Thursday, April 24, 2014

Guess what? Blogs have "Unique Linguistic Character"

Okay. That's it. I can't take it anymore. I need to write.

I'm researching blogs for an English class, and I can't stop thinking about my experience in the blogosphere. It makes me want to read aniblogs and write, even though I really don't have the time. So, here. I'm rebelling against my responsible self for just a few minutes. I want to write and share my reactions to what I'm researching, and I want to take longer than 140 characters (those of you on Twitter have seen some of my thoughts).

That top book's useful, along with one I'm
renting on Kindle, Internet Linguistics: A
Student Guide.
To my amusement, some of the academic articles - even recent ones - refer to blogs as "weblogs." This is their fuller and older name, and rarely used outside of these kinds of articles. I suspect that these scholars are out of touch with their subject, despite their good insights. Then again, perhaps they must translate from informal lingo to academic-ese for the sake of their fellow academics' comfort and understanding.

I have, however, found one very well-informed author, David Crystal, who uses more common terminology. I'm using a couple of his books. He acknowledges the diverse ways blogs are used, unlike some, who can't seem to move beyond the diary analogy (granted, some of what I've read is quite old in internet time, but Crystal recognized the diversity even back in 2006). He appears to be on of only a handful of experts on Internet Linguistics (that is, the study of language as used on the Internet).

Crystal and others say blogs have "unique linguistic character." Our posts can't be fit into the same box as most printed writing, and, obviously, blogging isn't the same as speech, even though we love to use words like "say" and "conversation" for what we're doing. So blogs require a separate analysis... as do other forms of Netspeak - which I've been able to read a little about.

Oh, and by the way - did you see my use of ellipses and a dash in the sentence above? Yeah, linguists find that kind of thing notable, 'cause it's so different from what gets into standardized print.

I'm having fun with this research... but the 6-8 page paper is due in less than 22 hours, and I haven't even finished the pre-writing stage. And there are other things due tomorrow, too, so I'd better get back to work.

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