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Flirting flourishes by E-Mail

2006-07-23 16:55

  " Your eyes are two pools that twinkle like stars in the sky." These sweet nothings are traditionally best sent in feather-inked script1 on fine, perfumed parchment2.

  Nowadays, though, more and more lovers are using e-mail or cell phone short message services (SMS) to say a few nice words to each other. The result: a new culture of love-letter writing has evolved3 and is rewriting the rules in how we express our love.

  Make no mistake4: in many cases the love e-mail messages significantly resemble their aromatic5 predecessors6. The verbal7 imagery8 has hardly changed. SMS messages, however, have necessitated9 the development of a new, shorter form of love talk. Experts believe, in fact, that far more people now carry out10 sweet talk in cyberspace11 than in the time before e-mail and short messaging came along12.

  When people communicate over e-mail or short messages, everything is much more relaxed, less serious, and this helps the sweet words flow.

  Nicola Doering, a media researcher at the Technical University of Ilmenau in Thueringen, Germany, emphasizes that for many people contact over e-mail or SMS is simpler: " The language is a different one here than in traditional letters; people tend to write more like they speak." This means that a message writer might not have to agonize13 over every word, as is often expected with traditional love letters. This is obviously encouraging for many people. For longer, particularly romantic love letters, e-mail writers also reach back into the language of poetry, " Your calf-blue14 eyes" is typical for the kind of phrasings found in e-mail love letters.

  At least one traditional symbol between lovers has made a striking15 comeback. Even in the love letters of the 19th century, one often found the letter X as a symbol of a kiss. Many paper love letters would have three Xs at the bottom as a closing. And this symbol is often used today between lovers in their e-mail messages.

  In spite of all the technological advancement that e- mail represents, classic love letters on paper still have a special meaning, the experts say. Ink on paper simply affects many people more strongly than lines on a computer screen. It appears more serious, more binding16, as if written for all eternity17. Sometimes people want to have something to touch, a letter that you can really hold in your hand.

  But Internet technology is ready to help even those with the courage to write a classic handwritten love letter. What stops many lovers from penning their most romantic thoughts is not a lack of good intention but an inability to piece together a few sweet lines, says Thomas Neuss, the organizer of one Internet site devoted to romantic letters.

  It's no surprise, then, that sites such as Cyrano, at www.nando.net/toys/cyrano.html, have sprung up18 to help tongue-tied19 lovers get their messages across20. Cyrano offers lovers the ability to compose steamy21 love letters simply by filling in some form fields and pressing OK.

  "你的双眼是两汪清泉,像星星一样在天空闪烁。"这些甜美的空话在过去是最美好的情话,经常会被用鹅毛笔写在精美的、芳香的羊皮纸上。

  然而,现在越来越多的情侣使用伊妹儿或手机短信息服务彼此传情达意。结果,一种新的情书书写文化诞生,并将改写我们表达爱意的传统惯例。

  肯定无疑的是,在很多情况下,爱情伊妹儿短信息与它们芳香的祖先是惊人地相似。语言文字的意象几乎没有改变。然而,手机短信息服务的出现使更新的、更简短的情话的发展成为必然。专家相信:事实上,现在使用电脑网络空间传递甜言蜜语的人要比伊妹儿和短信息产生之前使用的人多得多。

  当人们使用伊妹儿或短信息服务交流的时候,一切都轻松得多,不必很严肃,这样有助于情话的顺畅传递。

  德国图林根伊尔梅瑙科技大学的传媒研究员,尼古拉·道尔林强调:对于多数人来说使用伊妹儿或短信息服务交流更简单些。"伊妹儿和短信息服务使用的语言不同于传统信件的语言,而且人们更愿意像谈话一样写伊妹儿。"这意味着作者用不着锤炼每一个词,而这在传统情书的书写中是必须的。显然这一点鼓励了很多人。在一些较长的,特别是在浪漫情书中,伊妹儿作者也经常回过头来引用诗词中的语言,"你蓝蓝的大眼睛"是伊妹儿情书中此类措辞的典型例子。

  至少现在情侣间有一个典型的符号是惊人的复古表现。甚至在19世纪的情书中,就可发现人们经常以字母X作为接吻的符号,许多纸情书一般以3个X作为结束语。今天这个符号仍然能在情侣间的伊妹儿情书中找到。

  专家说,尽管伊妹儿代表着所有的科技进步,但经典的纸情书仍然具有其特殊的意义,纸上的墨迹要比电脑屏幕上的线条更能强烈地感动许多人。它更严肃,更具约束力,好像是为了永恒而写的。有时人们想要一些能触摸得到的东西,一封信你可以实实在在地拿在手中。

  但是互联网科技甚至也为那些有勇气写经典的手写体情书的人服务。致力于浪漫书信写作的网站创建者托马斯·诺伊斯说,其实,阻碍许多情侣抒发他们的浪漫情怀的不是缺少美好的意愿,而是缺少拼凑几行甜言蜜语的能力。

  那么,并不意外,类似这样的网站如www.nando.net/toys/cyrano.html的西拉诺页的出现,帮助了那些拙嘴笨舌的情侣说出他们的情话。西拉诺赋予了情侣们书写浓情蜜意的情书的能力,他们只需要会填写一些表格和会按OK键就可以了。

  注释:

  1.script n.手迹,手写

  2.parchment n.羊皮纸

  3.evolve vi.逐步形成,发展

  4.make no mistake毫无疑问,完全可以肯定

  5.aromatic adj.芳香的,有香气的

  6.predecessor n.前辈,前人

  7.verbal adj.文字上的

  8.imagery n.意象

  9.necessitate vt.使成为必需,需要

  10.carry out 进行,实现

  11.cyberspace n.电脑网络空间

  12.come along 出现,来到

  13.agonize vi.苦斗,力争

  14.calf-blue adj.大而蓝的

  15.striking adj.显著的,突出的

  16.binding adj.有约束力的

  17.eternity n.永恒,永生

  18.spring up 产生,出现

  19.tongue-tied adj.(因胆怯、难堪等)说不出话的

  20.get across [口]讲清楚自己的意思

  21.steamy adj.[口]狂热的

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