WoW_Ladies: Girl Gamers of World of Warcraft


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LF research help!
jesus
alckly wrote in wow_ladies
Hello everyone,

I'm a student at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. For the final paper in my linguistic anthropology course, I am writing about jargon acquisition in World of Warcraft. Part of my thesis involves looking at differences in jargon use between male and female players.



Anway, I am looking for informants to answer a series of questions:

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?
When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?
How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?
How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?
How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?
Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?

If you're interested in participating, either answer as a comment, or e-mail me at ci2907@wayne.edu


Thanks!

Edit: Wow you guys (gals?) are awesome! Thanks to everyone who's helped out!

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When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?
January of 2008. I have four level 80s.

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?
All sorts of things: in-game terms like heroics, instances, and mobs. Communication shorthand like lfg or pst. Abbreviations like DPS, GCD, dots and hots. Specific jargon related to aspects of the game, like "cleave" in PVP, or even things like "tank" and "threat". Basically, I think of any word or term the meaning of which is not immediately apparent to the uninitiated listener.

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?
I usually Googled the term, asked a real-life friend, and only very rarely asked someone whom I knew only through the game. I was able to learn some of it via context -- I figured out that "pst" meant "send me a whisper", though I thought that the reason it was pst was because you were whispering (like, "pssst! I saw you advertising in trade") -- it took a bit longer to get that it was

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?
I would ask players whom I knew in real life more often than players I met only through the game.

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?
Fairly often. WoWWiki was pretty helpful for most terms.

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?
I absolutely use abbreviations (e.g., LFG, WTB, DPS, hots). Jargon is necessary to communication in raids, but I'm also going with the assumption that people have already gained the fluency in the jargon of the game at my level. I do, however, use proper spelling and grammar.

I thought that the reason it was pst was because you were whispering (like, "pssst! I saw you advertising in trade")

Me, too! Haha.

I'll help! : )

I started playing in February(ish) 2005, but not often until the following year. I have 6 lv.80 characters because I really like leveling and trying out new classes. :p

I think of mostly acronyms & abbreviations, but some other raiding/pvp terms... aggro, DPS/HPS, AoE, "pull threat," HoTs, DoTs, "theorycraft," LFM/LFG, tank, AFK, etc.

I don't really know how I learned to read trade/general chat. I'm an English major and I like languages so I imagine I just figured it out, with the occasional question to my friends who have gamed much longer than I have.

I'd say I used other players/friends once in a while, but again, I did a lot of figuring out on my own.

I haven't used a website to explain a term.

I use proper spelling and grammar/punctuation (you'll never catch me saying "lol wat do u want" or something that unbelievably stupid looking/sounding), but I use the "technical" WoW terms, I guess, because there isn't any other set of language for what I want to say in game.

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?
January 2007. Two level 80s, hunter main and death knight alt.

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?
The words and abbreviations used in the game, like PST, mats, LFG.

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?
Some of it was just picked up as I kept playing, some of it I googled.

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?
None at all currently.

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?
I think I did it about once or twice.

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?
I try to use more "proper" spelling for the most part, such as party/raid/guild chat. If I have to do something that involves trade chat (like to recruit someone into a group, advertise my profession), I'll use the abbreviations and whatnot.

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?
I started around March 2005, and I have 3 level 80s currently.

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?
Words like DPS, HOTs, Pwnt, QQ, and of course the specific abbreviations for the instances.

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?
Mostly my best friend who was already in WOW, was teaching me anything that I find confusing.

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?
Very seldom.

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?
It depends. Unless I took a long break from WOW to come back to a new major patch, I usually pretty much know much of the in-game terms as I've been in WOW for some years already. It also helps to be a gamer in other games, D&D tabletop, and pretty much a fantasy novel reader.

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?
I use abbreviations for instances only pretty much. I usually prefer to do proper spelling and proper sentences as I'm pretty much of a perfectionist whore in real life. I can't stand people who use so many abbreviations until my eyes ache!



P.S. Also not sure if this helps in your paper but since you're finding out difference between male and female players... I'm male, though I'm gay, so you might wanna factor in sexuality.

Always knew that on-line gaming would be great fodder for someone's thesis!

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?

About a year ago, and I have two Lvl80s and some lowbies.

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?

The lovely expressions that filter over to real life.

- Bio-break. A break in fighting for the biological processes.
- Pug in. "Yeah, we're bit late on the project, so we'll need to pug in a consultant".
- Out of mana. Too damn tired to think right now.

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?

Osmosis. Trade chat isn't so important that I need to understand everything, so I caught on regularly. "Mats" for instance, I picked up from context.

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?

Not very often.

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?

Just once or twice. A fruitless endeavour.

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?

Ye gods, yes! lfm uk hc wsp ilvl lnk ach wtf? l2type ye lazy basterds. It's actually a useful skill later in life!

Ah yes. I'm a boy, though I RP girls now and then.

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?
November 2004, Level 80s galore

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?
Tank/Bubble/Hearth/Pwn/nub/BG/Raid
DOTs/HOTs/DPS/LFM/WTB/CoH/POM various instance abbreviations

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?
I played other MMO's and a lot of the "jargon" is pretty universal. Anything I didn't know, I either asked my best friend, who also plays, or eventually just figured it out from the context it was being used in.

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?

Rarely

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?

I honestly don't think I have ever used a website to explain an in-game term.

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?

I use various abbreviations that are necessary to communicate with others. After 5 years of seeing DoTs/HoTs/LF1M etc, it becomes habit to communicate in abbreviations rather than spelling it all out.

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?

- I started playing WoW in Nov. 06. And I have 3 max level characters.

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?

- Obviously "tank" and "Dps" come to mind. I would also say that when you "Leroy" something, and when you "ninja" something. Those are new jargons I had to learn when I started playing. "Noob" is another good one. :)


How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?

- Trade chat took me a while to decipher, as I was a noob and never wanted to asked for help for what anything meant.


How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?

- When I did ask for help, I would do it on a level 1 toon, and just ask in trade chat what that meant, and that I was new to the game. People eventually told me. So at the beginning, I asked a lot of people. About a few months ago, I had to ask my BF what "imo" and "imho" meant. >.>


How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?

- Once or twice I tried to look the words up. And nothing ever came up, as they were usually acronyms for stuff, or I just wasn't looking in the right spot.


Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?

- I use a lot of everything. I try to do proper spelling, but when I want to say something quickly, I usually use abbreviations and what not.




P.S. I'm a 22 yr old girl. :)

You should talk to iamleaper - she's a member of this community and has done a lot of linguistic WoW research.

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?
September 2005. I have 2 level 80s.

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?
Acronyms - LF, PUG, PST etc. and using those acronyms as words (PUG having been turned into a verb, for example)
Also, speaking about the game with other game players - even if it is "proper English" using English words, non-players have no clue what you are talking about. As my boss said: "I don't speak MMO."

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?
Well, my husband played for six months before I did... so he taught me everything.

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?
See previous answer. If he's not around, I ask my guild. I use the present tense because I still have to figure things out.

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?
I'll check Wowhead now and then if I'm at work.

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?
Yes, I use all of the above. I also used to use improper capitalization and punctuation (but never grammar or spelling) in chat... I don't really know why... but lately I've been just typing the way I would type a business letter or whatever.

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?
January 2008. I have three level 80's. (My DK dinged last Saturday)

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?
Anything you can say outside of game that make other people go "oh, you play WoW." This includes things such as zones, instance names, slang and terms that are thought of a WoW terms such as "raid, pwn, OP, ding" and in context "heroic, daily (or dailies), mats."

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?
Trade chat...I think you have to be an 11 year old boy to understand it most of the time. I'm on an RP server so people tend to use full sentences more often. The actual trade that happens in /2 is sometimes done in character "Come buy my wares. Some Rogues lockpicking open at SI:7 in Stormwind." etc.

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?
When I first started to play, I'd ask my guild (RL friends) fairly often. Now, it's rare.

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?
Rarely, if ever.

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?
A mix, it depends on what I'm doing. For LFG or things that are easier said with abbreviations I'll use them but, for the most part, full sentences. It's a lot easier to say "DK dps LF H-HoS (daily) or VoA10/25" than it is to say "I am 80 blood damage specialization death knight who is looking for a group to do the heroic daily dungeon quest, which is Halls of Stone. I am also interested in raiding the Vault of Archavon with either 10 or 25 players."

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?

June 06. I have 5 characters at 80.

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?

Aggros! Mob, creep, ffi, AP, DPS, Tank, Epicsssssss, LFG, LFM, Decurse, GCD, proc, lolz, noob

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?

Observation, really. To be honest, the only real 'jargon' in trade chat is instances and roles, these days. "LF1M TOC10 tank and dps". Beyond that, there isn't a whole lot. Most of the vernacular you come upon you'll encounter in a group.

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?

I don't really ask. I prefer to sit and think it out logically. I was quite proud when, after being in my latest guild for months, I figured out that 'ffi' means 'free for invite'.

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?

The only term I've really read up on is 'proc'. I don't recall what it stands for (I believe it's an acronym), but I know what it means in game terms.

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?

I've found that the slang is something of a requirement. Everyone knows what it means, and it tends to be a short-hand for what you want to say. Communicating fast becomes a necessity when you're in the middle of something.

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?
September 2007, and I have three level 80's, warlock, priest, and shaman.

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?
All words (tank, aggro, proc), acronyms (lfg, dps, poh, dnd), abbreviations (strat, cons, ret, enh), and popular phrases (learn to play, don't stand in the fire, merely a setback, guild princess) that don't make complete or any sense outside of the context of the game, or without being familiar with the game.

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?
Watching and learning. Watching trade scroll by on a high-pop server is a pretty immersing experience.

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?
I can't recall ever asking anyone in game about a term except for maybe recently asking someone to clarify if "LF1M healer ToC" means the 5, 10, or 25 player instance :P

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?
Exactly once. I wanted to know the origin of "proc" (turns out it's short for "special procedure").

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?
I use in-game terms for things as appropriate, and my grammar and syntax only crumble if I have to bark something out in raid chat in the middle of something. Or if I'm raiding drunk again.

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?
January 2009, one lvl80

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?
Mostly acronyms (eg DoT, WTF, LFG, UP, HC, MM/SV,QQ) and similar in-game references (eg Boomkin, lolret, tankadin, huntard, (bubble)hearth). Some things might be cross-mmo (tank/heal/dps, ninja, being on cooldown) but as I only play WoW I'm not sure :)

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?
Um, good question. Intelligent guesswork on some things, asking guildmates for others. Occasionally I'd read something on a blog and think 'Oooh, so *that's* what it means!'

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?
Most of it was guesswork, but guildies did help.

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?
Seldom

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?
I'll use jargon, acronyms etc, but only game-related ones (no 1337/txt speak).

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?
I started playing in November 2004, my highest character is level 80.

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?
In game terms that are unique to MMOs and World of Warcraft. Everything from PvP/PvE, to things like "Mankrik's wife" and Barrens chat.

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?
Uh, some of it was trial and error. Some I was lucky enough to know someone who was playing that had played EQ extensively. I usually asked him. Once I started reading WoW related websites, some of it fell into place as well.

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?
I was more likely to ask people who played that I knew, than just asking. Once I changed servers (because the friend's guild was a little beyond me at the time), I asked guildmates in guild chat. But for the first year, I had to ask a lot what things meant.

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?
Less often. I used websites and forums for in game mechanics more than terminology.

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?
It depends. Some things I always use the abbreviation for. I'm not spelling out Player versus Environment server. But for communication purposes, I'll use spelled out language. Even in trade chat, I'm more likely to post "Looking to buy spellweave cooldown! Send me a whisper!" than "LFG Spellweave cooldown PST." But then, I also play on an RP server, and I like making witty trade ads.

Don't have time to post, but as a person with a rhetoric degree, this is truly truly fascinating. Do you have something I can follow?

I'll post later.

yay I have time now ~_~

oooshiny

2009-12-04 04:30 am (UTC)

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?

April 09 - 1 lvl 80 mage

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?

Acronyms like HoT, DPS, AoE, PbAoE, for the horde etc

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?

A little, I had to figure out what LFM meant but I knew WTB

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?

not very often

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?

not very often

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?

I use everything, I do try to spell properly when I can >_>

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?

September 2006, highest level character is 80

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?

Game-related slang and acronyms, general gaming and even internet language (pwn, noob, QQ, etc).

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?

I mostly picked it up along the way. If there was something I didn't understand, like AoE, I'd ask a friend. Occasionally, if I was curious enough, I'd look things up (And usually regret it) - most were familiar to me, though. The only actual game-related one that threw me at the beginning was 'melee'. I knew what melee meant as a general definition, but I was hearing it in different ways in-game and wasn't quite sure what was meant.

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?

I can't remember how often I came out and actually asked - not that much, apart from in the beginning. Usually I left that option for things that involved game play rather than game culture. When I did, it was always friends or guildies that I'd ask.

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?

Also a few times in the beginning. If there were things that I didn't understand, they were usually pretty easy to figure out (or not worth the effort).

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?

I'll use some in a joking manner. In general, I like to spell things out - I don't use 'u' or 'ur', and I cringe a little bit when I see it. That's part of the reason I play on an RP server. I don't roleplay, but I do like that people tend to type actual words.

I should clarify on that last one - I absolutely use in-game abbreviations and jargon if it's play-related. When I'm setting up assignments for a fight, for example, I'm not going to type everything out.

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?
I began playing in May 2007 and my first toon, and first jargon use, is my level 77 shadow priest. She started out as a forsaken female and is now a Draeni female.

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?
WoW specific jargon, to me, are acronyms and abbreviations like "pwn", "mats", "Org", "lfg", "aggro", etc.

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?
I asked in my guild if I couldn't figure something out from context. Probably I whispered (/w) my RL friend in that guild so as not to appear uninformed.

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?
That's hard to say. It would have been more often in the beginning and less later on. Wow was my first MMORPG so a lot was new to me.

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?
I still look things up but not phrases or terms. Probably 20% of the time when I was a newbie and less so as time went on.

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?
I don't type in "netspeak" so I use you vs. u and have never told anyone to "learn to play" but if I had I wouldn't type "l2p". I do use commonly accepted terms such as "mats", "omw". I don't "lol" but I do < g > (for grin).

I am a 51 y/o woman who spent a lot of time in IRC a number of years ago and some of my typing shorthand survives from that (afk, lmao, imnsho, and others). When I learned that PST meant please send tell and a tell was /tell I realized that I wouldn't say to someone that they should pst me because that's incorrect. (Like Automatic Teller Machine Machine is ATM Machine) I wonder if people who specifically learned to touch type tend to type out more words than people who picked up the skill haphazardly.

I've been playing some other games recently and it seems much easier to say "I have aggro", "which mob are you targeting", and "why doesn't this game have a hearthstone!?!??" than to make up new terms and customs.

Good luck with your project. Please share your findings with us. I, for one, am very curious to see what you get.

ETA:Fixed weird html non tag

Edited at 2009-12-03 04:51 pm (UTC)

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?

June/July '07, Level 80

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?

I'd say abbreviations typically, i.e. dps, vc, hhol, etc. Anything that if you said it in real life any non-mmo-gamer would simply look at you like you were crazy and had two heads.

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?

I learned most of "WoW only" jargon from my boyfriend after I got my first 70 (pre-wrath, of course) because none of my other friends had bothered to help me much beyond a few gold here or there. Others I figured out on my own or carried over from my Guild Wars days.

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?

Usually asked one of the real-life friends who got me started on the game or that I've found since I started playing. I've also learned after two and a half years how to decipher most of it myself unless it's a massive typo.

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?

Rarely for an in-game term.

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?

When it comes to things like dps or lfg, or instance abbreviations, I will use the abbreviations. When it comes to "internet typing" like u or ur, I prefer to spell it out. I have one friend with whom I sometimes joke around with and will type things like "Takin' yer huntar out fer a walk?" to indicate pronunciation and such, but when talking with anyone but her, I type it out. I cringe when people type with single letters for words, be it in WoW or on the internet in general.

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?
July/August 08 (though I was prego at the time and didn't play that often. I had no clue what I was doing until Feb 09 when I rolled my mage). 2 80's, a mage and a druid.

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?
Ony, Eye, Uld, ToC, Naxx, SM Cath, etc. Mostly instance names or class specs. Since things like PvE, PvP, Tank, DPS, and the like are universal in many MMO's.
How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?
Observation. And my handy dandy boyfriend. I also thought PST meant "pssssst!!!" and he lol'd when I would say it.

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?
My guildies on occassion and they are usually completely unhelpful.

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?
Never.

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?
Both. Jargon is necessary in dungeons, raids, and making fun of guildies.

BTW: I'm a 22 year old female with an 11 month old (a year on the 26th!!!!!! /tear) little girl and I game with my SO.

Quickie question. Would you want us to gather a couple of males (like maybe SOs or something) to answer the questionnaire as well through e-mail? Or do you just want females at this point?

Mostly I'm looking for females right now, males have been pretty easy to come across :-) Of course, if anyone knows anyone who might be interested and isn't female, that's cool too--I'm not going to say no to informants!

- Began WoW in September of 2006. Highest character is 80.

- WoW related jargon, to me, is terminology only understandable as it relates to the game or slang that develops or is popularized in the game, or becomes associated with the game. First one that comes to mind is "newb." Other standouts are: epeen, ninja, gank, zerg, nerdrage, guild princess, grats, corpse camp and /wrist. The category might also include terms and slang that float around but didn't start in WoW, like proc, over 9000!, secret cow level, the cake is a lie, and needs more cowbell.

- I learned to decipher trade by reading trade extensively, a little by reading the WoW guide books, a couple times by asking friends.

- I'd say I referenced friends less than 5% of the time I didn't understand something, web sites, books, etc. about the same. This happened more in my first few months in game, and now almost never.

- I use abbreviations in game and in places like this community. I don't in conversation as often. My speech is peppered with WoW slang, though.

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?
My addiction began in December, 2004. My highest character is level 80.

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?
Things that only make sense in the context of WoW, like "item level, spec, resto, boomkin, gear score, and all those abbreviations like LF1M, WTS, GTG"

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?
For the abbreviations I tried to find words that made sense in terms of the context. For example "LF1M need tank" was an easy guess. All the terminology is built on itself. Like there are a lot of abbreviations that use ‘M’ that stand for ‘man’ so the first thing that I’ll think of if I see a new one that has an ‘M’ in it is to think of something with ‘man’ in it. Also, if I see a two letter abbreviation, I’ll try and match it to a dungeon name: ‘SM’ stands for Scarlet Monastery. More often than not I'd decipher them after a minute or two of thinking, but if I didn't I'd the person what they meant.

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?
Not too often. There's only a set number of abbreviations that are used, so maybe 2-3 times I'd have to ask what they meant.

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?
It took me forever to figure out what "^" meant in terms of forum posting, but that's not really specific to wow. I never looked up any wow jargon on a website or forum. Things like wikipedia or google define would rarely, if ever give a proper up-to-date definition. The Urban dictionary would probably be better, but it was just faster to ask someone in the game.

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?
I do use a lot of the abbreviations and jargon just because that is what everyone is expecting, and most people know what they mean. If I were to go into trade chat and say "My party needs another damage-dealer. We plan to raid the Trials of the Champion. Whisper me if you are interested in joining" I'm sure I would get much fewer responses than if I were to just say "LF1M dps ToC pst. On the other hand, if I’m having a conversation with someone as oppose to just typing out an ad, I tend to use the proper spelling with less of the abbreviations and jargon. Seeing “How u b? R we rdy 2 go yet?” is just annoying and hard to read.

"My party needs another damage-dealer. We plan to raid the Trials of the Champion. Whisper me if you are interested in joining"

Love this!

Good luck! This sounds very interesting, is the thesis you mentioned for your masters?

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?
I began playing about 15 months ago and I have one level 80 character so far.

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?
"Pwn," "lawl," "gank," "L2play n00b!!11!!" "QQ moar," "Leet," "epics" "phat lewtz." Raid related expressions, such as Tank, DPS, Flask, Tank'n'Spank, aggro, "Burn it," along with the vocabulary of in-game locations, items, etc. and inside jokes ("Leeeeeroy Jenkins" for example). I also find myself associating profession related terms and phrases with the game more frequently (eg. gem cutting).

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?
Trade chat on my realm wasn't too unintelligible, so other than leet-speak it didn't really require deciphering. Guessing and asking my boyfriend were my primary means of interpreting the phrases and acronyms I didn't understand.

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?
I often asked my boyfriend for definitions of words or phrases, mainly to explain leet-speak or dungeon/raid acronyms. I am not sure how often this occurred, maybe a few times each month when I first started playing?

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?
Maybe two or three times, when my boyfriend wasn't available to explain it to me.

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?
Only in jest, and only when speaking to certain people outside of the game. Otherwise, I always try to use proper spelling, punctuation, etc. when typing in guild/raid/general chat.

I wish this was for my masters! Alas, I am just a poor undergraduate--graduating in May though, if everything *ahem*thispaper*ahem* goes well.
thanks!

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?
About a year and a half ago; I have two level 80s.

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?
Acronyms like DoTs, HoTs, and DPS. Battle-related terms.

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?
My friend got me into the game and she explained.

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?
Never.

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?
About three times, for wow trivia.

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?
It depends what the word is. I'm going to type "DoT" instead of Damage over Time, but I don't abbreviate class or boss names.

Just out of curiosity, I typed in "define: lfm" into google, and here's what it said:

Definitions of lfm on the Web:

A term describing moisture levels (expressed in percentage) found in brush and trees.
forestry.alaska.gov/fire/glossary.htm

Linear Feet Per Minute: a measurement of air speed.
ehs.columbia.edu/a16.html

An aliquot of an environmental sample to which a known quantity of each method analyte is added in the laboratory. ...
wyagric.state.wy.us/text/textdivisions/textaslab/textqcterms.htm

When did you begin playing World of Warcraft, and what is your highest level character?
I started playing in October of 2006 (I think). I have 2 8s and a bunch of other alts 60+

When I say, "World of Warcraft related jargon," what comes to mind?
I think of all the abbreviations that we love to use to shorten phrases and names of places.

How did you learn to decipher, for example, trade chat?
For the most part, I have learned by reading the context. Now that I think about it, there is more than a bunch of abbreviations in WoW, there is often a rhythmic cadence to trade and LFG channels. "WTB (insert item here)" is a pattern we expect to see, so when I was young and learned WTB, I then saw "WTS (insert item here)" and was able to decipher by the context what the person wanted to do. When I saw "LFG for BFD" and knew what LFG was, I could then decipher that BFD was an instance and run through my mind thinking of all the instances and which one would be BFD.

If I have no idea, I'll often ask, but usually context works.

How often did you reference other players to have them explain an in-game term?
Actually I don't mind asking usually. If I'm really curious. I'll ask friends or guildies more often than strangers, but if I can't figur eit out, I'll ask.

How often did you reference a website or forum to explain an in-game term?
Not often. If I find it in game, I'll usually ask about it in-game rather than tab out to search for an answer.

Do you use in-game abbreviations, jargon, and slang, or do you prefer to use more "proper" spelling and so on?
Well, like I said above, I think there's an accepted pattern to how we speak. If I'm talking to someone, I will type out my words unless I'm being silly (like last night when I was talkign in an accent). But on the trade chat or LFG chat, it is not only acceptable but expected to put your shout-outs in a pattern that everyone knows and can easily scan and understand, like "LF1M tank for OK" or "WTS [mysterious orb] 100g, pst!". It's like APA or MLA formatting for WoW! You can go a little beyond the expected pattern, but too much out of the normal and people will have to take too much time to read your message, so they won't.

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