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SMS qua source of great amusement - 1370°C

Oct. 18th, 2004

06:09 pm - SMS qua source of great amusement

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i don't know how many of you back in the States use SMS on your mobile phones at all--text messaging doesn't seem particularly in fashion there--but positively *everyone* in Ireland texts everyone else. to make this easier, most of the phones that are sold have what's called "predictive text" mode. it's got some entertaining quirks.

ordinarily, if you want to send a text message that says "hello," you have to type 4433555 555666 in order to properly cycle through the letters assigned to each number and get one simple word. with predictive text, on the other hand, you simply type 43556 and the phone gives you the word it thinks you were looking for. if it gives you the wrong word, you can cycle through a list of its known words and choose the one you were after. this is a pretty nice feature: it's *usually* right and you can add new words to the dictionary. however, when texting at high-speed and still trying to pay attention to where you're walking, you often end up actually sending silly things like "i'm heading good now" instead of "i'm heading home now," or "i foot know" instead of "i don't know" (yes, i've actually sent both of these myself).

also, the phone can't "learn" which of its list of suggestions is the one that you're likely to use most often. the biggest problem i've run into in this respect is the simple word "pub." for whatever reason, Nokia thinks i'm more likely to be using either "sub" or "rub" (in that order) than "pub." now, this is a bit of a problem as i have frequent conversations that involve references to the pub, where as i'm fairly rarely (never in fact) texting someone about a sub (either of the temporary teacher, the student gathering, the tasty sandwich, or the giant underwater phallus variety) or any sort of rub. in the plural, Nokia likes "star" better than "pubs" but lists "subs" and "rubs" after, as if it is somehow trying to make up for its error with respect to the singular versions of these words.

you'd think, in Ireland of all places, they could market phones that gave the pub a more high-profile position.

i can see the headline now: pub-goers demand higher text placement! ;P

interestingly, fourth down on the list with "sub," "rub," and "pub" you get "qua." presumably, this is just in case you're riding the Luas and find yourself in a pinch having to engage in a really involved SMS conversation about Philosophy or Latin. or perhaps in case you're from Paris and for some reason have your French dictionary turned off. makes me want to find someone to text "qua" to. perhaps the whole conversation could go something like "do you want to go to the rub?" "qua?" "i meant..do you want to go to the sub?" "i foot know what you're talking about." "Fannit!"

Current Mood: foetal
Current Music: Morphine: You Look Like Rain

Comments:

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From:elegantelbow
Date:October 18th, 2004 06:13 pm (UTC)
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Heh.

I've noticed that alot of the folks around here don't know how to use the SMS features of their phones. I SMS with cryptosporidosi constantly, because it's free (as opposed to just calling).

We've also used it twice (twice!) to arrange to leave a tedious party.

Of course, it's different for me because I have a Sidekick with a QWERTY keyboard. It's easier now, but I can't touch type on it (and I assume that people who SMS on a regular phone learn to touch type).

You post almost made diet root beer come out of my nose.

*snerk*
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From:ferrousoxide
Date:October 18th, 2004 09:09 pm (UTC)
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free, eh? lucky. but then again, most here in Europe are on pay-as-you-go plans (and have been for years when those sorts only started hitting the States a year or two ago) and we never pay for any incoming calls or texts, no matter where we are or where they come from. texting is about 9c each vs 20c/minute to ring, so it's much better.
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From:elegantelbow
Date:October 18th, 2004 09:15 pm (UTC)
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Yep. I'm with T-mobile USA. My plan gives me 300 minutes/month for free, unlimited weekend minutes, unlimited text messages, and for an extra $20/mo, I get wireless internet access.

Now, if only I could remember to keep my phone charged (it's currently making the sad sound of not-enough-battery).
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From:elegantelbow
Date:October 18th, 2004 06:18 pm (UTC)
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You can enable text messages via LJ. It won't publish your cell phone number, and it has the ability to restrict *who* can send you a text message.

(I just enabled it for myself)
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From:ferrousoxide
Date:October 18th, 2004 09:22 pm (UTC)
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ooh. how do i do that?
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From:ferrousoxide
Date:October 18th, 2004 09:56 pm (UTC)
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nm. found it. wonder if i did it right though. i've no idea whether i need to do the whole country code nonsense...
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[User Picture]
From:elegantelbow
Date:October 18th, 2004 09:59 pm (UTC)
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I've just sent you a text message. If you've received it, then it's working.
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From:ferrousoxide
Date:October 18th, 2004 10:03 pm (UTC)
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i did get it and tried to send you one back.

strange. i tried to send *myself* a text message and didn't recieve it...but i did get yours ;)
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From:elegantelbow
Date:October 18th, 2004 09:58 pm (UTC)
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go to Edit Info and check the box for "enable text messages" and fill in your provider and phone number.

You can also control who can message you (everyone / everyone with an LJ account / friends)
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From:_wirehead_
Date:October 18th, 2004 08:40 pm (UTC)
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*giggles*

i text constantly. i prefer it to actually calling because it's less invasive -- both for the person you're calling (who can answer whenever it's convenient for them) and anyone who happens to be in the room with you... (i can't stand talking on the phone near strangers, i'm all too aware that they're listening to what is basically my private life.)

my kyocera does the predictive text thingie, and has the same problem. although many of the newer f0nes can be taught new words (and maybe even learn which you mean more often, not sure about that one).

the interesting thing to me is that i've been doing it for so long that having to cycle between words becomes second nature. for example, i know that "home" is spelled 4 6 6 3 next. or "ping", 7 4 6 4 next next ("ring" and "sing" come first). the only thing that really gets me is its lack of swear words. that, and i'm constantly stumbling across words it doesn't know, that i feel it should (karaoke, for one... i mean, it's a japanese cell phone!)

also, i hate the fact that it's actually easier to type "though" than "tho" and suchlike.

pvck and i were talking about how we've developed the capacity to understand those weird typos unique to predictive text. like "i'm on my way good now". perhaps soon we'll just start using "ducking" and "fannit" instead of bothering to switch to non-predictive mode and type them out...

(okay, my phone has just thoroughly creeped me out because i checked, and it now knows the word "karaoke". as well as all the swear words i ever use. and i'm *sure* i usually have to switch to non-predictive to do those. perhaps it does learn... *confused*)
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From:ferrousoxide
Date:October 18th, 2004 09:12 pm (UTC)
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what i don't get is how it comes up with words that *aren't* words...i mean... "fannit?" i think we should all definitely start using that as slang--see if we can get it added to some pop culture dictionary somewhere.
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From:_wirehead_
Date:October 18th, 2004 08:41 pm (UTC)
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nice icon btw :)
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From:ferrousoxide
Date:October 18th, 2004 09:12 pm (UTC)
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thank you. finally started using that capability for new icons that the $2.50 got me.
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From:gothaminserenia
Date:October 19th, 2004 01:10 am (UTC)
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At the risk of seeming smart-alecky, I was wondering why it wouldn't be easier just to call and say "hello, meet me at the pub"!

But I guess the price difference would be your answer. Of course, you could save even more by going without a cell phone, as I have ... with the added bonus of being blissfully out of touch whenever someone feels the need to disturb you. (But I suppose only someone as antisocial as I would see that as an advantage.)

I too like your new icon! :-) Either it's underwear, or you were at the beach recently & didn't post about it. ;-P
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From:ferrousoxide
Date:October 19th, 2004 06:36 am (UTC)
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meh. i held off on the whole mobile phone thing as long as i could. i actually *needed* one here for various reasons.

actually, it's a tank top with the logo from the web comic Zombie College on it.
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