Friday, April 13, 2007

What is old is new again...

So, a year and a half ago - I wrote about what I term 'IM speak'.  The thread had been idle for a long time - when all of a sudden yesterday, it started getting tons of comments.  So far - 40 new comments.  From a readership I do not normally get :)  High school students, from here.

All I know is I got linked to from their private discussion forum, so I cannot see the discussion that is causing them to come and read that entry - but come and read they are, a good 5% of my traffic is coming from their discussion board this morning.

Interesting to read their comments - but I will say they need to understand what hyperbole is all about (the 'IM speak' example I got from the aoltranslator site is of course an exaggeration).


updated a bit later

Neat - I see it became part of a school assignment to read that entry.  Small world - I just spoke at American University as part of a class.  Last week during spring break - the local Oracle Academy class came in and I got to speak to them (brought my kids Alan and Megan to listen in as well - the talk was about careers and how mine progressed - they had never seen me do my job, so this was a good first presentation to hear).  Next month, I'm doing a career day in Brooklyn as well. 



Anonymous 42 said....

ויקיפדיה היא מאגר עצום של ידע. כדי להפוך ידע זה לשימושי ככל האפשר, מעמידה ויקיפדיה לרשות המשתמש בה שלל כלים לניווט בה, כך שיוכל למצוא את דרכו בקלות, ולאתר את המידע שהוא זקוק לו. לכל כלי הניווט ניתן להגיע דרך העמוד הראשי.

Fri Apr 13, 03:10:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Cameron Thorne said....

Wow. I guess they don't teach how to detect sarcasm in writing at that school. "IM-speak" is an inferior form of communication in any medium because of the way humans recognize written words. Just Google for "shape based word recognition". Here is one example. In fact, this is the basis of some advanced OCR methods as well.

This is another reason that all upper case text is very difficult to read quickly.

Fri Apr 13, 04:53:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Doug Burns said....

Well, that kept me entertained for a while. Passionate about IM-speak! Whatever next ;-)

Sat Apr 14, 12:49:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous dizwell said....

Morons! I see one genius managed to post, "I don't really understand why its a problem with adults you guys just need to get over it we speak the way we speak"

Presumably the full stop can be dispensed with even when NOT writing in IM speak? And trivial matters like the difference between its and it's can just be papered over, I suppose.

I can only conclude that IM Speak rots the brain -and alarmingly quickly if your recent crop of posts' literacy levels was anything to go by.

Zero tolerance, please, Tom!

Sat Apr 14, 09:08:00 PM EDT  

Blogger George said....

This comment has been removed by the author.

Mon Apr 16, 07:33:00 AM EDT  

Blogger George said....

I believe we are begginng to see the first IM graduates in the working world. There is a tester here who doesn't use punctuatuion or capitalise the first letters in his sentences. (His spelling is also pretty bad- I found out that English is his first language). I shudder every time I see a ticket from him. It usually takes 20-30 minutes just to figure out what he's trying to say.

Mon Apr 16, 07:40:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Nelson said....

I must say that I agree with the intent on Tom's article. IM should not be in professional communication.
IM probably was born out of the initial problems when sending text messages in cell phones with no "dictionary" feature.
We all know that languages adapt to people (not the other way around). Words that might have been unacceptable in the past are of common use today (this happens in every language).

The funny thing about IM is that it is something that is happening right now, that was born out of the written (not spoken) word and that it happens in almost every country (does not matter the language) where cell phone usage is popular.

It is also in my view, a generational issue.
Kids use it, parents do not get it…that single fact works as an incentive for kids to use and annoy the grown ups.

Will IM speak become part of the "accepted/business" language?
I believe that quite possible some of it will.

Mon Apr 16, 09:14:00 AM EDT  

Blogger stewb said....

This debate (if it can be called that) brought to mind a passage from the philosopher Ronald Dworkin in his book Law's Empire. He was discussing what constitutes a normative debate, and categorizes discussions when no real debate is going on at all because the participants haven't agreed on the terms. The example he uses describes when two people are arguing about "banks", only to find out later that one participant was referring to financial institutions, while the other was referring to "river banks".

The students participating on AskTom refuse to see what you plainly state over and over again... that IM speak is not appropriate in professional discourse. However, they assume that this is an indictment of IM speak in general, and they may see the indictment as much more pervasive than even that.

Mostly, this is just another example of the youth lashing out at the imperialism du jour of the "un-hip" establishment. We all did it once.

The only serious issue I take away from all of this is just how poor the grammar and spelling is. My assumption from the facts is that this is a decent school... maybe even above average or exceptional. If that assumption is correct, the workplace could become a foreign place. If IM speak is a culprit in this situation, then perhaps a sweeping indictment is justified.

Mon Apr 16, 10:57:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Michael Norbert said....

Never mind IM Speak. It's Rock & Roll that's corrupting kids today. That Elvis boy gyrating his hips, "All Shook Up". It's indecent.

Tue Apr 17, 03:32:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

Michael -

very very funny - laughing out loud (aka LOL)

Tue Apr 17, 03:55:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Actually it's women playing basketball that's destroying society.

Look at it's effect on radio personality it's positively career destroying!

Tue Apr 17, 06:24:00 PM EDT  


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