Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 5, No. 0010. Wednesday, 5 January 1994.
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:
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
The Graduate School