this came out in the inquirer a few days back and i am constantly reminded of it each time i receive a message with barely understandable truncations. it has been my principle since i got my first mobile way back in 1999 to never invent abbreviations of my words. i felt that the habit was bad because it ultimately affected a person's ability to spell words and to communicate. i didn't even know when i had my first phone that it had a dictionary and a text predict software; my friend mynes had to teach me to use the phone dictionary, because, she said, i spell out everything anyway. back then she was the only other person i knew who didn't type "hu u" or "wru" or "r u dr?" now, there is a T9 software on my SE phone which is better than the proprietary text predict technology of the old nokias i used. what's good is that i can also expand my phone's dictionary and introduce words of my own. my phone's T9 probably has more than 300 words in filipino, only because tegic (the people behind T9) has yet to release the bilingual dictionary they promised last year.

some of the reasons why people shorten their words when composing an SMS is that it's faster, takes up less space, and you press less buttons. the part about a message taking up less space, i understand. i know this because on average, i probably spend more because it's normal for me to be sending out something with more characters than is allowed in one message. but i doubt if the precious few seconds you save by pressing K instead of OK is substantial. and pressing fewer buttons? that won't support the cause. i press 5 buttons to spell out "hello" but someone who doesn't use the text predict function would press the pad 10 times to type "helo". and besides, i'd rather not compromise the way i use language just to save a buck or even just to shave a few seconds from my texting time.

my fears of 7 years ago are no more true than now. the SMS syndrome has obviously expanded its horizons. it really peeves me to read emails composed with QWERTY keyboards with outrageous spellings and shortcuts. i've even read handwritten notes that read like text messages. it's a plague, to be honest. what's worse is i that the way people think has been affected by cellphones. i can probably tolerate mistakes in grammar (although that in itself has to be addressed as well), but an absolute failure of syntax and the lack of a basic idea about proper word usage aren't exactly in the realm of the forgivables. and i hate it when people wiggle out of this issue by saying, well, you know, language isn't his thing. i honestly think that language should be everyone's thing.

a selection of some of the SMS's i recently sent are behind the cut to illustrate the way i use my thumb pad.

  • Manong if you pass by the house please get me some anti histamines and steroids. Thanks.

  • 5am. I'll ask if the race bibs will be given out that day pa. I'm going to register us. Have to forge several signatures.

  • It's ok cecil. It'll be too expensive if it's shipped. Thanks anyway.

  • Okidoki. I'll tell my GL. And don't forget to train. Show up tom for pre climb. If you're absent you're out. Haha.

  • Ah ok. Kasi i'm rich eh. I can afford expensive shirts from nike or adidas. But for the sake of pakikisama, ok.

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i ve always used predictive texting on my nokias. it even has pilipino predictive text. except the 9500. it does not have a predictive text software. according to nokia, 9500 has a complete keyboard so its not needed. and that is where i part ways w nokia. so if i use abbreviations, i'm using my 9500.
well, i've never had problems with the way you text TB. i heard T9 has partnered with your favorite school -- la salle -- to help educate filipinos about using correct spelling. do you have anything to say about that?
hahahaha... of course they had to use la salle. those lasallites este lasallian (thats what they call themselves nowadays) cant spell!