ERIC Number: ED350640
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1992-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
To Be or Not To Be: An Exploration of E-Prime, Copula Deletion and Flaming in Electronic Mail.
Thompsen, Philip A.; Ahn, Dong-Keun
A study explored the efficacy of the general semantic technique of E-Prime (a technique for increasing awareness of abstraction through the deliberate deletion of all forms of the verb "to be") through a study of copula deletion (omission of auxiliary verbs) and flaming (the fervent exchange of emotionally charged messages) in electronic mail. A computer program was developed that administered an interactive questionnaire to 227 users of an electronic mail system at a major university. Results indicated that: (1) fewer than half of those surveyed were aware of either copula deletion or flaming in electronic mail; (2) the most frequently cited motivation for copula deletion was the desire to write messages quickly; and (3) no statistically significant relationship was found between copula deletion and flaming in electronic mail. Findings suggest that the omission of the verb "to be" does not by itself convey the advantages of E-Prime. Findings also suggest that copula deletion and flaming are not as widespread in electronic mail in a university setting as they may be in other settings, perhaps because of a greater stigma attached to nonstandard English usage. (Four charts and three tables of data are included; 27 references and the questionnaire are attached.) (Author/RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Copula Deletion (Grammar); E Prime; General Semantics Paradigm (Korzybski)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western States Communication Association (63rd, Boise, ID, February 21-25, 1992).