Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Continuing the Discussion

I actually posted the entry below as a comment to comments made by my peers (and one worthwhile comment made by one of my Advanced Placement students: You think she's ready for college or what?). I was glad to obtain the perspective of one sitting in the same seat I myself sat ten years ago. I decided to make it a blog, as I would like to continue this discussion and I know not everyone reads the comments made on previous blogs.

Thanks for your comments, all.

I maintain that speech and writing have inherent differences. The asides mentioned by Brittany that occur in spoken language are not "this generation"-specific: My friends and I had similar digressions and lost the focus of conversations which began without one.

The thing which makes each situation unique is that, when a person is speaking to another person in a one-on-one setting (as is most often the case when IMing), one person has an obligation to conform to societal norms and allow the other to speak. Even if he who is not speaking is thinking about something entirely different or wants to change the subject, more than likely he will wait to voice his opinion until the other person has finished talking. IMs remove -- or at least lessen -- the need to conform to societal norms prevalent in speaking situations. Though many IM systems now alert users when another user is typing, there is still nothing preventing the person on the other end from typing at the same time. As soon as a thought comes to mind, it goes down in the IM text box.

In addition, reading is a different cognitive task than listening; students' varying abilities to attend to listening tasks versus reading tasks is evidence of such. This must be taken into account when discussing where IMing falls on the Writing-Speaking spectrum.

11 comments:

Sadaf said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lidia. said...

Even though instant messaging language is rather useful, it lacks some of the personalized characteristics of standard writen and spoken language. I prefer not to cut parts out of my original thought, so text messaging isn't my ideal form of communication. Descriptive words are usually omitted and sometimes articles. Phrases are simplified, sentences condensed, abbreviations are emphasized. It's language at its most efficient (as this world demands): expressing the same ideas with the least words.
A newer generation of shorthand, if you may, which is just as potent without being verbose.

Richard Wells said...

Thanks for the comment, Lidia. I don't necessarily agree that instant messaging necessitates a paring of language, though I would agree that in its most pervasive permutations it is often shorter bits of writing. To me, this factor is analogous to speaking. However, one cannot discount the fact that, well, we are writing when we communicate in this formate. I would like to continue this discussion, and I greatly appreciate your feedback!

Gabriel Acevedo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gabriel Acevedo said...

:'(.... Don't yell at me....lol j/k...ok thank you.

Maksym said...

Mr. Wells I created a new email address just now, Due to all of the problems I had with the old one. "maksymap@yahoo.com"

Sadaf said...

In response to your comment: I refuse! School doesn't start untill Aug 20. Jeez.

paulalovesmanda said...

yo wells I got a question about the gatsby thingy... I think I'm lost and I didn't get your previous emails... maybe because I had you under "non-important shit" and those get deleted after like 5 days... OOPS. ummm... what do I have to do? send me some info perfavoreeeee


OH YEAH... I IMPROVED! DID YOU NOTICE?!

Gabriel Acevedo said...

Hey wells One Flew Over The CooKoos Nest comes on tonight at midnight on channel 47, AMC... I'm goin to watch it but idk if your goin to get this comment in time... Well just wanted to let you know.Have a good evening!!!Peace HOMMIE

Gabriel Acevedo said...

OK Mr.wells i got the point you want to kill me... i get it. I wasn't saying that kind of grammer packet. I mean unless you are trying to bore me until my eyes fall out of their socket...idk

Mrs_Lewis said...

Hi everyone,

I found an article online that is directly related to the subject that Lidia brought up on Mr. Wells' blog. The article is titled "The Language of the Internet in the Classroom." The article speaks highly of today's "media-savvy students" who use digital technology in their every day practices. This article can be found at http://www.ncte.org/second/ideas/127391.htm (hope it's still there). I actually find this to be a very interesting topic. Please view the article and see what the National Council of Teachers of English has to say about communication styles on the Internet.

Also I find that when writing, be sure to always have your intended audience in mind, and stay focused on why you are writing to that audience. Even now, I am thinking of you all when writing this blog. This is what is directly guiding my delivery! I will also preview before posting to check for syntax. After proofing, I'll then post my comments.

As an aside, I am going to be teaching at Piper this coming school year. I expect to be teaching a new class called "American Mosaic." If you enjoy using blogs and message boards to extend classroom discourse, I plan to utilize at least one of these platforms for classmates to stay connected throughout the semester. I look forward to an exciting new school year in which we will be discussing a variety of topics integrally related to the American experience past and present. Please enjoy the remainder of your summer and I may even see you in American Mosaic when the new school year begins on August 20th or in the second half of the school year when two sections of American Mosaic will be offered!