Introduction and question

Rebecca Meyer meyerr at MAIL.SDSU.EDU
Sun Dec 5 18:42:56 UTC 1999

Thanks to all who replied to my question about the term "assurance".
Initially, I was only concerned with determining if I had somehow missed the
advent of a new term. Based on the replies I received, I can somewhat
inconclusively conclude that the party defending his punctuation was either
fabricating the term or thought it was synonymous with "assertion".

I've also taken a closer look at the data. It appears to me that this form
is part of this poster's "style". Perhaps it's intended to be snide or
sarcastic; if so, all it seems to do is irritate others. If anyone wants a
to take a gander at the thing in the wild, drop me a line off list and I'll
direct you to the newsgroup and thread where it originally appeared.

On the subject of intentional misplettings in Usenet: the regulars at
alt.folklore.urban have developed this into an artform. (Check their FAQs
for more info) Also, in an effort to keep down the troll traffic, they will
often asterisk-ize certain "magnet" words (e.g., g*n c*ntr*l, f*rt, bl*ck
h*lic*pt*rs) in an effort to confound folks (trolls) who use a keyword
search to find and pester froups where those topics are being discussed.

And finally, on the topic of Usenet flames in general: I've often wondered
if flaming (grammar/punctuation/spelling) has any distinct regional or
cultural variants. IOW, would someone in rec.nashville flame a ninny
differently from someone in ba.general (San Francisco bay area newsgroup)?
Does a flame war in soc.culture.african.american have a style distinct from
a flame war on soc.culture.mexican.american? Has anyone investigated this?
It seems like an exceptionally rich field for analysis.

Rebecca Meyer

At 12:20 PM 99/12/05 -0500, you wrote:
>I had to read it a couple of times, too.
>But check out the errors: I think they are intentional in order to make the
>larger point that "if message intended equals message received then
grammar, >spelling and the like are irrelevant" and also to prove (I think)
David's >attitude is not serious...

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