Weaving the Web - From Myth to Modernity
InSITE 2008 • Volume 8 • 2008
The discovery, development or invention of new objects and phenomena by humankind, requires a new set of words to be coined or adopted to describe it. This is also true of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) world. Words are not neutral, regardless of which dialect or language they occur in. They carry with them associations and connotations based on their previous applications and alliances, and augmented by their shapes, sounds, rhymes and rhythms. The subtext that word choice creates, while often not recognised or acknowledged, is important in considering how communication operates in, and shapes Information Technology (IT) environments. Many words that are now embedded in the ICT lexicon continue to be informed by these earlier meanings, some of which, in the English lexis, are drawn from myths. The vernacular of the ICT lexis reflects its openness to new ideas, the nature of its users, its English language roots and its Western cultural origins. This contributes to a particular communication style. But such lexis can prove problematic for non-English speaking background users and/or those from different cultures. As the ICT vocabulary continues to evolve, these language and cultural underpinnings are coming under challenge, suggesting a language and cultural future very different to the past. This in turn, will create a subtext that affects all users.
connotation, denotation, nomenclature, lexis, coining, subtext, portmanteau, neologism, phonetic, alliteration, Power Distance, Uncertainty Avoidance, ICT, lexicon
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