work, Im going to be deeply analysing a transcript of online conversation to help me define the similarities and differences between online and spoken language

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In this piece of work, I’m going to be deeply analysing a transcript of online conversation to help me define the similarities and differences between online and spoken language.  I’m going to be exploring the history of online and spoken language, how it is used today and the opinions and attitudes it creates.

Do you despise the younger generation talking in their own slang-based language full of confusing abbreviations and acronyms? If yes, you’re not alone - many people are unaware of the true history behind online language, I researched the topic and found that Gerald Jones, a 47 year old man from Yorkshire even went as far to say that “it’s a teenage language made up by teenage people” but did you know that the “online slang” and popular acronyms like “LOL” that get such bad press from the media and older generations may actually date back to 1935? I am of course talking about Telex machines. Telex Machines were similar to type writers and a useful way of contacting people around the world, they were cheaper than phone calls and quicker than post - both users had to have a machine in order for it to work (much like it is today with computers) However, the longer your message was, the more expensive it became – therefore, abbreviations and acronyms were used and slang was born! For example, some of the common acronyms were “ASAP (as soon as possible) “IMO” (in my opinion) and BTW (by the way), all of which we still use today! Likewise, there were also lots of abbreviations like “coz” (because) “dnt” (don’t) and “l8r” (later).

Online language is used today because it’s a quick and easy way of talking to people all around the world. It is mainly used by younger people who use instant messaging websites or chat rooms;  which are designated areas where people with similar interests can come together to talk. The language used online is generally very informal, for example – On the transcript, “Tom” in answer to “Kams” statement says “Well get one probably be intence.” In standard English, I can presume the sentence would’ve read “We’ll get one, it will probably be intense.” There are several things “wrong” with Toms sentence. I’ve put abbreviated commas by wrong, because sometimes language that is grammatically wrong in standard English, is perfectly acceptable in online language. Some of the grammatically wrong errors in “Toms” statement are that he’s missed out the apostrophe – perhaps a typo -but most likely it just didn’t occur to him that it was important to use one as the sociolect within the group all appear to use lots of slang, contractions and acronyms; what’s interesting though is that by missing out the apostrophe in “We’ll”, he’s changed the word to “Well” which gives the sentence a whole different meaning. Furthermore, we can see that Deletion has occurred; “Tom” has missed out the words “it” and “will”, and has also missed a comma after the word “one” - which, to me personally makes his statement quite confusing to understand as I don’t use online language very often, but “Toms” peers or “online friends” can understand it fine because they are used to speaking in such a way. There is also slight Deixis, “Tom” is referring to getting a hot summer this year, but if it was taken out of context or if somebody new joined the online chat, (notice, I did not say conversation – I will go into this in more detail later) they would be quite hard pushed to figure out exactly what “Tom” was talking about.

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On the other hand, unlike online language, spoken language is used today by all generations on a day to day basis. Saying goodbye to your mum on your way to school, talking to your neighbours about last night’s episode of X-Factor, delivering some bad news to a loved one – no matter what you’re talking about, it’s still spoken language. One of the advantages of face to face conversation is the ability to incorporate hand gestures into your speech to entice your audience and capture their attention - a speaker has significantly more control over what the listener will ...

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