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Friday, October 15, 2010

How Texting has Helped Me

I've only been in the texting crowd about a year.  I'm still pathetically slow compared to the nimble fingers of the teenagers around me.  I'm comic relief for them.  "Mom, would you like me to do it for you?" My daughter jokes.

Yes, as a matter of fact, that would be lovely.  My kids act as my texting secretary when I'm driving.  The 9 year old (who does not have a phone yet) loves it.  The 15 year old, not so much.

But anyhow, back to my point.  I've read countless articles recently about how the informality of texting/email/instant messaging has ruined students' ability to write anything resembling proper English.  Their spelling sucks and their grammar is shoddy at best.

I'm not going to argue against the experts here.  But I do have to say texting has made ME a better writer.

For example, when I woke up Thursday morning and found my modem was fried, I called tech support.  I had just navigated their voice-prompt system (hate it!  They never know what I'm saying and if I yell or over-enunciate, the system pretends it didn't understand me.  Grrr) and managed to get a real person on the line. YAY.

She asked for my account number.  I asked if it was my phone number.  She said no, it would be my DSL number and it would be printed on a bill.  Our bills are buried in a box in the spare closet in my daughter's room.  Was I going to go barging in there at 6 a.m. to rifle through a box? Uh, no.  I asked if she could look it up another way.

I spelled my name for her.  V-i-c-k-i-R-o-c-h-o.  She replies V-i-c-k-y-R-o-c-h-o.  No.  I say.  Vicki with with two i's.  She says V-i-i-c-k-y?  I said NO, V-I-C-K-I.  She finally got it.  She pulled up my account number and read it off to me (telling me in a condescending voice that I might want to write it down).  She read off my phone number.  

"That's my phone number," I tell her.  "The number I gave you." 
She repeated a number to me, with digits transposed.  I didn't fight with her...just wanted my modem fixed.  She had me unplug it and do this and that and then pronounced it dead.

All of this took about 20 minutes.  I thought it best to alert hubbers to the lack of internet capability in our house.  Now, if I had sent him an email he would have got a replay like you just did above.  But texting?  No way I'm going to type all that out on a keyboard the size of a credit card.  Texting forces me to be succinct:

Modem crapped out overnight.  Will get new one at lunch.

See?  Texting has definitely made me a better writer! How about you?

(modem may or may not still be out.  Typing this post over my lunch hour just in case I'm without for a few days)


Rayna M. Iyer said...

Yes, that is one thing texting does- forces you to get to the point.
Hope the modem is repaired soon.

Jolene Perry said...

It certainly helps us get to the point.

Carole Anne Carr said...

The abbreviations used irritate me... must be my age :0)

Bish Denham said...

I'm a dinosaur. Don't know how to text. Texting may teach a person to be succint, but brevity does not necessarily make reading.

Angela said...

Who knew texting could be a valuable skill in a pinch.

Jaydee Morgan said...

I think I've used the text feature on my phone twice. It actually makes me look like a horrible writer. I don't know where the space bar is so all my sentences are actually one long one. Ugh!

Dawn said...

Excellent! Before I got my iPhone, I texted very little. But that whole touch screen full keyboard feature makes it easy for my stepdaughter and I to keep in touch :-)

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

So perhaps when we are writing our query letters we need to summerize them as if we were texting???

Mary said...

140 characters or less -- texting leaves out all the stuff you don't need. Luv it!

Clarissa Draper said...

I've never considered texting to be a writing tool but I learn new things everyday. Thank you


Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Ha! I love it. Conciseness as the key to good writing. :)

p.s. sorry about the modem and the tech-hell. :(

Angela Ackerman said...

LOL, texting with style. I'm amazed at the patience you had with tec support. I swear, my temperature gauge goes up before i even place the call, because I just KNOW I'm going to get a dough head on the other end.

BTW, THANK YOU for Enzo's mamma! It arrived in my mail yesterday along with your note! You da best, woman!

Angela@ The Bookshelf Muse

aspiring_x said...

you have a very optimistic approach to everything! i love how you can find such good in yicky things like texting!
my trouble with calling tech support is that there are always kids hollering in my house, and the technician always has an accent, and i can't communicate with them for the life of me! :)

Lola Sharp said...

Try tweeting (Twitter) learn how to say a lot in very few words. Concise or fail. ;)