16 August 2007

Phonethics


How wud u lyk it f i strtd typing lyk dis?

I tend to be in a tolerating mood when it comes to SMS, but writing like this for other things?

Ironically, many people already do, especially the younger generation. They have gotten so hooked up with abbreviated texting that they now use this method in everyday writing. Think about it. We tend to ignore this simple fact of life, that people - especially in our country - do love the convenience of SMS but as the user range broadens to include kids, what will its effect be on their reading comprehension? Use of grammar? Spelling?

"wer n u d2 n me" - to be brutally honest, I found these forms of text messages irritating. However, I have, over time, started to accept these small grammatical horrors. But there are still those overly truncated messages that try to squeeze in a lot of information into one SMS that I often surrender deciphering and send my standard reply: "ha? I don't get it." To which the person concerned sends me another, spelled-out message. The good thing about it is, many of my text correspondents now take time to really spell things out.

And so this brings me to the subject of predictive texting courtesy of t9. Predictive texting has been around for quite some time now. The first time I used it was in the year 2000 with a Nokia 7110. I've been hooked ever since. The phone I have now - an office-issued N80 - even has a "Tagalog" option for predictive texting. How convenient is that?

How do you activate t9 texting? On Nokia phones, it's simple. The shortcut method is to open the messaging window and bring the cursor to the section where you would write your text message. Then press the pound key twice (this is at the lower right; the # symbol is accompanied by an arrow symbol). You will see that the text mode indicator at the upper right side of the screen will have two lines next to it, indicating predictive texting mode. To turn t9 off, just press the pound key twice.

Compare the number of keys you have to press when typing the word "hello":
conventional method: 4433555555666
t9 method: 43556

The website www.t9.com has a tutorial for predictive texting. Give it a try!

And since we're on the subject of mobile phones, I suggest you check out the battery of your Nokia phone. There are BL-5C batteries out there that may be hazardous to your health due to overheating. And you know what happens when batteries overheat! Check out this product advisory from Nokia to see if your Nokia model is affected. You will get a free battery replacement of yours is included in the defective batch.

One last tip for mobile phones, not just for Nokia. Be very careful when bringing your phone in Divisoria! Or better yet, don't bring it at all! I lost my phone there last December, and I still haven't gotten over it. I loved the 6630's camera; it's even better than this N80's 3 megapixel version.

Happy weekend eveyone!

[photo credit: answers.com]
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