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full stop

When did our plainest punctuation mark become so aggressive? (New Republic) “In the world of texting and IMing … the default is to end just by stopping, with no punctuation mark at all,” Liberman wrote me. “In that situation, choosing to add a period also adds meaning because the reader(s) need to figure out why you did it. And what they infer, plausibly enough, is something like ‘This is final, this is the end of the discussion or at least the end of what I have to contribute to it.’”
posted by salix on Dec 3, 2013 - 149 comments

The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling

New fiction by Ted Chiang (previously)
posted by Artw on Aug 29, 2013 - 40 comments

Compare and contrast, bits vs dead trees

As lexicographers revel in the capabilities of online dictionaries, one person notes the death of print encyclopedias.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Mar 19, 2013 - 18 comments

Technology Enhancements for Sensory Impaired

Recent technologies developed at American universities are making communication easier for the sight and hearing impaired. Last summer a Stanford undergrad developed a touchscreen Braille writer that stands to revolutionize how the blind negotiate an unseen world by replacing devices costing up to 10 times more. Thanks to a group of University of Houston students, the hearing impaired may soon have an easier time communicating with those who do not understand sign language. During the past semester, students in UH’s engineering technology and industrial design programs teamed up to develop the concept and prototype for MyVoice, a device that reads sign language and translates its motions into audible words, and vice versa.
posted by netbros on Jul 3, 2012 - 4 comments

The Chinese Typewriter

As you can see, the [Chinese] typewriter is extremely complicated and cumbersome. The main tray — which is like a typesetter's font of lead type — has about two thousand of the most frequent characters. Two thousand characters are not nearly enough for literary and scholarly purposes, so there are also a number of supplementary trays from which less frequent characters may be retrieved when necessary. What is even more intimidating about a Chinese typewriter is that the characters as seen by the typist are backwards and upside down! [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Feb 27, 2012 - 43 comments

"For many tiny, endangered languages, digital technology has become a lifeline."

Everyone Speaks Text Message: [NYTimes] "Is technology killing indigenous languages or saving them? Well, you may soon be able to text in N’Ko."
posted by Fizz on Dec 11, 2011 - 6 comments

The Image Culture

The Image Culture - a discussion of the history, manipulation, desensitization and supplanting of language skills by the ubiquity of images. And no, there are no pretty pictures.
posted by peacay on Nov 19, 2005 - 38 comments

New feature for MetaFilter?

Login, check out a link, post a comment, find out what gender you are... By noting the subtle differences in the words used by men and women, a new computer programme identifies the sex of an author. By implementing this new software, MetaFilter could potentially become even more informative than it already is.
posted by orange swan on May 30, 2003 - 25 comments

Tracking language evolution through Internet

Hot, or Not? (via Corante)
posted by anathema on Mar 7, 2003 - 6 comments

A handheld device that translates simple spoken phrases.

A handheld device that translates simple spoken phrases. "American troops in Afghanistan are using a revolutionary device that instantly translates soldiers' voices into native languages. . . . The soldier speaks into the machine, which recognizes the words and translates them into another language." Simple phrases only — and a long way from a Star Trek universal translator — but kindling for the science-fiction-addled imagination nonetheless.
posted by mcwetboy on Jun 10, 2002 - 11 comments

Not Dubbing the Simpsons

Not Dubbing the Simpsons The Office de la langue française and others are up in arms (ils capotent) about anglicisms in Internet discourse. Business 2.0 talked about it. Branchez-Vous writes a short, cutting article, giving those who pepper their French with English enough rope to hang themselves. («Dans la catégorie "Un mot français, un mot anglais et hop!," le prix revient à Rational Software France, the e-development company, qui a annoncé la nomination d'André Arich au poste de Partner Manager pour sa filiale française, ainsi que le lancement en France du programme de partenariat Rational Unified Partner Program (RUPP).») ¶ Strangely, French has a nicer word for E-mail than English does: courriel. (Grand Dictionnaire is the OLF's official bilingual tech dictionary.)
posted by joeclark on Jan 5, 2001 - 14 comments

Jargon Scout

Jargon Scout - In this age of web-building and domains of all sorts coming out the wazoo and email and new jargon all the time, there seems to be a lack of good jargon for emotional states. Two states that I think desperately need a word coined for them are: the anticipation for the propagation of and reticence to tell anyone about a newly registered domain; and the state where you get so starved for contact of any kind that you post your undisguised email to a half-dozen newsgroups and fanzines just so that there is something in your inbox. Anyone have any ideas for what these states should be called?
posted by Willy-Yam on May 17, 2000 - 4 comments

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