wastartup's moblog

by wastartup

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Welcome to the WA Startup Learnscope moblog!

We look forward to your comments and contributions to our conversations as we explore the use of electronic environment ettiquette, mobile communication startup issues in teaching and other topics as they arise.

This is a trial moblog within which the use of this universal communication opportunity is explored.

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crrect spellin

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Hi folks ! Alex Hayes rambling here ......I was speaking with a colleague up at West Coast yesterday and we were debating the issues that young people have with the way adults insist on correct spelling, punctuation and grammar within online environments. We came to the conclusion that within an enviroment such as a moblog ( supposedly free of these netiquette related restraints) a young person can escape the usual conventions for spelling etc.
15th Sep 2005, 02:06  


engageme says:

Hi Alex, its Anne here - I agree with your colleague. A moblog is where we want to hear the learner voice and see the learner, txting has its own conventions and I think they are valid for moblogging!

15th Sep 2005, 02:13

wastartup says:

Close but we are not 3G here in regional and essentially in the outlying regions of Perth, Western Australia but it is not far away.

Kozika can you tell me what the 3G coverage is like where you live and do you use it with other people at all?

What city is it that you live in again?

15th Sep 2005, 02:47

Caz says:

I love the way young people have enbraced technology and are so apt at communicating in an online environment. I believe it is extremely empowering, insisting on correct spelling, puntuation and grammar is restricting for many people.

15th Sep 2005, 03:28

kozika says:

I live in Japan. The camera phone uses "FOMA P900iV of NTT-DoCoMo". 3G coverage is Japan. TV phone is sometimes used. However, because the packet charge is large amount of money, I do not use the TV phone. * I live in the Kanto district in Japan. The main towns are "Tokyo, Chiba, Saitama", etc.

15th Sep 2005, 05:23

wastartup says:

Hi Kozika,

I'm not sure why your post fell off but I have now posted it back in.....I am not the only one using this login so hopefully it is not someone mucking around and deleting things !

It is great to here of 3G in Japan. I will post again soon.

15th Sep 2005, 05:29

Euphro says:

The spelling issue is an interesting one. Communication is what is important. Language is constantly evolving (for English possibly faster now than at any time since the middle ages) and we are only deluding ourselves if we believe that the linguistic or orthographic status quo at a given time is in any way special or definitive :)

15th Sep 2005, 08:14

wastartup says:

Great to chat wil you Kozika - I love your cat pictures and look forward to some pictures in your blog that show us some of your delicious cooking ! :-)

15th Sep 2005, 08:14

wastartup says:

Well put Euphro. We definetly appreciate your input. Where abouts are you located and what sort of occupation do you possess? We are interested to understand what makes and breaks etiquette for international asynchronous forum - cause' us Aussies ave a damn fine n' dandy way of cutting the chops and throwin' a shrimp on the colloquial bbQ SO 2 SPK. *LOL* ....and all that - it was commented on to day in an online forum that Aussie humour and slang can sometimes be very off putting for other cultures in an online situation

15th Sep 2005, 08:19

Helen says:

It really all depends on who the Moblogger is communicating with. Txt speak, for example, will isolate them for a large portion of the site's members. But then that may be the desired effect. Different communities (communities within those communities) tend to develop their own lingo as a form of inclusion and exclusion.

I personally like to see things written out properly and I believe that if people want to experiment with and develop their language skills -- see what they can and can't achieve with the written word -- then firstly knowing how to write 'properly' is really rather helpful. The more you use your writing skills, the better they become.

Having said that, nobody is going to discourage people due to poor spelling or language related idiosyncrasies.

What's your definition of netiquette? For me, 'netiquette' is fundametal to Moblog's functioning. By netiquette I mean a bit of commonsense -- people know what they can and can't post/say. These rules may be looser here, but they are definitely there.

15th Sep 2005, 08:20

Euphro says:

I'm a geologist by training, a science manager and a scientific journal editor. Like Helen I apply different standards depending on the arena. If the desire for communication is genuine I don't mind how a person expresses themselves. However, in a text environment mood is hard to convey, so a liberal sprinkling of emoticons, smilies always helps, and reduces the possibility of misinterpretation, particularly for things like irony or humour :)

15th Sep 2005, 08:31

Euphro says:

In the UK, by the way :)

15th Sep 2005, 08:43

Dhamaka says:

As a writer I have mixed feelings about txt spelling. Sometimes I think it's really appropriate to the mood but other times it is deliberately or accidentally isolating.

But I'm also a dancer whose major specialisms are flamenco and jazz - both highly improvisational forms - I know for sure that while it is possible to muck around and have a bit of fun with no structure, the real language of dance; communication at both deep visceral and deeper intellectual levels can only be done after the rules are learned. If you don't understand the underlying language of the dance you can't possibly understand or convey the subtleties.

I agree with Euphro that language evolves and find I'm always catching up with colloquial Dutch where word meanings and phrases can change quite radically in a season. It's entirely likely that the experiences (keeping up is hard work) make me less objective

Nonetheless, I get very uneasy when I see kids who obviously have no idea of the underlying structure and richness of their own language(s) corrupting the language further.

Having said that my daughter and I communicate with a mixture of txtspk, private words and languages, so who am I to comment..

15th Sep 2005, 09:08

Alex Hayes says:

You've scored 10 out of 10 Euphro.....indeed it is limestone and yes locations do help!

The Bungles are indeed a strange but wonderful environment.

I've been facilitating projects with differing groups of "young" people for a decade or so, who rapidly absorb, toy with, re-invent, twist and generally push the online ecoshpere to it's leet limits. I also subscribe to the master and apprentice model for correct grammar acquisition however lately I'm finding that the most effective modus operandi has been to explore why ever increasingly young people are educationaly disengaged and yet highly engaged in other online environments where the languages differ according to their respective subscription status.

In many instances it is the mistakes that give me ( and them) the most amount of pleasure - maybe it's because many of them are hackers, coders, wargamers and designers ?!

The de-evolving English language is as much of interest to me, the master wrdsmth *lol - smiles, grins, places feet behind his head* as it is to my prentisis :-)

15th Sep 2005, 09:48

Euphro says:

This is a fascinating discussion. I subscribe to Steven Pinker's view that the brain is incapable of being ungrammatical (obviously you can create nonsense strings of words if you want, but he means when we are trying to communicate). So, IMHO unlike dance, we have all the structures there already. Whether we choose, or appear, to use them to their full capabilities is another matter :)

I feel strongly that language evolution happens most quickly and richly in the young (I love l33t speek for example, even though use of it by people like me has probably ruined any exclusivity it might have had :D). I don't think that the language is devolving, no more than I believe that there has been any fundamental change in the brain since the late Neolithic, probably (once cities and farming began to be widespread). The advent of electronic media is the biggest communication change to hit the human race since writing, and possibly since the emergence of speech. We are only at the beginning of what I believe will turn out to be an amazing road. It's not surprising, therefore, that our efforts so far might seem a bit raw and unstructured. :)

15th Sep 2005, 11:42

Alex Hayes says:

Mobstr.com has been born! Fighting fit.....71bs 10 ounces.....I'm searching for new ways to engage young people aged 15-25 using MMS broadcast soap operas which do the slow reveal in weekly episodes and gradually introduce reluctant learners into a world of the global audience. A 90 percent ownership rate for mobile technologies in this age sector points towards Elisia Giacardi's prediction in 1984 that all humans would be wearing communication technology computers by 2006. We have arrived and I'd now like some nominations from you as to who you believe would be interested in a mobile broadcast platform for learning where social appropriateness, spelling, grammar and all the other juicy bits meld into a sound mobile capable learning experience.

Want to know more? I'm learning a little more each day but we have the software platform sorted and nows the time to interact. Will the advent of electronic mobile communication media prove more popular that learning management systems locked behind inpenetrable institution firewalls with three weekly password changes for young people? Are these young people teaching us how to behave or am I the only sucker spouting that all PC's will be lap jobs by 2010 - global predictors collective speaking there ? I love your assertions Euphro and believe that your viewpoints are closely aligned to many of the progressives who frequent this alternative media broadcast - the mobloggin' minefield.

15th Sep 2005, 14:21

Dhamaka says:

Euphro, I hear what you say and believe too that we're only at the beginning of an amazing road. But why do we have to throw the baby out with the bath water?

Also, it's not based on academic research or reading (I've read some Pinker but am still thinking my way through it to my own opinions) but it seems to me that humans probably communicated by movement/body language and grunts/tones even before language as we know it evolved. And the tonal aspects of conversation are still important - could give examples if you wanted

How can these structures of communication through movement and tone not be embedded to a similar extent? Isn't it evident (because you can 'read' someone better face to face than on the phone and better on the phone than through words only) that these structures are so heavily and instinctively embedded that they're part of the things we take for granted, those unspoken necessities? Isn't that part of why emoticons etc are so important in txtspk? Even so, and even though
language is obviously evolving,

I'm talking from /because of the feelings I have right now as I believe my feelings and intuition arise from a myriad of signals that my conscious mind misses and need to ask you some questions as a result..

Isn't language supposed to be for communication to most people? With social cohesiveness breaking down in F2F society and the evolution of societies of interest on the net, doesn't the specialisation and exclusivisation of language in individual communities bother you at the same time as exciting you? Don't you have any feeling that there may be a net loss of subtelties through wholescale change/simplification/adaptation of the English language on top of the lack of bodylanguage/tonal/visual cues?

For me, two of the exciting aspects of the growth of easy online access is the increasing polarisation of communities of interest as well as how we supplement words and conventional modes of expression to make up for what we know to be the largest part of face-to-face interpersonal communications - body language, expressions, tone of voice etc. I'm interested and a little worried to see the trends.

I don't know whether language is devolving or not - I don't consider myself sufficiently knowledgeable or objective to judge. But I am absolutely sure that language/the way one is able to express oneself has a huge impact on the way most people think. Not everyone - there are always exceptional thinkers. There are numerous examples, words and concepts like sympatico in Spanish and Italian (both have sligntly different meanings and are not the same as empathetic) the way the English can say they care about someone or something without implying any feeling while in French one implies the other automatically, the rarity of gezellige (might be spelt wrong) places outside of Holland, Belgium and South Africa... to see that where a word is absent or way of expressing a concept is difficult its manifestation is rare.

I could go on, I've been fascinated by this stuff for years, but don't want to hijack the thread.

Hope it all makes sense, can't spend too much time on this - more deadlines *happy manic grin*

15th Sep 2005, 15:41

mat says:

Couple of pence from my brain: there is no such thing as devolution. That implies that evolution has a "goal". It doesn't - evolution can be "positive" or "negative", all it does is find the easiest route from a-to-b, and then only by trial and error.

One of the most important things I learnt at university was this: breaking the rules is fine, commendable even, but you have to know and understand the rules before you can break them effectively. To put it another way - anyone can sit down at a piano and bash it tunelessley, but it takes a skilled piano player to play a tune "wrong" and still have it sound good. The British entertainer Les Dawson was a particularly good example of this.

This applies to a lot of things - you can break all of the "rules" of language (text or otherwise) if you want, but if you know and understand the rules, you can break them in such a way that your communication is improved, rather than confused.

15th Sep 2005, 15:59

Dhamaka says:

couldn't have said it better myself Mat. And the rest?

15th Sep 2005, 16:09

Euphro says:

Dhamaka, physiologically, I don't think it's possible to throw the baby out with the bath water, the baby and the bath are one and the same thing. I think that the challenge here is, as you rightly suggest, to try and make the relatively thin medium of text as rich as it can be. Humans are communication machines; it's so fundamentally part of us that it is hard to stand back and look at it dispassionately. I think that we're in a transitional phase at the moment where bandwidth places profound constraints on the richness of electronic communication. That won't always be the case. The ideal situation is a fully immersive environment where we can communicate as fully verbally and non verbally as we currently do in the real world. In the meantime, we have to do the best we can with simple things like text and richer things like moblog.

You make some fascinating points. I think that whatever form of communication humans use they will stretch it to its absolute maximum to convey as much non-verbal information as possible. Text-based communication seems to have some fundamental limits, but that is almost certainly just a failure of imagination on my part.

I speak enough Spanish to be aware of the things that you can't say that you can say in English and vice versa. I also know it well enough that it feels different to think in Spanish; it really does have an impact on the way you think, ie as you point out, there are concepts that exist in Spanish that don't exist in English.

I don't particularly worry about polarisation of fragmentation of groups in the electronic world. People have not fundamentally changed in thousands of years. They're doing what they would be doing even if they were forming and breaking allegiances and meeting new people in real life. The beauty of electronic media is that it makes it, or so it seems in my experience, more likely to meet people with a common interest or world view. This gives on-line communities a very strong and even isolating sense of identity and, in some way like isolated human communities in the past, they begin to develop their own languages.

Language may be in a phase of transition, but I don't think it's possible for it to devolve, even if it may go through simpler forms for brief periods as it develops into something new. This is often seen in the development of a lingua franca where different cultures encounter each other for the first time. I find it hard to think of an analogy for the arrival of the online world, but it presents such a fundamentally new medium that the changes we're seeing now must be akin to those that happened when we went from gestural and non-verbal communication to speech.

Like you I am very excited about what is happening right now :)

15th Sep 2005, 16:15

wastartup says:

Deep - phew - love the posts.

I particularly dig the bit Mat has thrown in at the end - very apt and for me sums up where I think the rules of social etiquete form, falter and finally fall. Any opportunity to tell a story in a running moblog ( literally) benefits me. My obsessive use of this global picture posting paradigm is testament to my belief in its value and worth.

Rules are to be broken provided your able to adhere to them to improve your lot - not nihlistically self suicide ......the rules ( and persuasion) of social etiqette are evidenced when we see neo nazi's growing their hair back over their cranial swastikas and bikie's becoming lawyers and donating teddy bears to charity.

I subscribed a lot early in my career to that of educational philosophers Krishnamurti, then Maslow, however it was the beahviourist Canter that really did my head in.

For a century in Australia we have battled educational philosophy which closely mirrored that of the colonial subscription top down hierachy..

These days the rules for educator etiquette are made and remade in a year, teaching is more about networked interoperability and whether the photocopier works [not] to mention restructures for the sake of r-structuring.

I may have read a little too much Dante and Kant for anyones liking but I'm still certain that the Thomas Holts in the world ( christ ....what a lot of name dropping) exist somewhere in teaching . The evidence is in the groundswell of educators that are using open, "free", accesible social softwares that link to personal mobile hardware.

I'm supposed to be in Johanesburgh in October speaking at the Mobilearn 2005 mobile learning world forum however to many projects ----too little time.

At least I wont have to bore them with Australia's lack of 3G and no phones policy - given though, wait..... we are making inroads using this excellent moblog service hey Mat!?

As I retire after another crazy day....I reflect and realise i only broke one small rule today, made a few spelling errors, spouted some indecipherable metaphorical references and generally used acronyms and other symbols in all the wrong places.

Twas fun though. Tommorow we will explore some more of what it means to be considering how best to educate educators, teach teachers, train-the-trainers etc.

Lets get back to business. Some more pictures.

15th Sep 2005, 16:29

Euphro says:

This must be one of the textiest moblog posts ever, which is kind of appropriate :)

15th Sep 2005, 16:38

wastartup says:

wtf ? *lol* and all that included .....

15th Sep 2005, 16:40

Euphro says:


15th Sep 2005, 16:40

Euphro says:

My wife (a teacher) is a big fan of Thomas Holt :)

15th Sep 2005, 16:41

Euphro says:

Or am I thinking of John Holt (probably) duh!

15th Sep 2005, 16:50