OT "online" (was: computer time, was: MNDungeon)

Mark A Mandel mam at theworld.com
Wed Jan 29 08:13:19 PST 2003

On Wed, 29 Jan 2003, Davis, Iain E. wrote:

#Hmm. Define "online".
#If it means "at a computer", It's probably something close to 100
#hrs/wk for me.

I certainly wouldn't call it that, any more than being in a room with a
radio -- not necessarily turned on -- counts as listening to the radio.
"Online", to me, means actively using the Internet (including its
subset the WWW).

Well, I guess it could depend on context. If my machine is connected to
the Internet and I get an alert when email arrives, even if I'm using a
local app, then I could say that I'm online in the sense of being
accessible by Internet, but not in the sense of where my attention is.

I find this question interesting linguistically, and I'm bcc-ing this
post to the American Dialect Society's discussion list.

-- Mark A. Mandel
   Linguistic Data Consortium, University of Pennsylvania