Tuesday, 25 January 2005

Of Arabs and spawn…

(...or The Joy of Text in KakTehSpeak)

A friend went to Oriental City in north London and texted me a message asking me what I wanted from there. I texted back and immediately my handphone vibrated. He called back and in between gasps of air tried to explain. Apparently I had asked him to buy “some arabs and spawn”.

Now, how did that happen? I remember correctly spelling out “buy some crabs and prawns”. A kind soul had even taught me how to use the phone dictionary as she saw me struggling with long words. Now, what she did not tell was that, the dictionary has a mind of its own - a not too clever one. Apparently, I was supposed to press another button to get the word that I want. Of course, I had assumed that I had typed 'crabs and prawn', when what apparently appeared was 'arabs and spawn'. What do I do with Arabs when all I wanted to make was crab sambal! And spawn is no good for sweet and sour dish!

Apparently, this happens with most two and four letter words. The longer the words, the less likely you are going to make such embarrassing mistakes. Try typing 'go home' for example and you will get 'in good' and that is no good. And the list is endless.

Texting is relatively new to me. Didn't know about this mode of communication until one day we were sitting in a cafe at KLCC and the children were busy communicating with their friends in London. Delighted and excited, both husband and I did the same - only, we needed help (lots of help) to locate the keys, of course.

Initially, I'd spell out the words properly, even long words, refusing to succumb to the simplified version of the texting lingo. Of course, that would take ages! I'd be squinting away at the minute keypad, making a call would be less of a hassle!

But you see, any kind of abbreviation has always been a mystery to me. Initially I thought SMS was a dirty word, DVD - a disease you'd get from practicing SMS, DVT - a new form of entertainment. So, it was no surprise that Maknenek pointed out that in my comments below, I confused VCR with VCD. Well, what do you expect from someone who used the MP3 as a form of transportation and the MPV to record interviews?...Aaaah, I give up. But, I digress.

Anyway, back to the text or SMS lingo, which I finally succumbed to. I think it is okay to use when you know when and how to use them and when not to use them. But what annoys me is when it makes its way into essays and formal emails. This, I find a bit disconcerting.

I now understand btw, fyi, and abbreviating 'tomorrow' to '2moro', 'tonight' to '2nite' is fine, I think. At least there's some semblence of the original words, compared to the Malay texting lingo, which in my opinion is a totally different language altogether.

It took me quite a while to understand "pastu, camner?"

My first few attempts at texting were done in capital letters. This way, I could see the words properly before pressing the send button, and the receiver too could read everything loud and clear. But,no,someone adviced. CAPITAL LETTERS tantamount to screaming aloud!!!! It spells anger!

Oh no!! But having remedied that (and I now use small letters, even for names)the kind soul proceeded to show me where punctuation marks are. My messages, it seems, used to be one long breathless sentence!

Well, I have come a long way in this new world of technology. Now, excuse me, I've got to check how my arabs are doing in the pot!
ttfn fr kt (and that is NOT Kuala Terengganu!)












16 comments:

Captain Barbell said...

yeah..i hate that autotext. especially while driving. using nokia, if i just punch the key to write ' i am at home' it will say ' i an at good'...

drbubbles said...

pastu camner? poyo aje. hahaha..bahasa semakin berkembang-kempis mengikut peredaran zaman.

anyway kakteh, i don't think younger generation now could understand the words we used to encounter like:

sekonyong-konyong,mamak bendahara etc

atiza said...

How r u 2day? I x use d dict. I used normal sttg instead. Ezy 2 type.

I found that using the auto text took me longer to send sms to Da Boss saying that 'I'll be late'. By the time I've completed the msg, I'm already at my desk.

Doreen said...

To type "kiss" might also result in "lips" if you're not careful. Heh. Or, "I'm waiting for the bus" might end up being "I'm waiting for the cup" which I find so hillarious! Heh. Technology is indeed mind boggling eh? My parents have also started texting now. Though I think the whole purpose of abbreviating words is to save space... But mom and dad are catching up fast! Except it's real funny when I watch them text... gotta put on their specs and squint under the light.. heh. Cute!

MakNenek said...

kak teh, i came across some people who short cut word yang tak short pun..for e.g, what = wat, that=tat... i find that so annoying and childish! btw, try typing my name on your text... husband said that was his 'sign' to marry me! :D

Kak Teh said...

Thanks all for the contribution! and Doreen, watch it! your parents could be my age - and yes, of course we have to squint. Tak nampak, lor!

atenah said...

as a person who is over-ramah, this sms, text msg etc, left me very tak puas.

Kak Teh said...

atena, I know what you mean. If I want to express everything bys sms - I'd go juling!! You over ramah? When u are next in london - let's meet!

Lollies said...

Seriously I thought I'm the only one. Why..it was only a few months ago that I just learned LOL. Ha ha LOL.

Kak Teh said...

ya Lollies, I used to wonder too why people LOLL'ing away! But you know what? I've also discovered emoticons!!!

CN said...

emm..i wish i hd one of the latest hp in town but the hilang-beli-hilang-beli event make me stick with the old gadget yg hubby kata 'idup segan mati tak mau' .. :)

Nadia said...

Kak teh, I haven't yet read your blog in its entirety but just speed reading this post has given me an insight to your writing prowess. May I link to you on my blog?

Kak Teh said...

kak ngah, kak teh pun sama! Yang pakai sekarang ni anak punya. Boleh ambik gambor sekali - tapi nak kata canggih tu , tidaklah!
Nadia, awww! thanks for the wonderful words - sure you can link it. But where is your site?

Kak Teh said...

sorry - cik ngah!!!kak ngah pulak! my eyes are really going!

Lollies said...

:-D. Yeah this is new to me, but I'm confuse (still) with this one =)

Kak Teh said...

LollLies -hmm looks like man with hitler-like moustache smiling!!! LOL tergolek-golek