Interpersonal digital discourse (CMC and SMS), currently performed by wide circles of users, is characterized by deliberate misspelling and exhibits a strong influence of orality on the written text. This article examines the social legitimation of such non-standard oral discourse and its socio-discursive implications. I argue that this digital orality has strong links to postmodern and post-structural ideas. Oral-written text ostensibly reflects a melting of linguistic structures, resembling the changes that occurred in social structures in the late modern era. However, I demonstrate, using De Saussure's basic structural perceptions in analyzing how this oral-written text is formed, that this deliberate misuse of language is quite structural and systematic in nature. What seems to be an anarchistic use of language or a rebellion against modernist rigid linguistic structures is highly performative in essence.
- Liquid modernity
- speech communities