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Greeklish And Greekness - Patterns And Philosophies Of "Glocalness"


Attitudes regarding computer-mediated discourse (CMD) practices have not been thoroughly studied in the context of the new communication environment. This research looks at how people feel about "Greeklish," a CMD discursive phenomena that includes using the Latin alphabet in Greek internet communication.

It examines views about Greeklish as they are portrayed in the Greek press and treats Greeklish as a glocal social activity. The corpus reveals three distinct patterns.

The first, a retrospective trend, sees Greeklish as a serious threat to the Greek language; the second, a prospective trend, sees Greeklish as a passing fad that will soon fade away due to technological advancements; and the third, a resistive trend, sees globalization's negative effects and links Greeklish to other communication and sociocultural practices.

This research uses a critical discourse-analytic approach to trace the discourses that pervade each of these tendencies in order to show various, often contradictory, representations of Greeklish in Greek society at a particular historical moment.


The shift from paper to screen has placed the computer and the Internet at the heart of the new postmodern communication ecosystem, resulting in changes to the communication landscape as well as language and communication-related areas of study.

Several studies (Street, 2000) have tried to define the new communication order and evaluate its implications (Crystal, 2001; Herring, 2001).

Despite the fact that considerable attention has been paid to computer-mediated discourse (CMD) and globalization, the majority of theoretical analysis and empirical research has concentrated only on the English language.

There has been very little research on social attitudes toward CMD, specific discursive practices of CMD, and the effects of the Internet on other languages, with the exception of a broader "phobic" approach that views the Internet as a threat to less widely spoken languages (Crystal, 2001, pp. 1-2).

Among these few research, Paolillo (1996) discovered that native speakers of South Asian languages had a limited usage of these languages in CMD.

However, he warns that the scenario may alter as a result of technical advancements and a shift away from colonial legacy in the home culture.

According to Yoon (2001), the symbolic power of technology, along with the commercialization of the mainstream media, has resulted in an unquestioning acceptance of English's dominance on the Internet.

Hawisher and Selfe (2000) question the notion of the Web as a culturally neutral literate environment in which individuals may enjoy the benefits of unrestricted interaction and communication because they are no longer bound by geographical, linguistic, cultural, or technological limitations.

They offer an alternate version of the global village story, based on Castells' (1996, 1997) and Street's (1995) work, and highlight the development of a postmodern identity defined by dynamic hybridity in literacy practices.

Ess & Sudweeks (2003) demonstrate that cultural values and communication preferences have had a major influence in the design and implementation of computer-mediated communication (CMC), despite the fact that culture and communication have received little attention in connection to CMC. They claim, using the example of Arab-speaking countries:

“MC technologies operate less as the vehicles for intractable homogenization and more as catalysts for significant processes for hybridization, as individuals are able to consciously choose for themselves what elements of “the west” and their own local cultural identities and traditions they wish to hold to. This would suggest that the powers of globalization and new technologies are not absolute; rather, they can be refracted and diffused through the specific values and preferences of diverse individuals and local cultures.“

Warschauer, Said, and Zohry (2002) investigated the interplay of English and Arabic in online activities and discovered that, in addition to English, a Romanized version of colloquial Egyptian Arabic is widely used in casual e-mail messages and on-line conversations.

This trend is explained as people' attempts to engage in the global while maintaining their local identity.

Despite deliberate attempts by education policymakers and government officials to encourage the use of a standard variation of English, a similar reason is given for the widespread usage of Singlish (the extremely colloquial dialect of English spoken in Singapore) in literacy practices on the Internet (Warschauer, 2002).

The amazing development of the Internet has also prompted worries in many Asian nations about the future of local identities. Honglandarom (2000) argues that the Internet's globalizing tendency is tempered by local sensitivities and worries, and that local cultures are discovering methods to deal with its effect and absorb it without losing their identity.

Hongladarom studied a Thai cybercommunity, finding that its members don't want to be totally cut off from the rest of the world, but they also don't want to be "simply blank faces in a globalized world."

As this brief review shows, explanations for cross-cultural and cross-linguistic literacy practices on the Internet, as well as social attitudes toward CMD practices, frequently refer to a postindustrial society's observed contradiction between global networks and local identities, resulting in the construction of hybrid postmodern identities.

As a refinement of the idea of "global," the word "glocal" has lately been used in disciplines such as economics, sociology, and architecture as a more descriptive phrase for what is occurring in the globe today.

According to proponents of the idea, global culture should be seen as a paradoxical phenomena that involves a dialectical connection between the global and the local, rather than as a "socializing institution" into which local cultures merge.

Robertson (1995) created the word "glocalization" to characterize this process, which he defines as "the universalization of the particular and the particularization of the universal."

The current paper's interpretation of glocalization posits a dynamic negotiation between the global and the local, with the local adopting aspects of the global that it finds beneficial while also using tactics to maintain its identity.

Electronic literacy settings as "cultural maps" that reflect the culture and ideology of their sources have received little attention in recent study (Selfe & Selfe, 1994).

It is well known, for example, that the choice of the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) as the character set for the first PCs and Internet communication caused fewer problems for languages whose writing systems are based on the Latin alphabet, such as German, French, and English, but more problems for languages whose writing systems are not based on the Latin alphabet, such as Greek and Chinese (Yates, 1996).

This long-standing issue is linked to ideological issues about the usage of English on the Internet, in addition to technological limitations (Koutsogiannis, forthcoming).

The usage of "Greeklish" among Greeks in CMC settings is an example of a discursive phenomena that emerged in a non-Latin based language. Despite advancements in overcoming the technological limitations of the ASCII code, and despite the fact that Unicode was created specifically to accommodate the Greek writing system, difficulties with using the Greek script in online communication remain.

To overcome this issue, Greek Internet users started to utilize the Latin alphabet extensively in their Greek writing, transliterating Greek with Latin letters and resulting in “Greeklish” (Greek English).

Greeklish is distinguished by the fact that Greek script letters may be transliterated into many Latin equivalents. There are two kinds of transliterations that may be used (Androutsopoulos, 1999, 2000).

Some are phonetic, attempting to represent Greek sounds/phonemes with Latin characters (e.g., writing ‘ç', ‘', ‘é' as I while others are orthographic, attempting to maintain Greek orthographic conventions and representing Greek characters with visually equivalent Latin characters or, in the absence of Latin characters, with numbers (e.g., writing ‘ç' as ‘h', ‘ù' as ‘w', but ‘è' as ‘8' ).

Greeklish is widely used in e-mails and chat rooms, to the point that it has become a script register among teenagers.

Although it is more commonly used in social than professional communication, Greeklish is also used in formal electronic communication (for example, in government departments and universities), where both writing systems (Greek and Greeklish) are frequently used to avoid communication issues caused by technical constraints (e.g., varied technological platforms, or international communication in Greek).

For example, the following excerpt from a message from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki's Network Operation Center was delivered in both Greek and Greeklish:

In Greek: ÁãáðçôÝêýñéåÊïõôóïãéÜííç,

ÔïìÝãåèïòôïõáñ÷åßïõóôïïðïßïáðïèçêåýïíôáéôáìçíýìáôáôïõçëåêôñïíéêïýóáòôá÷õäñïìåßïõÝ÷åéðåñÜóåéôïüñéïôùí 30000 Kb. Ãéáôçíêáëýôåñçëåéôïõñãßáôïõãñáììáôïêéâùôßïõóáò, ðñÝðåéíáóâПóåôåôáìçíýìáôáôçòèõñßäáòóáòóôïíåîõðçñåôçôП.

In Greeklish: Agapite kurie Koutsogianni To mege8os tou arxeiou sto opoio apo8ikeuontai ta minumata tou ilektronikou sas taxudromeiou exei perasei to orio twn 30000 Kb. Gia tin kaluteri leitourgia tou grammatokibwtiou sas, prepei na sbisete ta minumata tis 8uridas sas ston e3upiretiti.

Greeklish has been a study topic in linguistics and sociolinguistics (Georgakopoulou, 1997; Androutsopoulos, 1999, 2000; Tseliga, 2002).

Greeklish, on the other hand, is a broader socio-cultural and ideological phenomena that has sparked intense discussions in the media and divided intellectuals, academics, and the general public.

This is reasonable, given that writing is more than just a method of preserving the spoken word; it is also a cultural symbol, one that has been used in Greece since antiquity.

In Greek social and political life, the subject of language has long been a minefield of conflicts and strife. As we will show later below, the length and severity of this struggle was attributable to ideological, social, and political concerns that were at stake throughout key times in Greek history, not to language difficulties per se.

Furthermore, although the argument used to be mainly about language planning, in recent years, debates about the Greek language have centered on the consequences of Greece entering the European Union as well as the impacts of widespread English usage.

Greece, like a number of other nations on the (European) periphery, has been in a crucial transitional period regarding full membership in the EU and the broader economic and socio-political changes that globalization implies since the end of the previous century.

This new reality brings with it new difficulties and a re-examination of what was previously taken for granted.

We suggest that, just as problems of the country's growing global orientation have found expression in language disputes in previous key historical times, the same trend can be followed in the current discussion over Greeklish.

Ideological Signs In The Greek Language And Alphabet

The Problem Of Language

Placing Greeklish in its larger sociocultural context requires a knowledge of long-standing clashes over the Greek language, dubbed the "Language Issue," clashes that have broader ideological, social, and political implications (Christidis, 1999).

The background for our study of Greeklish is provided by the history of these conflicts.

It is our opinion that current attitudes and stances against Greeklish have the same origins as previous disputes over the Greek language.

A language "schism" existed between spoken and written Greek as early as the first century BC.

The intellectuals of the day disregarded spoken language, considering it to be the product of corruption and therefore inferior to its progenitor, and instead attempted to emulate ancient Attic language. This trend persisted in the centuries after that, as well as throughout the Byzantine era.

In contemporary times, language conflict arose for the first time in the early nineteenth century, when intellectuals attempted to find an acceptable medium for the spread of Enlightenment ideals and to create a national language for the new Greek state (Delveroudi, 2000). The official language was changed to “Katharevousa”1 at that time.

The decision was not made at random, but rather reflected particular ideological and political trends (Fragoudaki, 2001, pp. 120-124) aimed at removing foreign influences and reuniting contemporary and ancient Greek culture. Given Europe's strong respect for ancient Greek heritage, this choice was also a statement of Greece's European orientation.

This led to diglossia (Ferguson, 1972), a linguistic divide between Katharevousa, which was closer to Ancient Greek and was used in government and education, and “Demotic Greek,” which was used by the mass of the people.

With the passage of time, these two poles grew to represent not just two distinct methods, but two separate universes, each with its own set of beliefs about education and the country's overall direction (Stavridi-Patrikiou, 1999).

Although the debate officially ended in 1976 in favor of spoken language, fierce clashes over language issues - conflicts that are in essence about the country's and education's broader orientation - continue to this day, to the point where some people talk about the emergence of "a new Language Issue" (Fragoudaki, 2001).

The Greek Letters

The alphabet, as a writing system, is said to have been invented by the Greeks in the ninth century BC 2 as an adaptation of the Phoenician system (Woodard, 1997, pp. 133-139). Despite the changes in Greek pronunciation that occurred during this period, the alphabet had already established its own authority, since it was in this that ancient Greek thinking was recorded, and it remained mostly unaltered until the ninth century AD (Byzantium).

Then, in tandem with the introduction of lower-case writing, diacritics, which had been utilized by Alexandrian grammarians from the second century BC, were more widely used.

In 1982, the Greek accent system was reduced, with just one accent and two breathings remaining (see endnote 3). This change was likewise met with opposition, and it is still not generally accepted today (Hatzisavvidis, 1986). In general, the single-accent system was seen as a transitional step that might lead to the abandoning of the Greek alphabet, and was thus viewed as a "anti-national" move by many.

Greeks aren't the only ones who have a symbolic and ideological attachment to the alphabet.

It is widely recognized that different communities' choice of writing systems is frequently an ideological indication of national orientation and identity, 4 and that efforts at spelling reform in many languages have met with strong resistance, stemming from the belief that the languages' historicity is being lost (Karantzola, 1999).

As a result, the development of Greeklish could not have been simply a new writing style for electronic settings, but would sooner or later become a new ideological and political problem.

This is the position taken by the Academy of Athens, which condemns the phenomena and warns of the wide-ranging risks it poses.

Furthermore, it is apparent from the preceding overview that the subject of the language and its alphabet is not only a linguistic problem. It has given a fertile ground for significant clashes of ideas and behaviors to flourish throughout key stages of Greek society's development. These clashes reflected societal ideological divisions, and they have solidified into two distinct trends: one dedicated to the grandeur of the past, and the other to new discoveries.

As Bakhtin (1986) points out, the words and symbols we are exposed to as children and inherit form us as historical and socio-cultural individuals. According to this logic, the opinions that have been debated on the "language problem" over its long history have shaped and continue to shape contemporary Greek identity.

Thus, discussions about the authenticity of the language have been at a deeper level discussions about the authenticity of Greek identity (Fragoudaki, 2001), on the basis of which the “linguistic mythology of the nation” (Christidis, 1999, p. 156) has been created.

The “language issue” did not merely tie up thinking for a long period of time in sterile metalinguistic quests, but bequeathed to Greek society ready-made patterns of interpretation of linguistic phenomena, a repertoire or “toolkit” of habits and beliefs from which people construct “strategies of action” (Swidler, 1986).

From that point on, these ready-made patterns of interpretation are the key to comprehending any new approach toward language issues (e.g., simplification of the Greek accent system, threats from the dominance of English, Latinization of the Greek alphabet, etc.)

The Study's Description

As a consequence of increasing usage of Greeklish on the Internet, the Academy of Athens, a prominent Greek societal organization noted for its conservative stance, published a statement in January 2001 criticizing the growth of Greeklish and the potential replacement of the Greek script by the Latin alphabet.

This declaration, which was signed by 40 prominent members of the Academy of Athens, was made public and sparked a heated discussion in the media. The majority of television time was dedicated to debates between supporters and opponents of the Academy's wording. For two months, the subject received extensive attention in the press.

The corpus for this research consists of 58 newspaper articles published in the Greek press between January and March 2001, all of which were produced in response to the Academy's text on Greeklish. It provides a condensed representation of a range of viewpoints, presented in the heat of the moment within a brief amount of time.

We utilized the archive of the Greek Language Center (GLC), a research institution of the National Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs in Thessaloniki, to guarantee that the corpus is representative of the many kinds of writings that appeared in the Greek press. The CGL employs a press clipping service that scans the Greek daily and Sunday newspapers throughout the country on a daily basis for any articles relating to the Greek language.

The corpus contains writings from 23 distinct newspapers. 12 texts come from morning papers (Avgi, Vima, Kathimerini, Makedonia, Ellinikos Vorras), 25 from evening papers (Vradini, Elefteri Ora, Eleftheros, Eleftherotipia, Estia, Thessaloniki, Nea), two from daily financial press (Express, Naftemporiki), 14 from Sunday papers (Apogevmatini tis Kiriakis (Eleftheria Larissas, Tipos Chalkidikis).

These writings range in length and span a number of newspaper genres, including articles, editorials, interviews, readers' letters, and professional organization statements. Linguists, philologists, journalists, academics from different disciplines, computer specialists, and a few laypeople contributed.

It's worth noting at this point that, in this discussion, all newspapers - regardless of political affiliation - provide only the viewpoints of certain elements of society whose voice is widely seen as genuine in social problems affecting language and culture (regardless of whether they are computer literate or not, which in this case would make a difference).

The purpose of this research is to do a critical discourse analysis of Greeklish viewpoints in the texts. The research sees discourse as both action, a kind of social practice, and a social construction of reality, a means of portraying social practice, using a critical discourse-analytic approach from Fairclough (1992, 2003).

Discourse is linked to other social practices when it is seen as interaction, creating a link between the discursive event and the social activity. Furthermore, it supports a view of speech as always social and cultural, rejecting the idea of language as a completely private activity.

Discourse may be seen as reflecting kinds of knowledge and elements of social reality when it is viewed as creating social reality. The corpus analysis in this research encompasses both meanings of the word in an effort to reconcile them.

It begins with an examination of "discourses," which are defined as the language used to describe social activity from a specific point of view. The many diverse and contradictory portrayals of Greeklish online are revealed in this study.

Three major patterns emerge from the study of newspaper articles. The first trend, which agrees with the Academy of Athens, believes Greeklish to be a significant danger to the Greek language. The second school of thought regards the problem as of little importance, a passing fad that will go away as technology improves.

The third trend maintains a distance from the original text's viewpoints while seeming to address its issues. It focuses on topics such as globalization and the role of English, the future of so-called "weaker" languages, and Internet communication. We'll look at each of these tendencies individually in the following part, looking at the different aspects of their positions and attitudes.

At the same time, we investigate the degree to which these views reflect deeper upheavals and aspirations which are the result of new situations and quests world-wide. We're also interested in the following inquiries: To what extent do attitudes toward Greeklish highlight the phenomenon of “glocalness,” which recent literature has pinpointed as predominant in the age of globalization? To what degree is this a new phenomenon? What are the major characteristics of Greeklish?


The First Trend Is To Take A Look Back

This seems a rather strong and solid view which is developed in 38 of the total of 58 texts in the corpus. It is “retrospective” in the sense that it is shaped by national, religious and cultural narratives (Bernstein, 1996) which are recontextualized to ensure the stability of the past into the future. What primarily characterizes this trend is the use of the glorious past as a reference point to provide answers for the future.

The texts following this trend come from 15 different, mainly conservative, newspapers, clearly support the Academy's view, and provide further argumentation in its favor. They praise the Academy for the specific initiative which they often view as an act of resistance to the threat of globalization. The Academy is represented as the “guardian of our language” (Vradini 18.15).

Two metaphorical discourses hold a prominent position in this trend. The first is a metaphorical discourse of resistance whose traces are frequently found in formulations such as “we should extol the vigorous resistance of the Supreme Intellectual Institution of our country” (Vradini 18.1), “forty Academics express their intention to resist” (Kathimerini 7.1), “angry reaction” (Tipos Chalkidikis 7.1), “to fend off the threat and ward off the dangers” (Vradini 15.1), “immediate and unyielding reaction and resistance to the unholy plans to replace the Greek alphabet with the Latin” (Ellinikos Vorras 14.1).

This discourse of resistance is embedded within a metaphorical discourse of military attack. Greeklish is construed in these texts as a threat against the Greek language which needs to be protected from “foreign” invasion: “standing guard over the Greek language,”“we are called upon to defend it with vigor” (Ellinikos Vorras 21.1), “they [Academics] draw attention to the major danger of a very heavy blow” (Estia 31.1), “others too will wake up to this national danger” (Vradini 18.1), “in the battle for Greek” (Tipos tis Kiriakis 6.1), “the dangers which our language is facing today” (Eleftheri Ora 23.3).

The Academy's statement was primarily about the danger of substituting the Latin for the Greek alphabet. However, in texts of this trend, discussion about the Greek alphabet soon moves on to discussion about defending the Greek language and consequently Greek culture and the country. As stated in one of the articles: “throwing off the national system of writing is a betrayal of the national ethos” (Tipos tis Kiriakis 6.1):

“The Academy of Athens … sounds the warning bell and calls upon the people in a reveille sounded against this unholy and senseless movement … [The language] is the breakwater for every foreign influence and propaganda. “If you want a people to lose its national consciousness, make it lose its language,” Lenin used to say. The nation is living through critical times. What is needed is watchfulness, alertness, planning, A REPLY.”

“[The language] is the breakwater for every foreign influence and propaganda,” “[the Academy] sounds the warning bell and calls on the people in a reveille,” “The nation is living through critical times,” “What is needed is watchfulness, alertness, planning,” and references to Lenin and the national poet Dionysios Solomos evoke a strong national discourse.

The language must be protected in the same manner that a nation must be protected from outside threats. Greeklish, in this opinion, is a danger to both the language and the nation. The idea goes that we must preserve the Greek language from any “external” invasion that threatens it.

As lexical items such as “danger signal,”“attack,”“guard,” and “protection” indicate, this metaphorical discourse of national threat can also be found in the titles of articles: “Warning signal from 40 Academics” (Kathimerini 7.1), “The attack upon our language” (Estia 7.3), and “For the protection of the Greek Language” (Estia 7.3). (Eleftheri Ora 23.3).

Historical discourses are another important discourse in this movement that sees Greek as a danger. The theme of ancient Greek history is prominent in many newspaper articles: “Our language... has enlightened the entire world for 3,000 years” (Apogevmatini tis Kiriakis 14.1g)

“Our language, the most ancient, but always contemporary and alive, this language may not suffer degradation by the abolition [of the alphabet] at our own hands” (Apogevmatini tis Kiriakis 14.1g) (Ellinikos Vorras 21.1). The significance of Ancient Greek culture informs the ethnocentric viewpoint presented here.

“The Greek language has profound historical roots that it has preserved throughout its long history and evolution, and it is not possible nor acceptable for us to distort our pronunciation by using Latin characters....” Our language has maintained our culture and history throughout the nation's many vicissitudes, including the brutal Ottoman tyranny” (Vradini 18.1).

A number of analogies are made within the ethnocentric historical discourse that are significant for their ideological foundations. For example, the Greek language is lauded for its beauty in an implicit comparison with other languages: “The Greek alphabet takes priority over the Latin since it originates from the Phoenician, and the Phoenicians were among the earliest civilized peoples on Earth.”

As a result, there is also historical precedence” (Eleftheros 15.1). Furthermore, the Latin alphabet was not only the second to appear, but it is also a "sub-product" of the Greek alphabet: "Now, by the very nature of things, we must also use the Latin alphabet, which is, of course - as everyone knows - a sub-product of the Greek alphabet; and this, too, is Greek, it is the Chalcidian alphabet of Aeolian Cyme" (Apogevmatini tis Kiriakis 14.1g).

Surprisingly, the Latin alphabet is downplayed and relegated to the status of a "sub-product."

Furthermore, since it is portrayed as a commodity that can be traded, the alphabet as a whole is commodified.

A religious discourse links the Greek Orthodox tradition with Greek history and is embedded in

the historical discourses: “The Greek communities with a holy passion maintained Greek schools to preserve our language, with the Church as protagonist, under the supervision of the Ecumenical Patriarchate” (Elefterotipia 22.1).

The Church is portrayed as the "protagonist," the primary institution that functioned as a connecting thread for Hellenism through tough periods in Greek history. “From the works of Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles, Socrates, Thucydides, and other classical authors, but also from texts of the Fathers of our Christian religion, the Gospels, the Byzantine hymnographers, and all other written texts of our Church, t (Ellinikos Vorras 21.1).

Furthermore, the importance of the Greek language, which was used to write the majority of the New Testament writings, in the spread of Christianity is emphasized: “The Greek language was the world of the Gospel and the method of preserving Christian ideas” (Vradini 18.1).

The use of Greeklish is seen as a “unholy” (Ellinikos Vorras 14.1), “impious and senseless attempt” (Tipos Chalkidikis 7.1, Nea 16.1g) to replace the Greek alphabet, whereas the Academy's efforts are seen as aimed at “the salvation” (Kathimerini 12.1) of the Greek alphabet, to which we should all contribute “as the share of us humble servants” (Kathimerini 12.1). (Nei Anthropi 12.1).

In certain works, agreement with the Academy's declaration is conveyed via language choices, particularly the usage of Katharevousa phrases, which are not characteristic of the Modern Greek variety (Kathimerini 12.1, Nei Anthropi 12.1, Tipos tis Kiriakis 6-7.1, Kathimerini 17.1, Estia 7.3, Estia 31.1).

New technologies are shown as endangering the Greek alphabet and, as a result, the Greek language: “Our language... is being replaced by new technology,” says one character. “Computers have compelled us to utilize the Latin alphabet in our daily lives” (Apogevmatini tis Kiriakis 14.1g).

When a journalist questioned, "Is what you're saying above all that the greatest threat comes from computers?" a renowned member of the Academy of Letters answered, "Yes."

I'm not going to go into the mechanics of it; instead, I'm going to get to the heart of the matter, which is exactly what is being nurtured.

And what is being fostered is not just the abolition of the alphabet, but also the abolition of our spelling” (Apogevmatini tis Kiriakis 14.1b).

“The Latin alphabet is utilized by addressees who have computers and receive Greek writings written in the Latin script,” according to an interview with another Academy member (Apogevmatini tis Kiriakis 14.1e).

In this tendency, competing images of globalization are of special importance.

Globalization is interpreted adversely in the case of Greeklish and the proliferation of new technologies in the Academy's text and in newspaper articles that support the Academy's perspective.

Globalization, on the other hand, is interpreted positively in the case of ancient Greek as the global language of its time: “The universality of the Greek language is demonstrated by the conception, originality, profundity, and wealth of ideas, as well as by its globalization through Alexander the Great” (Vradini 18.1). (Ellinikos Vorras 21.1).

The importance of the Greek language in the development of important fields of study such as philosophy and mathematics, as well as its contribution to world literature, is lauded: "Greek literature, ancient and modern, is humanity's richest and most notable literature, an inexhaustible fount of lofty teachings and rare aesthetic pleasure."

It created the two great Epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, in its very first historical steps” (Ellinikos Vorras 21.1). Indeed, the Greek language is said to be the "founder and mother of all languages" (Nea 16.1g).

While the significance of the Greek language at a worldwide level is lauded, and Greek culture is interpreted as the primary part of global culture, the present phase of globalization is construed negatively as a danger to the Greek language, which is of great interest.

A Prospective View Is The Second Trend

Texts in this trend criticize the Academy's announcement and dismiss the Academy's claims that Greeklish is a danger to the Greek language. In contrast to writings with a retroactive perspective, they usually have a favorable attitude toward technology.

They downplay the significance of the Academy's arguments by attacking the book's rhetoric, the linguistic characteristics used, the exaggeration inherent in the arguments, and the technophobia that seems to pervade the work.

Surprisingly, the arguments of the first trend are often repeated. This replication, on the other hand, provides as a beginning point for rejecting these arguments as incorrect or unimportant.

The wording of the Academy has been dubbed a "panic-stricken" declaration and "a monument of language-defensive fury" (Vima 21.1).

It is often claimed in this trend's writings that the Academy's text uses conventional rhetoric about the Greek language, portraying it as old, as having "enriched Latin and other major European languages" and "spread civilization across the globe."

This rhetoric is not new, and it is backed up by historical and theological discourses, as stated in the preceding section. It sees Greeklish as a danger and has participated in previous debates over the Greek language (for instance, discussions concerning Demotic and Katharevousa).

“[The Academy document] includes yet another lengthy exaltation of the Greek alphabet, as that employed to defend the circumflex both in the 19th century and some 25 years ago,” according to one of the texts. (20.1) The Academy's text's wording is also a source of criticism.

“Moreover, [the Academy's text] employs a spelling of other times (not the official spelling taught in schools today) and a vocabulary which arbitrarily lapses into Katharevousa,” according to a number of different texts in this trend: “Moreover, [the Academy's text] employs a spelling of other times (not the official spelling taught in schools today) and a vocabulary which arbitrarily lapses into Katharevousa” (Nea 20.1).

At this point, it's important pointing out certain discrepancies between the linguistic characteristics used in the first two trends' texts. Unlike writings in the first trend, which heavily rely on language from Katharevousa, texts in the second trend are marked by a propensity toward conversationalization and informalization of speech (Fairclough 1992), as the following formulations show:

“Nobody has explained to us how someone may simply be born, live, die, be happy, prosper, and be unfortunate without questions and answers,” says the speaker.

No. “Let me say this once and for all” (Vima 28.1b), “I trust the ladies and gentlemen of the Academy will pardon me, but...” (Thessaloniki 15.1)

Furthermore, writings from the first trend often use Greek letters to allude to the English terms ‘éêéô' I kombjter] and ‘ô°ôô' [to nternet], the English words for computer and the Internet.

On the contrary, the corresponding Greek terms ‘çêôéêßéóô' are often found in writings from the second trend. ‘Ôéóéêüôùçêôéêéöööööööööööööööööööööööööööööööööööööööööööööööööööööööööööööö ööööööö ‘ôäéáäßêô' [to äiaäiktio], ‘çêôéêüôáäß' [to lojizmikó ton ilektronikón ipolojistón], ‘çêôéêüôáäß' [ikeniks èalámus sinomilión], ‘éêéêèáÜóéé' [ikoniks èalámus sinomilión], which are the Greek terms for computers, computer software, the Internet, e-mail, and chat rooms, respectively.

The texts in the first trend see technology as alien to them. These writings create space between themselves and the new technology by referring to the computer and the Internet by their foreign names rather than their Greek counterparts.

Adoption of the Greek comparable words, on the other hand, which is common in writings from the second trend, helps to the development of intimacy and a better comprehension of technology.

The use of hyperbole is another topic of criticism of the original text. The argument advanced in a number of writings in the second trend is that the Academy's statement addresses a non-existent issue: “Do we, maybe, like worrying?”

Is it possible that when we are in danger, we feel better?” (Vima 28.1a), “the concern is unjustified” (Kathimerini 1.2), “the Academy of Athens has invested the issue with its authority and elevated it into a serious matter that is in essence non-existent” (Vima 28.1b), “The contest with supposed dark forces that are consciously and in an organized fashion are contriving the introduction of the Latin alphabet is, in the circumstances of today, exaggerated a great deal” (Vima 28.1c (Vima 28.1b).

Furthermore, the text of the Academy is tinged with technophobia: “some kind of phobia has afflicted these distinguished intellectuals” (Kathimerini 1.2), “the careful reader can detect certain misunderstandings or imperfect knowledge of the actual facts - even a veil of technophobia” (Kathimerini 1.2). (Kathimerini 14.1).

This technophobia is said to be the consequence of a misunderstanding or lack of information about technology advancements.

It is also noted that the Academy's article was published after the issue with Greek typefaces had been resolved: "Instead of offering answers, they condemn... computers and global communication, rather than assisting in the resolution of a technical difficulty" (Nea 20.1).

This movement primarily employs two kinds of discourses. The first is an instrumental technical discourse that pinpoints the problem's source: “The reason why this form of Greek is widely used has to do with computer software, which initially did not allow for the use of the Greek alphabet” (Makedonia 14.1), and offers solutions: “Today, in all commonly used Internet software, you can use the complete alphabet, in accordance with ISO-8889-7 standards” (Makedonia 14.1).

Also, if the worldwide Unicode standard is widely adopted, the Greek alphabet (and the polytonic system) will be intrinsically supported - this is critical - by all software created” (Kathimerini 14.1).

Furthermore, unlike the texts in the first trend, which approach the global from the perspective of a glorious (global) past that provides (or should provide) the foundation for the local today, the texts in this trend develop a view of glocalization that is primarily concerned with technological localization.

The problem of software interface localization is a recurring theme in these writings. “This is a completely technical problem,” as one of the paragraphs states. To converse in Greek via the Internet, our interlocutor's computer must have the necessary software installed, which must be made in Greece… Even in Greece, there is a lack of interoperability between the various businesses' systems” (Elefteria Larissas 18.1).

It's worth noting that this technical discourse takes a value-neutral and ideology-free approach to technology. The fundamental premise is that technology exists to solve issues such as these.

The second trend contains evidence of sociolinguistic discourses. A descriptive sociolinguistic discourse defines characteristics of a "technology idiolect": “For example, ‘' is written with a ‘8' rather than a ‘th'. ‘X' is replaced with ‘3', and so on....

Similar syntactical and grammatical shifts have occurred in English on the Internet. The arithmetical symbols ‘2' and ‘4', for example, represent the prepositions ‘to' and ‘for.' The goal of these changes is to increase speed.”

Greeklish is also described as a sort of "glossary" on another occasion: "This is no more than one of the glossaries which the youth use among themselves… And just because young people choose to speak in Greeklish does not imply that, contrary to popular belief, this hybrid script is gaining traction as an alternative script, posing a danger to Greek script.”

Greeklish is described as a "jargon" that separates insiders from outsiders in the following excerpt: "it works as a jargon in which the initiated are distinguished from the uninitiated who join the Internet." (Vima 28.1a; Vima 28.1b; Vima 28.1c)

“Electronic script is midway between written and spoken conversation,” one element of this new “language variety” is explained. As a result, time is compressed” (Vima 28.1a), and “Greeklish has no rules… It's a spontaneous script that everyone puts together in their own unique manner… For example, the Greek letter 'beta' is written differently by different people: some write it as 'b,' while others write it as 'v.' (Makedonia 13.1)

A Resistive View Is The Third Trend

Texts in this trend vary from the Academy's text in that they use the occasion to highlight a variety of important concerns about the difficulties the Greek language confronts today in the face of global change.

They share certain viewpoints with writings from the second wave, but their major distinction is that they do not simply try to explain Greeklish. They also highlight concerns such as the impact of the dominant English language on so-called "little languages" on the Internet and the importance of English on the Internet, as well as a general skepticism of globalization's consequences.

Globalization's catalytic shifts, the shifting European dynamic, and advancements in information and communication technology are all seen to have resulted in a restructuring of social identities and worries about the future role of "weaker" languages. Proposals are also made for actions to be done in light of the new scenario that has arisen.

There is a figurative discourse of resistance here as well, but it is realized differently than in the first trend's writings. This opposition discourse, in particular, is neither founded on a retrospective discourse rooted in history's grandeur, nor on ethnocentric notions of the Greek language's significance.

It is also not motivated by "a dread of every change, every discovery... and a nostalgia for the past" (Nea 3.3), which is always seen to be superior to the present and future. On the contrary, the resistance discourse in this trend stems from a desire to preserve “weaker” languages, such as Greek, and the need to fight for linguistic equality, because “[j]ust as technology does not truly provide equal opportunities, so the hybrid Greeklish is imposed on the middle strata - by force or like Circe - putting the educationall system in jeopardy” (Nea 16.1a).

Furthermore, as mentioned in one of the scriptures, "resistance is justified by a principle comparable to that which is established in nature." Biodiversity must be preserved.

As in nature, the diversity of biological species must be preserved for balance, so in culture, distinctions must be maintained via positive measures” (Vima 28.1a).

It's a question of "linguistic ecology," according to this viewpoint: just as we safeguard the different live species around us, we should likewise protect languages from extinction. The same text also criticizes the Academy's statement, pointing out its inconsistencies, and implying that any distinction between more and less important languages leads to homogenization and English dominance, which the Academy strongly opposes: “The Greek language, it is stated in the text, has enriched not only Latin, but the principle European languages.”

However, it neglects to note that the Greek language has been enhanced by other languages...

Anyway, what does this argument imply? That tiny languages that haven't contributed to the enrichment of others aren't deserving as much protection?” (Vima 28.1a; Vima 28.1b; Vima 28.1c)

The desire to foster linguistic variety via a "multilingual, heteroglossic, and polyphonic ethos" is reflected in the works in this movement (cf. Dendrinos, 2001). Although it is recognized that “nobody has ever proposed the use of the Latin alphabet” (Nea 16.1e, Nea 16.1f), the use of the Latin script in electronic communication is not a serious danger.

Many nations advocate for particular steps to ensure that their languages are present in cyberspace” (Nea 16.1d). Resistance develops as a consequence of the difficulties that today's weaker languages face, mainly as a result of "globalization" (Prin 14.1): "in recent years, the Greek language has been subjected to a variety of pressures, both in the spoken and written word" (Avgi 21.1).

Most significantly, the opposition discourse advocated here is prospective rather than retrospective, aiming to “create acceptable attitudes toward present change” by looking into the future using the past as a foundation (Bernstein, 1996, p.77).

As one passage put it: “If, then, there is this strong trend towards English-speaking, and, even more so, towards techno-English which will steam-roller national languages, and in fact there is, there is just as much an equally strong trend on the part of cultures and languages not to submit, to resist, to preserve themselves, not as romantic nostalgia, but an active value towards their present and their future.“ (Avgi tis Kiriakis 14.1)

There is a strong desire to oppose globalization's uniformity and its encouraged monolingual, monoglossic, and uniphnonic ethos. “Culture... is the product of relations,” it is claimed. Conflict relations, in which competing inclinations, conflicting values, various ways of life, social connections, and interests that do not fit into the mold of a uniformity imposed from above are expressed” (Avgi tis Kiriakis 14.1).

As a result, we cannot remain "passive spectators of a global cultural re-ordering that tends to strike a blow particularly at Greek, primarily because of the uniqueness, rarity, and prestige of its alphabet" (Nea 16.1a). This resistance, however, cannot be limited to the Greek language, since “if our language is in danger, aren't all the world's languages, and with them local cultures, in peril from the maelstrom of globalization and cultural homogenization?” (18.1) Elefteria Larissas

On the surface, it may seem that the writings in this trend have a pessimistic view of globalization and its cutting-edge tool, the Internet. “The steam-rollering brought by globalization, a leveling which sets aside history, culture, traditions, manners and customs, the identity, that is, of each state, disturbs many Greek citizens as to the ‘day after' of our country,” writes one author (Paron 21.1).

Several works in this trend express worry that the Greek language may succumb to globalization. “National languages, especially those of tiny countries, such as the Greek country, are doomed to degradation and eventual extinction in the melting-pot of globalization,” it is even claimed (Avgi tis Kiriakis 14.1).

On the other hand, formulations that acknowledge current linguistic imperialism while also arguing that “previous eras have undergone comparable kinds of linguistic imperialism that have wiped out language particularities within their sphere of influence” suggest an optimistic globalization narrative.

And, like Latin, Greek previously had the status that English currently has. Hundreds of languages were wiped off by printing and nation-states, much more efficiently than the Internet” (Vima 28.1a). “The only remedy that is offered appears to be ‘no to globalization,'‘no to technology,' as if the death of the language is deterministically taken for granted,” says the author, moving away from the deterministic stance of the first trend, which offers no alternatives (Elefteria Larissas 18.1) and, in contrast to the second trend's narrow focus on English as a technical issue, the third trend's texts situate Greeklish in its socio-historical context, attempt an analysis of its ideological underpinnings, and make future recommendations based on the possibilities offered by electronic communication media.

Most significantly, the works in this movement do not return to great historical narratives, instead turning to history to create "a social, historical knowledge of contemporary reality" (Nea 16.1d). Language users are regarded as active social actors who “often borrow, adapt, evaluate and re-assess, or even reject different linguistic sources” (Avgi 21.1), and new technologies and the Internet are seen as “working tools” (“áßáäéÜ”) (Nea 16.1e).

Skepticism is expressed as to the “ideology of linguistic (and more general) conservatism that has marked Greek history” (Nea 16.1d) and the “ahistorical, ethnocentric, conservative, and, in the end, misleading footing on which the issue is placed” (Nea 16.1f) in texts in the first trend. The maintenance of particularity, particularly national particularity (Nea 16.1d), is valued.

However, the stance taken here is not anti-globalization, but rather anti-Americanization and associated monetary and consumer values. “In opposition to McDonald's French fries and Coca-Cola culture” (18.1) Elefteria Larissas Technology isn't here to annihilate humans (Nea 16.1f). “Using the Latin alphabet to write Greek in Internet communication is not only not a terrible thing, but rather a wonderful thing, since even when we can't write in Greek due to technological problems, we find a way to do it.”

We will use whatever measures necessary to maintain our language” (Elefteria Larissas 18.1).

Inverting the Academy's reasoning, a text claims that "we know, however, from history that the only way for a culture to survive at such crucial times is creative absorption of new challenges to its advantage, rather than its stubborn isolation on the pretense of non-existent threats" (Nea 16.1e). As a result, it's critical to look into how "technology may be utilized as a vehicle for the dissemination and expansion of our language to the furthest reaches of the planet" (Elefteria Larissas 18.1).

In reality, writings in this trend are the only ones that take into account this "creative absorption of new problems" and go on to suggest concrete actions that must be done in this regard. “The entire body of ancient literature, for example, should be digitized and made available in cyberspace, so that anyone can have direct access to any text,” “the world-wide electronic library should be supplemented with Greek texts of all periods” (Nea 3.3), “[the Academy] should put the entire body of Greek poetry, the entire body of ancient Greek literature on a site on the Interweb” (Nea 3.4), “[the Academy] should put the entire body of Greek poetry, the entire (Elefteria Larissas 18.1).

Other ideas include funding programs that educate the Greek language through the Internet, as well as financial assistance for a program that provides free software for communicating in Greek.


As can be seen from the above analysis, attitudes toward the use of Greeklish are deeply rooted in the Greek sociocultural context, where questions about the official language and graphic system have dominated long and contentious social and political debates since the country's founding in the 19th century.

Greeklish responses are related to a perception of the Greek graphemic system as inextricably linked to the Greek language and Greek national identity. The retrospective perspective is statistically the strongest of the three major patterns observed. Its arguments are very similar to those advanced in favor of Katharevousa and, to a great extent, in support of other meta-linguistic theories after 1980.

Its profound historical roots give it a distinct point of view that has already been given a solid form. According to the corpus, it functions as a strong pole that draws adherents from all walks of Greek life, including intellectuals, university professors, journalists, politicians, and laypeople.

It sees the problem of Greeklish as crucial, as the "thin end of the wedge" for future threats to the Greek language and identity, both of which are under direct attack.

The elegiac tone, as well as the sense of outrage and anger that pervades most of the poems, is noticeable. References to history abound, not just to emphasize the enormity of the "good" that is under jeopardy, but also to show the Greek alphabet's tenacity in the face of adversity.

The solutions to the pressing issue of the country's role reorientation in this crucial time are readily at hand - answers taken from the well-stocked quiver of the past (Swidler, 1986).

The prospective viewpoint downplays the significance and scope of the problem by framing it in terms of technology (a technological flaw that will be addressed) or sociolinguistic issues (a new variety of script). This attitude may also be seen as a reflex response to the Academy of Athens, which has a history of being tainted by conservative linguistic and political choices.

In quantitative terms, this is the second most essential issue to consider.

It is undeniable that it reflects a portion of the concepts stated by Demoticism in the past, especially that portion dealing with the refutation of retrospective arguments.

Furthermore, proponents of this viewpoint - especially older generations - make a point of emphasizing the strong ties to this heritage, whether directly or indirectly (democratic principles, linguistic options).

This is an outward-looking, prospective, and future-oriented tendency that in no way diminishes the significance of the Greek alphabet. It is probably the most genuine trend of glocalness, based on the findings in the literature discussed previously.

The opposing viewpoint distances itself from the Academy's views, but uses the opportunity to highlight concerns that pertain to the important challenges that Greeks are confronted with at this key transitional time. The reasoning of the second trend often includes views held by the second trend. The third point of view differs in that it is not limited to a description of Greeklish.

Pressure on "little languages" as a result of English's dominance on the Internet is discussed, and in certain instances, suggestions for alternatives, strategies, and the implementation of projects in the new global scenario are made. This is a combative perspective that does not dismiss particularity, but rather uses it as a springboard for an outward-looking attitude.

Texts in this movement advocate a more critical, multicultural, and multilingual world in lieu of an American-dominated globalization. This point of view is linked to the portion of the Democratic movement that was connected with new educational choices.

These three views compress the two opposing approaches, which have previously clashed over the country's political direction, again using linguistic problems as a starting point. The degree to which the first and, to a lesser extent, the second views' arguments are re-formulations of comparable arguments from the past is especially apparent.

Greeklish seems to be acting as a catalyst for exposing significant disparities in the country's direction and the formation of contemporary Greek identity at a crucial juncture, much like comparable occurrences in the past.

Despite the documented disputes, no one in these writings, for example, has raised any doubts regarding the use of the Latin script to write Greek on a regular basis. It's noteworthy that occasional voices raised in the past to advocate for the use of the Latin or phonetic alphabet in Greek writing have found no resonance in this discussion.

Despite disputes over the full acceptability of the usage of the Greek alphabet in both traditional and technological literacy settings, there is a closing of ranks in this regard.

The importance of locality is evident in this example and throughout the talk.

The substance of localness, on the other hand, is not consistent among the three perspectives; it varies considerably.

In the case of globalness, things seem to be similarly complicated. In looking back, it's clear that the "international" is brushed aside in silence, while the "local" - as this perspective understands it - is given all attention.

More study is required, however, to determine if this perspective is a kind of self-absorption and denial of the international, as many of the texts in this analysis suggest, or a tendency that seeks the international only in the particular terms of the local. However, in the case of the third point of view, it is not possible to talk of a simple trend toward globalization, but rather of a tendency toward a re-evaluation of its substance.

The pattern of glocalness that, according to current research, defines many behaviors of modern societies - especially in connection to CMD behaviours - seems to be much more complicated than it is typically portrayed.

Another conclusion is that the tug-of-war between local and global is a long-term phenomena that has always been linked to different nations' political and ideological orientations, and that it shows itself most forcefully during crucial times of change.

At the same time, we do not undervalue the current developments or their implications for nations, civilizations, and social groupings. In the setting of a multilingual Internet, a historically contextualized, diachronic approach may make a major contribution toward a more complete, deeper understanding of the importance of our age's developments and CMC activities.

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About The Authors

Christoforos Karahaliidis

Christoforos Karahaliidis- Christoforos is always engaged in the Greek community and promotes the local economy. Chris just recently quit his job from finance to be a father to his new born baby. Casino and sport betting are the topics of interest for Chris since he was very young.

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