Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Predictive text "gobbledygook"
Did you see Stephen Fry's appearance on Friday Night with Jonathon Ross some weeks ago? On it he mentioned how kids/teenagers are starting to use "book" to mean "cool", because as you try to type "cool" using predictive text -- 2665 -- the first result is... yes, "book", and people are too lazy to press the extra key to change to the next 2665-entry. So we now have people going around saying things like "that is so book!" I find that quite fascinating. :)
1. Heart Stephen Fry.
In the article itself, the author mostly just rants about silly spellings the mobile comes up with (undu, flaunaue, and Painbusys instead of tofu, flatmate, and Sainsbury's). One wants to ask the user to just stop using predictive text if it's so irksome, but he's right: the dictionaries on some of the phones are pretty weird. It's an industry I don't know much about, but the implications for language use and linguistic attitudes are undoubtedly worth considering - as the popular media again points out to us. If interested in txt and especially predictve, for starters, I suggest visiting the work of Rich Ling, if you haven't yet (a sociologist, not linguist, but near enough to be relatedly interesting).
i'm totally behind on the whole text message thing, academically and otherwise, but the book->cool shift is great. none of my students have heard of it, though - is this a british thing?
what i *have* heard in certain circles is 'less than three' where 'heart' would be, which is uber-geeky and fabulous.