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Home :: Archive :: 1994 :: January ::
Re: E-Mail: A Thin Communication Medium?
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0010.  Wednesday, 5 January 1994.
From:           Jon Enriquez <ENRIQUEZJ@GUVAX.BITNET>
Date:           Tuesday, 04 Jan 1994 11:26:30 -0500 (EST)
Subject: 4.0972  E-Mail: A Thin Communication Medium?
Comment:        Re: SHK 4.0972  E-Mail: A Thin Communication Medium?
Regarding Michael Sharpton's comment about E-mail as a thin communication
medium:  Yes, e-mail is thinner than, say, conversation.  But irony, which he
cites as an example of something that can't be indicated electronically, is
about the worst possible example.  There *is* a way to indicate irony; it is
:).  I prefer ;) because it is sassier and easier (slightly) to type.  There
are of course many other examples of emotional expression:
    :(  unhappiness
    :P  disgust
    :-<  disapproval
Anyway.  E-mail users have developed conventions for expressing emotions
because they felt the need to do so.  My use of asterisks in the previous
paragraph is another example of an e-mail idiom. If people wish to communicate
with a limited set of characters, they find a way to do so.  While I'm
unfamiliar with masque, I suggest that if it is a thin medium and if
practitioners want to make it thicker (which is debatable), they would adopt
conventions as we have in e-mail, or for that matter spoken and written
language.  Some might argue that Shakespeare limited himself too much by using
the rigidity of blank verse for the bulk of his dialogue; I would respond that
in using that form to evoke a variety of emotions and effects, he did rather
well.  :)
Jon Enriquez
The Graduate School
Georgetown University
ENRIQUEZJ@guvax     (Bitnet)

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