Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Whole New Language ... Every Few Months

Language can sometimes be impenetrable. Take this, from today's FT:

... the sector has encountered stout resistance from the top of its weekly Ichimoku cloud at 1,462 ... and from its 21 month exponential moving average ... a horizontal level of 1,500 dating back to just before the 1987 crash presents a further barrier ...

Doubtless if you follow stock market geek speak, then that all makes sense. For me, it was complete doubletalk. There's plenty more of the Ichimoku stuff later in the article where, apparently, its threatening to smother significant further upward progress.

As we see successive iterations of mobile phone technology, examples of doubletalk become more regular. Not quite as involved as Ichimoku or as complex as when I first confronted German; but hard nonetheless.

When you receive a text that doesn't quite make sense, you have to make some assumptions about what kind of phone the sender is using.

Is it a Nokia? If so, then gone and home are interchangeable. So are if and of.

Is it an iPhone? Then fir and for and have and gave can be swapped. I've noticed that increasingly I am sending texts with "yea" rather than "yes" - not terrible, but hardly my style.

Typing without looking at the keyboard is routine now - and correcting errors as they occur is time consuming (even if you notice them). So why bother?

Pedants will worry, inevitably, about the loss of the apostrophe with its and it's being largely the same for most texters. My personal bete noire - which is equally prevalent in text and email is the apparent sameness, for vast numbers of people, of your and you're. I've given up explaining the difference.

Having to think about the physical device the other person might be using makes for some difficult mental gymnastics as you decipher some texts. And that's without the teen talk of 2, UR, RU, 8 and whatever else it is that they use.

Once I'd installed the new iPhone 3.0 operating system, I noticed that it had changed some of its typo correction. The first version - nearly 2 years old now - used to assume that if you typed fet, rather than get, you meant FET (perhaps showing how geek users had developed the dictionary?). Each iteration brings updated dictionaries now - and you have to be ready for them.

I don't miss T9. I don't miss a 10 digit keypad. And I don't miss a physical one either. This is just observation, not complaint. Apart from the your/you're thing. That I could complain about for ages.


  1. Without T9 you will miss the wisdom it offers when typing in Jonas Brothers - how I laughed :-D

  2. Jones' Brother9:45 pm

    But what were you doing typing Jonas Brothers?