In looking for a sublet and posting a sublet on Craigslist for this coming summer, language and images are everything. Even on the listing screen, you can tell from the title whether the posting is by a spammer, a broker, or a person you might get along with. The string of <150 characters in listing titles are arranged, CAPITALIZED, misspelt., !!!*~over excited~*!!!, and less frequently from a cool, calm, normal human you’d actually like to live with.

I just engaged in my first ever posting, and I found myself looking at example postings to capture the “Craigslist Speak”. I pondered “What does asterisk surrounding a word in all caps say about me?”. There is a specific addressee, and on this low-tech, basic html site, you, as the addressor, have to adapt to the native lingo to gain attention. The site is coded in an informal format, and as an addressor, it feels like you’re supposed to use incorrect grammar and spellings to get the point across and feign importance.

The context of Craigslist is a perfect example of semitics at work. It has been a hilarious experience to code my wording to operate well in this context. Check out my posting to see how I tried to speak Craigslist: