HOMEWORK: Transcribe your own conversation

Today we explored the technical terms that define the non-standard English that is a big part of text and instant messaging communication. Attached to this – and to assist with your homework – is today’s annotated example from the board and also a glossary of terms that are useful when analysing text-speak.

HOMEWORK: Transcribe one of your own text conversations and annotate it using the terms we explored in class today.

Language features that are commonly found in text language.

These are particular to this form of communication. They will assist you in the up-coming tasks where you begin to discriminate between language that is spoken and language that is written.

Emoticons – graphic symbols representing emotions
Acronyms – use of words’ initial letters to form a single new word e.g. AIDS
Initialisms – initial letters spelled out e.g. OMG
Contractions – omitted letters, e.g. txt
Logograms – single letters or numbers replacing sections of words e.g. 2day for today or u for you
Ellipsis – omitted parts of a sentence e.g. coming?
Unusual spelling – e.g. wiv for with (often reflecting an accent)
Merged words – e.g. seeya
Repeated letters for emphasis e.g. helllllo
Upper case or lower case to donate tone e.g. NO WAY
Punctuation omitted or added for effect e.g. dont be late!!!
Speech-like interjections e.g. ha ha

Remember – it’s not knowing the terms, but understanding the functioning of the language that is important. The terms may assist you in clarifying your understanding and expressing your knowledge of specific language features better. It is always a fatal mistake to use random language terms when you don’t really understand what they mean, or how they add to the speech you are evaluating.

Annotated Example - Text Language


Author: Christopher Waugh

“Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.” (Katherine Mansfield)

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