Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
(From ASCII and Ebonics) A style of text communication in English which is most common on talk systems such as irc. Its notable characteristics are:
Typing all in lowercase (and occasionally all in uppercase).
Copious use of abbreviations of the sort "u" for "you" "1" for "one" (and therefore "some1" for "someone", "ne1" for "anyone"), "2" for "to", "r" for "are", etc.
A general lack of punctuation, except for strings of question marks and exclamation marks.
Common use of the idiom "m or f?", meant to elicit a statement of the listener's gender.
Typical extended discourse in ASCIIbonics: "hey wasup ne1 want 2 cyber?" "m or f?"
ASCIIbonics is similar to the way B1FF talked, although B1FF used more punctuation (lots more), and used all uppercase, rather than all lowercase. What's more, B1FF was only interested in warez, and so never asked "m or f?".
It has been widely observed that some of the purest examples of ASCIIbonics come from non-native speakers of English.
The phenomenon of ASCIIbonics predates by several years the use of the word "ASCIIbonics", as the word could only have been coined in or after late 1996, when "Ebonics" was first used in the US media to denote the US English dialects known in the linguistic literature as "Black Vernacular English".