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Anthropological question thingy

I've just traded work-related (job #2) emails with a guy from Uganda, and I couldn't but notice that he uses SEEMINGLY random CAPS not following any underlying pattern I can see. I'm feeling somewhat guilty for not mocking him (it's damn condescending on my part, really, being understanding of something I'd probably mock in a work-related email from, say, the U.S. ), but I'm also curious. Are the caps reproducing some speech pattern? Might there be similar written markers in his mother tongue correlated in some form with syntax or semantics? Is it a conscious use of the CAPS=raised voice online convention, or is it overloaded for something else?

I don't know, and I lack the proper sources to find out, but if any of you has any ideas or links, I'd be grateful.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
razorsmile
Dec. 14th, 2006 06:09 pm (UTC)
My guess? He just doesn't notice anything discordant about it. It's possible he doesn't spend enough time online (emailing/IMing/LJing etc.) for it to have been an issue.

I've run into similar stuff before from my fellow Nigerians - all caps, no caps etc.
__marcelo
Dec. 14th, 2006 06:23 pm (UTC)
Does it have any correlate in offline written expresion?

(PS: Read Blindsight - you were right, it's awesome.)
razorsmile
Dec. 14th, 2006 10:00 pm (UTC)
Not that I know of - my going theory is that email/the internet is considered a lower form of expression than actual letters and such, requiring less care with punctuation and all that other shit.

(Told ya :D I take it you downloaded from the author's site via boingboing?)
__marcelo
Dec. 15th, 2006 12:07 am (UTC)
Yeah. Given how much I already spend in dead tree books, my policy of trying to get in e-text everything I can is kind of a financial necessity (besides, reading something like Blindsight or Lobsters via ink marks over tree pulp feels wrong :P)
browncoatrebel
Dec. 14th, 2006 07:46 pm (UTC)
Try x-posting over at linguaphiles. Good comm for language geeks like me.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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