Posts Tagged ‘pragmatic’

INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION IN A DISCUSSION ABOUT T-SHIRTS ON THE ONLINE FORUM MYSTCOMMUNITY.COM

by Bastiko Pradana, Master Candidate in Applied Linguistic, University of Brawijaya, Malang Indonesia

 

As people progress in life, they invariably come into contact with other people. Because people have different characteristics and are brought up in different ways, it would be hard to expect that they would communicate in the same way. This situation presents an issue which concerns how people say what they say in regard to other participants in the communication. This issue is at the center of intercultural communication, which is involved when there are multiple ways and perceptions of communication present. Recognizing these ways and perceptions is the key to make intercultural communication successful.

“Culture” itself is hard to define. One way of approaching the concept is through delineating certain features that culture may have. Hofstede (1997) described a cultural model which includes certain forms (manifestations) and attributes (dimensions). This model stems from the observation that culture is programmed so that people can differentiate one another. From this, culture is manifested as a ring of practices – which can be divided into rituals (activities), heroes (people), and symbols (articles) – that surround a core of values, which regards the perception of people. Within this framework issues do arise, and that is represented by the dimensions of culture, which covers power distance (the level of authority), collectivism versus individualism (how individuals and groups relate), femininity versus masculinity (gender implications), and uncertainty avoidance (dealing with conflict or emotions). However, this model was developed as part of a research done within the environment of a multinational computing company, and as such the model carries an implication of a bias.

A different way of interpreting culture and one that is more apt for describing intercultural communication is described by Scollon, Scollon, and Jones (2012). Instead of forms and attributes which are essentially “objects” that label culture, they describe culture as “actions” that allow culture to be “done”. The body of objects that are used to do this is called “cultural tools”, and when it is used for communication, it is called a “discourse system”. Language is a part of discourse systems, but because it is ambiguous, participants in communication have to make inferences based on what they know – their discourse systems. Successful intercultural communication relies on how aware participants are of the differences between the discourse systems of their own and others.

One place where intercultural communication can occur is on the Internet, and in particular on online forums. Using a forum, members can discuss topics related to a subject and receive feedback from other members; discussions are often moderated so that they do not become heated arguments. One of these forums is MYSTcommunity.com, a discussion forum specifically created for fans of the computer game Myst to discuss developments in this series as well as anything related to it. The members of the forum come from different parts of the world, though many are located in the United States or Europe. As a result, this forum has the potential to harbor intercultural communication. This paper would like to discuss the possibility of this happening in one of the discussion threads, entitled “What’s The Difference Between Guys T-Shirts And Girls T-Shirts?”

Literature Review

Scollon, Scollon, and Jones (2012) outline a discourse system as having four components. One of them is ideology, which covers the underlying ideals of the discourse system. Another component is socialization, and this includes how members of that discourse system achieve the eligibility to be considered part of the system. There is also the component of forms of discourse, which deals with the ways of communication available in the discourse system. Finally, the component of face systems concerns the relationships between members of the discourse system. In contrast to Hofstede’s ring model, the four components of a discourse system can be represented as a pie, with each component having equal status.

Within each component, there are also sub-components that further describe the component. In ideology, the question of whether the discourse system is voluntary (purposive or by choice) or involuntary (natural, no choice) is considered. History and views about the world are also considered, as are beliefs, values, and religion; in the latter three, they regard basic principles such as what is considered “good” and how are people and society supposed to be. In addition, ideology is also considered regarding the placement and relationship with other discourse systems. Thus within the component of ideology, perceptions and values are underscored.

The component of socialization covers the legitimacy of participation that a member would have in a discourse system. One of the sub-components of this component is education, enculturation, and acculturation; this is a determiner of whether certain practices in the discourse system are formally, informally, or forced to be learned. Whether learning is informal or formal is also determined by primary or secondary socialization, respectively. Members can further be evaluated by how far the participation of the member is in the discourse system (expert and novice participation). Within a discourse system, theories of the person and learning, including the consideration of the nature of good or evil, individuals and the collective, and the life cycle or age divisions of people, are also part of socialization. This component is therefore a representation of how well a member participates in a discourse system.

Forms of discourse of a discourse system collectively represent the ways communication is generally accepted in a discourse system. A major part of this component is the concept of the grammar of context, which itself is made up of seven elements: scene, key, participants, message form, sequence, co-occurrence patterns, and manifestations; these seven elements describe properties of the context. Other parts of this component include rhetorical strategies, functions of language, and production formats, which deal with the role and relationship of discourse. Modes of communication, media, and emplacement are the last part of this component, all of which cover the realization of discourse by the members of the discourse system. Overall, forms of discourse shows how communication works within a discourse system.

The last component of a discourse system is the face system. This component describes how members are supposed to be interrelated. Face systems may take the forms of deference, solidarity, and hierarchy, depending on power, distance, and weight of imposition; depending on appeal to positive and negative face aspects, it may be either involvement or independence, respectively. Face systems also involve social organization, reflected in the sub-components of kinship (familial relationships), the concept of the self (what elements make up an individual), and ingroup-outgroup relationships (how others consider individuals belong). The face system within a discourse system accordingly characterizes the links that individuals may have in and out of a discourse system.

Findings

The discussion thread being examined is located in a forum section called “The Blah Place”. This area is reserved for discussion topics that do not directly pertain to the main subject matter of the forum, which in this case is the game series Myst; most online forums have such an area reserved for that purpose. In this thread, there are 17 postings made by 11 members. Five of the members state that they come from the United States, while there are four members that state that they come from Germany, New Zealand, the Netherlands, and England, and two members whose location are not stated. In terms of gender, two members state that they are female; the rest state that they are male while one does not disclose this information. Most of the members state birth dates in the 1980s, except for three members who state birth dates in 1961, 1978, and 1991. Additionally, the researcher is a member of the forum, but did not participate in the discussion.

Grammar of Context

The grammar of context here represents that of the situational discourse system, which is the forum of Mystcommunity.com. Beginning with the scene, the setting is the virtual space of an online forum situated on the Internet; though the actual discussion is conducted over a period of several days, the discussion remains available in that virtual space. The topic being discussed is the difference between t-shirts for men and t-shirts for women. The purpose of the discussion is to see if there is any difference between the two kinds of shirts. The discussion itself started out with a few questions and answers, but later postings shifted to a more commentary form.

The key of the discourse system is represented by the tone and mood of the discussion; in this discussion, the tone is informal and the mood is rather lighthearted. This is indicated primarily by the use of emoticons as well as the presence of jocular statements in some of the posts (posts 3, 8, and 13). In regard to participants, in this discussion, any member was allowed to participate, including members of the moderation and administration team; although the role of the moderation and administration team (in part) is to keep the discussion from becoming out of hand, they can still participate in discussions, and in fact, two administrations posted within this discussion. However, their capacity in this discussion was purely contributive and they acted as ordinary members.

As this discussion was conducted over the Internet using web pages, the message form is purely written. Further, as each participant is clearly tagged on each post, the attribution of each post is quite clear. As for the sequencing in the discourse system, the thread follows a set schedule in that each new post is appended to the end of the thread, but members could openly contribute to the discussion, and there is always room for the discussion to grow and extend.

An online forum such as this is expected to generate discussions. However, in this particular discussion, jocular statements are present in several of the posts, one of which in particular (post 13) directly jests about the t-shirt in question, and does not relate directly to the discussion. Thus, these jocular statements constitute marked co-occurrence patterns, unexpected for the discussion. The existence of these co-occurrence patterns also creates tacit manifestations that should be considered, in addition to the rest of the discussion which is mostly explicit, with some exceptions being the comments in posts 16 and 17 which have to be inferred. This and all the other features above make the grammar of context of the situational discourse system significant to the understanding of the intercultural means of the discussion.

Situational Discourse System

Other important characteristics lie in the situational discourse system. The discourse system itself is purposive or voluntary, as it is up to individuals whether they want to be members and participate, or not. The history of the forum itself goes back to 2001, when it was opened to facilitate another place where fans of the computer game Myst to discuss what is happening with the game series. Any fan that is willing to talk and contribute to the forum is welcome to join with the forum. While there are many other similar discussion forums, this forum does not preclude its members from joining others, nor does it preclude those that are already in others to join the forum. This is generally the case for many online forums.

Aside from technical requirements governing new members (Capella 2011) there is nothing that hinders the identity of a member, though the member is expected to abide by the rules, which provides some enculturation. There is no primary or secondary socialization, and the forum does not consider anyone to be an expert above others, except those in administration or moderation positions. Any member is only expected to “…be an active, valuable member, with interesting, insightful threads and replies.” From this statement it can also be seen that it is better to contribute well than not (considering good and evil) and to participate (considering the individual and the collective). As for life cycle, though by technicality there is a point when a member is considered a “veteran” and there is a titular rank system which is decorative, it is only expected that each member contribute as equals.

In addition to the grammar of context, there are other elements included within forms of discourse. In this informal space, any form of cohesion and rhetoric is applicable for discussion so long as they are within the rules, but regarding cohesion, there is an extra element that enhances the aspect: the quote tag, which is standard for an online forum and allows references to be clearly indicated. As far as other elements go, here language functions to inform and ratify relationships, not so much to create and negotiate them, and individualism is more evident; due to the members being clearly tagged on each post (and when the quote tag is used) animator, author, and principal are often one and the same, except in cases where they are dubiously vague or clearly differentiated. Due to the use of virtual space, all mode of communication is disembodied and verbal and non-verbal may overlap when images are used. The forum is located on the Internet and thus utilizes it as well as computers as the media. Finally, as this forum is accessible from anywhere with an Internet connection, the potential for emplacement is high, and even the “general discussion” forum can be thought of as an emplacement in a forum that regards a specific subject such as this one.

Because of the preferred participation, the face system in this discourse system prefers a solidarity relationship, and the face strategy demands involvement. A hierarchy system and an independence strategy may be involved only when dealing with the administration and moderation in their capacities as such. Kinship is not expected to be present, unless it happens that relatives of a member also join as members. Regarding the concept of the self, as a result of the preferred participation, members of the discourse system are aware of some of the things that have been done in the past and try to make explicit how it should be regarded as a group in the rules; in doing so they are trying to weaken the collectivist ingroup aspect of the relationship in favor of a more individualist outgroup appearance.

Background Discourse System

Considering the above descriptions, it appears that the discourse system of the discussion forum mirrors portions of the Utilitarian discourse system, a point well-described by Scollon, Scollon, and Jones (2012). Per the Utilitarian ideology, technology can be used to advance individual freedom, increase happiness, and express creativity, in this case through discussions. The ingroup aspect of a discussion forum illustrates the liberty, equality, and fraternity aspect and how it reflects an asymmetrical and hierarchical face system to those in the outgroup. The form of discourse in the form of posts is considered equal for all and has to be acceptable to the forum. Even though there is no “education”, there is still some form of “socialization” in the form of listed rules. Despite only representing a part of the Utilitarian discourse system, it is nonetheless a small reflection of that system.

For any particular discussion, there are many possible discourse systems available for members to interact within and across. This is due to the information that members have publicly disclosed as above. Due to the varied origins of the members, they may be able to communicate to reflect the discourse system typical of their origin, or may be forced to accommodate for the discourse system of others. Due to the various ages of the members, they may be able to speak among those of their own generation, or alternatively have to transcend generational understanding. Also, as both genders are represented, it is possible that members have to reach outwards to the other gender. This last set of systems for this particular discussion is key, as it touches upon gender issues.

Discussion

Among the many functions of a discourse system, Scollon, Scollon, and Jones (2012) mention that one of them is to enable participants to gain an understanding of their identity. With that in mind, the many background discourse systems present in this discussion present many ways for the participants to assume identities. However, there is one particular discourse system that is invoked because it is pertinent to the discussion. This discourse system is the set of gender discourse system; this discourse system is related to the discussion, which concerns clothing of both genders, and it is here that the participants in this discourse disclose their perceptions, thus attempting to cross the gender systems and recognize their identity.

Speech Events and Acts

Each individual post in the discussion can be considered a single speech act, since the particular member that made the post is identifiable. In the sequence of posts, two patterns can be identified. The first eight posts represent a question-and-answer sequence as the initial post started with a question, and successive posts in that range either answer the question (post 2) or clarify it (post 5); the remaining nine posts are comments that complement the discussion as they provide additional answers and no questions. These two patterns can be construed as two speech events. These speech events can, in turn, be construed as a single speech situation.

There are certain patterns that can be identified from the discussion. Within the question-and-answer sequence, four posts (1, 4, 6, and 8) are made by the member who originally started the discussion, and these posts correlate in sequence with each other. Posts 2 and 3 attempt to answer the questions posed at the start of the discussion and are only linked to post 1. However, post 4, which attempts to clarify post 1, is answered by post 5, which is in turn answered by post 6, which also clarifies post 4. Similarly, post 6 is answered by post 7, and post 8 both answers post 7 and clarifies post 6. The remainder of the posts attempt to add to this core part of the discussion, but are not directly tied to the sequence of posts.

Faces

Although the discourse system prefers a solidarity face system and an involvement face strategy, this does not preclude certain members from creating posts that appeal to a deference face system and an independence face strategy. In fact, within this discussion, posts 4, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15, and 17 were created with independence and deference in mind. Posts 4 and 7 were made with a pessimistic tone, while posts 9, 13, and 15 were made with the intent of minimizing threat to the original poster, and post 11 was made with the intent of minimizing assumptions of the hearer. The remaining deference-independence post, post 17, was made by utilizing a taciturn strategy. Notably, all of these posts were made by male speakers that participated in this discussion, and posts 4 and 7 are part of the main question-and-answer sequence.

The remaining posts were made to appeal to solidarity and involvement, but for different reasons. In posts 1, 5, and 10, the member tried to notice or attend to the original poster, while in posts 3 and 6, exaggeration of interests were made. Posts 8 and 12 used the strategy of trying to assert common ground. The rest of the posts used three different involvement strategies. For post 2, the member tried to indicate the recognition of the wants of the original poster; for post 14, the member attempted to be voluble or explicit; and for post 16, the member went for an assumption of reciprocity. The female members that posted in this discussion did so at posts 2, 10, and 16, using three different involvement strategies.

Problems

In this discussion, only two female members were present. One of them contributed with two posts, while the other contributed with only a single post. However, this was still enough to facilitate an inter-gender discussion. Regardless, this instance of intercultural communication is considered successful. The reason for this is due to the interactions between their posts; these posts relate to the original member that posted this thread as well as to the posts of other members. This interaction is additionally made possible by the fact that this discourse system can be considered a “community of practice” in regard to gender-based discourse system interaction.

In their discussion of gender-based discourse systems, Scollon, Scollon, and Jones (2012) describe two common approaches for those discourse systems. One approach is called the “difference” approach, wherein the two gender discourse systems are treated as having separate ways of communication. The other approach is the “dominance” approach, wherein the masculine gender system is taken as prevailing to the feminine one. The problem with these two approaches is that they do not apply universally and they represent a critical viewpoint. Thus, where these two approaches do not generally apply, a different concept to multiple discourse systems is needed. This concept is called the “community of practice” or “nexus of practice”. The concept is based on the observation that people can and do participate in multiple discourse systems, and that they can affect each other to create different identities. As the background discourse system in this discussion does accommodate for this to happen, this concept is appropriate to describe the situation.

Post 2 was made within the scope of the central question-and-answer sequence in relation to the first post, by using the involvement strategy of indicating the recognition of the wants of the member who made the first post. Post 10 was made by the other participating female member, this time by noticing the member who made the first post, and the same member who made post 2 posted again in post 16, with an assumption of reciprocity; these were done in the outer section of additional posts. Considering the topic of the discussion and the fact that the original member that started the discussion was actually male in gender, it can be seen that the female members here tried to step out of their discussion boundaries to help the male member. They recognized that the egalitarian nature of the situational discourse system as well as its high visibility demands that they contribute in a manner that is helpful to another member, while affirming their identity as belonging to their own gender discourse system. In effect, they recognized the situational discourse system as a community of practice that puts value on not only the original member that posted as a member of the other gender discourse system, but also puts value on themselves representing their own gender discourse system. Doing so allowed their communication to succeed, evidenced by the fact that no negative reactions to their contributions appeared.

In relation to posts made by other members, the three posts that were made by female members attempted to stand out among the contributions made by the other male members that posted in the discussion. Post 2 can be seen as trying to be both descriptive and concise in its provision of answers to the original post, in comparison to post 3, which used exaggeration to hint better interests for the original member that posted. Post 10 appears as an encouraging answer, in comparison to post 11, which, while minimizing assumptions, also appears discouraging. Both post 15 and 16 try to provide the answer to the member who originally started the discussion, but post 16 does so in an illustrative way while post 15 includes an opinionated view. Using different face strategies, what the female members tried to do was to set examples. In the former two cases, the two posts gave a definitive way of answering within the question-and-answer and commentary patterns; the latter case can be thought of as trying to rectify the previous opinionated view. By trying to stand out from the other posts, they were once again able to recognize the situational discourse system as a community of practice, this time by setting straight their own identity as belonging to the female gender discourse system, while at the same time outlining a way for the male gender discourse system to act, though this is not readily followed. Still, by the absence of negative reactions, this way of communication ultimately succeeded.

Conclusion

Intercultural communication does not always result in failure. In some cases, intercultural communication can succeed, as it did in this discussion. Even though only two female members participated in the discussion and only for three posts, this was enough to spur good interaction between them and other members of the male gender discourse system. The female members knew that the situational discourse system of the forum demands them to make good contributions, and as a result, they did so by appealing to the original member that started the discussion. This allowed them to create an identity for their gender discourse system, by transgressing their own discourse system. This identity was further enhanced by the fact that their contributions were different from the others. Essentially, the female members were able to see the situational discourse system as a community of practice, and they crafted their own gender identity using their posts to suit the discourse system and the community of practice. As other members did not react negatively to the posts, the female members accomplished their identity creation and thus intercultural communication within this community of practice.

The identity of the female members perfectly represents how culture can be acted and not just referred to. By making use of their situational discourse system, in particular face systems and strategies, as well as their community of practice, they produced communication that spoke for themselves, their identity, and how they should be perceived. The female members are aware that what they do represents what they are, and so they made use of the cultural tools in their discourse system and communities of practice to show the best way to participate. As a result, they do not come off as being misunderstood; instead, they made themselves understandable; they created communication that bridged their perceptions with the others, making the communication successful.

References

Capella. (2011, 28 January) Official MYSTcommunity Rules and Guidelines [Forum message]. Retrieved from the MYSTcommunity forums on 23 March 2014: http://www.mystcommunity.com/board/index.php?/topic/36869-official-mystcommunity-rules-and-guidelines/

m01ety et al. (2007, 11 April) What’s The Difference Between Guys T-Shirts And Girls T-Shirts? [Forum message]. Retrieved from the MYSTcommunity forums on 23 March 2014: http://www.mystcommunity.com/board/index.php?/topic/26433-whats-the-difference-between-guys-t-shirts-and-girls-t-shirts/

Hofstede, G. (1997) Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. London: McGraw-Hill.

Scollon, R., Scollon, S., and Jones, R. (2012) Intercultural Communication: A Discourse Approach. West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing.

 

Appendix: Discussion Thread – What’s The Difference Between Guys T-Shirts And Girls T-Shirts?

 

What’s The Difference Between Guys T-Shirts And Girls T-Shirts?

Seriously, I Am Confuddled. Hewp pweeze?

 

#1 User is offline   moiety

 

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Posted 11 April 2007 – 12:44 PM

So I’ve been trying to get this shirt for my brother for, like, half a year now,

At first Threadless mixed up my order with that of some guy from Belgium, and by the time

they figured out things were wrong and charged the cashmoney back on my card, the shirt

was out of stock. Of course, even though I asked Threadless to notify me when it was back

in stock, I wasn’t, even though it was reprinted.

Except now the reprinted ones are almost gone, too! My brother would need a Medium, and

that is sold out.

However, the “Girly Tee” version of Medium isn’t sold out.

So I’m wondering. What’s the difference between Guys and Girly, really? Is a Girly Medium

smaller than a Guys Medium? Essentially, is there any Girly version I can get that would

fit and look good on a guy?

The division seems arbitrary to me. Can someone explain this to me?

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#2 User is offline   Tay

 

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Posted 11 April 2007 – 12:48 PM

 

moiety, on Apr 11 2007, 01:44 PM, said:

The division seems arbitrary to me. Can someone explain this to me?

Perhaps they’ve already answered your question. :)

Generally, “girl” versions of shirts have more room to accommodate *ahem* certain body

parts, fit snugger around the shape of the torso to be more “flattering,” as well as

usually being a bit smaller.

Tay 😛

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#3 User is offline   chucker

 

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Posted 11 April 2007 – 01:00 PM

I vaguely seem to recall a certain physical feature that, starting with puberty, tends to

separate women’s upper bodies from men’s in a rather significant manner.

But then, I’m not an expert on clothing. 😛

Possibly of help:

Posted Image

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#4 User is offline   moiety

 

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Posted 11 April 2007 – 04:25 PM

Clothing is confusing. 😛

So I guess the answer is “Yes, a Girly Tee would look wrong on your brother”?

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#5 User is offline   chucker

 

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Posted 11 April 2007 – 04:29 PM

Well, the answer certainly is “girly tees tend to be noticeably smaller (despite the same

size label), and tend to slightly account for the chest”. As to whether the particular

shirt would “look wrong on him”, that’s really something he’d have to decide for himself

by trying it out… the actual differences between girl and boy cuts of clothing vary in a

completely random manner. 😛

…but yes, most of the time, the answer is “you’d rather want to wait for a man’s

version”. (Perhaps this is why Threadless didn’t notify you? Maybe they only had women’s

sizes and figured your case wouldn’t apply?)

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#6 User is offline   moiety

 

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Posted 11 April 2007 – 04:36 PM

 

chucker, on Apr 11 2007, 06:29 PM, said:

Perhaps this is why Threadless didn’t notify you? Maybe they only had women’s sizes and

figured your case wouldn’t apply?

No, I’m certain they reprinted all of them at the same time, because they didn’t even have

small, and it would make no sense for them to only reprint small men’s shirts. The reason

for lack of notification is their a) crappy service and b) terrible web store software. 😛

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#7 User is offline   chucker

 

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Posted 11 April 2007 – 04:38 PM

 

moiety, on Apr 12 2007, 12:36 AM, said:

No, I’m certain they reprinted all of them at the same time, because they didn’t even have

small, and it would make no sense for them to only reprint small men’s shirts. The reason

for lack of notification is their a) crappy service and b) terrible web store software. :)

Fair ’nuff. Just playing devil’s advocate. 😛

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#8 User is offline   moiety

 

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Posted 11 April 2007 – 04:41 PM

 

chucker, on Apr 11 2007, 06:38 PM, said:

Fair ’nuff. Just playing devil’s advocate. 😛

I like playing. :)

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#9 User is offline   MystRivenExile

 

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Posted 11 April 2007 – 08:26 PM

MACGYVER!

I’ve ordered a lot of t-shirts for my team, and I’m surprised they bothered to break up

the sizing between girls and guys. I guess in that case they’d be smaller (already

answered), but I really don’t see the point, especially since they aren’t numbered sizes.

You see, I pretty much just wanted to shout MACGYVER! I want that shirt… 😛

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#10 User is offline   Mystress

 

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Posted 12 April 2007 – 06:28 AM

I have several girls and guys t-shirts. Most of my girls tees are indeed smaller and wider

in the chest. Some are even smaller and supposed to… well… But none of mine are belly

The guys shirts are just wider. I suppose that if he’s really conscious about it, you

could get the biggest Girl’s Tee size they have and try it on him. It just depends on how

broad shouldered and big around your brother is. They do have Extra Larges in stock, so

you could try that.

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#11 User is offline   M@

 

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Posted 12 April 2007 – 10:07 AM

Even if you just got a bigger girl’s shirt to make up the difference, I think it’d still

be noticeable. I’ve noticed that girl’s shirts’ sleeves are different from those of guy’s

shirts. Not only are they more form-fitting, but they’re not as long….and it comes

across to me as a distinctly feminine style :) So I really wouldn’t think you’d want to

get a girl’s shirt.

</2cents>

😛

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#12 User is offline   Fireymarbles

 

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Posted 12 April 2007 – 11:30 PM

Yeah, I got given a women’s T-shirt last year… the idiots who ordered the team T-shirts

for a production my school did last year forgot that not all the dancers were female, and

also that the backstage and lighting crew were over half male, so they only bought women’s

shirts, almost all of which were medium. I’m only just comfortable in a large men’s size.

So yeah, this shirt pretty much wouldn’t fit me at all, except that it’s made of stretchy

fabric, in order to be more… erm… accomodating around the chest region, so I can

squeeze into it. Just.

Put shortly, if you do get it, get one a good couple of sizes larger than you would

otherwise, and still don’t expect it to look quite right.

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Posted 13 April 2007 – 04:21 AM

I bet MacGyver would know how to turn a girly t-shirt into a guys t-shirt with only a

Philishave… 😛

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Posted 13 April 2007 – 06:02 AM

the shoulder seams are higher.

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Posted 13 April 2007 – 11:20 AM

And the whole shape of the t-shirt is different

Far be it from me to laugh at anyone who dares to go against the norms of society in terms

of not adhering to gender fashion stereotypes, but generally I would say that if you tried

to give a guy a girl’s t-shirt, he will not be Best Pleased.

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“Is it me being too conservative or them being too insensitive?” A reflective thought on politeness in students’ Short Message Service (SMS)

Alfima Azmi Imananda
Graduate Program of English Language Teaching, State University of Malang

imanandaazmi@gmail.com
Sunoko Setyawan
Graduate Program of English Language Teaching, State University of Malang

setyawansunoko@gmail.com

Abstract: With the spirit of qualitative study, the researchers investigated the use of politeness strategies reflected in the students’ SMS to their lecturer. The messages were analyzed in the aspects of the politeness strategies employed by the students and the possible rationales underlying them. The results signify that the students failed to perform sufficient politeness strategies. Thus it is important for lecturers to explicitly integrate politeness issue in the classroom.

Keyword: students’ SMS, politeness strategy

 

I am a novice lecturer who just graduated from undergraduate degree. I have been teaching ESP for freshmen in the university for three semesters. Although college students can be considered as adult students who are aware of the acceptable conventions and values in the society and university, sometimes I must deal with students’ attitude and other character building issues in the classroom. One of the most striking parameters of the students’ attitude is the way they send text messages to me. In the first meeting, I always give them my phone number in case they need to ask my permission for being absent and late or submitting the assignments. Then, it is interesting to see that there are various styles of text messages that I have received. Actually, the prominent aspect that caught my attention was the politeness issue in the messages. I am not saying that I am a conservative teacher who needs absolute respect from their students. Nevertheless, I am often bothered with the fact that students’ messages are not appropriate in terms of politeness parameter in the academic context.

The above anecdote illustrates the importance of teaching pragmatics in the classroom. The success of learning process is determined not only by the linguistic competence the students get but also by the quality of the students and teacher interaction inside and outside the classroom. In this case, pragmatic knowledge influences the quality of teacher and student interaction as it involves the ability to behave and respond in different situations and contexts (Senowarsito, 2013). Brock and Nagasaka (2005) assert that the incompetence of Pragmatics may lead the speaker and interlocutor to misunderstanding and miscommunication or even the perception that the speakers are ignorant or impolite. Brock and Nagasaka then illustrate the example of pragmatics ability in two statements, “Borrow your pen” and “Can I borrow your pen?”. Both of these requests are actually understandable, but people may be more in favor with the second statement simply because it sounds more polite than the other.

Furthermore, the interaction between students and teachers does not happen only in the classroom. Nowadays, it is acceptable for teacher and students to communicate via emails and other devices like Short Messaging Service (SMS) ; especially for university students and their lecturers (Faiz and Suhaila, 2013). Lecturers and students prefer communicating via email and SMS as they offer great speed and low cost (Najeb et al, 2012 and Dansieh, 2013). Besides, it allows for communication at a cost that is less than that of a phone call, offering more privacy and allowing users to communicate without being disturbed or disturbing those around them (Crystal in Winzker et al 2009). Meanwhile, college students, who are still included as teenagers, are the great main consumer of phone message (Ling, 2004 in Barkhuus, no year). Thus, many lecturers choose SMS as their means of communication since most students utilize it in their daily life.

Short Messaging Service (SMS) is automobile message service in which the sender and receiver are restricted to send only 160 characters in each message (Wikipedia, 2014). Because it is restricted into 160 characters, the texters often disregard the standard features of texting for the sake of efficiency cost and energy during texting (Thurlow, 2003:5 in Geertsema et al, 2005). Thurlow then claims that SMS can be included into non-standard form of written texts as it has the following features such as g-clippings (excluding the end -g letter), for example: “Goin” (Going), shortenings (deletion of end letters, excluding the -g letter), for example: “Aft” (After), contractions (deletion of middle letters), for example: “Nxt” (Next), acronyms and initialisms (formed from initial letters of various words), for example:”LOL” (Laugh out loud), number homophones, for example: “B4” (Before), letter homophones, for example: “U” (You), and non-conventional spellings, for example: “Nite” (Night).

In addition to the lack of linguistics features, many students failed to perform adequate Pragmatics competence in their communication via SMS. A study conducted by Faiz and Suhaila (2013) investigating a sample of 50 sms messages selected from either undergraduate or diploma students to their lecturers in Malaysia signifies that most students did not employ the appropriate politeness strategies in their messages to the lecturers. The absence of awareness of the difference in social distance, power, and face in students’ messages could lessen face-threatening acts between students and lecturers.

Considering the condition above, this study also concerns with the politeness issue raised in students’ messages to their lecturer; especially in their permission messages. The objective of this study is to reveal students’ politeness strategies in their short message service messages and the possible considerations in utilizing it. The findings of this study can be a consideration of lecturers in addressing the politeness issue in the classroom, especially related to the importance of teaching politeness in the classroom.

 

REVISITING POLITENESS THEORY

Brown and Levinson (1978 in Maginnis, 2011) believe that everyone is basically always concerned with other person’s autonomy needs and his/her desire to be liked by others during the interaction. The need and intention are then reflected in the strategies employed during communication. One of the strategies is politeness strategies which are actually aimed at saving other people’s feelings and the speakers’ image. Besides, the conventions for expressing politeness have been used to minimize conflict and maintain ritual stability (Kachru and Smith, 2008:54).

Politeness is defined by Yule (2002:40) as “the means employed to show awareness for another person’s face.” Meanwhile, Arndt and Janney (1985) propose that politeness is how people use the right words or phrases in the right context. The context itself is set by the established agreement in the society. Wardaugh (1986) supports Arndt and Janney’s claim in which politeness depends on the existence of standards or norms among people. Based on these definitions, it can be inferred that politeness is the use of appropriate words which aim at respecting other people’s feelings in which the degree of appropriateness is defined by the agreement in the society.

We might question the definition of face addressed in Yule’s statement. Someone’s face is the image in the aspect of emotional and social which everyone expects others will see (Yule, 2002:42). Similar to Yule, Brown and Levinson (1978) and Goffman (1967 in Maginnis, 2011) also believe that every person has self image drawn from social attribute which is called as face. He further claims “face” as public self-image which every member expects to claim for himself. The ‘face’ is then categorized into two aspects, positive face and negative face. Positive face reflects the needs for social approval or the desire to be liked by others. Meanwhile, negative face refers to claims to territories and freedoms of action as well as freedom from imposition. In taking part in a face threatening act (FTA), one should support each other’s face. Kachru and Smith (2008:43) argue that any actions which limit the addresses’ freedom of action and freedom from imposition are considered to be face-threatening. FTAs that threaten the negative face of the hearer include advice, requests, offers and compliments in that advice and requests attempt to restrict the addressees ‘options of actions, while compliments may suggest that the speaker is envious of the addressee and is, therefore, eager to get what the addressee has . On the other hand, FTAs that threaten the positive face of the hearer include disagreements, disapproval and contradictions in that they may imply that the speaker thinks the addressees have been mistaken in certain aspects.

In implementing the politeness strategies, Brown and Levinson (1978) believe that people consider three parameters of politeness. Those are social distance, relative power and ranks. The greater and the higher the distance, power, or rank of the people are, the more politeness strategy they are likely to implement during interaction.

 

Parameters of Politeness

According to Kachru and Smith(2008: 41-54), there are twelve parameters of politeness that can be studied of what being polite means in different cultures. They are values, face, status, rank, role, power, age, sex, social distance, intimacy, kinship, and group membership. All parameters are not equally separated each other and they interact each other with complex ways. Besides, it is inevitable to separate parameters of politeness because they interact each other. It is very easy to combine some of them into three dimension of analyzing linguistic politeness: social distance vs. intimacy, power vs. lack of it, and informal vs. formal. Not to mention, in showing the parameter of politeness tact or linguistic behavior is used. For example, a boss asks his secretary, “Get me the file over there” is considered polite. However, when he asks, “Get me a cup of coffee” is not considered polite because it is not the secretary’s task. However, if they are close friends, probably a more casual verbal interaction is possible.

In classroom context, the parameters of politeness which may occur are the values, face, status, role, power, age, social distance, and kinship. In the classroom, the lecturers are seen as the person who has more power and commonly are older than the students. Considering this common context, the values perceive that the lecturers receive more politeness from their students. Sometimes, we find that the lecturers are much younger than the students. In this case, politeness is still utilized as the power of the lecturers is seen more important value. In other words, parameter of politeness is not a fixed formula in the society; it depends on the situation.

 

Politeness Strategy

The following are politeness strategies proposed by Brown and Levinson (1978) which are used to save the addressees’ face when face-threatening acts are desired or necessary.

  1. Bald on-Record

This strategy refers to the usage of direct statements which are employed in a succinct way without any attempts to minimize the imposition on the addressees. The speakers mostly only concentrate on conveying the message to the addressee clearly without considering about the face-threatening acts that might be happening. It usually employs a very minimum effort to save the addressee’s face. This strategy is usually used only for those who have a close relationship between each other. It includes several contexts such as task oriented, request, emergency and alert.

  1. Positive Politeness
    It reflects the approval of addressee and considers the wishes of addressee highly. The speaker also sounds friendlier to show more respect to the interlocutor by talking about what the interlocutor wants, and then trying to maintain a comfortable situation for both of them. Avoiding disagreement and assuming agreement between the interlocutors are typical in this type of politeness strategy. This strategy is also commonly employed in social community such as groups of friends.
  2. Negative Politeness

This type of politeness strategy is usually oriented from the addressees’ negative face. It attempts not to impose on the addressee’s freedom of choice. In other words, the addressee wants to feel free from any imposition and to be respected by the speakers. This usually happens in a situation where the interlocutors have a great social distance, such as a teacher with his students or a boss with his subordinates.

  1. Off-record Strategy
    In employing the off-record strategy, the speakers usually use an implicit ways of conveying a message, by giving hints or being vague. The speakers are likely to let the addressee decide how to response to the acts without feeling imposed by the speakers.

METHODS

In the spirit of qualitative study, this research is conducted by the analysis of seven short messages in requesting permission from the students. In this study, one of the researchers is the lecturer who gathered the sample of messages received in the first month of the third semester of the ESP session. The messages were gathered during March to April. Out of 18 messages, the researcher only took seven messages due to the similar pattern occurred in the text messages. Because the data were collected in the beginning of the semester, the topic of the short messages was dominated with students’ permission request and negotiation of class schedule.

In analyzing the data, the researcher judged whether or not the messages utilized the politeness strategies based on politeness strategies proposed by Brown and Levinson (1978) .The process continued with the analysis of possible considerations or rationales why the students use certain styles. Since the politeness parameter is very subjective and relative from one person to another, the researchers avoided subjectivity in the process of judgment the degree of politeness in students messages by asking other students and lecturers to judge the sample messages based on politeness values that they have. Other students and lecturers were also asked their parameters in indicating the degree of politeness in the sample messages.

 

Message One; Tell Me Who You Are

Student

Assalamualaikumwarahmatullahiwabarakatuh. Maaf mengganggu Miss. Besok kita jd pindah kelas jam 9-10?

 

Lecturer

Sorry, besok tidak ada ruangan untuk jam 9-10. Kita bertemu hari kamis saja. Thanks.

 

Student

Iya miss. Maaf mengganggu. Waalaikumsalamwarahmatullahiwabarakatuh. Selamat malam Mis.

 

When I received this message, I was wondering who the sender was. The sender did not mention his identity in his message, which gave me no clues about who the sender of the message could be. Despite the absence of identity, I replied the message since I was quite sure with my assumption that he must have been one of the students in my class held in the following day. In the next class meeting, I asked the class who might have sent me the message, and figured out that it was Andika who did so.

Andika is the vice captain of the class, who had not interacted with me before. Instead of contacting him, I usually contacted the captain of the class. In this extract, a sense of distance and power between Andika and me is quite obvious. He seems to employ negative politeness strategy (Brown & Lavinson, 1978). The way he initiated the message by providing an expression of greeting “Assalamualaikumwarahmatullahiwabarakatuh” and apologizing for possible disturbance he might cause “Maaf Menggangu” clearly indicates that he did not want me to feel imposed upon his real intention of texting. After receiving my response to his inquiry, he once again replied and asked for forgiveness if his message might have caused disturbance or imposition on me. Relating to the politeness strategy postulated by Brown & levinson, it seems that Andika employs the negative politeness strategy when texting to his lecturer by minimizing the sense of imposition as much as he could. He further ended his text, as if it were not polite enough, by providing double formal partings “Waalaikumsalamwarahmatullahiwabarakatuh” and “ Selamat malam Mis.”.

 

Message Two; Please, You Left Me with No Choice

Good morning.

I am … NIM D class Biology.. Sorry Miss I could not attend your class today because I was sick. Please understanable. Thanks

 

Azmi is a student of English department class, who never got in touch with me prior to this message. In this message, she began her message by providing an expression of greeting “good morning” and continued by providing her identity and intention of texting in a concise and direct way. Upon reading this message, I felt that Azmi had successfully and clearly sent her intention of texting me; unfortunately in my point of view, the way she composed the text message was not quite polite “Sorry Miss I could not attend your class today because I was sick”.

Upon reading this message, I felt that she left me no choice of actions or decisions about her presence or absence in my class. As a matter of fact, I am the lecturer, the one who should have more power in deciding whether she was to be present or absent in my class. The way of her delivering this message has threatened my face, or public self-image as a lecturer (Brown & Lavinson, 1987: 61). Furthermore, her message shows a little effort in face-maintaining linguistic behavior. In fact, the greater effort expended in face-maintaining linguistic behavior is, the greater the politeness will be(Brown & Levinson in Kachru, 2008). Even though she mentioned that she could not attend the class because of her health, it should not give her every reason to take a decision prior to her lecturer. Relating to Brown & Levinsion’s strategies of politeness, Azmi seems to employ bald on-record strategy by conveying her message as efficient as possible without paying attention about face threatening act that is potentially happening.

I did not reply this message at that time since I could not manage to do it. I believe that the message would have been more appropriate if Azmi had made a little modification on her message, such as topicalization, by stating “I am sorry, I am afraid I could not attend …” to make the impression of greater effort in her message.

 

Message Three; Sorry, You are Not Understandable.

Ijin bu ini Reni.. Komunikasi B ijin bertanya hari ini ibu hadir apa tidak

 

I had to read this message three times once I received this message. The absence of punctuation makes this message difficult to be understood. Reni actually intended to be polite by asking my permission to ask if I came to the classroom at that time.

However, I was a bit upset with this message because of two reasons. First, the message is not written grammatically correctly, so that it is hard for me to understand the message. Secondly, this message implies a low degree of seriousness of attending the class that I could catch from Reni. It was supposed to be the first meeting of the class, and it was raining heavily. Reni and I had never met in advance. However, Reni seemed to have the intention to be absent in her first class with me just due to the rain. She made sure my presence in the classroom by texting me before hand. Thus, she did not need to come to the class in case I was not around. Due to this disappointed feeling, I ignored her message. I also considered her as absent in my class due to invalid reasons of not coming to the classroom.

 

Message Five; It is the way too casual

  1. Saya mau omong”an soal project kita bu. Takutnya kalau saman g bs ngajar bu.
  2. Miss Fima, saya pengen ngumpulin tugas. Miss fimanya lagi ngajar ya?

Both messages above were written by two students of English department who, compared to the other students, interact quite often with me dealing with class activity or assignments. The way both students texted me does not indicate a great distance or power between the students and me. Both messages use a very informal language “saya mau omong”an (in message a), and saya pengen ngumpulin (in message b)”. The words “mau omong”an and pengen ngumpulin” are not actually Indonesian or English words, but Javanese words, which are not appropriately used in academic settings especially should it be delivered by a student to his lecturer. Moreover, the messages were casually created using abbreviations, such as “omong”an, which means berbicara (Indonesia) or discuss (English)”, “g bs” which means tidak bisa (Indonesia) or cannot (English).

Moreover, both messages were not equipped with any expressions of greetings or personal identity which implies that there is sense of distance and power between the students (senders) and the receiver (the lecturer). Related to the politeness strategy proposed by Brown & levinton, both students seem to apply negative politeness strategy by minimizing a sense of imposition on the lecturer “takutnya kalau saman g bs ngajar, and Miss fimanya lagi ngajar ya?” However, in attempting to use the negative politeness strategy, the students did not use an appropriately good language in terms of the structure and the diction of the sentences.

 

Message six; Threatening

NADIA ISMINANDA 20134567..

Sorry miss I permission cause I am gonna be late on our class at 1 a.m. cause I’ve part time job it done on 12.15

 

The student sending this message to me is an English department student who does not interact with me intensively. In other word, the relation between her and me is like any other students with their lecturer. In my point of view, the way she texted me was quite threatening. She did not begin or end the message by providing any expression of greeting or parting. Instead, she began the message by giving a direct and brief notification about name and school identity number in capital letters, which was quite shocking to me at first since capital letter writing usually indicates that the message is urgent. In fact it turned out to be an asking-for-permission message.

In addition, the sender of the message could have been more polite by using some precursors or alerts in indicating her name by saying “excuse me, I am Nadia Isminanda” rather than going directly to say “NADIA ISMINANDA,.” Furthermore, she then continued her message by giving direct, informal and non-structurally correct English sentences. Firstly, the directness of the message can be seen from the way she only concerned about conveying the message to the receiver without paying attention to the face threatening act that might happen (Sorry,. I am gonna be late,. I’ve part time Job). Secondly, the informality of the message was indicated by the diction and abbreviation she uses, such as “Sorry miss,. I am gonna be,. I’ve part time job”. Thirdly, the sentences of the message were not structurally correct “I permission,. I’ve part time job”. Apart from the lack of politeness instruments, the message seems to threat my face or public self-image since it seems to ignore the existence of the lecturer’s power who has the authority to decide students’ presence in the classroom. She seemed to force the lecturer to understand that she can come late due toher unfinished part time job. Relating to the politeness strategies proposed by Brown & Levinson (1987), the student seems to employ bald on-record strategy in that the student only try to convey the message to the addressee clearly without considering to prevent the face threatening act which is possibly happening to the addressee.

 

WHAT DO THESE MESSAGES IMPLY?

Crystal (2001:28 in Winzker et al, 2009) believes that sending SMS is similar to face to face speech interaction. Through this means of communication, the texters expect the immediate response. Besides, the texters manifest the use of creative style reflecting emotions or feeling through the use of spelling, punctuation, and capitalization. The challenging part of texting is the participants are required to use spokenly written messages; the language which is intended to be, but it must be written (Collot & Belmore, 1996:14 in Winzker et al, 2009). Thus, people usually text the words as they are spoken, overuse the punctuation to deliver the feelings to the receiver, and omit punctuation to text efficiently.

The way people text using spoken mode might then leads them to informal written language. This problem also happens among the students. Winkzer et al (2009:3) claims that students are difficult to shift from SMS language to standard language because of the prolonged use of SMS language. Consequently, the students are difficult to express their intention using the appropriate diction in context (Aziz, et al, 2013). The students believe that this practice is accepted as the informal use of SMS language is also exposed in the form of text messages, television, billboards, comics, books, newspapers and sometimes circulars from their institutions.

The insufficient competence of texting messages in the formal written language is also reflected in the above samples of students’ messages. The first message might imply that the texters forgot to include their identity in the message to the lecturers due to the prolonged use of SMS language (Winkerz et al, 2009). On the other hand, The absence of identity might also imply that the texter, in fact, intentionally did not provide his identity because he assumed that the recipient has already known his identity, indicating a close relationship. This assumption might then lead the texter to simplify his message, without providing identity notifications, since he/she is sure that the message will be successfully understood by the recipient. It is in line with the fact happening in message one where the students forgot to include the name, or intentionally provided no identity notification. However, the lecturer still replied the message because she knew that the sender must be from one of her students of the following day’s class. Nevertheless, the absence of identity notifications will hinder the communication when the teacher has some classes on that day as she has no idea in what class the student is.

Not to mention, the samples of messages also signify how students cannot use mechanics and capitalization appropriately as well as the use of abbreviation which make them informal. First, in the aspect of punctuation, message three affirms how the absence of correct punctuation makes the lecturers upset. The texter in message three actually wants to make a question to the lecturer, but the statement does not end with a question mark. In addition, in the aspect of capitalization, the texter in message six employs capitalization to let the lecturer notice her name. These two examples confirm the characteristics of SMS proposed by Crystal (2001: 34) and Thurlow et al (2004: 125) as cited in Whinskerz et al (2009) in which there are repetitions of letters and punctuation marks as well as the use of capitalization to show the emphasis of emotion and feelings. The other point about typical SMS language appears when the students employ spokenly written words which make the language too informal. The informality is reflected when the texter in message six use the word gonna in her text. Besides, message five is the precise example of informal language use in SMS as the texter use spoken style instead of the written ones.

The informality and errors in the terms of punctuation, mechanics, and the appropriateness issue reflected in SMS implies to the degree of politeness that the receiver perceive. Ling (2003 in Elvis, 2009) argues that the limitation happened in SMS is perceived rude since it indicates that the texter is not willing to allocate more time and energy to text appropriately. The lecturer in this case is upset when she receives the message with some limitation in its linguistic features as it suggests that the students do not reread their message to make sure whether or not they have sent the correct message.

With regard the effort or energy that the texter should expose in his/her message, Kachru and Smith (2008: 41-54) also regards this parameter as the indicator whether or not the texter is being polite. Kachru and Smith believe that people who utilize the greater effort demonstrated in face maintaining linguistic behavior likely to be more polite. In addition, the use of topicalization reflects the greater effort before stating the main points. The lecturer in this study regards the texters in message two and six as impolite as they are being too direct in their message. The absence of topicalization then imposes the lecturer’s freedom which can threaten her negative face. Actually, more effort can be given in the message through the use of appropriate opening and closing like in the formal letter using Dear …. The use of opening and closing increases the degree of formality of the message which can lead to the perception of being polite.

However, in the eye of the students, they may think that they use standard SMS language in order to show intimacy and social relationship. The texters especially young generations, employ unconventional use of language to show intimacy and their identity. As what has been mentioned by the lecturer, she is still young. Thus, some students might perceive that the lecturer more to be their facilitators or tutors instead of being typical ‘college lecturer’ who is commonly much older than them. In light of this condition, the young lecturer receives less degree of politeness from their students

In addition, many students utilize bald on record and negative strategy in showing the politeness which impacts on the lecturer’s response. The lecturers are likely to ignore the messages if the messages were sent using bald on record strategy as she felt to be imposed by the students.

 

Should Teachers Teach How to Text?

            Considering the importance of pragmatic competence which involves the ability to text politely to the lecturers, the students have to possess the sufficient pragmatic competence. This competence functions as the bridge to enable the successful interaction between the students and lecturers which can prevent them from misunderstanding and feeling offended.

The next question raised on how we should teach the students how to text. Brock and Nagasaka (2005) proposed a way to teach pragmatic in the classroom. They claim that pragmatic competence should not be a bonus for language classroom. Instead, the teachers are suggested to explicitly teach the competence. They name the strategies with SURE which stands for See, Use, Review, and Experience.

The first thing to do is to see which refers to the activity where the students see the importance of pragmatics competence in their daily communication, especially for the use of politeness strategies. In this stage, the students are encouraged to be aware of kinds of politeness strategies and how the consequences of each strategy. Then, ‘Use’ refers activities in which students can apply English in contexts (simulated and real) where they choose how they interact based on their understanding of the situation suggested by the activity. After that, the activity moves to the review, where the students receive reinforcement and review of the pragmatic knowledge that they have obtained. The last stage is to experience in which the students experience the real communication use and see how pragmatics works on that.

 

CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTIONS

This study reflects how students utilize their pragmatic competence within their real communication. It turns out that some students have lack competence in using politeness strategies especially when it comes to communicate in a written mode via SMS. The most possible rationale of this action is due to the effect of SMS features which may influence their perception in using formal language and the perception of student-lecturer interaction in the classroom. We believe that teaching how to text politely is needed to be explicitly carried out in language classroom in order to enable the students to communicate appropriately. This study is only the sample of some students’ short messages. Thus, we suggest that further bigger and deeper researcher on students and teachers’ perception of politeness needs to be conducted.

 

 

References

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Aziz, S. et al. 2009. The Impact of Texting/SMS Language on Academic Writing of Students- What do we need to panic about?. Elixir Ling. & Trans. 55 (2013) page 12884-12890

Barkhuus, L. No year. Mobile Networked Text Communication: The case of SMS and its Influence on Social Interaction. University of Glasgow. (Online). http://www.itu.dk/people/barkhuus/mobile-networked.pdf . accessed on April 17th, 2014

Brock, M,N. and Nagasaka, Y. 2005. Teaching Pragmatics in the EFL Classroom? SURE You Can!. TESL Reporter 39, 1 (2005), pp.17-26.

Brown, P., & Levinson, S. (1987). Politeness: Some universals in language usage. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Dansieh, S.A. 2011. SMS Texting and Its Potential Impacts on Students’ Written Communication Skills. International Journal of English Linguistics Vol. 1, No. 2; September 2011

.Elvis, F.W. 2009. The Sociolinguistics of Mobile Phone SMS Usage in Cameroon and Nigeria. The International Journal of Language Society and Culture Issue 28 page 25-41.

Faiz, H. and Zuhaila, N. 2013. Use of Greetings in SMS Messages from Students to Lecturers at a Malaysian University. International Journal of Social Science and Humanity, Vol. 3, No. 2, March 2013.

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