Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Communication defects

When I placed a rant and an advisory aginst MySpace, I expected more than the people that I see online to heed the warnings. Unfortunately, some have disregarded them and continue to do so. And in most of the fashions they resort, as many people in the chat room, on the mobile phone, or the instant messaging programme do, to using a language that many people like myself can't get the gist of at a glance.

A sign positively prohibits the use of the language of texters — here called '1337', or 'Leet' — within public buildings.
Texting using abbreviations has become very nostalgic for the Internet and mobile phone community. It seems ideal for people that are communicating under a time constraint or just want to disregard what the English instructor taught them for a while. Some studies condone this as a way to better communicate with others. However, I see the use of such abbreviations and slanguage as purely unessential.

Then there come those that don't use abbreviations, but use a dialect of 'txtspk' called 'Leet'. This term generally refers to any shorthand text, but more specifically so to the use of punctuation or dingbats as letter strokes. For example, |\|() /-\|_|7()5|9/-\|°|-|5 translates to 'NO AUTOGRAPHS'. The symbols used to represent letters may vary (one could use | and 1 to represent an 'I'). At any rate, however, not only is it time-consuming and used only as a display gimmick, it's also extrememly illegible from a glance. How our brains developed, we were made to interpret a | as a rod, not an 'l', 'i', or '1'.

I am very grateful, however, that people are not using this posting method when they write on their blogs. Some may include a 'pwning j00' just for rhetoric, but generally I'm glad that the use of some blogs such as Drudge Report have refrained from abusing such a system (mainly becuase many blogs are starting to assume political identities). The same cannot be said, however, for the majority of Xanga, MySpace, or Hi5 titbits that barely pass as 'blogs'. Below is a sample from a person in my Hi5 friend network:

Well it's sumemr hols..and ive never been so [expletive] bored in my life, sitting round pointlessly it is soo terrible. I think ive been on this site every 10 mins. Just to show how i have NETHIN to do.
Anyways, being depressed with fiji my baby, about how [expletive] this all issss....but we r gonna go visit Harry's hamster now yes!
Peace out, i'm gonna go swim xx

Fortunately, that is minimal use for a profile titbit.

So I should within two days rest assured that those that have the time to glance through my blog are, for once, going to take this into consideration and pass it along for others to adhere to. To me, even the 'Leet' sample I gave looks foreign to me. How we work, only the most dire computer fanatics can interpret those lines from a glance. In fact, I don't think anyone can....

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