LINGUIST List 2.272

Thursday, 6 June 1991

Disc: Register and Net-Discourse

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  1. Peter Gingiss, Register
  2. , Flaming and E-mail discourse

Message 1: Register

Date: Mon, 3 Jun 1991 21:09 CDT
From: Peter Gingiss <ENGLADJetson.UH.EDU>
Subject: Register
My understanding of the term register is that it refers primarily to the
lexicon, and is used mostly in terms of occupations or situations. Thus one
can talk of a sports announcers's register or even a sports register. On the
other hand, one recent text book uses register as the equivalent of style. I
have heard a debate between a British and an American linguist over whether the
term "register" was even necessary if one has dialect and style. Register
seems to be more a British term. Because I am writing from where my library is
not, I would have to investigate further at a later time, but I would be happy
to do so.
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Message 2: Flaming and E-mail discourse

Date: Wed, 5 Jun 91 15:45:32 EDT
From: <>
Subject: Flaming and E-mail discourse
A while ago there was a discussion about why dialogue on newsgroups
fails. There is a recently published book on E-mail behavior which
may interest some of you: Connections, by L. Sproull and S. Kiesler,
MIT Press. I only leafed through it at the bookstore, but it does
look interesting.

On the same subject, it was interesting to see the discussion about
Quebec's language policy on the Linguist list degenerate into flaming
a few weeks ago. (I admit it: I was a participant.) Since the
Linguist list is not very prone to flaming (compared with, say,
sci.lang or soc.culture.french), this demands explanation. Could it
be that professional linguists' common discourse rules are limited to
technical linguistics, and when other subjects are discussed,
linguists don't share discourse rules any more than anyone else?
Linguist posters seem to manage Dept. of Linguistics discourse
behavior, but not Senior Common room discourse behavior...!

(I think it's fair to call it flaming and not just strong disagreement
because of the number of participants with no specific knowledge of
the subject, yet expressing strong opinions.)


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