The Elcor (an elephant-like monotone talking species from the videogame series Mass Effect) prefix all verbal communications with an implied emotional tone, or a pseudo-emotive statement. This, @cactopops (on app.net) pointed out, is an incredibly effective way of conveying tone in text-based communication (without simplifying to emoji I might add). Prefixing tweets and app.net posts with an emotional perspective or statement hashtag would allow our tone to be more clearly encoded in our message.

There are further upsides to communicating this way. My favourite example is this. If you do not know what tone you are trying to encode, then what value does your message have? Do the words alone convey the tone (especially given the contraints of short-form writing)? As an excercise in emotional self-awareness, if you write the tone of your message first, that allows you to check yourself before you wreck yourself before you hit send or publish. Is emotion required? And will your message be positively or negatively charged?

Also, think of the trending and stats possibilities if there is a large uptake in communicating this way. Picture this…

  • #FishingForLuls (Moral Trolling)
  • #ProvokingForAngryReaction (Immoral Trolling)
  • #PointlessMiniPublicDiarising
  • #WithMuchAnger
  • #Thankfully
  • #Sincerely
  • #Cautiously
  • #Apologising
  • #Humbly

While researching this post (to see if this was an isolated phenomenon), I found another post, by Nick Sheridan: “Talk like an Elcor day: Walk with the aliens! Talk with the aliens! Grunt and squeak and squawk with the aliens!”, and many forums which have experimented with speaking like an Elcor.

In very short-form communication (think 140 – 265 characters) with strangers and accquaintances, what better way to communicate than like an Elcor?