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Friday, January 1, 2010

Text Me When U Get This!!!!!

Shall I start by admitting that I have no real texting skills? That I will never be nicknamed “Cheetah Thumbs”, that I am not one of those two-handed speed texters but a one-thumbed texter who declines to send anything more than “I’m here where are you?” or “Will do”?

Please note that, despite the misleading title, I am not one to write “u” for “you”. I cling to the sanctity of American English like a drunk clinging to his dignity. I must make this stand. If I fall into the habit of abbreviating words, the next thing you know, I’m describing something as “ungood” and working at the Kwik-E Mart.

I’m not saying that texting is bad. I’m just saying that the majority of it is completely unnecessary, likely to lead to poor spelling and apt to lead to the end of civilization as we know it.

I was on the bus the other day, vacantly staring at the head of the man in front of me when I remembered a rather disturbing dream I’d had about a friend the night before. Something about flaming couch cushions being thrown from an elevated subway and her fielding them with an oversized catcher’s mitt.

At 7:15 in the morning, this is the perfect opportunity to text. Unnecessary, yes, but what if she was in Chicago helping someone move a chaise lounge? How would I forgive myself?

My painstakingly keyed message? “Watch for flaming couch cushions.”

We’ve known each other for a couple decades now and have agreed that these kinds of statements are reasonable.

She wrote back immediately: “Another dream? Anyway, have date tonight. Can only HOPE for fiery furniture.”

And that was the end of the dialogue. And that’s what texting is good for: it’s the hit-and-run of conversation.

But that’s not how everyone feels, is it, because I have a friend whose texts span several screens.

“How r u? I m good but I m going 2 b L8 so b sure 2 save me a seat & if T gets there b4 me tell him I have his Xmas present & that…”
– go to the next screen – “I have the recipe he was looking 4.”

I am torn between admiring her need to keep us apprised and impatience with her thinking that this kind of contact is necessary – you’ll be here soon! you can say all this when you get here!

I write back. “Will do.”

She writes again. “OK! See u soon.”

Ten minutes later. “Almost there!”

Ten minutes after that: “Am in parking lot.”

I fight the urge to respond “Text me when you’re walking in the front door” because I’m afraid she might.

What did we do before this ability to continually be in touch? Did we show up late knowing that our friends would make room for us? Did we sit at the bar and wait for the people who said they’d be there, meeting new people while we waited?

Yes, we did. And we kept our abbreviations high-class.

TTYL.

26 comments:

unfinishedrambler said...

Wow. First!!! Everybody must still be in bed after a rough last night. :)

My sister actually texted me last night to wish me a Happy New Year. Only thing is she texted me her phone number. I called her, but she didn't answer. I think she was still trying to figure out the texting thing.

And wait, "ungood" isn't a word? That's "uncool."

CatLadyLarew said...

I don't know how to text because I'm too cheap to pay for the service and there are already too many ways I avoid actually having to talk to people!

Happy New Year, Pearl! May your year be filled with the sanctity of American English!

powdergirl said...

I have the same friend, and while I do admire her commitment, I also find the minutiae a tad much.
I'm a lazy texter, like you, and no 4 does not substitute for for, only for 'four'.
I like the couch cushion text, and have some similar exchanges with other friends.
Got a text last week, a brief on e, but to the point.

"Ur an asshole",

It was a wrong number, but I was pretty intrigued till I figured that out...

Happy New Year : )

Warty Mammal said...

I loathe text messaging. Could make an exception for the flaming couch cushions, though, since that is something one would want to warn friends about.

TTFN.

Douglas said...

Back in the Olden Days... when I was young... we had only telephones that were wired (not plugged into) the walls. Extremely non-mobile. And they had dials, not keypads. And yet, somehow, we managed to communicate using them. And keep in touch. We also used something called "letters" (or "mail" with the prefixed e) to keep people up to date on what we had been doing and intend to do. Crude and primitive, I know, but somehow adequate for our needs.

GregoryJ said...

"Watch for flaming couch cushions.” In other words, don't fart.

I don't have anything to text with, thank goodness. I'd drive myself crazy.

Deborah said...

"I fight the urge to respond “Text me when you’re walking in the front door” because I’m afraid she might."

The sound you have just heard is tea coming out of my nose. Soooooo damn funny.

Pat said...

My dil gave me a cell phone for Christmas and put us on their Verizon plan. It's the first cell phone my husband and I have ever had. She wants me to text her a lot, and I've done it but it's a pain in the b***. I think I'll only use it for emergencies. I'm not a big phone-talking person. I only call to get or give information

Pat said...

Oh, and Happy New Year, Pearl! May you continue entertaining the blogosphere with your inspiring and grammatically correct (and with perfect spelling, punctuation, capitalization)posts.

secret agent woman said...

I don't mind texting (as long as its's not being done while driving) but I also avoid most of the apbreviateions and numbers-for-words. "There in 10 minutes" or whatever is usually sufficient.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

I like learning new languages, so IF I texted, I'd prolly want 2 lrn new wds or mk up my own. But until my grandbabies decide to text me because they're no longer at my house every day, I'm like Cat Lady:

"I'm too cheap to pay for the service and there are already too many ways I avoid actually having to talk to people!"

Oh, yes, I also think that before we all had mobile phones, WE FELT SOME OBLIGATION TO SHOW UP ON TIME! Some of us, anyway.

Elliott said...

I fully agree that texting is never reason to forgo the Queen's English. It helps that I have a full keyboard on the current phone, but really, if you have to abbreviate EVERY SINGLE WORD, I'm probably not going to even understand what you're asking or telling me.

Jayne Martin said...

Texting is the spawn of Satan. I''m convinced of it.

Jeanne said...

Blissed-Out Grandma nailed it -- I think it's easier to be lax about punctuality because you can let the other person know you're going to be late. Or, you could if you texted. Which I don't. I just drive a little faster.

Cal's Canadian Cave of Coolness said...

There is no fricken' way that I spent two years in Mr Chudobiak's hellish typing class to gather my skills as a superior typist (hell I need an asbestos keyboard) just to go backwards and start becoming a tweeter or a texter. If you think I will just accept your 140 character limits or your stupid ass appreviations you can suck it. I want my language and my opinion to be meatier than that. I always say. The worst thing you can do is not to at least give me some EFFORT. I respect the attempt.

Besides it gives you huge thumbs and people will think you have toe thumbs like Megan Fox and that is a turn-off baby.

A 'hit and run' conversation reminds me of people who think that only ONE bullet will bring me down. Big Daddy has reminded too many that you don't bring a single shot revolver to a machine gun fight. For that reason I NEED to be on the GRID because being ON the GRID is how they GETCHA!!!

GAH..I love your opinions. You always give me something to rant at from the Cave of Cool.

The only text I want from you - if I used the cellphone and got texts would be - 'leave me,leave me here to die, save yourself'...and I would.

I won't go back to 'peasant vision' TV after Satellite - I can't, I WON'T! So what makes you think I will go back to abrieviating everything. Here's an abrieviation for all you punks - F.U.

The Queen said...

Text messages scare the crap out of me. I was at work and got one about someone making me their bi$$h in 2010. FREAKED ME OUT! I hate them.

Secretia said...

My inlaws are text-nutz! They text each other in the same room almost, they're always looking down texting.

Secretia

WrathofDawn said...

Living thousands of miles from beloved firstborn daughter, I find text messaging a boon. I even stoop to abbreviations so as to lessen the frustration of trying to type with my thumbs on eensy, weensy keyboards. Needs must, as they say.

However, I refuse to lower my grammatical/spelling/typing standards in emails. I love email with the heat of a thousand suns, but I will not abandon my l335 spelling/grammar/typing skills. I spent too damned much time learning all three skills.

Dinosaur. I R 1.

WrathofDawn said...

Heh. There's a typo in that comment. So much for standards!

The Jules said...

I find texting useful for when you ahve to impart info to people but don't want to talk to the buggers. Marvellous.

Talking of mobiles (we don't call them cell phones here because that's crazy talk), my 86 year old Nan is all high tech and has one, bt she keeps it permanently next to her landline phone so she knows where it is.

ellen abbott said...

I always thought it was the billboards that said "Kountry Kitchen' and 'Toys R Us' that were making us illiterate.

Ribbon said...

I like what you're saying here!

daerahku daerah Gambut said...

nice blog and happy new year.:D

Jennifer said...

Pearl - I have awarded you the Superior Scribbler Award on One True Self. I thank you so very much for blogging. I love this blog!

SweetPeaSurry said...

Oh my ... I text often, but only via my Yahoo messenger on my blackberry, so I don't even count it as texting, more like private messaging. However, I'm totally with you on the ... "i'm 2 minutes away"

"i'm 1 minute away"

"i'm walking in the front door of your house and you can totally see me texting this" ...

method of texting.

ENUFF already! (wasn't my enuff class? sort of like hangin' tuff! or tuffshed or something like that)

blextings!

colleen said...

I can't bring myself to type LOL unless it's too say that I can't bring myself to do it.