Saturday, January 17, 2009

Can you hear me, when there is no sound?

One of the well known disadvantages of text based instant messaging is that some things just don't get conveyed.  Body language is a classic example.

 

Admittedly, if I am typing on a keyboard I am unlikely to be performing the legendary "swim" but you will still be none the wiser about whether I am waving my hands around animatedly or being a bit more reserved.

 

Interestingly, however, I discovered in a recent conversation that it is quite possible to convey sound in an entirely text based dialogue.   Things proceeded thus:

 

>
- I need to make that "eeeeh" noise that you apparently make


- what eeee noise?!
- ooo
- eeeeh
- i geddit!


- yes, that one!


- the noise i don't actually make


- yes

>

 

You may be relieved to know that the context was not in the slightest bit risque, but it is difficult to explain if you don't already know what sound I am talking about.  It would seem that such sound transmission is a bit like encryption using a pre-shared key.

 

Nonetheless, in theory at least, we can conclude that the answer to the question in the title of this post (as posed by Delirious in their 1999 classic 'Follow') is a resounding yes.

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