Liquid language? On the personalization of discourse in the digital era

Oren Soffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1092-1110
Number of pages19
JournalNew Media and Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Liquid modernity
  • orality
  • orthography
  • performance
  • post-structuralism
  • postmodernism
  • print
  • speech communities
  • structuralism


Dive into the research topics of 'Liquid language? On the personalization of discourse in the digital era'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this