[Milton-L] ring tones

jfleming at sfu.ca jfleming at sfu.ca
Fri Nov 18 12:42:18 EST 2005

This ludic innovation of meta-language illuminates, for me, a troubling
aspect of the preceding discussion. It is the concept of "tone." Admittedly
this is a traditional formalist concept. But I am not sure that it is a
valid one. The text-message language below (like many meta-languages)
perhaps has a tone-notation (lower/upper case). English, however, does not.
At least the English deployed by Milton in the relevant passage does not. So
what are we achieving with talk of tone? Isn't it precisely the absence of
tone-notation that is significant and determinate? 

JD Fleming

On Fri, 18 Nov 2005 09:46:38 -0500 milton-l at lists.richmond.edu wrote:
> It seems to me that a text messaging version of PL has real potential. 
> Consider the puns we have just been discussing:
> /F- 2 Me Tho /F B 2 xs
> Here "xs" is in lower case to signal the muted quality of the pun
> described by Ricks (the tone would have been very different had Eve
> said "XS").	

James Dougal Fleming, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English,
Simon Fraser University,
(604) 291-4713

Laissez parler les faits.

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