Language is the most sophisticated means of communication. Our world is based on communication. We receive most information through communication. Here we have written and oral discourse. Every sphere of life has it`s specific language. Because of the great development of the technological progress and especially because of computerization, electronic discourse has appeared. However is this type of discourse the same as our everyday speech? This is our main task for comparing.
Thanks to the Internet we are able to get in touch with a person who lives in another part of the world. For this purpose we use emails, chats or forums. While thinking about oral or written discourse we may decide that writing an email or chatting with someone belongs more to the written type. However this is a tricky question. Let us think about it step by step.
Chats and forums are closely connected. Main difference between them is that chat can be between two people and communication in forums can be seen to everyone. However language here is almost the same. In chats and forums people write what they think. Sometimes even without grammatically or phonetically correct forms. Long sentences are rarely used as well as complex structures or clauses (Abdullah, 1998). Very often punctuation is omitted. Here conversation can be full of emotions by use of graphic means (italicization or capitalization) (Nix-Jackson, 1997). So all these features more hint at spoken language. However as a written language it has its own peculiarities. Among them is abbreviation. Instead of writing the whole word, it is easier to shorten it. For example, J/K (Just kidding), B4 (before), LOL (laugh out loud).
As a result of comparing electronic discourse with elements of written and oral language we should say that emails as well as chats and forums are still the forms of written communication however chats and forums more resemble oral language.
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2. Abdullah M. H. (1998). Electronic discourse: Evolving conventions in online academic environments. Retrieved from: http://chiron. valdosta. edu/whuitt/files/elecdiscourse. html
3. Nix-Jackson G. (1997). Electronic Discourse: Toward a Dialogic Framework for Scholarly Collaboration. Retrieved from: http://www. intertwining. org/collaboratory/papers/nix-Jackson/edisc. html