Your written ideolect.

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Torco
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Your written ideolect.

Post by Torco »

This is about linguistics but also too much in the spirit of somewhere else's Ephemera, so I put it here.

Everyone's written word is different, but especially on the internet where one's writing not for posterity but as a part of quite informal conversations in a spirit of 'whatever', and so we write carelessly. I remember somewhere here pointing -correctly in my view- out that using all lowercaps is a hallowed internet tradition. I've noticed, myself, that i kind of only capitalize either Very Important Nouns or whatever's after a period that represents a new topic or something: I don't know why this surprised me, and then I noticed that I had been under the delusion that my 'bad' style of writing would have been random as opposed to systematic, but we know in linguistics that people aren't good at randomness and what they do is just either a weird interpretation of the rule or maybe just a new rule they like better.

so what kinds of weird things have you noticed about your own writing on the ole 'world wide webbe? what weird affectations have you picked up, or perhaps resisted?
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Re: Your written ideolect.

Post by Pabappa »

Minor vision problems seem to have led me to put more than one space between words sometimes, though I cant explain why .... that's not a good reason at all. I just picked it up and it's become a habit, ... the only thing I can think of is that it makes it easier for me to see where the cursor is. But lately if I make a typo I will add more than one space where the word used to be just out of habit, not due to inability to see the cursor.

Ive been mistaken for female more often than one might expect .... and I think it's due to my writing style. A test told me I was 56% feminine but only 6% masculine. I dont use obscene words, and rarely even use their euphemisms .... typically I avoid the topics altogether, unless I'm making a pun or quoting someone. There's more to a feminine writing style than just that, but I can't pin down whatever else might be contributing. I suspect in at least a few cases what led me to be mistaken for female is that I explained some situation from a female point of view or sided with a woman in a conflict against a man. Thus, nothing to do with writing style.

I picked up my habit of using ellipses during a period where I was on a mobile device for 2 1/2 years and realized that the period key was more convenient than dashes, though here again Ive come to use ellipses even where i would never have previously used dashes.

I write short paragraphs and sometimes double space them. Im not trying to take up space .... I just want my words to be separated by thoughts, and I have a simple manner of speaking. Depending on the situation, this can either be very helpful, somewhat condescending, or arrogant .... or sometimes I'm the only one talking and it doesn't make me stand out.

On Discord, I use the 🤷‍♂️ emoji very frequently, and consider it part of my signature style. I'd use it elsewhere, but it's not as convenient to type emojis on most other social media platforms. I am very difficult to embarrass, both in real life and online, so it's become my place to ask the dumb questions that other people won't ask, and not mind if people think I'm a fool for asking so many stupid questions.
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jimydog000
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Re: Your written ideolect.

Post by jimydog000 »

Pabappa wrote: 16 Feb 2021 03:45 Ive been mistaken for female more often than one might expect .... and I think it's due to my writing style. A test told me I was 56% feminine but only 6% masculine.
Did you work out what it was testing?
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Re: Your written ideolect.

Post by Creyeditor »

I produce weird typos that often make sense phonologically, e.g. two = to = too. I do not produce such mistakes when I write with pen and paper.
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Re: Your written ideolect.

Post by Pabappa »

jimydog000 wrote: 16 Feb 2021 14:22
Pabappa wrote: 16 Feb 2021 03:45 Ive been mistaken for female more often than one might expect .... and I think it's due to my writing style. A test told me I was 56% feminine but only 6% masculine.
Did you work out what it was testing?
Personality. The test is at https://www.idrlabs.com/gender/test.php . The same site has a second gender test which I also took, and I got something like 60% female and 40% male ... I think the first test allows answers to fit into a "neither" category but the second is either-or.

It's possible that the people mistaking me for female are not really getting it from my writing style at all, but rather my personality .... but perhaps my personality bleeds through my writing. I dont know much about how that works. I know what sets my writing style apart from the average adult English-speaking male, but I dont really think about how it looks to others ... I just write in the manner that comes naturally to me.

I could add, perhaps, that I've incorporated a few idiosyncrasies in both writing and speech, such as ... well .... putting words like "perhaps", "of course", and even "please" into the middle of a phrase where they don't normally go. I picked this up some years ago more or less to sound weird, and so it was deliberate, though I've been doing it so long that I'd consider it second nature now. At one job I worked, I alternated between a weak sales pitch where I would say things like "we do have, of course, the iPhone 5 on sale" and a stronger sales pitch where I made eye contact and used a more confident manner of speaking. The distinction is easier to make in speech than in writing, however .... nobody would ever entertain writing like this in a hypothetical written-media sales environment even if they were deliberately trying to show insincerity to get the customer to focus on something else.

I wrote here that the misplaced please signifies a nonnative speaker in print media, but I dont know if it's based on a real phenomenon or if it's just "because it sounds weird".

I've never been told that I sound condescending ... it may help that I use the same speech style (and writing style) everywhere, and don't, for example, use scholarly language when I'm talking to people i perceive as intellectual superiors and then suddenly switch to sounding like a kindergarten teacher when I'm addressing people with fewer accomplishments.
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Re: Your written ideolect.

Post by eldin raigmore »

Torco wrote: 16 Feb 2021 03:08 This is about linguistics but also too much in the spirit of somewhere else's Ephemera, so I put it here.

Everyone's written word is different, but especially on the internet where one's writing not for posterity but as a part of quite informal conversations in a spirit of 'whatever', and so we write carelessly. I remember somewhere here pointing -correctly in my view- out that using all lowercaps is a hallowed internet tradition. I've noticed, myself, that i kind of only capitalize either Very Important Nouns or whatever's after a period that represents a new topic or something: I don't know why this surprised me, and then I noticed that I had been under the delusion that my 'bad' style of writing would have been random as opposed to systematic, but we know in linguistics that people aren't good at randomness and what they do is just either a weird interpretation of the rule or maybe just a new rule they like better.

so what kinds of weird things have you noticed about your own writing on the ole 'world wide webbe? what weird affectations have you picked up, or perhaps resisted?
Let me get my “spelling” or “morphology” or “etymology” demon put to bed first.
I’d have spelled this “idiolect” instead of “ideolect”.
“Idio-“ means “my own personal”, while “ideo-“ means “about ideas” — to me; I could be wrong or YMMV.
Edit: OTOH I find the notion of an “ideolect” quite intriguing! Maybe my “ideolect” is dominated by chiasms, puns, role-reversals, word-play, and taking obvious typos as serious proposals?
....

My own idiolect has a lot of Briticisms in it because I partly grew up in India with many other young people from various parts of the Commonwealth.
It also includes a lot of Sea Lane English for I don’t know what reason; I’ve never been near the Sea Lane in question.
...
As for my writing I seem to have absorbed only the first of the following two Gricean maxims:
* Say everything you have to say in order to be clear.
* Don’t say anything you don’t have to say in order to be clear.
...
Since I began doing a lot of text on the web I’ve been fast-adopting nearly every bit of slang or jargon or abbreviation or acronym I’ve seen, usually about 24 hours after seeing it for the second time.
I’m still left way behind, though!

...

Sometimes, especially after George R.R. Martin or Gene Wolfe or Diana Gabaldon triggers my vocabulary-inferiority complex, I’ll use a word I seldom get to use just for the joy of using a rare word that I happen to know. I usually admit that right away.
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Re: Your written ideolect.

Post by elemtilas »

eldin raigmore wrote: 16 Feb 2021 19:07
Edit: OTOH I find the notion of an “ideolect” quite intriguing! Maybe my “ideolect” is dominated by chiasms, puns, role-reversals, word-play, and taking obvious typos as serious proposals?
To be fair, my friend, if one of your posts dòesn't in fact contain at least one word game of some sort, it almost certainly, around 97% certain, wasn't written by you!

And, to be honest, for the other thirty permil, I just assume that there is, in fact, some kind of word game in play that I'm too dense to figure out!
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Re: Your written ideolect.

Post by lsd »

I write without capital letters...
I do not use punctuation related to language acts...
I use a lot of parentheses...
I make excessive use of ellipsis...
I tend to use sentence construction that is too concise or convoluted...
I'm not sure that one can always understand the meaning of what I'm saying...
my basic English doesn't help...
I think it comes from an impregnation of the uses of my conlang (unless it's the opposite...)
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Re: Your written ideolect.

Post by prettydragoon »

Your present interlocutor has a faiblesse for convoluted sentence structures and recherché vocabulary, but since she posts but seldom, it is to be hoped that that does not unduly distract from her eventual message, should any be present to discern.

Also. I try to write full sentences. With punctuation. According to the rules I happen to remember from time to time. & no abbrevs. [cross] [O.O] [:D] No, never. (What, never? Well, hardly ever.)
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Re: Your written ideolect.

Post by ixals »

One very obvious thing that comes to mind about my written idiolect in informal settings is that I tend to avoid using full stops at the end of sentences and replace them with commas while commas get replaced with, well, nothing. I just leave them out. Full stops feel very harsh and unfriendly to me in an unprofessional environment, so I don't use them so as not to come off that way.
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Re: Your written ideolect.

Post by Pabappa »

good point .... Ive noticed on Discord that the people who type periods at the end of sentences tend to be the ones in charge. Ive read an article saying that it's a generational thing ,but even within that article there was pushback against such a simple analysis. even the people who use the periods typically use them irregularly, and i think they may be subconsciously using them to imitate speech styles, sounding forceful when they need to and more friendly when they can be.

I've never used periods in chat rooms, and that was something I decided very long ago, ... it surprises me a bit to hear that it's a generational thing because i'm of the older generation in the sense that i grew up with Internet Relay Chat rather than Discord, and IRC has always been that way as well. so i think it may be more about one's familiarity with the medium than one's age .... people who don't use chat rooms much tend to type in a more formal register, while people who use it as their main form of communication use the most informal register. this correlates well with age but does not rule out long-time chat users who began with IRC many years ago and picked up the styles there.
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Re: Your written ideolect.

Post by eldin raigmore »

I’ve started using exclamation points where I used to use periods!
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Re: Your written ideolect.

Post by ixals »

eldin raigmore wrote: 21 Feb 2021 01:02 I’ve started using exclamation points where I used to use periods!
Oh, that's also true for me! The exclamation mark feels nicer than the full stop and I think that's because I use it for excitement and agreeing with others for the most part.
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Re: Your written ideolect.

Post by Creyeditor »

For me, there is a hierarchy. All caps is most angry. Exclamation mark is still pretty angry. Periods are still a bit angry in an annoyed kind if way. But this only holds for chats. I frequently use smileys then to end my sentence (paragraph-internally), with the default being [:)]
In forums I try to reduce the number of smileys and use proper punctuation.
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Re: Your written ideolect.

Post by eldin raigmore »

I started using exclamation points because I read somewhere that kids read texts from their parents as orders when there’re periods but as conversation when there’re exclamation points.
I never verified that and anyway even assuming it’s true it usually wouldn’t be relevant to what I’m writing at the moment.
But nevertheless!
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