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Post Reply Lost in Translation: Comical Misunderstandings in Textual Conversation
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Posted 6/5/15

Firedestroyer wrote:

Pfft, text conveys tone as well as the person writing the text can convey tone through means of text! Have you never read a good book?


The fact that writing is considered a skill, a craft, is a testament to the fact that properly conveying tone through text isn't necessarily easy or straightforward. The authors you're calling to mind are considered to have written "good" books because they were skilled at conveying tone therein.
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Posted 6/6/15
My father had a true 'lost in translation' moment once.

He was living and working in a part of the country where most people speak french. including his co workers. They're all having breakfast on the way in to work and his friends order in french. Well, he's not going to be outdone he's going to order in french too.

He wants eggs and he's good there "deux Ouefs" (two eggs)

He doesn't care weather he has bacon or ham but doesn't know the words for either. BUT he does know the word for pig (conchon)

"et Couchon" he adds.

The waitress turns red, his buddies start laughing... "what" he ask.

turns out "Couchon" is the first person plural of the verb "Coucher": to go to bed. so what he'd actually said was:

"Two Eggs and we go to bed"

He never lived it down.



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Posted 6/6/15 , edited 6/6/15

BlueOni wrote:


Firedestroyer wrote:

Pfft, text conveys tone as well as the person writing the text can convey tone through means of text! Have you never read a good book?


The fact that writing is considered a skill, a craft, is a testament to the fact that properly conveying tone through text isn't necessarily easy or straightforward. The authors you're calling to mind are considered to have written "good" books because they were skilled at conveying tone therein.


Just like there are good speakers? Speaking is most definitely a skill, that happens to be used more often than writing by most people. So the average person is better at conveying tone in person than in text. But that doesn't mean text can't convey tone. Indeed, not everyone is the average person.

Hopefully that makes sense?
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Posted 6/6/15 , edited 6/6/15

Firedestroyer wrote:

Just like there are good speakers? Speaking is most definitely a skill, that happens to be used more often than writing by most people. So the average person is better at conveying tone in person than in text. But that doesn't mean text can't convey tone. Indeed, not everyone is the average person.

Hopefully that makes sense?


It makes sense, but no one said that text cannot convey tone. You've misunderstood the OP's premise, which is that conveying tone properly through text can be challenging (especially when conveying sarcasm).
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Posted 6/6/15 , edited 6/6/15
Some people online simply seem incapable of picking up on the tones. They'll take every word literally to a ridiculous extent. I find that people who are generally not well-read will do this. People who read a lot seem to be able to read between the lines more accurately. They are also able to better convey tone in their own text.

Lesson? Read more.
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Posted 6/6/15
This is why I hide my power level.


General Forum is general forum tho, so context has no meaning to begin with!

Reality has no form!

THE WORLD IS SQUARE.

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Posted 6/6/15

BlueOni wrote:


Firedestroyer wrote:

Just like there are good speakers? Speaking is most definitely a skill, that happens to be used more often than writing by most people. So the average person is better at conveying tone in person than in text. But that doesn't mean text can't convey tone. Indeed, not everyone is the average person.

Hopefully that makes sense?


It makes sense, but no one said that text cannot convey tone. You've misunderstood the OP's premise, which is that conveying tone properly through text can be challenging (especially when conveying sarcasm).


Sure. I was just saying that it depends on the person, and that some people are good at conveying tone (including sarcasm) through the intrawebs.

Of course, on the other side of the spectrum, we have Poe's Law.
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