Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Following Searle on TwitterHow Words Create Digital Institutions$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Adam Hodgkin

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226438214

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226438351.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use (for details see www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 17 October 2018

Digital Language

Digital Language

(p.140) 9 Digital Language
Following Searle on Twitter

Adam Hodgkin

University of Chicago Press

This chapter reviews the problematic obviousness of Searle-type explanations. If a scientific explanation of Twitter’s use of language in terms of speech acts is so obvious, why has it not already been well understood? If digital language is the primary driver of the evolution of digital institutions this should presumably be quite uncontroversial. Part of the reason why a correct explanation of digital institutions may be hidden in plain sight, is that we do not find it easy to think about the way in which our use of language is changing, as language becomes more digital. The chapter reviews some of the broad characteristics of our evolving use of digital language: multiple layers of interlocking technology, dramatic reductions in cost allied to massive investments in scale, multimedia, the incorporation of code, universality and timelessness. It is suggested that quite apart from these ongoing technological upheavals the fundamental driver is our engaged use of language to communicate and to build institutions and social structure. Twitter and many of the new institutions that we find in digital culture seem not to have any pre-existing economic role and it is not obvious why they should be so attractive to users.

Keywords:   technologization, layers, zero marginal cost, multimedia, code, engagement

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.