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计算机英语文章:Web Chat

2010年03月19日  所属:计算机英语  来源:江南大学外国语学院  作者:佚名

关于网络聊天的计算机英语文章一则。

Web Chat

  Would you like to join a virtual* party without leaving the comfort of your desktop? With web chat you can communicate in real time with people all around the world. In most cases, you don't need any special software, just your web browser. (For the best results, however, we recommend* that you use at least version 4.0 or later releases of Netscape Navigator or Microsoft Internet Explorer.)

  For many years, subscribers to America Online and other commercial online services were able to participate in chat sessions. Now it's possible to join chats offered by hundreds of websites as well. Actually, the word "chat" may be somewhat misleading, because you are not really talking to anyone, just typing and reading text messages that participants write. Once you enter a chat room, which is really just a web page that runs special software, you can choose to just read the exchanges, known as lurking*, or you can join in by posting your own messages.

  Many chat rooms focus the conversation on specific topics, such as health, politics, football and so on. That way, people with similar interests can find one another. Sometimes chat sessions can lead to truly stimulating exchanges, but they are just as likely to be a waste of time. You should also be aware that some chat rooms are adult in nature. Exchanges can be sexually oriented, so parents take note. None of this should stop you from trying this electronic interaction. It can be a lot of fun and the price is certainly right--generally it's free--so there's little to lose.

  A New Personality
  The first step is to locate a chat room that interests you. At the end of this article are some good places to start. Once you are on the website, you will usually be asked to register. You are free to use your real name, but many people make up a name. Not only does it conceal* your identity, offering you some privacy, but it lets you assume a new identity. It can be similar to role playing, where you can be anyone you want. Therein lies some of the fun, but be aware that other people may be living out their fantasies* online as well. Wild Bill might be a teenage girl. You should also know that if you don't sign-in with a name, you may be assigned the default name Anonymous*. With this moniker*, others in the chat room may avoid you or worse, tease you mercilessly.

  After you choose your chat persona, you may also be able to select an image to represent you. These graphics, known as avatars, can be anything from a frog to a prince or princess. Although communicating online lacks the nuances* we get when talking face-to-face, these friendly graphics can personalize the experience in a small way, and certainly break the monotony of a text-only screen. Once you are equipped with name and possibly an avatar, click the enter button and follow the instructions to choose a room.

  Join the Party
  Once inside, you will probably find yourself in the middle of a conversation. Take a few minutes to get the gist* of the exchange. There's no harm in lurking for a while before you join in. In fact it's not uncommon for chat rooms to have many more lurkers than participants. As the interaction continues, new postings appear at the top or bottom of the list. Once you feel confident enough to participate in the discussion, just type your message in the blank box at the bottom of your screen and click the Talk button or hit the Enter or Return key on your keyboard. Soon your message will be posted in the chat room and people may respond.

  The same rules of behavior apply in chat rooms as they do to other online communications, so be sure to avoid offending anyone. To minimize the amount of typing, people often use emoticons* and abbreviations.

  If you want, you can make a general posting to everyone in the chat room, expounding your views. But just like in the real world, you can also address your comments to a specific person. "Hey, Wild Bill, I had just the opposite experience . . ." Although everyone can read your message, it's clear that it's intended for a particular individual. Some chat rooms let you have private conversations by clicking on the name of a participant.

  While web chats can offer an engaging* experience, proceed with caution. Use common sense. Remember that all your postings are public. Even if it appears that there is only one other person in a room, others can be lurking. Don't give out personal information to strangers you meet online--certainly not your address, phone number or credit card account. Having said that, it's time to start chatting.

  注释:
  virtual: adj. 虚的,虚拟的
  recommend: vt. 推荐, 介绍
  participate lurking: (新用户的)"潜伏"(在USENET上作为旁观者,不参加讨论)
  conceal: vt. 隐藏, 隐蔽, 隐瞒 v. 隐蔽
  fantasies:梦想,幻想
  Anonymous:adj. 匿名的
  moniker: n. 名字, 绰号
  nuances: n. 小块, 瘤, 结节, 要点, 残端, 残根
  gist: n. n. 要点, 要旨
  emoticons: 由字符组成的图释,也称作Smiley,由emotion和icons合成
  engaging:adj. 动人的, 有魅力的, 迷人的


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