Innovations and Motivations in Online Chat

Innovations and Motivations in Online Chat

Wengao Gong (National University of Singapore, Singapore) and Vincent B.Y. Ooi (National University of Singapore, Singapore)
Copyright: © 2008 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-863-5.ch065
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Abstract

This chapter examines the defining linguistic innovations and social motivations for one of the most popular modes of computer mediated communication: the online chat. Due to its nature of being largely synchronous, anonymous, and mainly text-based, online chat offers a social interactional environment where people can experience the feeling of making new friends or acquaintances, psychologically experiment with different identities, and explore new relationships without the shyness that face-to-face interaction can bring. The largely informal and recreational nature of online chat, together with the time constraints that force communicators to come up with interesting ways to sustain efficient communication, turns online chat into a frontier of linguistic innovation. In turn, this leads to a deeper understanding of the nature of online communities.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Emoticon: Also called a smiley, is a combination of ordinary printable characters such as:-),:-(, and:-D intended to mimic a human facial expression.

Internet Relay Chat (IRC): A text-based real-time Internet communication system first developed by Jarkko Oikarinen in 1988 which is mainly designed for group communication in discussion forums called channels.

The Third Place: A term used in the concept of community building to refer to social surroundings separate from home and the workplace.

Abbreviations: Word forms created by removing one or more components of a word or phrase.

Number Homophone: A number used to replace a word or part of a word which has the same pronunciation, for example, the number 4 for fore or for in 4get (meaning forget) or b4 (meaning before).

Online Chat: A way of real-time bidirectional communication realized through sending (mainly) text messages via networked computers among people.

Letter Homophone: A letter used to replace a word which has the same pronunciation, for instance, the letter u for the word you, c for see. In English, only the letters b, c, o, u, and y can be used this way.

The Third Place: A term used in the concept of community building to refer to social surroundings separate from home and the workplace.

Online Chat: A way of real-time bidirectional communication realized through sending (mainly) text messages via networked computers among people.

Number Homophone: A number used to replace a word or part of a word which has the same pronunciation, for example, the number 4 for fore or for in 4get (meaning forget) or b4 (meaning before).

Letter Homophone: A letter used to replace a word which has the same pronunciation, for instance, the letter u for the word you, c for see. In English, only the letters b, c, o, u, and y can be used this way.

Internet Relay Chat (IRC): A text-based real-time Internet communication system first developed by Jarkko Oikarinen in 1988 which is mainly designed for group communication in discussion forums called channels.

Emoticon: Also called a smiley, is a combination of ordinary printable characters such as:-),:-(, and:-D intended to mimic a human facial expression.

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