Headline, April24, 2014



THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE has many, many aspects. Any form of language is itself a   -digital technology-  composed using:

A limited set of components such as letters or phonemes. Modern digital technology thus has the potential to be either a threat or a benefactor to any language.

Language being primarily a social tool, computing professionals have a distinct responsibility, springing from the IEEE's Code of Ethics to understand this potential and lessen its threat while boosting its beneficence.

The first step is to understand the nature of language, which has two main dimensions:

The meaning being conveyed, and the medium of that conveyance. These two dimensions are called, according to the two most important and most ignored definitions in the profession's international standard vocabulary:

Information : Meaning is a social construct, so the different kinds of information correspond to the different kinds of social context. Social context itself has dimensions, in time:

Ranging from the transient to the enduring, in attitude from the provocative to the declarative, and in mood from the emotional to the cogent.

The social context of party chatter is transient, provocative  (ideally)  and emotional, of the Gettysburg Address, enduring, declarative and cogent.

Transient information can be provocative and cogent,  as in debating, declarative and cogent, as in lecturing. It is typically spontaneous.

Enduring information can be provocative and emotional, as in poetry, provocative and cogent as in literature, or declarative and emotional, as in propaganda.

It is made enduring by the nature of its medium, and is typically composed.

Information was mainly transient in the early years of human language, except for what was kept in memory. Writing was developed to make communication enduring and represented speech.

Data: Media are technical vehicles for data  -technical in the sense of requiring skills for their use.

Media differ in the kinds of language they take in and the kinds they put out. People differ in the media they can use, the blind and deaf in particular.   

Speech is sound presented by the voice and perceived by the ear. Conversation is speech accompanied by gestures and other bodily expressions.

Writing is an arrangement of visible symbols the writer composes and the reader scans.

Early electronic digital technology merely complimented existing technology. Digital telephony has replaced and improved analog telephony, which replaced telegraphy, which replaced the semaphore.

Unassisted speech is restricted in its physical range. Telephony removes this restriction.

Computers stored keyed-in or transcribed written language, and printed out stored data directly or algorithmically transformed. Traditional printing is productive by repetition. Computer printing is productive by programmed variation.

Curiously, much early electronic computing was of administrative data, just as early writing often was, such as for keeping track of property with cuneiform tablets.

More recently, digital technology has collapsed the distinction between transient and enduring information by coupling mobile technology and the Internet with its numerous attached computers.

It allows easily feeding text into the Internet, storing it on the Web, retrieving it, and broadcasting it.

It allows editing text in the Web, searching it, and sabotaging it. And it allows collecting and organizing digital representation of music and speech, and of still and moving pictures on the Web.

This development has changed what was once a separation of transient and enduring information in society into an amalgamation that is huge, anarchic and impermanent.

Of course, the separation still exists outside the online world, but it is of rapidly diminishing importance.

The effect of digital technology, Web data, and Internet traffic on language is highly significant and could be either harmful or beneficial. The computing profession's duty clearly is working to encourage the benefits and diminish the harm.

Conversation: Face-to-face conversation is the foundation of society. It is also complex because more it's more than simple speech.

Timing, intonation, and body language supplement the information the spoken word conveys.

Digital technology can diminish adventitious conversation.

The Honour and Serving of this great educating research post continues.

With respectful dedication to the loving memory of my  English Language teachers : Mother Anne, Convent School. And  Mr Hugh Catchpole, MA (Oxford). Mr M Haq Nawaz, University of London/ English Literature.

!WOW!- the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

"' Research Feature "'

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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