SPECIAL ISSUES Ways of Speaking

Real Life is on winter break. We’ve put together eight SPECIAL ISSUES for your consideration. We’ll publish one a day, each selected by an editor and based on a thematic topic. Click the image below for a pdf. And please enjoy these mid-season reruns until we return to our usual scheduled program.

What we say is always entangled with how we say it. Form doesn’t dictate content, but they mutually reshape each other in all media, and digital ones are no exception. Digital media have changed how readily ideas circulate, which in turn changes the sorts of questions we ask — of search engines as well as of each other. New ways of asking yield different ways of knowing, redefining what can be thought and who typically gets to be heard. A sense of information abundance brings a sense of omnipotence and hopeless inundation in equal measure. And meanwhile, what counts as speech itself changes with our new tools for talking, as we communicate visually and speak without words. How we listen, too, is altered, as we hear content in tandem with its virality, and momentum (rather than the medium) becomes the message. — Nathan Jurgenson, Founding Editor


Definition Not Found,” by Rahel Aima


E*MO*JIS,” by Laur M. Jackson


Free Recall,” by Britt S. Paris


Gif Horse,” by Britney Summit-Gil


Nathan Jurgenson is the editor-in-chief of Real Life.