amusement, etc.) whichcanonlybedisambiguatedbyreferringtotheverbalcontext. Some commentators have even described them as futile.19 With- out care, moreover, they can lead to their own misunderstanding:adding a smile to an utterance which is plainly angry can increase rather than decrease the force of the ame. It is a common ex- periencethatasmilecangodownthewrongway:Andyoucanwipe that smile off your face, as well! Those who get into the habit of routinely using smileys can also nd themselves in the position of havingtheirunmarkedutterancesmisinterpretedpreciselybecause38they have no smile

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