Sunday, September 25, 2005

It's all geek to me

Do you know the difference between fishing and phishing, a moose and a konglong, keylogging and Kenny Loggins? If you don't then maybe you are joining the ranks of the digital underclass: those people either too poor to get connected to a PC and the internet, or just those that are baffled by all this geeky jargon.

Two recent articles highlight the divide in this fascvinating area of language usage and change. In one, the BBC news website looks at how office workers find themselves baffled by the jargon around computer technology (although a quick look at some of the troublesome terms would suggest to me that they're just being a bit lazy!). An article back in April picks up some of the same themes and is a worthwhile read as background to the whole issue of jargon and occupational Englishes.

Meanwhile, in an article in The Independent about China - the world's most rapidly-developing economy - the divide between computer users and their new slanguage is causing concern to guardians of linguistic purity in the media and government:

As internet chat and instant messaging increasingly become a part of life for China's computer-literate youth, the use of internet slang has grown and adoption of the terms has permeated all areas of Chinese life.

On the Web, internet slang is convenient and satisfying, but the mainstream media have a responsibility to guide proper and legal language usage," the Shanghai Morning Post quoted Xia Xiurang, the chair of the culture committee of the Shanghai People's Congress, as saying.

Ms Xia said: "Our nation's language needs to develop, but it also needs to be regulated." Although she said there is no reason these words could not be used in other settings, she made it clear the use of the words in an official capacity will not be tolerated. She made no reference to how the ban, which is being drafted, would be enforced.

Like so many debates about language change, attitudes to change remain in an awkward flux, caught between embracing exciting new language - and the currency that holds in the world's marketplace - and an uneasiness about how the new language is altering the essence of the old language, and leaving a whole generation behind.


Useful for:

ENA5 - Language Change
ENA3 - Using Language
EA4C - Language Investigations


4 comments:

*Chrissyfloss*- ex SFXian said...

Dunno wat u lot think (and perhaps as a no-longer tru SFXian I am in no place to comment on the SFX blog *sob sob*) but (i'm gonna comment anyway) this Xia person just doesnt make sense to me.. wat would be the "official capacity"? I understood up to that point.

Xia says the lang needs to develop.. my take is it's a bit late for this kinda comment. Evidently the lang is changing/developing else she wouldn't be having this conversation. Where has she been the last God knows how many years?

Also, her call for language development to be regulated is kinda contrdictory to her seeing no need to use jargon in "other settings". On studying language change, it is clear that it follows no set regulations in the first place so how is this to be regulated? Madness.

Dan said...

You can comment as long as you like (once an SFXian, always an SFXian, if any of the old staff photos from 20 years ago are anything to go by!).

*Chrissyfloss*- ex SFXian said...

heh heh that's wat i like to hear.. ( i think..) anyways back to the point of my blog- what about this new music jargon thats come about recently? I reckon this is worth a blog -Emo. I was just mailin my little sister who has been tryin to figure out if the music she's into can b clasified as trully emo or not (yes i kno its a sad world) so i said i'd look it up on widipedia and did and was mailin her the result:

"Emo
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Emo
Stylistic origins: hardcore punk, indie rock
Cultural origins: mid 1980s, United States, Northeast Mid Atlantic, New Brunswick, NJ, Washington, DC
Typical instruments: Guitar - Bass - Drums
Mainstream popularity: various eras from mid-1980s to early 90s; early 90 to mid 90s, late 90s to current
Derivative forms:
Subgenres
emocore, hardcore emo, emo violence, screamo, midwestern emo, post-hardcore
Fusion genres
pop hardcore
Regional scenes
California - Washington DC - Midwest - New Brunswick, NJ
Other topics
Emo fashion - List of early Emo groups - List of Emo groups - Timeline of alternative rock
For other uses, see Emo (disambiguation).
Initially, the term "emo" was an abbreviation for "emocore", short for "emotional hardcore", and was coined to describe the music of the mid-1980s DC scene and its associated bands. The most recognizable names of the period included Rites of Spring, Embrace, Beefeater, Grey Matter, Fire Party and slightly later, Moss Icon. The first wave of emo began to fade after the breakups of most of the involved bands in the early 1990s.

Starting in the mid-1990s, the term "emo" largely reflected the indie scene that followed the influences of Fugazi, which itself was an offshoot of the first wave of emo. Bands including Sunny Day Real Estate, and Texas Is the Reason put forth a more indie rock brand of emo, which was more melodic and less chaotic in nature than its predecessor. The so-called "indie emo" scene survived until the end of the 1990s, as many of the bands either disbanded or shifted their style to the mainstream.

As the remaining indie emo bands entered the mainstream, newer bands began to emulate the more mainstream style, creating a style of music that has now earned the moniker "emo" within popular culture. Whereas, even in the past, the term "emo" was used to identify a wide variety of bands, the breadth of bands listed under today's emo is even more vast, leaving the term "emo" as more of a loose identifier than as a specific genre of music.

In all of its forms, emo music generally shares some of the same concepts: personal, meaningful lyrics, usually of an introspective nature, and a deep connection with a band's audience."

I had no idea this existed. How many more are there?

Also, as far as weird (sorry- new and exciting) names r concerned as typed about in a preivious blog- someone needs to do a coursework on the madness of band names nowdays. Some of the bands teenage sis listens to for example DeathCab for Cutie, Funeral for a Friend? wats goin on in the kitchen...

Dan said...

Ah the mighty Fugazi - what a great band!

I've got a really funny article about Emo, which I've used with A2 Media Students in the past when we've looked at pop music and youth culture. It's called something like "Are you Emo?" and it has cut out Emo models complete with little backpacks and pocketchains. I'll send it on to you if I can find it in my filing (piles of rubbish!).

As for weird and wonderful genres how about grindcore, ambient psy-trance and drill'n'bass (a variant on drum and bass using errr... drills)? There's a whole world of mental genres in house/techno/whatever they call it this decade.

I remember a mate getting very worked up over the emergence of a genre called "jungle techno" in the early 1990s - that seeems to have transformed into jungle (as in "junglist posse" etc - oh dear) and then drum'n'bass.

I lost the plot when r'n'b started to mean American pop-soul instead of old men playing guitars...