Archive for October, 2011

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How Did We Get Here?

October 28, 2011

So I have been doing all the fun stuff, but now it is time to get real about why I started this blog in the first place. You all know this is where my true passion lies as far as communication research.  In my (not-so-distant) future I anticipate my world being over-taken by qualitative research based on the lack of inflection in text messaging.  Although the written language has always been void of inflection, technology has progressed so rapidly in the last decade that the current generation has actually rewritten the rules on “non-verbal” normalcy.

Some fifteen years ago (with the advent of the “information super-highway”) we discovered the convenience of e-mail.  Anyone could type up a letter to grandma and she received it instantaneously, even if she lived in Japan.   It was the  “elite” way to send a letter.  We learned the proper way to form a memo for your employee/employer.  Some even learned the hard way, that the proper way of sending a “Dear John” letter was absolutely NOT via e-mail.  Fast forward ten years from there and the world is introduced to two new phenomenons: social networking and text messaging.

Social networking was the new “it” thing almost overnight.  Everyone that was anyone had a “page” on one of these sights.  We now had the ability to reconnect and stay connected to our elementary buddy that moved to the Ukraine to work in the mission field.  We also discovered that this was a great way to stay in touch with our nephew fighting in Iraq.  The possibilities were endless and there was no pressure to formulate an entire, proper letter and send it via e-mail.  With our trusty mouse,  we could simply click on our page, write a quick one-liner and we were instantly connected around the globe to EVERYONE in our circle of friends (or at least the ones that were also connected).

Around the same time that social networking was in it’s booming infancy, there was a concept emerging that was unlike anything we had seen before.  It was this concept that you could type a note to almost anyone that had a phone, by simply using the letters found on our numeric keypad.  Unlike email and social networking, where the user elected whether or not they would participate in the new technology, text messages were coming to your phone even if you didn’t want them to.  And thus, here we are…We now make faces on our phones using almost every symbolic character available to us and we have literally reinvented the wheel of the written world.

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Your Stupid Faces are Stupid

October 20, 2011

Hello blogsters…

I thought you all may get a kick out of this.  Although it is down-right hilarious, much of it is actually true.  I wonder just how stupid some of us look when we are randomly sending these symbolic features in our quick notes to our gym buddy or our best girlfriend from high school?  Either way, I hope you enjoy.

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Transl8it!

October 9, 2011

Well, there is hope for all of you (us) that are not fluent in text speak.  I have found a website that is similar to an English to Spanish translator. Now, if you are in a situation where you need to find out what in the world your latest text message actually says, you can simply type it (or just cut and paste it if you use a smart phone) into the translator and it will become common English at the touch of  a button.  This is good news for all of us that are trying to keep up with this new (hopefully fad) lingo.

I can faintly hear my father’s voice saying, “Are you kidding me?” as I give you the alternative use for this site.  And even though I am struggling to come up with a logical reason as to why this is needed, you can also translate English into text speak.  Call me traditional and old fashioned, but don’t you have to have a concept of the English language before you can translate into text speak?  This is not a situation of being bilingual, but rather another version of English shorthand.  Therefore, you could take any language and create that language’s version of text speak.  So here is my hang-up on the whole situation–shorthand was created with a productive purpose (ex: it allows people to take detailed notes in a fast paced situation).  If all we are essentially doing is using shorthand, then why don’t we just use shorthand?  With my soapbox aside, I thought it would be remiss to discover this site and not try it.

Check out this “challenge” below to see how it works.

“Hey guys I am offering up a challenge.  Instead of just leaving a comment this week, use this translator and post your comment accompanied by the text speak of your comment.  It is quite simple.  Type your comment and then cut and paste it into the “tranl8it!” box at this link http://transl8it.com/.  After you have translated it cut and paste the text speak of your comment along with your original message and post it.  If nothing else, this is interesting.”

The paragraph above translates into this:

“hA guys I M offering ^ a chaLenG.  insted of jst lEvN a comment DIS week, uz DIS transl8r & post yor comment accompanied by d txt spk of yor comment.  It iz quite simpl.  typ yor comment & thN cut & paste it in2 d tranl8it! bawx @ d Lnk http://transl8it.com/.  aftR U hav transL8d it cut & paste d txt spk of yor comment along w yor orignL msg & post it.  f Nuttin else, DIS iz intRStN.”

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Text Speak Part 2

October 1, 2011

Hello out there in blog word.  Happy October to all of you.  As promised in my previous blog, I am going to give you what I feel is the most accurate and concise list of “text speak” available on the web today. In my latest blog post titled ,”Text Speak Part 1″, I used netlingo.com for reference, however for the all inclusive list I prefer “Talktalk” out of the United Kingdom.  As someone that lived there (the UK) for three years, I will be the first to admit that  there are circumstances when you can get yourself into trouble crossing common American slang with English (British) slang. However, I have looked through this list and there are very few acronyms that are not commonalities in the US.

http://www.talktalk.co.uk/community/textspeak-p1.html

Let me know your thoughts.  I looked through dozens of sights and I feel that this one is a more realistic list of what we may you use in our common conversations.  I also cross referenced these lists and this one seemed to have the most common repeats on other lists.  I feel that this is important in case your recipient isn’t familiar with an acronym that you use, you want them to be able to go online and easily figure out what you are saying.  On the flip side to that, you also want the most common phrases so that you can translate your text at a glace.

Although I feel that this is much like learning a new language, it will become much easier the more often that you use it.  I tried it out on an aqaintance of mine this week that often sends texts in shorthand/text speak.  She said that I actually over used the acronyns and that you need to have some “normal, common langauge” mixed in with the text speak as most people do not memorize the list of the many acronyms but instead it is more like looking for context clues.  For example, “ABT2 go 2 the store. BRB. DGA.”  She says that even though she can glance at “about” and “be right back” she would might have to think a second before figuring out “don’t go anywhere” which is why she says reading things in context is important when using text speak.

Try it out this week and let me know how it goes.  This is common speak for many in high school but I am interested in seeing where the age line is.  Is it possible that in the next 5-10 years that this will be common language in informal business memos?