December 18th, 2017


Punc rock

Electronic communications have brought to the fore an outbreak of Neurotypical Communications Disorder, which has been defined* as lack of a clear understanding of words, a problem that can be worked around in face-to-face communication by perceiving tone of voice and body "language." (An extreme example of this is the horse Clever Hans, who gave the impression of being able to do arithmetic when he was actually interpreting these codes.)

Since these prostheses are unavailable in online and text communications, solutions are being sought, such as emojis, pictorial representations of feelings. (There is a current debate over whether a single Turd emoji suffices or whether we need Turds with different facial expressions.)

Others optimistically believe that the problem can be handled by punctuation. As one said, “old people really need to learn how to text accurately to the mood they’re trying to represent.”

One correspondent suggests that there is an obvious difference between
“Yay! That sounds great - where are we meeting?”


‘Yay. That sounds great… where are we meeting?”
and everyone knows or shuld know what it is. “We have a profound nonverbal understanding, but we can’t agree on what it is.” And of course, it should be “Yay! That sounds great! Where are we meeting?” (grudging acceptance of that favorite paraverbal crutch of the neurotypical, the exclamation mark)

I realize that by saying this, I am outing myself as a nerd, defined as someone who thinks we all should just say what we mean and mean what we say. At least I realize that the goal is unattainable.

*by me

Thanx to [personal profile] andrewducker