The present study on politeness is an attempt to examine (dis)agreeing strategies utilized by EFL learners while chatting on the internet. Subjects of the study were forty male and thirty-three female Iranian natives whose internet relay chat (IRC) interactions, composed of 400 excerpts, were collected between December 2007 and September 2008. Data analysis was based on the general taxonomy of politeness strategies suggested by Brown and Levinson (1987) which is the baseline of many politeness studies today. The results indicate that IRC is a mode of communication whose characteristics are typically different from face-to-face and real-life conversational settings. Some common face threatening acts (FTAs) like ‘direct disagreements’ are performed widely in chat channels. Furthermore, gender-oriented differences were found not to be statistically significant on the internet.
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