chapter  22
Cybertyping and the Work of Race in the Age of Digital Reproduction
Pages 17

Software engineers and academics have something in common: they both like to make up new words. And despite the popular press's glee in mocking both computer-geek and academic jargon, there are several good arguments to be made for the creation of useful neologisms, especially in cases where one of these fields of study is brought to bear on the other. The Internet has spawned a whole new set of vocabulary and specialized terminology because it is a new tool for communicating which has enabled a genuinely new discursive field, a way of generating and consuming language and signs which is distinctively different from other, older media. It is an example of what is dubbed "the new media" (a term refreshingly different from the all purpose "post" prefix so familiar to critical theorists, but destined to date just as badly). Terms such as "cybersex;' "online;' "file compression;' "hypertext link" and "downloading" are now part of Internet's user's everyday vocabulary since they describe practices or virtual objects which lack analogues in either offline life or other media. The new modes of discourse enabled by the Internet requires new terminologies and conceptual frameworks to describe it.