Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The meaning of things

This entry inspired by a comment Christian left me on my previous entry. Here's an excerpt from it:

I just have one question about your Blog's headline/Blog-title...I am sure it is French..., but now to the linguistic/context question: Do you mean 'without reason'(=without cause) or do you mean that 'without mind'(=brainless, without intellect?)

Ah, "Sans Raison." I knew of the other connotations of the phrase based on context, but I thought if I left it alone it would take on its literal meaning: "Without Reason."
It's ironic because when I started this blog, it definitely had a reason: it was just a sketch blog. Now it's more of an all-out blog where I post thoughts and commentary on things in addition to the now-occasional sketch (sorry guys!), so it fits the title more now than it did before :P

I'll also discuss a comment Brent left me on a previous entry, but I'll save it for last!

I wanted to make the meaning of my handle, theJollity, clear.
Ready for the explanation?
Okay, so "theJollity" refers to three things:
  1. Gustav  Holst's "Jupiter: The Bringer of Jollity" from his The Planets Suite
  2. The ruling planet of Sagittarius, Jupiter
  3. The fact that I am a Sagittarius
If you connect them all, you'd end up with: I'm Sagittarius, the sign ruled by Jupiter, and if Jupiter is the Bringer of Jollity, then I guess you can say that I am the Jollity that Jupiter brings ;)

Sure is catchier than "JupiterChild" or something cheesy :P
Jupiter is also my favorite planet! 

I'm pretty much everywhere under the name "theJollity," and it's actually caught on as a real nickname... usually in its shorter form, "Jolls," and I use that as a handle at some sites as well. I like my little nickname identity thing :D Jolls also lends itself to a lot of variants, like "Jollcakes" or "Jollbears" or something... okay only Jose really does that, but I like the idea XD

Okay Brent, your turn ;P

OOh, I know. I want a big fat Jordan-analysis on smileys, emoticons. It's not so simple as saying 'they're a replacement for intonation' and such. There's a different reason why we use them when we do, and how we do it, but I can't pinpoint it.
Well Brent, they're a replacement for intonation.

Haha, not only intonation, but emotions and meaning... hence, "emoticon." Emot-icon. Icon of emotion. In a wholly text-based internet chat (over AIM, MSN, etc.), you don't have the luxury of body language or even intonation, which together make up more than three-quarters of language.

...only 7 percent of communication comes from spoken words, 38 percent is from the tone of the voice, and 55 percent comes from body language.

Source: Wikipedia article on Body Language.

Essentially, when we chat online just through text, we're trying to convey 100% of the message through about 7% of our normal communication. What a disadvantage!

To compensate for intonation we CAPITALIZE, WHICH READS ALMOST UNIVERSALLY AS "SHOUTING" THROUGH TEXT, which would translate basically as LISTEN TO ME, YOU NEED TO HEAR WHAT I'M SAYING!! We also bold and italicize things we want to emphasize. Visually this slows the reader down, bringing the focus into the fixed words, much like you would slow your own speech to bring your audience's focus in.

To compensate for body language some of us use emoticons, and they're fairly straightforward:

:)  :]  =]  =)  :-)   =-)  ^_^ ^-^ Happy, smiling
:D :-D =D =-D Grinning
:( :-( =( =-( Sad, frowning
:'(  D:  ;-;  T_T  T-T  TnT  Sad, crying
XD Laughing
:P  =P  XP  Playful, teasing, sticking tongue out

You guys get the picture. 

So much of the English language really does depend on the delivery. I could say,

That's great!

But if I said

That's great! :)
It might mean I'm just satisfied.

That's great! :D
I'm even more than satisfied.

That's great! XD
Probably referring to a "great" joke

That's great! e_e
Okay this face is supposed to be the rolling-eyes, so it'd be sarcastic here.

See what I mean?
Using emoticons and things almost becomes a science when it comes to when and where to use them. Do you want to lighten up a serious subject? Emoticons usually do, especially ":P". Want to tell someone you love them, but not like that? Just add :P or XD or something (coming soon, my rant on how the English language should have more words for "love," hold me to it!).

Hopefully that quenches your thirst for some Jollnalysis, Brent ;P
Winking with tongue sticking out! I'm teasing you doubly!

Oh, I almost forgot something...

and what the HECK does :3 mean?!
Look at it sideways. I think it's supposed to represent a cat, the 3 being its mouth that pinches up where the nose would be. Why is it used? I think to be cute or playful... because cats are cute and playful :3


¯\(ºдಠ)/¯ said...

ok i'm following you now ... more like STALKING you xD

¯\(ºдಠ)/¯ said...

Hey I was reading some of your old posts (I was bored at work) and found out that you are a christian?

Duuuuuuuuuuude I'd love to debate religion with you sometime (I'm a former catholic turned .... Atheist ... I used to say I was Agnostic but it's just like saying I believe in God only when it's convenient for moi xD )

I feel more respect towards you now that i know (albeit somewhat) a little more about you

I shall keep on looking ....

BTW .. What does the G on your last name stand for?