Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Kottke links to an interesting Wired piece today about how unsuccessful we can be at interpreting whether someone is being serious or facetious in an e-mail or other online message. E-communications are now deeply embedded in most daily lives, and yet we continue to struggle with this issue. E-mail and chat and blogging can be a lot of fun, and a chance to flex your wit in a text-based environment, especially helpful for those who aren't always so quick with a funny comment or topic of conversation in person. But e-miscommunication is still too frequent for my liking and makes getting to know people online a problem at times. If you strike a totally straightforward approach, you can seem stiff and stodgy, but if you attempt jokes and they don't work, you can look even stupider because there's less of an indication that you're failing to get your point or humor across.

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