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quarta-feira, fevereiro 23, 2005

The Web Not the Death of Language

Traditional linguists fear the internet damages our ability to articulate properly, infusing language with LOLs, dorky emoticons and the gauche sharing of personal information on blogs. But some researchers believe we have entered a new era of expression.

"Resources for the expression of informality in writing have hugely increased -- something not seen in English since the Middle Ages," said David Crystal, an author and linguistics professor at the University of Wales at Bangor. He presented at the American Academy for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in Washington, D.C., by recorded DVD when the live feed failed.

At first glance, you might not expect Crystal to get excited about IM utterances. But from behind a long silver beard and coke-bottle glasses, his excitement is clear. The internet is getting more people to write, he said, and that's a great thing.

Some believe the informality of internet-mediated communication is causing the language to deteriorate.

"The prophets of doom emerge every time a new technology influences language, of course -- they gathered when printing was introduced in the 15th century," Crystal said.

But linguists should be "exulting," he said, in the ability the internet gives us to "explore the power of the written language in a creative way."

During a seminar on language and the internet at the AAAS meeting Friday, researchers presented their findings on internet communication techniques.

Wired News


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