Electronic environment breaking new ground in folklore: "Magma" as an oral formula
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The pioneering work of Alan Dundes has called attention to the fact that using the terms "folk" and "peasant" synonymously excludes primitive societies and city dwellers from the concept of folk. This study delves into the question of whether or not the users of www.itiraf.com can be regarded as a "folk group" in Dundes' terms. Can "magma" be considered an oral formula in this electronic environment functioning via a new orality, regarded as "secondary orality" by Walter J. Ong, which is dependent on writing and texts? In search of an answer to this question, following data from www.itiraf.com's help page on the function of the website and how "magma" has come to be used, an analysis of the oral formula in line with Dundes' studies shall be given with reference to the notions of texture, text and context. At www.itiraf.com where users share their life experiences, "magma" is used as an exaggerated expression for "sinking through the floor" and is present in other platforms on the internet such as Ekşi Sözlük (Sourtimes) and Urban Dictionary, thus becoming an oral formula for other Turkish- / English-speaking users, as well. By illustrating how "magma" is put to use with traditional and urban elements at www.itiraf.com and how this oral formula is listed in some dictionaries on the internet, this paper pinpoints the significance of technology and the city for folklore.