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Thursday, July 11, 2013

SMS language ..... symbol for 'the' - Melbourne restaurateur

LUV; TIME; CU; ATM; LOL; KISS…………….the language of modern day youngsters which make English teachers and others red hot.. defying common abbreviations; no grammar; no syntax; no part of speech, omission of words….. ……  still people communicate and most understand too….

Whether you like it or not… the SMS language of textese [text speak / text lingo] has come to stay.  Short Message Service (SMS) is a text messaging service component of phone, web, or mobile communication systems, using standardized communications protocols that allow the exchange of short text messages between fixed line or mobile phone devices. SMS is the most widely used data application in the world, with 3.5 billion active users, or 78% of all mobile phone subscribers.

In smartphones it is relatively easier as you have a bigger key boards ~ the touch phones provide a different type of facility but the standard screen in common mobiles where you have numbers and alphabets [3 or 4 per key] together poses a big challenge – still you can find people typing out messages faster – sitting in public transport – worser still some while driving and walking  also …. !!!

Down under there this restaurateur in Melbourne – Paul Mathis who is trying to make people type differently.  Australian press report of the initiative of Mathis on the most-used word in the English – more particularly the definite article, the word "the". "The word 'and' is only the fifth-most used word in English and it has its own symbol – the ampersand," says Mathis. "Isn't it time we accorded the same respect to 'the'?"


One pressing reason on why there should be a symbol for ‘the’ is the texting space.  Typing the symbol he has devised with a single keystroke will save time and – crucially, in the context of Twitter – two characters. It may seem a strange digression for a man whose cafe-cum-restaurant empire encompasses 10 businesses, but he's serious enough about it that he has invested plenty of time and about $75,000 of his own money in it so far. He has developed the typography – effectively an upper-case "T" and a lower-case "h" bunched together so they share the upright stem – and an app that puts it in everyone's hand by allowing users to download an entirely new electronic keyboard complete not just with his symbol – which he pronounces "th" – but also a row of keys containing the  most frequently typed words in English.

He states that this may not change the world but could be quite useful for people.  Mathis insists he doesn't see his app as a money-making venture. "Though I would like to recover the costs, if possible," he adds. But one of the issues he faces in getting past the Apple gatekeepers is that his app is essentially a modification of the keyboard component of the operating system – and that is a big no-no in the Apple universe. Twitter too is critical of his invention.  Some critics say that he is attempting to trademark a symbol that has long been in use as part of the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet (pronounced "tshe", the letter represents the "ch" sound found in the word "chew"). Mathis concedes the likeness, but insists he was a long way down the road on his project before he became aware of it. "The Benedictine monks developed the modern version of the ampersand in the Middle Ages, when they were hand-copying religious texts," he says. "I'm not putting myself in the same league, but who knows – maybe in 500 years' time people will be amazed that there was a time when we didn't use 'th'."

According to Wikipedia, the 5 most commonly used words in English are, in descending order: the, be, to, of, &  and. According to Guinness World records – the fastest completion of a prescribed 160-character text message is 34.65 seconds achieved by Frode Ness (Norway) in Nov 2010.  The message sent was "The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human."  The fastest text message (SMS) using a touch-screen mobile phone is 20.53 seconds and was achieved by Mark EncarnaciĆ³n (USA), outside the Microsoft Studios in Redmond, Washington, USA in  2013.

Tailpiece :  [words at the start : Love; Tears in my eyes; See you; At the moment; Laughing out loud; Keep it simple, stupid…..]

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

11th July 2013.

1 comment:

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