Friday, 8 June 2007

4th June

This week I went about printing the final visual outcomes of the diagnostic brief. The final outcomes were based around using text speak productively to experiment and enquire as to how far it can be taken as a linguistic system of abbreviation and simplification. How far could text speak change the language?

I began looking through books and brainstorming whereabouts I might find information/essays/writing on the English language. If I intend to show the change in langauge due to text speak then I can do this by writing the chosen article in text jargon. This would mean the content of the writing wouldn't have to be based on the idea that language is being changed by text speak. Maybe it is something more subtle. Maybe writings from centuries ago. Maybe something written on the concept of change itself. I found a passage online which questioned the english language's capacity for the speed and density of information in today's world and the fact that it may need to change. This seemed fitting for the intentions of my work. Putting it into text speak meant immediately offering a solution to the article.

The article seemed strong enough alone and needed no further writings of a similar nature so I asked myself what else could be presented to support the article. What strikes me about the subject of text speak is that every English speaker seems to have quite a clear opinion on the subject - be it neutral, for or against. The number of opinions on each side tend to be balanced also. It seemed perfect then to take comments from the internet (which addressed interesting issues on text speak and some quite strong opinions) and display them in text speak.

Having done this I thought it necessary to look further at applying text speak to standard English. Would it work on older or poetic forms of English? I thought probably not but it was a nice surprise to find that it did work. When I think about it, it would of course work because text speak is based on phonetics alone. So writing various poems in text speak was another step forward and highlighted certain polysyllabic words which are very visually interesting when put into text speak.

Using illustrator I was able to explore interesting ways of visually presenting the material. I learned in the week prior one or two valuable tricks regarding the relationship of image and type. It has been difficult to use university facilities other than digital processes because of the end of year business and the lack of tutors available to offer help. I still do not feel fully confident in workshops if there is no-one there to direct me from time to time which has been the case recently. Nonetheless I don't believe using any other process would have been as effective as the digital for my subject of enquiry as it itself is a technological issue. It would be interesting to see the article I used in text speak printed in letterpress but I simply don't have the time to lay out so many letters.

In any case I feel I have researched this project in a very productive fashion. Three weeks ago I saw text speak stereotypically as the occupation of young illiterate texters. It was only until I realised its power as a linguistic system that I found it to be a significant possible evolution in English. I feel I have approached the subject in an original way and have gained a good understanding of its value in visual communication for the future.

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