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  Oracle Tips by Burleson

Web Stalkers
Chapter 2 -
Understanding Web Personalities

Safety in a Text-only World

Without the subtle nuances of the spoken word, detecting humor, sarcasm and anger can be very difficult.  Writers have always relished the ambiguity of the written medium and have used a host of word tools designed to introduce double entendres and hidden clues into their text.

On the web, the inherent lack of non-verbal communications leads to many misunderstandings. 

  • A simple typographical error in a sentence might change the meaning of the thought that the writer intended to convey.

  • A word with multiple meanings might be read with a different meaning than what was originally intended. 

Even the choice of font can be the source of consternation for some.  The following is an example from a UseNet newsgroup:

btw... a**hole, why don't you type in a normal font.
The bold mono-spaced font is difficult to read. If you don't know how to change fonts read the book that came with your browser!

The next response is even scarier and demonstrates how even the tiniest matter can enrage some individuals:

Well, D***head... I type in the fonts I happen to like.  I didn't realise you'd been apointed head of the Font Police. 

I suppose lying, dishonest SOBs like you get to pontificate on anything, though, don't they?  Anyway: I can recommend a good optometrist if you find it difficult to read. 

The above text is an excerpt from:

Web Stalkers
Protect yourself from Internet Criminals & Psychopaths
ISBN 0-97-45993-9-5

by Donald K. Burleson, Stephen Andert

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