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Last updated: November 18, 2019

A Discourse Analysis of English Used in the Social Network (Facebook) A Thesis Submitted to Department of English Language and Literature, TANTA UNIVERSITY In Fulfillment of the Degree of Master in English Linguistics By Faten Mahmoud El-bahi Seada Assistant researcher, Department of English Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts, Tanta University Supervised by Tanta University Prof. Mohammed Said Negm Professor of linguistics Department of English Language Faculty of ArtsTable of Contents Abstract (I) acknowledgment (II) Table of Contents (III) List of Tables (IV) List of Figures (V) List of Abbreviations (VII) Chapter One: Introduction 1 1.

1 Aim of the Study 1 1.2 Objective of the Study 1.3 Significance of the Study 1.

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4 Material and Method 1.5 Definition of Key Terms 1.6 Thesis Organization 1.7 Literature Review 1.

7.1 Related Study 1.7.

2 Social Network Sites 1.7.2.

1 Facebook 1.7.2.

2 Twitter 1.7.2.

3 YouTube 1.7.2.

4 LinkedIn Flickr 1.8 The History of the Social Network Site Facebook 1.9 Why Facebook? 1.10 Facebook Chatting 1.11 The Internet and the Language of Facebook Chatting 1.

12 Facebook Chatting and Egyptian Young People Chapter Two: Computer-Mediated Communication 2.1 Computer Mediated Communication Definition 2.2 Types of CMC 2.2.1 One-to-One Dialogue 2.2.2 One-to-Many Dialogue2.

2.3 Web Sites 2.3 Communication situations 2.4 Modes of Computer -Mediated Communication (CMC) 2.4.1 Synchronicity 2.4.

1.1 Synchronous CMC (SCMC) Asynchronous CMC (ASCMC) 2.4.

2 Textuality Text-based CMC 2.

4.2.2 Non text-based CMC 2.4.3 Audience 2.4.3.

1 One-to-one One-to- many 2.4.4 Message Transmission 2.4.4.

1 One-way transmission Two-way Transmission 2.5 Common Linguistic Features of CMC 2.6 CMC between Spoken and Written Language 2.

7 Computer-Mediated Discourse Analysis Chapter Three: Data Analysis and Results 3.1 Space, case, punctuation and spelling 3.1.1 Omitting Blank Space between Words 3.1.

2 Omitting Punctuation 3.1.3 Unconventional Punctuation 3.1.

4 All Lower-case 3.1.5 All Capitals 3.1.

6 Mix of Lower-case and Capitals 3.1.7 Unconventional, spoken-like spelling 3.1.8 Typos 3.1.9 Repetition of letters 3.

1.10 Repetition of words 3.1.11 Consonant writing 3.2 Grammatical features3.

2.1 Subject pronoun 3.2.2 Verb phrase 3.

2.3 Exchange long words for shorter 3.2.4 Inspiration from other languages than English (word order, prepositions) 3.

3 Logotypes 3.3.1 Emoticons 3.3.2 Asterisks 3.3.

3 Symbols replacing word 3.3.4 Addressivity marker 3.4 Lexical features and abbreviations 3.4.1 Colloquial lexicon (dialect, expletives) 3.4.

2 code-switching 3.4.3 OCM features from spoken language 3.4.3 Conventional abbreviations 3.4.4 Unconventional abbreviations Conclusion: Summary Future Suggestions ReferencesList of Tables No Title Page Table 2.1 Examples of common emoticons or smileys Table 2.

2 Examples of common CMC abbreviations and acronyms Table 2.7 Linguistic Features Characteristic of CMC Table 3.1 Illustration of Space, case, punctuation and spelling Table 3.3 Illustration of emoticons & their standard form Table 3.3.

3 Illustration of symbol replacing word & their standard form Table 3.4.4 Illustration of abbreviations and their standard formList of abbreviations Abbreviation Meaning SNS Social Network Sites CMC Computer-Mediated Communication SCMC Synchronous Computer-Mediated Communication ASCMC Asynchronous Computer-Mediated Communication FB Facebook OCM Own Communication Management CAPS Capital letters PC Personal Computer ICT Information Communication Technology SMS Short Message Services IM Instant Messaging MUDs Multi-User Dungeons/ Dimensions MOOs MUDs, Object Oriented WWW World Wide Web HTTP Hyper Text Transfer ProtpcolChapter one Introduction 1.1 Aim of the study The use of more than one language in a community like the internet results in the emergence of new language especially in electronic communication. Additionally, the wide spread of technology all over the world and recently in the Arab World and the vast usage of social network sites, for example (facebook, twitter, and LinkedIn), led to the invention of new discourse amongst electronic participants.

In the Egyptian community, the use of this new invented discourse is clearly apparent and highly used particularly amongst adults. This study will focus on the internet language used by Egyptian adults predominately the undergraduates and graduates. It will attempt to highlight the linguistic features of this language.

This study will also tackle the influence of this new phenomenon on their handwriting of Standard English. 1.2 Objective of the study The overall objective of the study is to find an answer to the following questions: 1- What are salient orthographic characteristics of English used on facebook by Egyptian users especially undergraduates and graduates? 2- What are some grammatical features of English used on facebook by Egyptian users 3- What are lexical features of English used on facebook by Egyptian participants? 4- To what extent is the writing of the Egyptian Facebook users especially undergraduates and graduates influenced by social networking? 5- Is there any standard way of English used in the social network by the participants?1.

3 Significance of the study Although there has been some work on electronic discourse, there has been little, if any, discourse analysis of English used on Facebook. This study is expected to be beneficial for: 1. Lecturers or teachers as well as parents: to let them understand the kind of language students are using today indicating its probable negative influence and give them needed guidance.

2. English Department Students: to let them know that the new social networking represented in Facebook generates such new phenomenon in English language. Additionally. It provides them with information about the other used substitutionals of spoken language (paralanguage) and reflects how Facebook is a place where people use this language in a written form to simulate face-to- face communication. 3. Researchers: to inspire a good alternative to conduct researches in the field of language study and to give the information with the evidence about the contribution of Facebook in the language especially English and its Internet dialect.

1.4 Material and Method The researcher in this study used the qualitative method because the conclusions have been made considering the purposes users may have for selecting definite linguistic means to express themselves when conversation. Additionally, this study adapted the taxonomy of Ylva Hard af Segerstad (2002) for investigating the linguistic features of the new kind of English used on the social network. Data collection criteria In this study, a corpus of 173 posts and comments (average of nearly 9,167 words) was collected in order to examine the characteristics of the new phenomenon in using internet English language in the Arab community.

The data for this study was collected from the wall in groups and the wall of users’ profiles because everything written was open for everyone to see. This way increases the number of participantsand enables to get more data of writing. Only posts and comments written in English language were collected while posts and comments written in Arabic language were excluded. Additionally, some samples contains Romanized Arabic were also included in the data.

Participants The participants in this study are undergraduate and graduate students of AUC and BUA particularly Facebook users. As the researcher wanted only English data, only groups of the previous mentioned universities were used in searching for data. This was supposed to enlarge the number of written data. Gender of the participants can be seen from the user’s name and location is also known. It was anyhow not necessary to take gender and location into consideration.

As the participants names do not play a significant role in the study, the researcher preferred not to mention them using NN instead. 1.5 Definition of key terms What is Computer-mediated Communication? Simpsons (2002) defines CMC as “an umbrella term which refers to human communication via computers”. It refers to any form of communication which carried through the medium of a computer synchronously or asynchronously. Simpsons explains that “synchronous CMC includes various types of text-based online chat, computer, audio, and video conferencing; asynchronous CMC encompasses e-mail, discussion forums, and mailing lists. CMC can take place over local area networks (LANs) or over the internet. Internet CMC, as well as allowing for global communication, also provides for the added dimension of hypertext links to sites on the WWW, and to e-mail addresses” (p.414) .

What is World Wide Web? World Wide Web is often abbreviated to “www” or called “the web”. It is necessary to understand that “the web” which is not a synonym for the internet but it is a subset of the internet consists of pages that can be accessed using a web browser. What is Internet? Sometimes called simply “the net”, is a word wide system of computer networks.Crystal (2001) defines the Internet as “…

an electronic, global and interactive medium, and each of these properties has consequences for the kind of language found there. What are the social network sites? Social network sires refers to websites that provide their members with services that allow them to create a profile for sharing, controlling a friends’ list, or the list of those who they make contact with, and viewing and communicating with their friends with whom they are connected (Boyd ; Ellison, 2008, p.112). Facebook is the only social network site focused in this study. What is Facebook chatting? Facebook chatting is talking to other people who are using the internet at the same time you are. This service enables Facebook users to conduct instant message-based conversations with Facebook friends.

Its distinguished feature is that it supports one-to-one chats as well as the ability to chat with multiple friends via the facebook group feature. 1.6 Thesis organization The present study is organized as follows: Chapter one: Introduction This chapter introduces Aim of the Study, Adjectives of the Study, Significance of the Study, Material and Method, and Thesis organization. It also provides definition of the Key Terms presented in the research.

In order to give a detailed account about the research, Review of Literature and relevant previous research is also included in this chapter. Chapter Two: Computer Mediated Communication This chapter is devoted to Computer Mediated communication in general, definition, types, situations, modes, general features, and computer mediated discourse analysis.Chapter Three: Data Analysis and Discussion This chapter covers the analysis and results of the analysis of data using direct examples from Facebook. Conclusion A summary of the research results and some suggestion for the future research are provided. 1.

7 Literature Review 1.7.1 Related Studies In computer-mediated communication, writers have to use other manipulation of written signs in order to accomplish pragmatic work that could be achieved through phonological variation, prosody, gesture and other cues in ordinary spoken conversation.

Segerstad (2002) examined the linguistic feature in computer-mediated communication found that writers use all capital letters, repetition of words, emoticons, asterisk, symbol replacing words to as paralinguistic cues in the interaction. In addition, Crystal (2011) in his book, Internet Linguistics writes that text abbreviation is actually not a modern phenomenon. Many of these abbreviations are found in chatroom interactions even before the existence of mobile phone and some of them can be dated a hundred years or more.

Moreover, the omission of letter as in msg (message) and xlnt (excellent) is not a new phenomenon. According to him, Wric Partridge published his dictionary of abbreviation in 1942 which contains a lot SMS looking examples such as agn „again?, mth „month? and gd „good?. Internet interactions lack the facial expression, gestures and conventions of body posture that are considered important when expressing ideas and opinions. Therefore writers use various ways to express themselves such as the use of emoticon, bold or block letters. However, despite the creativity of the art, the semantic role of emoticon is rather limited.

For example, the basic smile can mean sympathy, delight, amusement and others. Another prominent linguist in computer-mediated communication, Crispin Thurlow (2003) studied mobile messages among the first year Language and Communication at Cardiff University Students. Participants were asked to retrievefrom their phones 5 messages that they had either sent or received. A total of 544 separate messages were recorded and transcribed.

The length of the individual messages was calculated using the standard Microsoft word count function. Based from the investigations, Thurlow asserts that each individual does not have one style of language in any environment; instead, she/he will have a repertoire or a range of style to suit different context. The following common patterns were found; • shortenings (missing end letters), e.

g. „lang? for „language?. • Contractions (missing middle letters), e.g. „gd? for „good? • ;g? clipping (final letter missing, e.g. „goin? for?going? •Other clippings, e.

g. „hav? for „have? • Acronyms and intialisms, e.g. „v? for „very? • Letter/number homophones, e.

g. „1? for „one? • Non-conventional spelling, e.g. „sum? for „some? • Accent stylization (speaker tries to represent a particular pronunciation, for example regional speech), e.g. „wivout? for „without? • Non-alphabetic symbol • Emoticon Based on the above findings, Thurlow concludes that a number of sociolinguistic maxim or triggering factors are required to explain some of the features above: • Speed-txters have to speed up their pace of communication, so they need to take short cuts. • Brevity-txters have only limited space for their communication, so they need to omit any elements that are not strictly necessary for understanding • Paralinguistic restitution-txters need to find ways to replace the aspect of physical communications such as body language that are absent • Phonological approximation-txters want to build in ways their readers to „hear? their voice, so try to change the written language to represent this. Another study on SMS messages was conducted by Anis (2007).

A total of 750 French messages were collected from four volunteers. Based from his research, he categorized the corpus into three broad types: phonetic spelling, syllabograms (rebus writing) and logograms (symbols, unilateral abbreviations, acronyms) (page, 97). In the phonetic spelling, he discovered the texters not only substituted, reduced vowelsor consonants but also deleted silent letters in their messages. For example, the substitution of „z? for „s? (“pleaze? for “please”). Another striking feature was syllabogram or rebus writing such as the use of a letter or a number to represent the phonetic sequence that constitutes its realization in spoken language such as „b4? stands for „before?. The third finding in his research was logograms which involved not only word signs such as “@”for „at? but also single-letter abbreviations such as “CNN” (Cable News Network) (page, 105). He concludes that such messages are intentional, creative and definitely comprehensible to their recipients.

In addition, the messages also reflect common human characteristics. Norizah Hassan and Azirah Hashim in their studies of the features and language use in electronic English in Malaysia highlight how language has been used creatively online by different ethnic groups in Malaysia. The data was taken from a corpus of 2 million words collected from various electronic genres: blogs which are written for informal readers, chats from Malaysian chatrooms, instant messages, emails and text messages between friends. In their preliminary finding, many features of spoken Malaysian English as well as other varieties of linguistic features are found in the online communication. Intersentential and intrasentential code-switching occur between English and Malay, Chinese dialects, Tamil and Iban.

According to the above researchers, the features are commonly found in spoken Malaysian English except the use of symbols like @, the use of emoticons for expressions and use of the Roman script to represent sounds in Chinese. Internet users also establish their identity through the use of features specific to the variety and through the medium that is used. The study offers a general overview of the use English on the Internet. 1.7.

2 Social Network Sites New technologies have been rapidly assimilated in contemporary society. While this includes an array of gadgets, like cellphones, digital camera, computers and laptops, the use of SNS is a particular phenomena that has become increasingly popular (Joinson, 2008). SNS are used by a diverse number of people of different ages, ethnicities and socio-economic backgrounds who have a variety of interestsresulting in hundreds of millions of users worldwide. Social Network Sites may be defined as: Web-based service that allow individuals to (1) construct a public or semi-public profile within a bounded system, (2) articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection , and (3)view and traverse their list of connections and those made by others within the system (Body & Ellison,2007) Social Network Sites allow individuals to present themselves to other users using a variety of formats; including text and video .Just like chat services, SNS incorporate a list of other users with whom individuals share a connection. But unlike any other web services, SNS allow individuals to make visible their list of connections to others and to traverse their social networks (Body & Ellison, 2007). Hence, more than virtual communities born online, SNS are usually online communities created and maintained to reflect offline relationships.

Popular social network sites include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and LinkedIn. 1.7.2.

1 Facebook Facebook is a social network service launched in February 2004. As of September 2015 it has 1.01 million active users (Nicholas Carlson, 2015). According to Facebook is a popular free social networking website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with friends, family and colleagues. The site, which is available in 37 different languages, includes public features such as: ? Marketplace – allows members to post, read and respond to classified ads. ? Groups – allows members who have common interests to find each other and interact.? Events – allows members to publicize an event, invite guests and track who plans to attend.

? Pages – allows members to create and promote a public page built around a specific topic. ? Presence technology – allows members to see which contacts are online and chat. Twitter According to, Twitter is a free social networking micro-blogging service that allows registered members to broadcast short posts called tweets.

Twitter members can broadcast tweets and follow other users’ tweets by using multiple platforms and devices. Tweets and replies to tweets can be sent by cell phone text message, desktop client or by posting at the website. Unlike Facebook, where users can send messages up to 1000 characters, Twitter allows users to send out messages in short spurts of up to 140 characters per “tweet”, due to the constraints of Twitter’s Short Message Service (SMS) delivery system. Tweets are searchable within the Twitter site and are indexed by Google, whereas Facebook content is usually not visible in search engine results.

Users can “follow” other users or communicate by searching for hashtags (e.g. #egypt), user-identified key words that clue readers in to what others think is important. Twitter is based in San Francisco, but it’s used by people in nearly every country in the world, and is available in English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.

Twitter is an extremely personal method of communication. Users must choose whom they follow, and thus create a unique experience that is specific to them. Like email or the telephone, Twitter is a non-prescriptive communication platform. Each user experiences “Twitter” differently depending on the time of day and frequency she checks her feed, the other people she follows, and the interface(s) she uses to access the network. Because of this flexibility, norms emerge, mutate, collide, and fade away among Twitter users with a fluidity that may not be easily apprehendable to a non-user . . . (Driscoll, 2010).

One of the strengths of Twitter isthat it can be accessed using computers or mobile phones, making it a lightweight method of communicating during crisis. YouTube YouTube is a video sharing service that allows users to watch videos posted by other users and upload videos of their own.

The service was started as an independent website in 2005 and was acquired by Google in 2006. Videos that have been uploaded to YouTube may appear on the YouTube website and can also be posted on other websites, though the files are hosted on the YouTube server ( YouTube allows people to easily upload and share video clips on and across the Internet through websites, mobile devices, blogs, and email. YouTube changed the way people share videos because it created a simple way to share otherwise cumbersome and large video files.

Before YouTube, it was difficult to share video with a large number of people. LinkedIn According to, LinkedIn is a social networking site designed specifically for the business community. The goal of the site is to allow registered members to establish and document networks of people they know and trust professionally.

Like Facebook and MySpace, LinkedIn allows user to create a custom profile, which are business-oriented rather than personal. Unlike Facebook, LinkedIn requires connections to have a pre-existing relationship. Moreover, basic membership for LinkedIn is free and network members are called “connections.” 1.

7.2.5 Flickr Flickr describes itself as ” the best online photo management and sharing application in the world – has two main goals: 1. We want to help people make their photos available to the people who matter to them. 2. We want to enable new ways of organizing photos and video.”Flickr is a photo-sharing site that allows users to share photos on

com or through embedded apps on other websites. Flickr allows users to tag photos with keywords, which creates communities around common interests or events. As of November 2016, there are 92 million registered users. Because there are different types of social networks, conclusions drawn from one platform cannot be easily generalized to another platform (Hargittai, 2007). This study tackles this limitation by focusing on Facebook only. 1.8 The History of the Social Network Site Facebook The growth of Web 2.0 has allowed many services to be created that facilitate collaboration in the World Wide Web.

They are defined as “web-based services that allow individuals to construct a public or semi-public profile … articulate a list of other users with whom they share a connection and view and traverse their list of connections” (Boyd/Ellison 2008). The affordances and reach of this emergent phenomenon are increasingly attracting the attention of scholars to the study of social networking (cf. Boyd/Ellison 2008). In the last few years, some social networking sites have disappeared and some others are gaining users day by day. One of the top social networking websites at the moment is Facebook. Created in 2004 “as a cross between a tool for meeting new people and a platform for networking with people you already know” (Baron 2008: 84), Facebook has its origins in the University of Harvard (cf. Boyd/Ellison 2008). This website, privately owned by Facebook, Inc.

, was quickly transformed from a private club within the University of Harvard to a service open to everyone in 2006. On this social site, users create an online profile by listing personal information and interests, link up with other users and share updates of the information posted on a daily basis (cf. Hargittai/Hsieh 2011). Participants may use this network application to interact with people they already know or to meet new people that are called friends, that is, participants “who can post comments on each other’s pages, and view each other’s profiles” (Ellison et al. 2007). Facebook was created in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Dustin Moskovitz and Chris Hughes as a site for Harvard students only. Shortly after, it expanded to anycollege student with a .

edu e-mail account. Between Fall 2005 and Fall 2006, Facebook expanded to high school networks, first, work networks, later, and, eventually, to Internet users in general. Facebook is the second largest social network on the web, behind only MySpace in terms of traffic. Primarily focused on high school to college students, Facebook has been gaining market share, and more significantly a supportive user base. Since their launch in February 2004, they’ve been able to obtain over 8 million users in the U.S. alone and expand worldwide to 7 other English-speaking countries, with more to follow.

A growing phenomenon, let’s discover Facebook (Sid Yadav, 2006). Facebook penetration in the Arab world stands at 81,302,064, according to the Arab Social Media Report, as of May 2014. Egypt alone constitutes about a quarter of all Facebook users in the region (24%) and has gained the highest number of new Facebook users since January 2014, with an increase of over 2.6 million users in that time period.

In 2016, there are 32,000,000 active Facebook users, the highest number of users of any Arab state. The largest percentage of Egyptian Facebook users are between the ages 18 and 24 years old. . Figure 1.1 Africa Internet Statistics Figure (1.1) shows Africa Top 10 Internet Countries in June 2016. It is clearly apparent that Egypt occupies the second place among African countries with about 34.8 internet users.

The website includes several features, such as communication through private or public messages, a chat, online fora, photos, videos, links, a personal Wall, and News Feed, where friends or participants can post their messages and comment on topics. The company is constantly modifying and improving the services provided, offering more and more online services. Like most social network sites, Facebook provides a formatted web page into which each user can enter personal information, including gender, birthday, hometown, political and religious views, e-mail and physical addresses, relationship status, activities, interests, favorite music and movies, educational background and a main personal picture. After completing their profile, users are prompted to identify others with whom they have a relationship, either by searching for registered users of Facebook or by requesting their contacts to join Facebook (usually by e-mail). Once someone is accepted as a “friend,” not only the two users? personal profile but also their entire social networks are disclosed to each other. This allows each user to traverse networks by clicking through “friends?” profiles. This capability is the backbone of Facebook and other SNS and what attracts millions of users around the globe.

In addition, Facebook allows users to designate “friends.” An individual who is invited to be a member’s Facebook friend may either accept or reject the offer, thus providing individual control over one’s list of friends. The user can control how much information to post and who can view this information by editing their privacy settings.

Specific groups of people (a network or friends) may be granted limited access to specific parts of the profile. Facebook members can upload digital pictures into virtual photo albums. A user can be “tagged” in these pictures so that his or her name appears in the caption as a link to his or her profile. If the individual does not want to be associated with the picture, he or she can “untag” it, thereby removing the name and the link (though this does not remove the picture).

Members are able to post comments on photos, which appear as messages below the picture. Similarly, it is possible to post links to videos. Facebook offers several options for communicating with others. Users can interact by sending private messages, similar to emailing. Members who are “friends” may post public messages on each other’s “walls,” which are personal message boards on their profiles.

Communication may also occur in groups, which Facebook memberscan create and join. Offline social interactions can be facilitated through Facebook by creating invitations to events, or online notifications for meetings, parties, and other gatherings. Users may also post “notes” or blog-like entries that are linked to their profile pages. The “headline” news in one’s Facebook account is captured by “news feed” and “mini-feed” functions.

The news feed, which appears on the user’s homepage upon log-in, provides a list of actions that friends have recently undertaken, such as posting on walls or changing their relationship status. In addition, each user’s personal list of actions appears in his or her own profile as the mini-feed. A user’s mini-feed tracks “stories” that will appear about him or her in friends’ news feeds. Users may restrict the types of stories broadcast about them by these applications. The most interesting characteristic of this site is that it enables a great variety of online genres to be accessed through the same platform; these genres being both synchronous and asynchronous. They are easily identified and can be organised and customised in the way the user of the site desires, some services can be visible to the whole online community and some cannot.

Battner/Fiori (2009) put forward that it is a tool that goes beyond synchronous and asynchronous technologies; as part of Web 2.0 principles, it is a participatory platform where users can add information or modify the information already online, for example, a user can tag the pictures uploaded by adding the names of the people or a description. Any user can create a group and this can be open to other users, or restricted to a pre-selected community (cf. Battner/Fiori 2009).

It is also interesting to point out that the original platform designed to keep in touch effectively with former classmates has evolved into a more diversified online tool. Now, Facebook is used as a platform for online communities that share interests in many fields: these being political, sportive, educational, scientific, commercial, or entertainment, among others. The typical user spends more than 20 minutes daily and logs on at least once a day (cf. Ellison et al. 2007). As for the research carried out on Facebook, most scholars have analysed the use of Facebook from a sociological or pragmatic approach identifying the sense of community in the relationship between participants in social networking (cf. Ellison et al.

2007; Baron 2008; Papacharissi 2011; Yus 2011). It has also been studied as a platform to enhance learning (see for example, Blattner/Fiori 2009). In contrast, littleis known about the linguistics of this online social networking website.

Literature on the study of the linguistic aspects of the social networking website Facebook is very scarce; the reason for this may not only be because of its novelty but also because of the fact that it is very complex to study, as several genres are concurrent on one social networking website. In research about the use of this site as a teaching tool, Blattner/Fiori (2009: 24) point out that participants on the social networking website Facebook use more colloquial language in their speech acts and the tool “exposes learners to language varieties … that language departments and textbooks cannot match”. The use of Facebook in the university is more and more important: while emails are the most popular online genre for academics and administration, students now prefer to use social networking websites to communicate with other students; they are Internet “natives” who make competent daily use of these services (cf. Kuteeva 2011). Hargittai/Hsieh (2011) point out that Facebook was the most popular social networking site in their survey carried out at the University of Illinois, Chicago, during 2006–2007, where 79% of the students interviewed used it. Recently, Facebook has undergone a spectacular increase in users.

Facebook itself estimates that there are 1.86 billion monthly active users and its use is increasing all over the world (Facebook Inc. 2016). The current relevance of Facebook has raised some voices of a possible competition between networking tools and, for example, email, however, as Cho (2010: 1) indicates, “evidence is inconclusive as to whether social networking services compete or facilitate email usage”. 1.

9 Why Facebook? The Facebook SNS provides a convenient environment for the development of discourse communities with its varied participatory mechanisms. On Facebook users create their personal profile page allowing them to list interests and activities they share with others. They also belong to a „Network? defined primarily by the educational institution with which they are, or have been, affiliated. Communication with others within Facebook takes place via a range of tools including email, discussion boards, uploaded videos and picture galleries that include a space for comments and a „wall? in which users can exchange messages with nominated friends. Other popular features include status updates, „poking? friends (an ambiguoustool but one of the many phatic uses of Facebook) and gift?giving (fish, flowers etc.

). Facebook users can also set up their own groups which they make public or else invite others to join, thereby creating highly fluid and open ?community? spaces for learning. Facebook is currently the platform for various discourse communities; it is not the space for a single monolithic one. To date, thousands of groups exist with a range of common interests and discoursal expectations or norms. Moreover, Facebook is a good environment for undergraduates to express their interests in all fields of life.

According to Stutzman (2005), undergraduates use Facebook to „hang out?, to shoot the breeze, waste time, to learn about each other or simply as a directory. Students often use Facebook as a means of managing their social lives; staying in touch, organising nights out and the like. However, Guy Merchant?s writing on the culture of SNS, influenced by sociologists like Anthony Giddens and Zygmunt Bauman, has drawn attention to the use of sites such as Facebook to produce and perform “an ongoing narrative of the self” (2006, p.238). So, Facebook pages and communications are as much about the construction of a dynamic story of the self as that self interacts with various social contexts as they are about arranging going out clubbing. Hugh Liu?s work is an interesting addition to this line of inquiry and highlights the role of SNS profile pages as the location for „taste performances? (2008) that define and distinguish social identity. Neil Selwyn?s study of undergraduate uses of Facebook deploys its extensive data to argue that undergraduates use Facebook for particular forms of identity performances at variance with „official? academic identities: On Facebook students could rehearse and explore resistance to the academic „role set? of being an undergraduate (Merton 1957) – i.

e. the expected and „appropriate? behaviours towards their subject disciplines, teachers and university authorities. Students who were facing conflicting demands in their roles as socialites, minimum-wage earners and scholars could use Facebook as an arena for developing a disruptive, challenging, dismissive and/or unruly academic identities.

Thus Facebook was acting as a ready space for resistance and the contestation of the asymmetrical power relationship built into theestablished offline positions of university, student and lecturer (Bourdieu and Passeron 1977). This was perhaps most clearly evident in the playful and often ironic rejection of dominant university discourses throughout the posts, with the students certainly not conforming to the passive and silenced undergraduate roles of the seminar room or lecture theatre. (2007) Facebook is especially interesting due to its widespread use and the importance it is gaining in everyday life. Hence, Facebook SNS creates a suitable environment for undergraduates to share different interests, experiences, information, or social issues. 1.10 Facebook Chatting This is a means of engaging in online conversation through the networked computers, dedicated applications on mobile phones or pc tablets via the Facebook social networking website.

Individuals who have online access to Facebook websites interact with the other subscribers by sending text messages to each other. This process could be synchronous or asynchronous depending on the timeframe taken to respond to a particular text message. In Facebook chatting, the users see a list of their friends who are online and thus potentially ready to chat at the moment. At the start of the conversation, an animated icon appears on the screen to inform the partner about the keyboard activity of the other partners (Jucker and Durcheid, 2012). 1.

11 The Internet and the Language of Facebook Chatting Facebook chatting is a synchronous communication in which individuals interact in one-to-one conversation. It is a form of instant messaging situation that allows individuals to engage in online „talking?. The spontaneous nature of facebook chatting presents some constraints to the chatters by the nature of the hardware needed to access the Internet and also the short timeframe taken to respond to conversation (Crystal, 2008). Consequently, this generates distinctive linguistic features which are referred to as „written speech?.Cvjecovic (2010) observes that, in online chatting, people write differently from the way they would in ideal context. This is to establish that the linguistic features of facebook chatting are distinctive from the conventional writing form.

Crystal (2008) opines that in online chatting, we are actually involved in talking. In corroborating this, Cvjecovic further explains that the nature of the language variety in Internet chatting could be attributed to time factor in passing the message across in real-time engagement which is often simultaneous. Therefore to adapt the language to the context of real-time online communication, it is simplified, compressed, shortened and conditioned to fit into the communication situation. Syntactically, the clauses are usually fragmented and abbreviated, usually involving ellipsis of the pronominal items at the subject position. The linguistic features displayed by the language of the online chatters are unique and restricted to the online context (Jucker and Durscheid, 2012).

For example: the following online conversation between speakers „A? and „B? as written bellow demonstrates the structural characteristics of facebook chatting. A: IKR !! It was our pleasure broo. Btw couldn’t find ur name on fb to tag u idk why..! B: Miss u too bro hope all’s going well at beirut 1 The example above displays the nature of the language of facebook chatting as it is juxtaposed with the conventional structures. 1.12 Facebook Chatting and Egyptian Young People Facebook is one of the social networking websites that emerged in the world of electronic communication in the year 2004.

It has the unique characteristic of combining virtually all the Internet communication situations which are recognized by Crystal (2008), that is, e-mail, chatgroups, blogging, virtual worlds, instant messaging, etc. This observation posits that facebook combines both synchronous and asynchronous communication situations. The use of Internet medium for communication grew rapidly in Egypt as a result of the development in the information communication technology (ICT) in the country. According to Wikipedia, Egypt’s Internet penetration rate grew from less than one percent in 2000,to 5% in 2004, 24% in 2009, and 54.6% in 2014. Consequently, the emergence of internet in Egypt could be traced to the year 2000. Since then, telecommunication companies followed a wider strategy to dominate Egypt?s internet market by providing both internet service and content to customers.

Hence, this rapid development facilitated the utility of computer-mediated communication among the Egyptian youths. Due to the cheap and versatile nature of facebook, together with its ability and versatility to connect people around the globe, it is widely accepted and popular, mostly, among youths. The technology of facebook gives individuals the opportunity to connect, interact, and share photos and videos with their love ones across the world, even if they are widely separated geographically. The emergence of Facebook social networking websites in the country creates a fascinating platform for the youths to explore the Internet resource in order to reach out to the world through the networked computers or dedicated applications on smart phones, pc tablets, etc. Through Facebook, users could build up their own personal space, exchange messages, and participate in any online social group (Goertler, 2009).

Therefore, this makes Facebook website the most highly accessed social networking in Egypt.Chapter Two 2.1 Computer Mediated Communication Definition Computer-mediated communication refers to communications that occur via computer formats .Hiltz and Turoff are the first who introduced the term CMC in their study of computer conferencing. The communication occurs via synchronous modes such as live chatting, teleconferencing or asynchronous modes (such as emailing, discussing on the listserv) via the computer terminals. CMC has widely spread throughout the world because of the technological development of computers.

Naomi S. Baron introduces the notion of CMC as following: “Computer mediated communication (CMC) is loosely defined as any natural language messaging that is transmitted and/or received via a computer connection. (…) However, the term can also be applied to other written venues that employ computer-based technology to send messages across a distance, including both email and computer conferencing done through in-house intranet systems and contemporary short text messaging (SMS), which is normally transmitted through mobile phone connections” (Baron, 2003, p. 10) According to Herring (1996, p. 1), computer-mediated communication is “communication that takes place between human beings via the instrumentality of computers. The study of computer-mediated discourse (henceforth CMD) is a specialization within the broader interdisciplinary study of computer-mediated communication (CMC), distinguished by its focus on language and language use in computer networked environments, and by its use of methods of discourse analysis to address that focus”.

Later on, December (1997) gives a more refined definition of CMC: ” Computer-Mediated Communication is a process of human communication via computers, involving people, situated in particular contexts, engaging in process to shape media for a variety of purposes”. Computer mediated communications (CMC) encompass all forms of communication transmitted between two or more people via computer networks.CMC applications are many and ever expanding with significant consequences for organizations (Cameron et al. 2005). In a very broad sense, CMC systems include those providing e-mail, text chat and instant messaging, group decision support/group support, bulletin boards, listservs, virtual workspaces, online conferencing, massively multi-player online games (MMOs), weblogs (blogs), wikis, and the exchange of RSS (web feeds).CMC systems may support communications that are synchronous or asynchronous; sequential or parallel; anonymous or identified; ephemeral (not recorded) or persistent (recorded); rehearsable (allowing review and editing of a draft message before sending) or instant; dyadic, one-to-many, or many-to-many.

They can reach around the world and be used by those in the same room. Crystal (2001, p.3) stated that the efficacy of computer mediated communication is obvious as it enables people to communicate across temporal, special barriers, and makes interaction between people continuous and unbiased. One of the most overt examples of the move away from a technological focus in definitions describes it thus:”CMC, of course, is not just a tool; it is at once technology, medium, and engine of social relations.

It is not only structures social relations, it is the space within which the relations occur and the enter that space” (Jones, 1995).Wood & Smith (2005, p.4) state that “the field of CMC studies how human behaviors are maintained or altered by the exchange of information through machines.

Bodomo suggests a more recent definition: CMC is defined as the coding and decoding of linguistic and other symbolic Systems between sender and receiver for information processing in multiple Formats through the medium of the computer and allied technologies…and through media like the internet ,email ,chat systems, text messaging, YouTube , Skype, and many more to be invented. As is seen, the term computer itself is no longer limited to desktop and laptop devices but generalizes onto smaller but even more powerful gadgets like palmtops, mobile phones…all with internet connectivity. (2010, p.6)Some other definitions of CMC consider it as a subject area within academia. To make this clear, Bubas (2001) defines CMC as an interdisciplinary field that analyses various phenomena that arise from the use of the internet for human communication.

Bodomo (2010),defines CMC as ” an amazingly multi- and inter-disciplinary subject area that spans fields as diverse as computer science, information technology, communication studies, linguistics , literacy, education, business, ethics, and law”(p.x). Fitzpatrick and Donnelly (2010) define CMC as ” predominantly text-based human-human interaction mediated by networked computers or mobile telephony, which includes, email, asynchronous discussion boards, blogs and wikis. Whilst many tools available to education today may be used in CMC, such as social networking, bookmarking sites, and twitter to name a few, the evolution of the technology seems to be mixed (p.4). Hence from all the definitions that are stated, CMC encompasses the application and impacts of computer and digital technologies; however, in practice CMC is usually concerned more specifically with human interpersonal communication on, through and about the internet and web. 2.2 Types of CMC Today, reaching out and communicating with someone via computer can be applied through different ways.

For instance, people can communicate with one another using an e-mail, a post on the wall, a text message, a video chat, or even send a video message. Therefore, as there are several types of Computer-mediated Communication, Baron classifies the major types of CMC depending on two important distinctions: dialogue or monologue and synchronicity (i.e.

, factor of time in which communication takes place) (Baron, 2008, pp.12-19): Figure (2.1) Types of CMC Types of Computer-mediated Communications One-to-one Dialogue Email Instant Messaging SMS One-to-many Dialogue Listserves Newsgroups Muds and Moos Chat Website Web pages Web Logs2.2.1 One-to-One Dialogue ? Email Email (“electronic mail”) is an asynchronous form of CMC, prototypically between a single sender and single recipient.

However, contemporary email systems permit multiple recipients, along with forwarding of a message one has received to third parties. ? Instant messaging Instant messaging (IM) is a synchronous form of CMC that, like email, is prototypically utilized between a single sender and a single recipient. Given the synchronous nature of the communication, IM messages tend to be quite short and even more casual than email. ? SMS The abbreviation “SMS” formally stands for “short messaging system”, though it is generally interpreted as meaning “short text messaging”. SMS is used on mobile telephones throughout much of the world, though market penetration in the United States still remains small by comparison. Messages are generally created by tapping the numbers of the phone keypad one or more times, corresponding to the letter of the Roman alphabet that is intended. Thus, for example, “U” (a common SMS abbreviation for the word “you”) would be generated on the phone?s display screen by tapping the number “8” twice rapidly in succession, since the “8” key historically also bears the letters “T”, “U”, and “V. 2.2.2 One-to-Many Dialogue ? Listservs Listservs (also sometimes known as mailing lists or distribution lists) are asynchronous, text-based communication sent by a single user to multiple email addresses. In its simplest form, a listserv provides a forum for a single individual to send a message (e.g., announcement of a meeting) to two or more recipients. Frequently, however, postings are made by multiple members of the mailing list, thereby providing an electronic forum for discussion. Today, listservs are commonlyused by professional organizations, academic classrooms, or groups sharing common interests, enabling individual members to voice opinions or raise questions. Lists may be unmoderated (postings are automatically distributed without review by anyone) or moderated (someone collects messages received over a short period of time and edits them in some way before posting – e.g., summarizing the topics, summarizing the contents of the posts, or censoring objectionable material). ? Newsgroups Newsgroups are public forums for asynchronous one-to-many dialogue that originally were designed to be accessed through USENET (a non-governmental network developed in 1979 at the University of North Carolina). Unlike listservs, which send messages directly to all users on a distribution list, newsgroups constitute postings to a common public site, which can be accessed whenever users choose to log on. The network of different newsgroups is vast. Tens of thousands of available newsgroups represent seemingly every topic imaginable, from sex to antique cars to medicine. Because newsgroups are written, publicly posted, and archived, they invite textual analysis. However, unlike listservs, newsgroups are neither moderated nor restricted in membership. As a result, the language appearing in posts can vary enormously, both in style and propriety. ? MUDs and MOOs MUDs (originally meaning Multi-User Dungeons; now commonly interpreted to mean Multi-User Dimensions) are synchronous environments in which multiple players interact with one another in a textually-created imaginary setting. Unlike newsgroups (which talk about the world that is, using asynchronous posts), MUDs allow a comparatively restricted set of users to synchronously act on situations of their own construction. Players assume pseudonyms and interact according to pre-established navigation rules for moving through a defined terrain. Unlike MUDs built on adventure themes, MOOs commonly define the virtual space of a real-world location (e.g., a university campus, a house), inviting participants to speak and act within particular zones (e.g., a room, a walkway). Contemporary MOOs are being employed in social and educational contexts. Use of non-textual material (e.g., graphics, sound) is also now appearing in MUDs and MOOs.? Chat Chat is a synchronous CMC venue for holding conversations with multiple participants. As in the case of newsgroups, participants in chat enter into a “channel” (for IRC) or “room” (for AOL), ostensibly dedicated to a particular topic. However, with chat, not only is the medium synchronous but it invites both playful and manipulative behavior. Users log on through nicknames (akin to participation in MUDs), free to camouflage their real-world personal characteristics (age, gender, background, etc.). While conversation takes place in real time, users can (as in the case of newsgroups) scroll back through the archive to respond to earlier conversations. Like listservs, newsgroups, and MUDs or MOOs, chat generates a quasi-public linguistic record that can subsequently be analyzed. However, given the nature of the conversation in chat, it is primarily linguists and Internet researchers who are interested in analyzing such text, not organizations or commercial ventures. 2.2.3 Web Sites ? Web pages Web pages (individual, institutional, or commercial) form the backbone of the World Wide Web. Such pages became possible in the early 1990s when Tim Berners-Lee introduced the notion of what came to be known as a URL (Uniform Record Locator), whereby every Web page could be located by a unique address. Today, there are billions of Web pages, with the number continuing to grow seemingly limitlessly. ? Web logs Web logs are actually Web pages that serve a restricted, though loosely defined set of functions. Initially, Web logs were designed as lists of Web sites that the blogger found to be of interest and wished to share with others (i.e., via the blogger?s own Web site). Sometimes Web logs of this genre simply provide a set of headlines that the compiler has put together (with frequent updates). Other topic-oriented Web logs offer brief news summaries or discuss contemporary topics of interest to the blogger and/or readers who have responded by email to earlier “issues” of the Web log.Use of Web logs has expanded from the link-and-commentary mode to include more personal journals or diaries. Such Web logs may be devoted to posting one?s creative writing (sometimes with requests for commentary from readers) or even quite personal revelations about one?s daily life and thoughts, perhaps complete with live video from a Web camera. Given the popularization of Web logs, it is hardly surprising that a number of software programs have appeared that enable novice users to create and maintain their own Web logs. 2.3 Communication situations A close investigation of types of CMC shows that they are classified according to life situations. In real life, some situations require more formal language than others. Thus, according to Crystal there are seven different situations that are useful to distinguish for someone interested in internet linguistics (Crystal, 2006, pp. 11-15): ? ?Electronic mail (e-mail) E-mail is today mostly referring to a message sent from one private inbox to another. The writer can send the e-mail to whatever e-mail address he wants, and only the recipient or recipients can read it. ? Chatgroups Chatgroups are discussions that take place in particular “rooms”. The chatgroups will often be organized around topics that are discussed by those present in the room. This situation can be divided into two subcategories, depending on whether the discussion is in real time (synchronous) or in postponed time (asynchronous). In a synchronous situation the user enters a room and joins a discussion between other users who are online and present in the room at that very time. In an asynchronous situation users can read posts written by others at an earlier stage, and one cannot expect an immediate response, something which is necessary in a synchronous discussion where everything written is usually lost as it is being pushed out of the screen by newer text. ? Virtual worldsA virtual world is an imaginary world where users enter the role of a fantasy character. This type of communication differs from the already mentioned situation in that the users are not talking about real topics, but the characters, events and environments of the virtual world (Crystal, 2006, p. 178) ? World Wide Web (WWW) The World Wide Web consists of all computers linked to the Internet which contain documents written in the HyperText Transfer Protocol, HTTP. A web browser is needed in order to view these documents in a readable format. ? Instant messaging Instant messaging (IM) allows for people who know each other to communicate synchronously in private. This differs from e-mails where the messaging is asynchronous and from chatgroups where the involved users may not know each other. ? ?Blogging Blog is short for weblog. A blog is a website where the owner or owners can write about whatever he or she wants. Many are personal diaries, others might write on a certain topic. If the owner enables the possibility of readers to comment, discussions may arise. One thing they all have in common is that they are unmediated. No editor is there to correct or approve the text; the owner gets the last word. These seven situations – synchronous and asynchronous chatgroups are counted as two – are not entirely mutually exclusive. One can find several of them combined, or one situation used within another (Crystal, 2006, p. 15). While the social network website Facebook is accessed through the World Wide Web, several of the other situations are available within the Facebook platform. 2.4 Modes of Computer -Mediated Communication (CMC) As previously mentioned that Computer-mediated Communication has various types included email, instant messaging, SMS, listservs, news groups, MUD and MOOs, chat, web pages, and web logs, however, these sorts can be classifiedaccording to four dimensions and distinctions: synchronicity, textuality , audience, and message transmission. 2.4.1 Synchronicity: This term refers to the time of conversation in which communication happens between communicators. According to synchronicity, Computer-mediated Communication can be categorized into two main modes: Synchronous CMC (SCMC): In synchronous CMC, communication takes place in a real-time. This means that communicators send and receive messages immediately while they are chatting the same as in spoken language. In this context, Participants in SCMC environment post typed messages which appear on the computer screen; and they can scroll back and forth to review previously sent stretches of the discourse text. SCMC discussion involves users exchanging opinions in real time format via chat rooms, instant messengers, or video conferencing. Asynchronous CMC (ASCMC): In asynchronous CMC, communication takes place in a delayed-time. This means that interaction does not need to be simultaneous as ACMC mode allows communicators more time to read, understand, reflect and respond to the posted written messages. Furthermore, it does not require participants to be online and available at the same time. They can store the incoming messages so the messages are therefore composed off-line, giving the sender the time to think while composing messages, rewrite, or revise those messages.In this regard Crystal shows that in ACMC, ” interaction are stored in some format, and are made available to users upon demand, so that they can catch up with the discussion, or add to it, at any time –even after an appreciable period has passed” (2002:11). Examples of asynchronous CMC include different forms such as World Wide Web (WWW), e-mail, web blog, newsgroups, and postings in bulletin board system. Still, this binary division is not absolute. In this regard, Baron (2008) avers that SCMC and ASCMC are not polar opposites and therefore should not be treated as a dichotomy, but rather as a continuum ranging from the highly synchronous to thehighly asynchronous. To him, synchronicity should be highly treated as attribute of the conversation, not of the medium. For example, text messages are traditionally classified as being asynchronous, one-to –one communication. Yet, one who receives a text messages can respond immediately (synchronously), or he/she can forward it to many of his/ or her acquaintances (one-to-many or many –to-many). 2.4.2 Textuality: Textuality refers to another widely-accepted classification of CMC which is whether communication is text-based or audio/video-based. In this regard, CMC can be classified into: Text-based CMC: Text –based computer-mediated communication refers to the different formats of CMC in which communication occurs through a text. This indicates that video or audio are not available and participants use text for communication. Examples of the most common text-based computer-mediated communication modes are represented in e-mail, IM, listserv, newsgroups, blogs, chat, MUDs and MOOs. Non text-based CMC: Non-text based computer-mediated communication refers to modes of CMC in which communication takes place through audio and video. Examples of non-text based CMC modes are audio and video conferencing, audio boards, and YouTube. 2.4.3 Audience: Audience refers to the number of interlocutors during communication. With respect to audience, CMC can be classified into: One-to-one: One-to-one computer-mediated communication refers to this sort of communication that is directed to an individual participant. Examples of one-to-one CMC mode include SCMC such as IM (Instant Messaging) and ASCMC such as e-mail and texting. One-to- many: One-to-many computer-mediated communication refers to this type of communication that is directed to a lot of participants. Examples of one-to-manyCMC mode include SCMC such as video/audio conferencing, MUDs, MOOs, and chat as well as ACMC such as Facebook, YouTube, newsgroups, listservs, and blogs. 2.4.4 Message Transmission: It can be classified into: One-way transmission: One-way transmission involves sending whole messages, and not as one keystroke at a time, when the addresser passes ‘send’ or ‘return’. Subsequently, the addressee responds once the complete message has been received. This includes asynchronous protocols such as e-mail, Usenet, newsgroups, listserv discussion groups, as well as synchronous such as IRC and MUDs (Multi-User Dimensions) (Georgakopoulou, 2006). Two-way Transmission: Two-way transmission system involves sending the message not as a whole so as the recipient can see and read the message letter by letter at the time of typing. This includes asynchronous types such as SMS (in case of long messages) and synchronous such as Unix ‘ talk’ and VAX ‘phone’. 2.5 Common Linguistic Features of CMC: In CMC, various linguistic features have emerged and affected the internet community. Some of these features are still very common e.g., emoticons, acronyms, capitalization, and abbreviations while other features are less-known and still limited to special group of interlocutors. Adding to that, it is not necessary that communicators use all the available features of CMC, consequently it depends on the situation or the circumstances of the chatting between the sender and the recipient as well as their relationship. This means that interaction among participants might differ from one person to another. In this regard, Greiffenstern (2010) explains that ”the choice of features of CMC depends on the person who uses CMC, on the mode of CMC, on the communicative goal, on the relationship of the interlocutors and other situational factors, e.g., time pressure”. According to Baron (2008), two linguistic features of CMC have emerged from the assumptions about the conversational nature of CMC and the inadequacy of writing toexpress conversational intent. The first feature is emoticons (also sometimes known as smileys). He shows that emoticons are constructed by combining punctuation marks (sometimes along with characters or numerals) on the computer keyboard to represent emotions or semantic nuances such as happiness, sadness, or qualification. The second linguistic features deriving from the conversational nature of CMC is the phenomenon known as flaming– that is, use of rude or profane language. Since emoticons enhance the quality of interaction, most of interlocutors use these facial expressions in order to enhance the non-verbal aspect of their online communication. As Jovanovic (2013) demonstrates, the written online communication is deprived of the body language and voice, so in order to compensate this lack, emoticons , as a computer specific genre of signs , are used to show mental and physical reaction of non-verbal communication expressed through facial expressions , eye movements and gestures. Emoticons imply the attitude or state of mind of a person. The most commonly used emoticons are those that represent happiness, sadness, laughing, winking, exciting, shouting, wondering, fear, and surprise. Table 2.1 Examples of common emoticons or smileys Available at Abbreviations and acronyms are another important feature of CMC which are using the initial letters of two or more successive words, instead of the whole word/ statement, forming a new word. According to Segerstad (2002) ” abbreviations arewritten forms of words, typically formed using initial letters, words are pronounced in full form when read out while acronyms are word forms that made up from the initial (in some cases the first two or even three) letters in a sequence of words. ” Abbreviations and acronyms had been used in the written language before the appearance of emoticons in CMC. Their common function was to save energy or space. Baron (2001) refers to their existence and the reason of their use in the medieval times: “In the case of medieval manuscripts, for example, use of abbreviations allowed additional words to be inscribed on a single page, reducing the number of animal skins needed to produce a book.” He clarifies that in the case of CMC, saving time and energy is often a motivation when writing chat, IM, or SMS messages. There are abbreviations which are distinctive to CMC and others which are not. Table 2.2 Examples of common CMC abbreviations and acronyms ASAP As soon As Possible OMG Oh My God BTW By The Way STFU Shut The *Freak* Up FYI For Your Information LMK Let Me Know FWIW For What It’s Worth ILY I Love You IMO In My Opinion IKR I Know, Right LOL Laugh Out Loud GTG Got To Go ROTFL Rolling In The Floor Laughing OFC Of Course The huge list of abbreviations and acronyms available at Abbreviation is also called clipping which means that a new word is formed by the deletion of front part, final part, or both of front and final with only the middle part left. According to Ruan 2012, there are several common types of clipping in chatting language online. 1. Front clipping: the deletion occurs at the beginning of the word. u—-you ur——your k——ok n——-in 2. Middle clipping: the deletion occurs in the middle of the word. ft: faint b/c: because r: are wat: what 3. End clipping: the deletion ocuurs at the end of the word. b: be g: gee g: grin s: smile4. Middle and end clipping: the deletion occurs in the middle and at the end of the word. Furthermore, with the increasing popularity of using acronyms, appeared a range of acronyms-synonyms which can be used at the same situations and constructed by either letters only, or by letters and numerals: cul see you later idk I don’t know cul8r see you later dk don’t know jk just kidding ta4n that’s all for now hhok ha ha only kidding tafn that’s all for now The acronyms are no longer restricted to words or short phrases, and can be sentence-length: aysos(Are you stupid or something?), cid(Consider it done), cio(Check it out), gtg(Got to go), wdys(What did you say?). Individual words can be reduced to two or three letters: pls(please), thx or tx(„thanks?), we („whatever?).Sometimes sentences restricted acronyms would be like rebuses, “in that the sound value of the letter or numeral acts as a syllable of a word, or are combinations of rebus and letter initial: b4n (Bye for now), cyl(See you later), l8r (later)” (Crystal, 2001, p. 86). Another feature of CMC is the reduced use of capitalization which is commonly used in several modes of CMC where sentences can be produced without capital letters marking the beginning of the sentences or proper names .Most of the internet is not case sensitive, which thus motivates the random use of capitals or no capitals at all. There is a strong tendency to use lower-case everywhere. The ”save a key stroke” principle is widely found in e-mail, chat groups and virtual worlds, where whole sentences can be produced without capitals or punctuation (Crystal, 2001, p. 82). Furthermore, since use of this CMC feature is a strongly marked form of communication, new uses and function of capitalization emerged in CMC. Messages wholly in capitals are considered to be ‘shouting’, and usually avoided words in capitals add extra emphasis (with asterisks and spacing also) (Crystal, 2001, p. 87).Absent punctuation or even the unusual use of punctuation marks is also distinctive in CMC. Punctuation in CMC widely differs from person to person. Some internet users may not use punctuation at all while the others are adherent to the correct use of punctuation as well as others deliberately use extensive punctuation. Crystal highlights that this depends on personality: some e-mailers are scrupulous about remaining the traditional punctuation; others use it when they have to in order to avoid ambiguity; others don?t use it at all, either as a result of typing speed, or through not realizing that ambiguity can be one of the consequences (2001). The punctuation in CMC plays a vital role in conveying the conversational sense: “exclamation points are used more often in e-mail than in other kinds of writing; tailing dots signal that more is coming or at least that the topic is still open, dashes represent that less clearly defined-sentence endings that are often the norm in conversation, parentheses enclose conversational aside”(Maynor, 1994, p. 50). In CMC, there is a strong tendency to unusual combination of punctuation marks such as repeated comas (,,,,,,,,), repeated dots(……..),or even overuse of exclamation marks. As Crystal states that some odd combinations of punctuation can appear at the end of a sentence: Is this true of Yahoo!?(where exclamation mark is a part of the name) (2001). Non-standard spellings and sometimes the phonetic spellings, which reflect pronunciation, can indicate the manner of saying the massage and at the same time it can give the message in CMC a spoken tone: E-style, however, is more direct-closer to the methods used in speech. As for the implied spelling, obviously phonetic spelling is more like speech. Since ”night” has three phonemes, why brother with five letters? And since people say ”gotta” and ”gonna”, why not represent that pronunciation in e-mail? ”Hmmm” is often spelled out in e-mail to indicate thinking in progress, as a substitute for ”spoken ”hmmm” or a gesture like scratching the head. Some of these features are not unique to e-style, of course. They are sometimes used in chatting tabloids or informal letters. (Maynor, 1994, p. 50). Regarding the features of CMC, it can be said that they are not recently discovered as they are often described. Their frequency and their combination may be new but their creation often follows already existing patterns. (Greiffenstern, 2010).2.6 CMC between Spoken and Written Language Nowadays communications has become much easier than before as a result of the rapid growing of the internet. Computer-mediated communication can be seen in our daily businesses and this can be happened between persons while they communicating with each other without even typing a single word. This fact raises the question whether language used while chatting on CMC is spoken or written language. Before going deeper into the previous question, it can be beneficial to give some definitions of spoken and written language. Reviewing literature , Vachek ( 1976) provided two different definitions: The spoken norm of language is a system of phonically manifestable language elements whose function is to react to a given stimulus (which, as a rule, is an urgent one) in a dynamic way, i.e., in a ready and immediate manner, duly expressing not only the purely communicative but also the emotional aspect of the approach of the reacting language user. The written norm of language is a system of graphically manifestable language elements whose function is to react to a given stimulus (which, as a rule, is not an urgent one), in a static way, i.e., in a preservable and easily surveyable manner, concentrating particularly on the purely communicative aspect of the approach of the reacting language user (p.414). Allwood (2000) defined spoken interaction as means of communication that is multimodal, speaker use several channels to send information through. Both acoustical and optical signals can be utilized. Writing in contrast as cited in Segerstad (2002) is, by nature a monomodal mode of communication, communicators send information through a single channel, or medium (p.43). Crystal (2001) gives a more refined definition of speech and writing: “speech is time-bound, dynamic, transient. It is a part of an interaction in which both participants are usually present. There is no time-lag between production and reception, while writing is space-bound, static, permanent. It is the result of the situation in which thewriter is usually distant from the reader, and often does not know who the reader is going to be. There is always a time –lag between production and reception “. Comparing spoken and written language, most of linguists agreed that there are no straightforward differences between both. (Halliday, 1985) clarifies that “both are manifestation of the same system. ”The two are both language; and language is more important than either. It is a mistake to become too much obsessed with the medium.” In this respect, Halliday explains that spoken language is as highly organized as written. (Cook ,1997) argues the general differences between both can be found in the actual physical medium, the memory system, and the function for which they are used. The differences are not clear-cut and they are overall brilliant in the way of expression such as produced sound and optical signs. However, in comparing spoken and written languages, there are obvious differences as (Baron,2010) points out that “writing tends to consist of longer sentences and is more structurally complex than speech, while speech contains more one-word sentences, a narrower lexicon and more slang , to mention some” (p.47). As a matter of fact , one has to keep in mind that writing is an academic and formal language which has ” a larger proportion of nominalizations , genitive subjects and objects ,participles , attributive adjectives , conjoined phrases , series , sequences of prepositional phrases , complement clauses , and relative clauses” ( Chafe,1982 :p.44). According to (Greiffenstern, 2010), written language is more formal , academic , planned , and associated with the language of books while oral language is often used for other purposes than writing , for example interpersonal communication that demands face-to-face conversations acre a neighborhood yard , a proposal of marriage , a board meeting , a prayer meeting , a medical report to a patient , or a legal proceeding . This fact appears clearly in the “greater amount of time available in writing, and that the speakers are less likely to use them because of the faster pace of spoken language” (Chafe, 1982: P.45). Consequently, the factor of time is an essential part of conversation which includes two participants speaker and listener. In this context, Segerstad (2002) asserts that spoken interaction is constrained by the pressure of time: the speaker must produce his or her utterances quickly and readily and the listenermust respond just as rapidly, under the pressure of the emotive and social atmosphere of face-to face communication (p. 41). In an informal society like Facebook chatting between friend or colleagues, the relation of CMC with speech and writing language has attracted attention of linguistics in several studies. In his study, (Georgakopoulou, 2006) recognized CMC as combining qualities that are typically associated with face-to face interaction and with written language. Face-to-face interaction, in his view, represents immediacy and informality of style, transience of message, reduced planning and editing, rapid feedback while properties of written language are represented in the lack of visual and paralinguistic cues, physical absence of the addressee, written mode of delivery, etc. This means that CMC shows features that are found in both spoken and written language. In another study, (Greiffenstern, 2010) argues that the situation in which CMC is produced differ from those of written and spoken communication. It depends on the communicative situation to decide the appropriate mode of communication i.e. when interlocutors are at the same place at the same time; speech is the appropriate way of communication while in written communication these visual clues have to be replaced by something else. She summarizes that CMC is produced in a number of situations and it cannot be assigned to one of the two categories. (Baron ,1984) explains “since writing itself is increasingly affected by speeches we should not be surprised to find spoken language conventions imposing themselves as well on computer mediated communication “. To sum this up, (Baron, 2003) asserts that CMC incorporates features form both traditional writing and face-to-face interaction rather than being a simple amalgam of the two. Now, it becomes brilliant that CMC is a hybrid register which make use of both spoken and written language not only one of the two categories. It is a new variety of communication which combines characteristics of several kinds of communication.2.7 Computer-Mediated Discourse Analysis: Reviewing literature about ‘Discourse’ and ‘Discourse Analysis’, it can be realized that ‘Discourse’ is a mysterious term to be explained and that both have different meanings to scholars in different fields. According to Wikipedia, the term discourse which indicates written and spoken communication; ‘is a conceptualization of conversation within each modality and context of communication’. In a similar vein, Oxforddictionary provides a homogeneous meaning that discourse ‘represents a connected series of utterances; a text and conversation’. In definition of discourse, Schiffrin (2001) observes that there are three main categories of discourse definition: ‘(1) anything beyond the sentence, (2) language use, and (3) a broader range of social practice that includes nonlinguistic and nonspecific instances of language’ (p.1). To sum this up, Foucault (2000) presents probably the most often used definition. He defines discourse as,’ not just a language of individual communication (regarding it as a sample), but the larger system of thought within a particular historical location that make certain things thinkable and sayble, and regulating who can say them. In his view, discourse is a kind of larger themes, ideas, images, and understanding that precede any actual language use. In fact, discourse is not only a matter of language, but it is also about the person who speaks it, this is because, through discourse one is able to identify the social class, gender, ideology and ethnicity of the speaker. This is in accordance with Nagm (2015) who cogently argues that: ‘discourse is a two-way process, an interactive phenomenon, and a verbal combat, some type of verbal struggle’. In his research, he regards discourse as ‘a dyadic interactive process between two interlocutors’. As mentioned above, discourse is language beyond the sentence. Consequently, (Tannen, 2010) points out that Discourse analysis is defined as the analysis of language ‘beyond the sentence’. This contrasts with types of analysis more typical of modern linguistics, which are chiefly concerned with the study of grammar: the study of smaller bits of language, such as sounds (phonetics and phonology), parts of words (morphology), meaning (semantics), and the order of words in sentences (syntax). Discourse analysts study larger chunks of language as they flow together. According to Al Tohami (2012) discourse analysis is’ a broad and complex interdisciplinary field including diverse theoretical and methodological approaches allof which shares a commitment to studying language in context. It studies practices of producing knowledge and meaning in concrete context’. That is, language is no longer shaped by human being; it is shaped by digits and software. Since discourse analysis has been described as an interdisciplinary study of discourse within linguistics, this reveals the fact that the used theoretical perspectives and approaches in discourse analysis include applied linguistics, conversation analysis, pragmatics, rhetoric, stylistics, and text linguistics. In this concern, Kunc (2008) refers that ‘discourse analysis encompasses all the areas of linguistics discipline such as phonetics, phonology, lexicology, syntax, grammar, and pragmatics’ (p.8). With the speed growth of internet and technologies, new internet linguistics emerged, thereby enlarging the field of discourse and producing what is now known by computer-mediated discourse (CMD). “The communication produced when human beings interact with one another by transmitting message via networked computers henceforth, it is a specialization within the broader interdisciplinary study of computer-mediated communication (CMC), distinguished by its focus on language use in computer networked environments, and by its use of methods of discourse analysis to address that focus”(Herring, 2001: 612). Most of the research work conducted on CMD generally agreed that it carries features of spoken and written language or even as a blend of speaking and writing, “writing that reads like conversation” (Davis & Brewer 1996, cited in Al Tohami, 2012). Furthermore, Herring (2001) regards CMD as a distinct type of discourse since: “CMD exchanges are typically faster than written exchanges (e.g. of letters, or published essays which respond to one another), yet still significantly slower than spoken exchanges, since even in so-called “real-time” modes, typing is slower than speaking ?? (p.613). Moreover, on account of its modernity and vagueness, the term CMD used in a variety of names that carry similar meaning. Terms such as “Netspeak” , “Netlish” , “Weblish” , “Internet language” , “Cyberspeak” , “electronic discourse” , “electronic language” , “Interactive written discourse” , “written speech” , “wired style” , “Language of geeks” (Crystal, 2001) , and “linguistic centaur” (Baron,2003) are all used as synonyms for CMD. Using the term “Netspeak” to refer to CMD, Sabec (2007) defines Netspeak as a kind of lingua franca: “Netspeak has very specific requirements that have to doprimarily with speed, efficiency and interactive nature of communication …it has adjusted to these demands both in terms of form and function and has, as a consequence, become a kind of lingua franca for internet users across the globe” (p.2). Regarding CMD as a „Cyberlanguage? , Christopherson (2010) defines CL as the conversational language resulting from the use of online modes such as chat, instant messages, text messaging games , forums, etc. , which is characterized by transmitting standard English into abbreviated form or into a few simple keystrokes carrying the same meaning (Christopherson , 2010:2, cited in Al Tohami, 2012) . Online communication massively occurs by means of discourse. That is, communicators interact by means of verbal language, usually typed on a keyboard and read as a text on a computer screen. Furthermore, due to the rapid spread and vast use of CMD, a new type of discourse analysis emerged expanding the field of discourse which is CMDA. According to Herring (2004) “CMDA can be defined as the identification of patterns of structure and meaning in language use….what defines CMDA at its core is the analysis of logs of verbal interaction (characters, words, utterances, messages, exchanges, threads, archives, etc.)”(p.339) . In this regard, she mentions three theoretical assumptions underlying CMDA. The first assumption is that discourse analysis exhibits recurrent patterns which may be produced consciously or unconsciously. The second assumption is that discourse analysis involves speaker’s choice which can provide insight into non-linguistic as well as linguistic phenomena. The third assumption is that CMD may be shaped by the technological features of CMC modes. Moreover, Herring (2004) clarifies that analytical methods in CMDA are taken from discourse analysis and other related patterns of language, adapted to address the proprieties of CMC and consequently any language-related method could be adapted. Hence, the present study uses an adapted version of Hard af Segerstad’s (2002) taxonomy of in the analysis of linguistic features of electronic discourse and type of English used when chatting on facebook especially among Egyptian students. (see table 2.1).Table 2.7: Linguistic Features Characteristic of CMC, Hård af Segerstad (2002: pp.234-235) Category Feature 1. Space, case, punctuation and spelling i. Space a. Omitting blank space between words b. Omitting punctuation c. Unconventional punctuation ii. Case a. All lower-case b. All capitals c. Mix of lower-case and capitals iii. Spelling and punctuation a. Unconventional, spoken-like spelling b. Typos c. Repetition of letters d. Repetition of words e. Consonant writing 2. Grammatical features i. Reduced sentences a. Subject pronoun b. Verb phrase c. Exchange long words for shorter ii. Word order a. Inspiration from other languages than English (word order, prepositions 3. Logotypes i. ASCII characters a. Emoticons b. Asterisks c. Symbols replacing word d. Addressivity marker 4. Lexical features and abbreviations i. Lexical features a. Colloquial lexicon (dialect, expletives) b. Code switching c. OCM features from spoken language ii. Abbreviations a. Conventional abbreviations b. Unconventional abbreviationsThe vast usage of social network sites particularly amongst adults and teenagers urges linguistics to realize how the internet might shape our language and how different varieties of language are used on the internet. In this concern, Hard af Segerstad (2002) explains that there are three “variables conditioning language in CMC: synchronicity, means of expression and situation”. That is, language uses change in regard to these three variables. With respect to synchronicity, the production and perception in IM is distributed in space and no time pressure. Regarding means of expression, she clarifies that IM is dialogical – two way – and interactive. Concerning the third variable situation, Hard af Segerstad refers that IM occurs between friends dependent on shared background.Chapter 3 Data Analysis and Results 3.1 Space, case, punctuation and spelling: 3.1.1 Omitting Blank Space between Words In this section, Examples regarding the omission of blank space between words are explained and discussed. Obviously, omitting blank space refers to words that are written together without spaces separating them. In the analysis of Facebook chatting (posts and comments), the following examples were found. 1. NN nothing to lose Goodluck {=There is nothing to lose. Good luck!} 2. NN Ofcourse it’s a huge burden on you {=Of course, it’s a huge burden on you.} 3. NN hope everyone’s doing alright { I hope everyone is doing all right .} 4. NN Whatthefuck {What the fuck.} 5. NN You’re more than welcome at anytime to inbox as Id love to talk to you xx {=You are welcome at any time to inbox as I would love to talk to you.} 6. NN Haha still remember how mindfucked I was on my birthday. Good job bro {=you still remember how mind fucked I was on my birthday! Good job brother!} In the previous examples, words such as ofcourse, Goodluck ,Whatthefuck, anytime ,and mindfucked, are written without leaving any space to separate them because the writer is in a hurry and wants to save time. In view of synchronicity, Hård af Segerstad makes clear that the production and perception in web chat is distributed in space and time pressure (2002 :). Accordingly, the omission of blank space is probably a consequence of space and time pressure in Facebook chat. Segerstad (2002 p: 216) says: “by omitting space between words the user saveskeystrokes as well as time and effort. Because Facebook is fast-paced, massages must be written quickly in order not to miss to reply to a post or annoy others with a long wait. Therefore, to keep up with the fast pace of Facebook, the blank space between words is sometimes omitted to save time and space. 3.1.2 Omitting Punctuation The omission of punctuation refers to the fact that punctuation in the form of full stop, exclamation marks, question marks etc. is missing altogether. Regarding the lack of punctuation, the following examples were found in the analysis of the chat transcripts: 1. NN Is it me or does this pic really looks old… like the 90s or 80s.. {Is this me? Or does this picture really look old like the 90s or 80s?} 2. NN it was the best day in my life {It was the best day in my life.} 3. NN What a day {What a day!} 4. NN ah it was amazing bas not for someone sick alf salamah 3alieky {ah ! it was amazing, but not for someone sick.} 5. NN Good old days {Good old days!} 6. NN Well yes it is smile {Well. Yes, it is a smile.} As illustrated in the sample above, those sentences sent by different persons do not have a single punctuation at all. The “save keystroke” principle is the major reason for most Facebook chatters to omit punctuations in their messages, especially when it will save more than one keystroke (such as: two keystrokes are needed when typing question marks).Crystal highlights that “punctuation tends to be minimalist in most situations, and completely absent in some e-mail and chat exchanges”(2001p:89). Therefore, the omission of punctuation is just a time saving stroking method. It does not convey any extra meaning to the other chatters, so it isnot expressive. However, the lack of punctuation sometimes leads to increased waiting time due to ambiguous utterances. 3.1.3 Unconventional Punctuation The original function of punctuation is to help readers make clear understanding of the structure and meaning of a sentence. The term “unconventional punctuation” refers to the fact that punctuation marks are used in an irregular and alternative way; for example, overuse of punctuation marks as well as a mixture of punctuation marks following one another. Regarding the deviant use of punctuation marks, these examples, for instance, were found in the chatting conversations. 1. NN those hwo have less , give more !!!!! …… ?{Those who have less, give more.} 2. NN Think outside the BOX !!!! :))))){ Think outside the box.} 3. NN Are u gonna hit a car with a Bugatti to make it stop ???!!!{Are you going to hit a car with a Bugatti to make it stop?} 4. NN Oh im so happy for you!!! {Oh! I’m so happy for you.} 5. NN iv gone through a deep depression phase where I have attempted suicide…{ I have gone through a deep depression phase where I have attempted suicide. } 6. NN go there….i know u doubt u’ll find help there.. but who knows??{Go there, I know you doubt, you will find help there, but who does know?} Considering the above sample, the use of this type of irregular punctuation is one of the remarkable characteristics of Facebook chatting. The Facebook chatters resort to unusual combination of punctuation marks, such as ellipsis dots (….) to express pause or repeated use of exclamation marks or question marks to explain emphasis and attitude. In (1), (2) and (4) above, there is an example of exaggerated use of punctuation as to indicate emphasis. In (3), the mixture of several questionmarks and exclamation marks also signifies emphasis the same way in (1). In (5) and (6), the repeated use of full stops expresses a pause as in spoken interaction. As Crystal explains “lacks the facial expressions, gestures, and conventions of body posture and distance which are so critical in expressing opinions and attitude and in moderating social relationships,” (2001p: 36) . So the adoption of repeated punctuation marks for expressing emotions are giving fresh semantic value to the chatting talks and lead to the introduction of emoticons or smileys. 3.1.4 All Lower-case In this part, examples related to the use of all lower-case are illustrated and discussed. The term “all lower- case” means that sentences are written in small letters without any capitalization from the beginning until end. In light of this usage of non-capitalized letters, the following examples were found in the analysis of conversations. 1. NN best of lk ya magico is it on tv ? {Best of luck, magico. Is it on T.V?} 2. NN go there….i know u doubt u’ll find help there..{Go there; I know you doubt, you will find help there.} 3. NN i don’t know who you are, but i want to give you a hug. Can you message me so i can hug you on sunday ? {I don’t know who you are, but I want to give you a hug, Can you message me so I can hug you on Sunday?} 4. NN can you smell my swag? {Can you smell my swag?} 5. NN it was the best day in my life {It was the best day in my life.} By observing messages of participants, it is not difficult to find out some professional users showing a better use of capitalization while in other more messages it is a common phenomenon that capitalization is ignored. As Crystal clarifies that “Most of the Internet is not case-sensitive, which thus motivates the random use of capitals or no capitals at all” (2001p: 87). As participants try to send messages as quickly as possible, it is considered a waste of time to press a “CapsLock” or “Shift” key to type a capital letter. Therefore, the “save a keystroke” principle is a major reason for the frequent use of lower-case. 3.1.5 All Capitals In this part, examples related to the use of all capitals are illustrated and discussed. The term “All Capitals” refers to the fact that sentences are fully written by using uppercase while lowercase is ignored. In terms of the use of uppercase only, the coming instances were found in the analysis of Facebook chatting. 1. NN SO to all the freshman out there: TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR GPA, YOU WILL NEED IT ONE DAY” {So, to all freshman out there: take good care of your GPA, you will need it one day.} 2. NN the idea of counseling is very beneficial IF YOU ARE SERIOUSLY WILLING TO HELP URSELF {The idea of counseling is very beneficial if you are seriously willing to help yourself.} 3. NN “. HIGH FASHION YA GAMA3A. FOU2OU BA2A. WE HAVE TO CHANGE. {Oh people, high fashion. Let’s focus, we have to change. } 4. NN Ayman Tarek BIG HUG { Big hug } As for the use of entirely capitalized sentences, Crystal signifies that “Message wholly in capitals are considered to be ‘shouting’, and usually avoided; words in capitals add extra emphasis ” (2001p:87). In Facebook chatting the use of capitalized words or entire capital sentence is the common way of marking emphatic stress or increased volume. In (1) above, for example, the powerful feelings are expressed by shouting IN CAPITAL: TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR GPA, YOU WILL NEED IT ONE DAY. In example (2), the chatter wants to stress the meaning of what he/she is saying by using letters in uppercase to emphasis his/her meaning. In (3), In order to catch others? attention, the chatter unusually uses words in capitalized form. It gives us a feeling that she/he is trying to speak loud in a quite “noisy” room. Therefore, as noticed in messages, the use of all capital is considered to be shouting or emphasis.3.1.6 Mix of Lower-case and Capitals In this section, examples with regard to the mixture of lower-case and capitals are illustrated and discussed. The term “mix of lower-case and capitals” refers to an irregular way of writing in which internet users use both capital and small letters in one word only. Examples written in this way were found in the following messages of the internet users. 1. NN Be Yourself, Everybody Else Has Been Taken !! {Be yourself because everybody has been taken.} 2. NN I Wish You All the Best of Everything Beautiful in this World {I wish you all the best of everything beautiful in this world .} 3. NN God Bless You!!!! Have a Wonderful Day {God bless you! have a wonderful day.} 4. NN We Will not liVe AS slaVeS … {We will not live as slaves.} 5. >[email protected] 7 6 9 D H t H ' D Will Be The WorsT in mY liFe … {This Valentine Day will be the worst in my life.} From the above, writing in an unconventional as well as irregular way, by using mix of lowercase and uppercase, is a common way in FB chats which indicates that new functions of capitalization emerged in CMC. Crystal refers that ” another distinctive feature of internet graphology is the way two capitals are used – one initial, one medial- a phenomenon variously called bicapitalization (BiCaps) ,intercaps, incaps, and midcaps” (2001p:87). Moreover, he adds: “some style guides inveigh against this practice but it is widespread”. In (1), (2), and (3), the chatters use a non-standard way of capitalization where they capitalize the initial of every word in the sentence to attract the attention of recipient and emphasis the meaning. In (4) and (5), there was also a tendency to combine capitals and lowercase. Bieswanger explains “word-internal capitalization a strategy used for emphasis in CMC but often considered undesirable “shouting” (2013p:473).3.1.7 Unconventional, spoken-like spelling ”Unconventional and spoken-like spelling” refers to the written form of words as it sounds and reflects the way we talk. In light of this, Messages related to this type, for example, were found in the analysis: 1. NN Are u gonna hit a car with a Bugatti to make it stop ???!!! {Are you going to hit a Bugatti to make it stop?} 2. NN Good luck Amrr!! im sure itll be a walk through the park.{ Good luck Amr ! I’m sure it will be a walk through the park.} 3. NN um here 3la fkra ur not alone… um trying as much as i can pray for me pleaase (I’m here, by the way you are not alone , I’m tr g Ds muF Ds , FD …) 4. NN I just wanna make it clear also that millions of ppl suffer from this problem {I just want to make it clear that millions of people suffer from this problem.} 5. NN When are you gonna be in Riyadh? {When are going to be in Riyadh?} 6. NN really ? Yeah ive seen the new “pokemons”. Lol your loyal { Yeah , I have seen the new pokemons } luv it hope u r doing well {Oh! I love it . 7. NN Oh! I Hope you are doing well.} Regarding the above examples, many English students’ chatters in Egypt tend to use informal ”phonetic” spelling in order to save time and effort because one does not have to be as careful in spoken as in writing as Segerstad clarifies ” in many cases unconventional spelling, or spelling which imitates the phonetic value of speech, saves keystrokes and time and effort” (2005p:43). In (1), (2), (4), (5) and (6) above, for instance, there is a tendency to save time and effort because it is faster to write (gonna, im, itll, wanna, and ive) than (going to, I am, it will, want to, and I have). Sometimes, though, this sort of unconventional phonetic spelling results in nearly the same number of keystrokes as well as in even more effort spent. In (3)and (7) above, for example, the words um and luv did not save keystrokes, but rendered the words a spoken-like feel. Consequently, the use of unconventional spoken- like spelling sometimes “proves that the economy principle is not absolute and that what is considered rational behavior is instrumental, it is rational for the purpose it serves” (ef Allwood, 2000). Accordingly, this also helps brings friendly tone to the message. 3.1.8 Typos In this section, examples related to this style of typos are discussed. “Typos” is a common way of misspelling and writing words wrongly as a consequence of speed as well as hurry in writing. In light of this, messages regarding misspelled words in the Facebook chat were found in the analysis: 1. NN Ur fone contacts. Once we install the fb app and we agree on the boaring notice. It sync all our fone contacts with fb.{your phone contacts! Once we install the Facebook application and agree on the boring notice, it syncs all our phone contacts with the Facebook.} 2. NN those hwo have less , give more !!!!! …… { Those who have less , give more } 3. NN I’m sure it could ve been if I did not get out of the place by a mircale { I ‘m sure it could have been if did not get out of the palace by a miracle } 4. NN hope everyone’s doing alright {I hope everyone is doing all right.} 5. NN what will you people feel/do if your were physically/emotionaly/verbaly abused all your lives..{What will you feel/do if you were physically, emotionally or verbally abuse all your lives?} Regarding the above messages, it is most probable that misspelling words are a result of accidental keystrokes because the writers are in a hurry and they areunwilling to correct them and gradually they are accepted by more and more people. (ZHU Kui, 2013) underscores that ”misspelling is common and cannot only save time but also make the language humorous”. Additionally, most messages are written fast and often with no concern regarding spelling in order to make the language much easier. Accordingly, ”this way has two benefits: one is for rapid typing; the other is for humorous and interesting style” (ZHU Kui, 2013). 3.1.9 Repetition of letters In this section, examples with regard to the repetition of letters are illustrated and discussed. The successive repetition of letters in the same word actually refers to the fact that letters occur more than twice in a row. In light of this, examples related to this type, for example, were found in the analysis: 1. NN Before the accounting exam………… theeeeeees…… new glasses {before the accounting exam , these are my new glasses.} 2. NN Yalla let’s gooo!!! {Let’s go.} 3. NN Sammmmyyy I was Hereeee and its my choice ? u kw {Samy, I was here and it’s my choice you know.} 4. NN I’ll say congrats duuuuuude! {I will say congratulations, dude.} 5. NN ” never settle for less ” …. few words with a biiiiiiiiiig meaning {“never settle for less ” few words with a big meaning .} 6. NN damnn girrrrrrl. { damn girl } 7. NN goooood luck { Good luck .} 8. NN i knowww w still envy u {I know we still envy you.} 9. NN I Love Youuu Awiii ?{ {I love you so much.} 10. NN Focus focus focuss bleeeeez come to meeee nawwwww {Focus, please come to me now.} 11. NN I can see youuuuuuu {I can see you.} 12. NN Thankss Marwan Dbg,thats soo sweet of you!hope”The messages written by users in Facebook usually contain very casual language. It is frequent to find words with repeated letters” (Alvaro, Martín, Carro, 2014). Clearly, the chatters resort to reduplicate the letter in order to compensate the lack of intonation and paralinguistic cues that interactive written discourse imposes on its users. For instance, in the above examples (1), (2), (3) and (4), the letters were reduplicated to reflect the intonation of spoken language. However, in (5), (6), (7), (8), and (9), the letters were repeated to indicate emphasis. In spite of the fact that examples (1), (2), (3) and (4) also indicate emphasis, it is a particular evident in the examples (5), (6), (7), (8), and (9). Consequently, when the chatter repeats a letter of a word, it serves to stress the meaning of this particular word and to show the chatter’s attitude at the same time. 3.1.10 Repetition of words In this section, examples related to the repetition of words are illustrated and discussed. The repetition of words refers to the fact that an individual word may be reduplicated for more than once. In light of this, the examples that follow were, for instance, found in the analysis of the conversations transcripts: 1) NN Glory Glory Man United !!!! { Glory man united } 2) NN Focus focus focuss bleeeeez come to meeee nawwwww ? {Focus, please come to me now.} From the above examples, it is most probable that the Facebook users may repeat the single and the same word several times in a row to express their attitude and emphasis the meaning. With this way of repletion, repetition of words, like repetition of letters, indicates emphasis. It is also common in the spoken language that repetition of saying the same word refers to emphasis. Consequently, for emphasis of meaning and conveyance of attitude, an individual word may be repeated more than once.3.1.11 Consonant writing In this part, the examples regarding the consonant writing are illustrated and discussed. The term “consonant writing” refers to the fact that words are written with consonants only and without vowels .With regard to this usage, the following examples were found in the Facebook conversation: 1. NN millions of ppl suffer from this problem {millions of people suffer from this problem.} 2. NN Pls don’t kick me out :(((((( {Please don’t kick me out.} 3. NN booking is open now and pls hurry up cos our places r limited {Booking is open now and hurry up because places are limited.} 4. NN Mohammed Abdulsalam gd luck { good luck } 5. NN best of lk ya magico is it on tv ? {Best of luck, magico! Is it on T.V?} As for consonant writing, Herring and Danet explain that “the Phoenician alphabet, which is the common origin of all alphabets, was exclusively consonantal, as are the Hebrew and Arabic alphabets. It has been demonstrated that a short text written in French or English deprived of vowels can be read rather easily “(2007, pp: 101-102). Moreover, they underscores: “in the English written word has a heavy consonantal framework. In English CMC corpora, on finds pls for “please” and ppl for “people” (ibid). In linguistics, elision or deletion is the omission of one or more sounds such as vowel, a consonant or whole syllable in a word or phrase and sometimes sounds are elided to make a word easier to pronounce. Accordingly, English chatters in Egypt use the vowel- deletion technique in order to save time and space in typing. For example in (1), (2), (3), and (4) above, it is easier and more timesaving to write ppl than people , pls than please, cos than because, gd than good and finally, lk than luck. Therefore, by avoiding consonant letters the “save the keystroke principle is in use, resulting in increased time saving.Table 3.1 Illustration of Space, case, punctuation and spelling: Electronic Feature Facebook English Form Standard Form Space Goodluck Good luck Mindfucked Mind fucked Ofcourse Of course watthefuck What the fuck Case TAKE GOOD CARE OF YOUR GPA take good care of your GPA We Will not liVe AS slaVeS We will not live as slaves i can hug you on sunday I can hug you on Sunday Punctuation What a day What a day! Good old days Good old days! Well yes it is smile Well. Yes, it is a smile. !!!!! ! …… . ???!!! ? ?? ? Spelling Gonna Going to Wanna Want to Gotta Got to Luv Love um I am 3.2 Grammatical features: 3.2.1 Subject pronoun In this section, examples with regard to reduced sentences in the form of subject/pronoun are illustrated and discussed. A reduced sentence refers to the deletion of the subject or a pronoun in a sentence. As for this type of omission, these examples were found in the analysis:1. NN Didn’t know u can sing ;_; and that u were with Joe Joe and Eissa in the thing they went to lol XD (I didn’t know) 2. NN Just saw this thank you brother (I just saw) 3. NN Miss u bro { I miss you, brother} 4. NN Didn’t know you can sing {I did not know } In terms of the subject being omitted in a sentence, Farfeleder (2000) highlights that “the omission is a common phenomenon of web-chat English in which the omission of subject is a vivid characteristic. Furthermore, it is brilliant that online English, unlike our traditional English, pays more attention to time-saving. Without the subject, the sentence meaning is still complete and can be understood by each other. As seen in examples (1), (2), (3), and (4) above, for instance, the subject pronoun “I” is omitted. However, the sentence meaning is still unchanged. Accordingly, it is obvious that on the premise of time-saving principle, every strategy can be adopted to reduce the complexity in the conversation if it is necessary. 3.2.2 Verb phrase In this section, examples with regard to reduced sentences in the form of verb phrases are illustrated and discussed. A sentence reduced in this way refers to the deletion of the verb phrase in a sentence. In light of this, the examples that follow were, for instance, found in the analysis of the conversations: 1. NN.. it happens?!!! … well that’s a SHAME .. enjoy the pic!(does do this happen?) With reference to the omission of verb phrase in Facebook chatting, like the omission of subject/ pronoun, it is most likely a result of fast writing. Consequently, Facebook users tend to reduce sentence by omitting verb phrase in order to save time. Moreover, a reduced sentence in terms of verb phrase is understandable and themeaning is clear. Hence, the omission of verb phrase in online conversation, like the omission of subject/phrase, is a consequence of ‘save keystroke’ principle. 3.2.3 Exchange long words for shorter In this section, examples related to the use of short words instead of longer words are illustrated and fact, the exchange of long words for shorter refers to using short word with the same meaning as longer words in online chatting. Examples regarding this type of exchanging words were found in the analysis: 1. NN Fatma am so glad ( delighted….)that the words I wrote u manage to still be in ur heart… May u find so much happiness within ur life journey 2. NN thats too bad, i cant imagine {That’s extremely bad} In terms of exchanging long words for shorter ones, the FB chatters reflects their own choice of words in their writing. The short words used instead of longer ones are not that much shorter than their longer equivalent and thus do not take much time to save. Thus, this exchange of words does not save time of writing but depends on the choice of the participants. Moreover, the words that are used instead of longer equivalent are more colloquial which is more convenient to the nature of online chatting. 3.2.4 Inspiration from other languages than English (word order, prepositions) In this section, examples related to inspiration from other languages than English are illustrated and discussed. Inspiration from other languages than English in terms of word order or prepositions refers to the assumption that a person’s choice of certain word order or preposition is influenced by other languages than English.When it comes to the inspiration from languages other than English these examples were found in the conversations: 1. NN But it’s really striking me how every thing is going bel 7obb if you know what I mean!” 2. NN wtf were do u guys even find trash? maybe auntie anne’s aw food court but thts it 3. NN ah it was amazing bas not for someone sick, alf salamah 3alieky When it comes to obtaining inspiration from other languages than English on FB, it becomes apparent from the examples above that Facebook is an attractive medium for communication that catches the attention of people from most parts of world. The examples above could, for instance, be inspiration from Arabic word order as well as preposition. 3.3 Logotypes 3.3.1 Emoticons In this section, examples regarding the use of emoticons are illustrated and discussed. The term ’emoticon’ refers to the representation of facial expressions. It is most likely a blend of the nouns ’emotions’ and ‘icons’, and it is used to convey the sender’s feeling or intended tone. In relation to this, these examples were found in the conversations of Facebook: 1. NN Sending you millions of smiles ! ??? {smile} take one each morning, because i want to see you smiling always ? {heart}Have a blessed day sweetie ? Good Morning sweetheart ? ? ? Safaa Moussa{heart, kiss } 2. NN Hello Dina Sweetie Great to hear from you darling I Wish You All the Best of Everything Beautiful in this World{smile,heart} God Bless You!!!! Have a Wonderful Day .. xoxoxo {smile, heart} 3. NN Miss you more than you can imagine Gros Bisous xoxoxoxoxoxox {heart} 4. NN will hehehehehe .. we are already living as Slaves {tongue} 5. NN Glory Glory Man United !!!! {tongue, devil} 6. NN LoL you are doing great in the champions league this year {wink} 7. NN you have been doing great in the last 8 years as well {grin} 8. NN Best safety enforcement EVER ? {grin} 9. NN She didn’t message me 10. NN howa fein el counseling center dah? {gasp} 11. NN Focus focus focuss bleeeeez come to meeee nawwww{cry} With regard to the use of emoticons in Facebook chat, Park explains that ”emoticons are graphical representations of interpersonal and emotional features expressed through gesture and facial expression in face-to-face setting, in the online setting” (2007:151). Since it is impossible to express feeling and emotions in a textual online conversation, emoticons have been used to compensate for the facial and other non-verbal communication. ”CMC users are presented with a range of emoticons to compensate for the loss of non-verbal cues” (Crystal, 2001). Moreover, emoticons give visual representations of what the speaker is feeling. Thus, if the speaker is happy a smiley face () is used to show it without ambiguity. In addition there is a large „bank? of emoticons, which makes it a very convenient means of expression. For instance, in (1) above, the graphical expression () and () indicates smile and love corresponding to the writer’s facial expression andfeeling. In (6) above, the graphical expression () signals the writer’s thinking or facial expression, whereas in (4) the graphical expression () illustrating an outstretched tongue, indicates that the writer is exasperating. Therefore, emoticons are often used to alert a responder to the tenor or temper of a statement and can change and improve interpretation of plain text. The emoticons expressing positive feelings such as the big grin, the wink, the smile, the angel, the kiss and the heart are used in the data collected to express a friendly tone. The emoticons expressing negative feelings such as sad, grumpy, upset, cry, confused and devil are used in interesting ways by the participants to denote the stress and frustration. Consequently, Facebook users use emoticons to enhance the non-verbal aspect of their online communications and emoticons enhance the quality of interaction. Table 3.3 Illustration of emoticons & their standard form Electronic Feature Facebook Form Standard Form/shortcut Emoticons Smile Heart Kiss Frown (sad) Devil Tongue Wink Grin Gasp( shock ,surprise, wow,) Cry Colonthree (happy, blissful, peaceful, cute face like a cat)3.3.2 Asterisks In this section, examples related to the use of asterisks are illustrated and discussed. The use of asterisks refers to the usage of (*) in order to frame words or phrases. In light of this, these following examples were found in the conversation: 1. NN My other guilty pleasure is loving Simon Cowell, although many people think he is an a**hole, but I just love him.” 2. NN *trying not to cry…rolling over and crying. .. alot* 3. NN * I Love Youuu Awiii x ? ? 4. NN * WAIT :OO .. Take Care I own It ALONE :Z ? ? 5. NN “*Trigger Warning* Okay how do I start this? From the above examples, it is obviously clear that the usage of asterisks in order to enclose a word or phrase may mean more than one thing. For example, in (1) above, the Facebook chatter used asterisks in order to highlight a correction to a previous mistake. In (2), (3), and (4) above, it is used to put more emphasis on phrases. Moreover, it is a better way to emphasize without the use of CAPS which seem like shouting. In spite of the fact that (5) above indicates emphasis, it is probably denotes an action. Consequently, asterisks can be used in online chatting in order to correct a previous mistake, to put more emphasis, or to denote an action. 3.3.3 Symbols replacing word In this section, examples related to symbols replacing word are illustrated and discussed. The term ‘symbols replacing word’ refers to the condition in which a symbol is used instead of a word. In light of this usage, the following examples were found in the analysis:1. NN Miss you more than you can imagine Gros Bisous xoxoxoxoxoxox 2. NN Over & above going to ur dealership 3. NN Im happy for you bro stay happy you 2 ! 4. NN congr8s my friends , i wish the best of luck for you both , with love 5. NN what about joining 1 of these entities? 6. NN * WAIT :OO .. Take Care I own It ALONE :Z ? ? 7. NN Hello guys, we r starting our new cooking classes on the 7th of September. We r offering: Moroccan cooking & Cake Decoration According to Hård af Segerstad, ” By replacing a word with a symbol that stands for the word, several keystrokes may be saved” (2002 p:227).Accordingly, the use of symbols instead of letters and words is most probably a consequence of the space as well as time pressure in the online communication. In order to save time and keystrokes, the symbols used instead of words. For example, in (1), (2), (3), (4), and (5) above, it is easier and more timesaving to write xo than hug and kiss; & than and; 2 than two; congr8s than congratulations and, finally, 1 than one. However, in (6) above, the symbol (:OO) used instead of surprised also expresses the writer feeling. Hence, using symbols rather than words or letters in online communication always saves time or denotes emotion. Table 3.3.3 Illustration of symbol replacing word & their standard form Electronic discourse Feature Facebook Form Standard Form Symbols replacing word & 1 2 4 8 Xoxo And one Too For Eat , eight Hugs & kisses:OO :Z Surprise, shock Sad 3.3.4 Addressivity marker In this section, examples related to the use of addressivity marker are illustrated and discussed. The term” addressivity marker” refers to the mentioning of the receiver’s name prior to or inside the message in Facebook chatting. Regarding the use of addressivity marker, the following examples were found in the analysis: 1. NN Thankss NNMarwan Dbg,thats soo sweet of you!hope 2. NN And does NN Is’ra Khaled know that you’re in a relationship with me? Regarding the above examples, it is most probable that the addressivity marker is conventional for speakers to indicate the intended addressee by typing the person’s name at the beginning of an utterance. Moreover, it becomes important to use addressivity marker in order to clearly highlight at whom a message is intended. Finally, ”mentions enable users to converse directly with other specific users, thus sustaining a high level of interactivity and engagement among users who seek to connect and converse” (Honeycutt and Herring 2009). 3.4 Lexical features and abbreviations 3.4.1 Colloquial lexicon (dialect, expletives) In this section, examples related to the use of colloquial lexicon in terms of dialect and expletives are illustrated and discussed.1. NN Not sure if it is for high speed pursuits or for high luxury show off (I’m not sure) 2. NN Just dont lose hope..always pray for god and thank him for whatever you face. 3.4.2 code-switching In this section, examples related to code-switching are illustrated and discussed. Code-switching refers to the fact that the speaker may shift from one language to another, precisely in this case from English to Arabic and vice versa, in the same utterance. In case of this change in the conversation, these examples were found in the analysis: 1. NN Kabar enta mo5ak w go make friends with other people. W law 3al scholarship fa mo3zam el gam3a bet2adem 3ala financial aid aslan bas they are too proud to say it. 2. NN its for showing off w ana bsara7a lw mashy mo5alif ha2aflohom 3alashan arkab m3ahom 3. NN We need a respectable environment, kol wa7ed yekhali f 7alo ba2a w nesa3ed om el balad shouia.” 4. NN howa fein el counseling center dah? 5. NN um here 3la fkra ur not alone… um trying as much as i can pray for me pleaase rbna m3ana kolna dont worry there’re many people who care for this country and want it to be as it deserves “the best”6. NN Law mashy mo5alef 7ayedook mo5alfa w yemashook mesh 7aterkab ma3ahom 7. NN law kant el scholarship 3eeb makanosh 7atoha 3al C.V erfa3 rasak foo2 ya a5y ! scholarship and proud. When it comes to code-switching, Grosjean (1982) clarifies that “code-switching is the alternate use of two or more languages in the same utterance, and this can be in a form of a single word, or a phrase, or a sentence/s”. The reason for switching may be due to the lack of facility and that the FB users code switch when they cannot find an appropriate expression or vocabulary item or when the language of conversation does not have the particular word needed to carry on the conversation smoothly. For instance, in (1) above the speaker uses the Arabic expression kabar enta mo5ak (take it easy) and this obviously because the speaker does not have English word for kabar enta mo5ak. In (2) and (3) above, speakers switch to Arabic at the end of the statement just to emphasize the point and to add more force to the statement. Moreover, in (4) and (5) above code-switching is used to attract the attention of the readers i.e. that something is extremely necessary in this case. The chatters mix between Arabic and English but start and end the comment with Arabic in example (4) while in example (5) the comment starts and ends with English and Arabic is in between. Thus, code- switching is commonly used in Facebook for different reasons: lack of facility, emphasizing, and to attract attention. 3.4.3 OCM features from spoken language In this section, examples related to OCM features from spoken language are illustrated and discussed. The concept ” OCM features from spoken language ” refers to characteristic that are discrete to spoken language (e.g. intonation, accent/stress, pause/silence, tone of voice). In light of this, the following examples were found in the analysis:1. NNyou can never beat me in a race in your life hahahahaha 2. NN Hahahah wow really nice , I just remembered that day ah it was amazing bas not for someone sick, alf salamah 3alieky 3. NN disco night hahahaha 4. NN will hehehehehe .. we are already living as Slaves 5. NN Tbh (to be honest) i got startled for the first 0.5 secs heheh 6. NN umm wow.. i never really thought id find someone who has the same fitting in problems and social awkwardness, respect to you lady and we can be friends if you’d like. 7. NN ummm , i just saw it right now sorry 8. NN WOOOWOWOWOWOWOWOW I am proud of u my man. 9. NN yaaaaaaaaaaaaaah i really miss these days so much On online communication, where everything is text-based, the users are lack of prosody and paralanguage to help the receiver understand the message. Therefore, the unique way is emerged on Facebook chatting. By using onomatopoeic expressions, the user could exploit many kinds of letters which could represent their emotion. An onomatopoeic word is a word that phonetically imitates or suggests the source of the sound that it describes (Crystal, 1997). Moreover, OCM features are routinely used to signal, for example a speaker?s attitude to what they are saying, their emotional state or different rhetoric functions. Laughter in CMC is formed by use of onomatopoeic and or stylized spellings. One well known example is ” D D D” to indicate laughter. For example, in (1), (2) and (3) above, “hahahaha” is a sound of laughter that is used by Participants to signal positive laughter. In (3) and (4),”hehehehe” on the other hand, is a sound of laughter but with connotations of giggling which shows that the Participant seems to be sarcastic about what is said by the sender of the message. In CMC the repetition of the laughter markers is used to show Chatters are laughing a lot or they are sarcasm. In (6), (7), and (8) above, the expressive spelling of ummmm and yaaaaaah resembles the intonation that could have been the case of speech. In (9) above, the onomatopoeic ”woowowow” expresses that the writer was amazed.Abbreviations In Computer-mediated Communication, abbreviations can be classified into: 3.4.3 Conventional abbreviations In this section, examples related to the use of conventional abbreviations are illustrated and discussed. The term ‘conventional abbreviations’ refers to abbreviations that are generally accepted in Standard English. Considering the use of conventional abbreviations, these examples were, for example, found in the analysis of the conversations. 1. NN plus he never told u anything about grad school {graduate school} 2. NN Tbh (to be honest) i got startled for the first 0.5 secs heheh {seconds} 3. NN One of the best most interesting exciting courses u can take in ur life esp u girls {especially} When it comes to the use of conventional abbreviations on Facebook, it becomes evident by looking at the examples above that Facebook is a fast-paced medium for communication that motivates chatters to abbreviate words. Moreover, the three examples above, for instance, indicate that abbreviated words are used to save time and space. Therefore, to keep up with the fast pace on Facebook, conventional abbreviations are used to save more time and space. 3.4.4 Unconventional abbreviations In this section, examples related to the use of unconventional abbreviations are illustrated and discussed. The term ‘unconventional abbreviations’ refers toabbreviations that are not generally accepted in Standard English. Considering the use of unconventional abbreviations, these examples were, for example, found in the analysis of the conversations. 1. NN miss u too …. sis {miss you too, sister} 2. NN we have nothing to lose bbe {we have nothing to lose babe} 3. NN LOL {laugh out loud} 4. NN Suits ur personality very well yabo 7emeid. U should go work with them { this suits your personality} 5. NN he never told u anything about grad school { he never old you anything about graduate school} 6. NN Send me what you want to do and ill see how i can help you sir. Good post btw, but you must understand where are we coming from, however if your “organization” is serving a really important cause im sure the student senate can make very limited exceptions 7. NN OMG yes !!! I love him too !! And guess what .. I like piers Morgan too hehe .. But I just love simon NN maybe just MAYBE u’ll find the answers to ur problems there.. so its bettter to take a step { maybe you will find the answer to your problems there. So, it is better to take a step} 8. NN I went there for 3 years or more, they are gr8! 9. NN Screw them… Im on a scholarship and im proud that im helping my family pay for my own education! … Ur UNIQUE!!! 10. NN wtf were do u guys even find trash? maybe auntie anne’s aw food court but thts it 11. NN can you smell my swag? Coz I put it in your bag. 12. NN.. it happens?!!! … well that’s a SHAME .. enjoy the pic! 13. NN booking is open now and pls hurry up cos our places r limited 14. NN Tbh (to be honest) i got startled for the first 0.5 secs heheh 15. NN Plz Don’t tell me this is in Saudi 16. NN Is it me or does this pic really looks old… like the 90s or 80s..17. NN Absolutely bro, all’s gr8.. hope to see u and houssam soon !! 18. NN disco night hahahaha 19. NN Thankss Marwan Dbg,thats soo sweet of you!hope 20. NNMohammad Abu AlRob IKR !! It was our pleasure broo. Btw couldn’t find ur name on fb to tag u idk why..! 21. NN IKR !!! I drove these loops up and down like 3-4 times,, they have the tightest turns ever yet the most exhilarating views ever Oh and nice monkeys as well ! 22. NN Miss u too bro hope all’s going well at beirut 23. NN well i dont think it gets better from now 24. NN No one can compate with your talent!! U will b z one 25. NN Good luck bra. 26. N Mabrooooooook our magician u deserve the best gbwu 27. NN Congrats bro Regarding the use of unconventional abbreviations on Facebook chatting, these are used for the same reason as conventional abbreviations. Facebook users use unconventional abbreviations in order to save time and energy. Abbreviation is also called clipping. That is, a new word is created by cutting the final part, the initial part or cutting off both the initial and the final part with only the middle part left. (Zhuanglin Hu, 1988, p: 178). Abbreviation can be divided into several types including clipping, initialism, replacement, and contractions. Clipping which is always used when people chat online can be classified into several common types: front clipping, middle clipping, end clipping, and middle and end clipping. First, front clipping which can be used as the deletion at the beginning of the word, for example “U” for you,”Ur” for your, and “cause” for because. Second, middle clipping means the deletion in the middle of the word in Facebook English such as”ppl” for people, “wat” for what, “Lk” for luck, “Gd” for good, “bbe” for babe, and “congrats” for congratulation. Third, end clipping is the deletion at the end of the word such as “edu” for education, “uni” for university, “info” for information, “bro” for brother, “sis” for sister, ‘ b” for be, “grad” for graduate, “disco” for discotheque, “pic” for picture, and “esp” for especially. Fourth,middle and end clipping is the deletion in the middle and end of the word, for example, pls for please, b/t for between, pvt for private, and “fb” for Facebook. Additionally, initialism is another form of abbreviation which can be used on Facebook chatting in order to save time and space. The term initialism stands for “an unpronounceable abbreviation comprising the initial letters of a term and commonly used in place of that term” (Taylor ; Metzler, 2008). Therefore, it is easier to write Gbwu than Gdod be with you, BTW than by the way, WTF than what the fuck, LOL than laughing out loud, Tbh than to be honest, IKR than I know right, Idk than , Go ‘t know, and OMG than oh my god. Moreover, replacement of a part of a word or a whole word by letters or numbers rapidly accelerates the process of typing a message since the amount of characters is reduced. The replacing can be done only on condition that the letter or number is pronounced the same way as the unit replaced (Sun, 2010, p. 100).For example, r substitutes are, u substitutes you, z substitutes the, b substitutes be, ur substitutes your, 2 replaces too or two, 4 replaces for or four, and 8 replaces eat or eight. Hence, unconventional abbreviation is a common way of chatting on Facebook which is used to save time and space.Table 3.4.4 Illustration of abbreviations and their standard form Electronic Feature Facebook English Form Standard Form Conventional Punctuation AUC American University in Cairo Esp. Especially Gt. 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