Vol. 3, Issue 5 (2017)
Features of language in facebook condolence messages
Author(s): Kuang Ching Hei
Abstract: Facebook is one of the social platforms used by many people to interact and writing is one channel used. There are various categories of written text in Facebook, one of which is condolences. This paper aims to identify the language features used in composing the condolence messages in order to assess its suitability as a writing model. A total of 75 condolence messages published on a public website of Facebook was downloaded. Using linguistic analysis, the postings were tagged and then individually examined and compared. Findings suggest that Facebook condolence messages are typically short and the level of language is casual and loose. It was noted that the condolence messages were composed in ungrammatical structures, containing bad spelling and punctuations followed by some peculiar expressions. This sloppiness, it is argued, points to the lack of observation of audience awareness and editing practices. Consequently, it compromises the writer’s social status and credibility. In that regard, Facebook may not serve as a good writing model for language learners but it is a good research site to study language use.