Text in a way, ascii is the
poetry of the net, don't you think? but the
poet is that much closer, becaause of the added inference of communication.
The poetry is the poet. immediate.
Net dynamics puts a different twist on formats and fonts. As always, the format carries the ambiance of the piece, but on the net the reader, by his choice of technology is also an editor. I write for listserv forums on Boxer, an ascii editor that keeps the feel of Yarn, my DOS offline reader, and Pine, the unix program that keeps my mail. The style of these editors represents for me the listserv community where the .edu addresses often still predominate, and where conversations bring back times when everything was important but nothing was ever urgent. What I see, however, is not necessarily what you get. In cyberspace, every recipient is an editor, and by choice of technology creates a personalized version of the messages he or she receives. In subtle and not so subtle ways, the recipient makes the message a message from himself.
as to what constitutes esthetics in such a format, me, i have to say that ascii has it's own ah... charms :-). as much as i like to experiment with the serving of information, with the visual aspects thereof, i also like to experiment with communication... but differently. i like to contort the intimacy and the immediacy of the format.
promoot fonetik speling......down with kapital leters
People who suggest that analytic and listening skills they have developed in F2F groups can be used equally well in the silent listserv environment make leaps of faith that are difficult for me to follow.
Each of us is isolated with only a keyboard and a screen. Like the Kabbalists of Jeruselem, we retire to our cubicles and in solitary contemplation seek the true meaning of words. And like the grumpy ascetic, Jerome, we create our own text and send our interpretations to others and thereby the world.
The net involves a constant struggle against the uni-dimensionality of the communication medium. As has been frequently lamented on this list, there is no tone, no body language, and no defining physical context (we ain't chatting in a bubbling hot tub). The best communicators I have observed on the net are constantly aware of the poverty of our medium (as well as of its advantages) and seem to have a set of rules for coping with the challenge.
Getting too long here (and I'm aware of our shared and limited tolerance for long, long posts)
Long posts (40+ X 80 character lines) tend to distract me. I have the compunction to print the message to refer to parts without scrolling.. . . . Individual paragraphs greater than 10 lines are a strain to read
I have a definite tendency to hit del if the point is not made on the first screen. However, we are not all geared up for aphorism and sound bite.
. On our List I've become accustomed to different members formatting style. Harriet writes in big chunks (like me); James breaks his stuff into lots of tid-bit pieces; Matt's lines go much further to the right-hand margin than most.
I've found writing to be extremely difficult unless I actually have something to say.
In general, however, I am amazed at how much I can get away with f2f with the affectionate tempering of facial, tonal and gesticular nauances added to what I say -- and over and over again this simply doesn't wash in print.
Subtlety is somewhat lost in email.
I'm sorry 'bout cutting your post into sections and applying my interpretations to your words and I have to admit, I HATE that when it's done to me, but I guess that's my way of "controlling the room".
note the number of declarative sentences followed by rhetorical questions in the following quote. Note the clipped style of formulation. Do these seem to be combative techniques to you?
I get comfortable with the ascii personalities that cross my screen each day. The thought of having a cup of coffee with one of them F2f is disturbing to me.
This is conversational writing (vastly different, I assure you. I'm suffering from the worst kind of writer's block right now vis-a-vis academic writing. A problem which doesn't seem to be evident in this medium!)
I've noticed some online who purposely use "innovative spelling" and "colloquial phraseology." I can think of a dozen or so that I've known online and another hundred or so that I've encountered.
My grown daughter spends time in a chat room and the grammar is terrible. Time is the key and they never go back to correct anything. This transfers over to their structured messages as well.
Ya kno all, sumtimes ya juz do it ta make things seem a leetle less formal. Or juz to let the other personages kno that you'z juz being playful... when it comes to a serious discussion topic, on the other hand, the spelling, grammar, and intelligence comes out in full bloom.
Your habit of trailing off into mystery at the end of your messages is an interesting one, though. I would guess that technique brings people back for more.
I wish too someone would turn my thoughts into palatable prose.
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