Because I Said I Would





Because I Said I would


Self-proclaimed explanation: “Because I said I would is a social movement and nonprofit organization dedicated to bettering humanity through the power of a promise. To encourage positive change and acts of kindness, we send “promise cards” to anywhere in the world at no cost. “


Employee’s Point of View: Black Friday

Employee's Point of View: Black Friday


Gee discusses the significance of decoding and one’s identity when it comes to words.  “Neither sounds nor letters themselves have any meaning (p 46).”  When reading the initial comment in this post, the language and attitude are very apparent.  This commenter gave these words particular meanings.  Stevie comes into the scene and observes the first commenter’s identity as a weak individual.  He is urging them to DO SOMETHING about their current situation.  But what does Stevie know about “justsayin?”  Probably nothing more than what was posted above.  Which brings me to another point.  Identity.  On, Gee’s identity connection with meaning is seen on every article that has a comment attached to it.  People can choose any id they want for their comments to be posted by.  No one has to assume their own name or even anything related to themselves.  They purposefully “hide” their identity and become someone new, someone bold, someone not worried about other’s feelings in this online forum.  Maybe this employee needs their job to pay their bills, maybe they would be fired if they tried to mention having the day off, maybe Stevie is  CEO.  The possibilities are endless and that is what makes identity such a significant aspect of language.  Gee was really onto something.  The words themselves may have no meaning, but when we develop an identity for ourselves and then speak words, we immediately give them meaning.  The lack of meaning in sounds and letters reminds me of Bakhtin (also mentioned by Gee- pages 110-111.    

Corn-Throwing Incident: One of the arrested, comments online

Corn-Throwing Incident: One of the arrested comments online

If you click on the picture, it will bring you to the article that was posted on  Now, one of the accused (and arrested) individuals (Phil Hess) made his way to the site to plead his case.  He was looking to defend himself.  Honestly, I am surprised that 2 months later, his posts are still on the site.  Gee would describe this particular use of language as “perspective-taking.”  Phil is using these particular words to provide an audience with “an alternative way to view one and the same state of affairs” (p. 53).  The journalist provides one view (most likely supplied to her by the law enforcement involved in this case).  Phil wanted a way to make his perspective known.  This particular article brought out many comments in the couple days after it was published with many other individuals (not involved in the case) announcing their opinion and perspective on the situation.

Please see the following posts to view other comments provided by Phil and other readers of this article. is powered by The Post-Standard.  The Post-Standard is the leading newspaper in Central New York and most specifically in the Syracuse area.  

I will examine the comments posted on this site as a means of determining how language is used in this affinity space and how it connects with the theories and explanations developed by James Paul Gee.