all our screens: digital lang.

“Our electrically-configured world has forced us to move from the habit of data classification to the mode of pattern recognition. We can no longer build serially, block-by-block, step-by-step, because instant communication insures that all factors of the environment and of experience co-exist in a state of active interplay.”

Marshall McLuhan
1967 from ”The Media is the Massage”

vertical roll

The way in which we both read and communicate is being altered by digital technology with its quantity, pace, immediacy, and accessibility. Information is transmitted and made available all of the time, and foremost, is generated in “real time”.  Images, the same.  This poses all sorts of changes made to how we write, read, interpret, and, ultimately, make changes to our existing language.

If the form of writing changes from handwritten correspondence to instant messaging, the language in turn, follows suit. The limited time and space of the text message and the tweet leave no room for the contemplative lengthy passage, the periodic sentence.  The abbreviated word in the rising use of acronym is just one of the changes taking place in our digital communication. The phonetic translation of these acronyms could certainly find their way ( back?) to the logogram. A three word expression taking the form of three letters in acronym could eventually turn into a furthered shorthand symbol.  The new shape is no longer phonetic, but logographic. Our written language is changing.

hieroglyphs

In the field of Linguistics, Benjamin Whorf said that the content of a language is directly related to the content of a culture and the structure of a language is directly related to the structure of a culture.  If so, the culture of the tweet, text, and blog (the form) alongside the globalizing power of the Internet (the context of influence) will invariably alter our existing language, or, evolve into a completely new system of sign and symbol all of its own.

 emoti

2 thoughts on “all our screens: digital lang.

  1. Thought provoking piece– there are so many acronyms today and so many SIMILAR sounding acronyms that I am constantly reinventing identities, names, etc. by transposing letters. Just this past week, I transposed GUI (Graphical User Interface) with CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) to arrive at Computer Graphical Interface! Not funny.

    With that said, striving to be visually literate is a given today. In terms of logos and identifying marks, we’ve gone from a few hundred in the twentieth century to tens of thousands. Today, anyone can create their own identifying symbol and brand themselves– not just Prince. I recommend reading Naomi Klein’s “NO LOGO” for an in depth look at the explosion of the use of logos, and what this means for our society.

    Liked by 1 person

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