Language: A Reminder…

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    • #138289
      DeeAnn Hopings
      AMBASSADOR

      As we create postings and private messages, please keep this thought in mind:

      Remember that we have members for whom English is not their first language. Therefore it is helpful to avoid slang, abbreviations, Internet shorthand and other language artifacts that may be unknown to others.

      Thanks,

      DeeAnn

    • #138887

      Acronyms are particularly annoying DeeAnn…and ambiguous sometimes.
      LOL
      Laugh out loud/lots of love

      Alex

      • #138888
        DeeAnn Hopings
        AMBASSADOR

        And imagine the confusion if English was not your first language! If we get confused, what are they to think? Sometimes we are our own worst enemy…

    • #139918
      Alexis Wassermann
      MANAGING AMBASSADOR

      Some it just drives me nut trying to figure out what some folks are trying to say , and I speak English !

       

      Alexis

    • #139971
      Liz K
      UNITY

      I’m as guilty as anyone.  I text a lot and freely use abbreviated language.  I also work in tech, and freely use cryptic acronyms and jargon when communicating with peers.  Those habits tend to work their way into my forum posts.  It’s hard to break the habit.  Maybe I need a 12-Step program, LOL!  Oops, laughing out loud!

      /EA

      • #139973
        DeeAnn Hopings
        AMBASSADOR

        Perhaps a 12-Word Program…

        • #139978
          Liz K
          UNITY

          That’s too Orwellian DeeAnn….

          • #139979
            DeeAnn Hopings
            AMBASSADOR

            Perhaps you need a visit to the Animal Farm. Then again, as one of my Taiwanese colleagues once told another of our co-workers:

            ”Maybe you think too much.”

            Took a while for me to stop laughing after that.

            It was one of those “DAMN” moments…

          • #140004
            DeeAnn Hopings
            AMBASSADOR

            You do understand hat I was just messing with you?

          • #140097
            Liz K
            UNITY

            Of course!  And I couldn’t resist poking back a bit!

      • #139980
        Elli Snow
        SILVER

        I’m not a fan of using the abbreviated language that’s developed since texting became common, but that’s mostly because I’m a trained typist and at one time could type at over 90 words a minute.  However, since I’ve spent half of the last 50 years in tech work, I am very guilty of using the jargon and acronyms from that field, especially when making a joke or pun.  I’m slowly getting out of the habit since I moved a few years ago and don’t know anyone in a technical field any more.

         

        • #141782
          Elli Snow
          SILVER

          I’ve never been a fan of abbreviated language usage, and I’ve been in the tech business since I was trained as an Electronics Tech by the navy 50 years ago.  One of the things the military does if you have to fill out documents or make reports, is send you to a class that runs a week or more, just to teach you how to communicate and how to write letters and numbers in a standard, approved way.  I’m also a trained touch typist and can still hit 80 wpm when I’m in a good mood.

          That said, I also am very guilty of using jargon and making “inside” jokes that no one understands because I don’t know a soul in this area that has a technical background.  I try to avoid it because all I get in return is blank looks, but sometimes I wish I had a good LART.

    • #139993
      DeeAnn Hopings
      AMBASSADOR

      A thought just occurred to me as I was sipping my Saturday morning coffee.

      There is language, but there is also the thought process and context behind it.

      I worked in Taiwan for 6 years and I was exposed to colleagues from Taiwan, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Viet Nam, the Mainland, Australia and New Zealand. The level of proficiency with English for those who viewed it as a second language, covered a very broad range from rudimentary to very, very good. But, typically this is in a very mechanical sense. The best had good vocabularies and more of a flat, midwestern accent; completely acceptable.

      However, a colleague, who had gone to college in the US and had very good English skills, put a question to me. He said that he used to watch Seinfeld on TV when he was a student, but he always felt that he was missing something and asked what he was missing. What that said to me was that the contextual part that he was missing was New York Jewish culture. For most of us, even though we didn’t grow up and live in New York City and are not Jewish, we do have enough context to have at least a reasonable understanding. But, if you are coming from a vastly different culture, you don’t readily have that contextual piece such that it all makes sense.

      So, even though one may be very conversant with English from a mechanical viewpoint, not having the context is like having a cake with a piece missing. For me, had I not been immersed in another culture, I would have never realized this. Interesting how a simple question, upon more reflection, can reveal deeper truths.

      • #141783
        Elli Snow
        SILVER

        I agree, context can be very important.  To an extent I’m somewhat fortunate because when I lived in NYC I worked in a lot of different ethnic restaurants and usually became good enough  friends with most of the owners and staff that I was regularly invited to local cultural events.

        However, regarding Seinfeld, I think it takes a lot more than understanding NYC Jewish culture.  I was a room mate with a guy that was the cantor at his gay synagogue, went to all the after service get togethers and other events and parties, so I think I am somewhat versed in the NYC Jewish culture.  However, I watched one episode of Seinfeld and today, 30 years later I still think it was half an hour I will never get back.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a show as pointless.

        • #142084
          DeeAnn Hopings
          AMBASSADOR

          Yes, it isn’t the complete story, but it is a starting point. It is certainly a lot closer than my direct experience (Black, midwesterner, born in 1948). I would think that virtually all social activity has a cultural context.

          I was chair of our Public Arts Commission for 2 years. For the 2nd year, my ViceChair was a Native American woman who had held various offices in Tribal Government for her tribe. During meetings she was sometimes painfully direct, and I emphasize Painfully. We talked about this and I reminded her that our meetings are public, recorded live and are available on YouTube for anyone who wants to watch. What I learned is that the people that she served with in various tribal functions were frequently relatives and often at least friends. The conversations have a much different tone because of that. I liked that she always spoke her truth and that you could count on that, but the issue is how you do that. Had we not had the conversation, I would have had no context and background for what I was seeing.

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