Saturday, July 24, 2010

Overheard in the Hallway:

RX: "Shootin' Buddy called while we were out."

Me: "There's nothing on the answering machine. Wait, my cell phone is beeping. He left voicemail. Why does he leave voicemail? I don't even know how to work it. I hate voicemail. I barely like talking on the phone. I like to see people with my eyes and talk to them with my mouth."

RX: "You spend half your day communicating with people on the internet."

Me: "That's different. That's writing."

RX: "You could text him."

Me: (Getting increasingly red-faced and agitated) "No! If I am going to write to someone, I am going to write to them. In complete sentences. With punctuation. I am going to use the English language like Shakespeare and Milton by-gawd intended for it to be used, and I am damned well going to make it sit up and jump through little flaming hoops while I am at it! I am not going to be reduced to poking at buttons on a cell phone with my thumbs, turning out crap that looks like it was disgorged by an illiterate devolved protosimian fifth grader!" (*pant*pant*)

RX: "That's going on the internet. If you don't put it there, I will."


Bubblehead Les. said...

Yer durn tootin' Wes goona speak un writes 'Murican, errr English likes that Shakespear fellows sez we aughto! 'Side witch, dem der tiny buttons ain't a fittin' mys fingers too well liken usen sez. (Yes, I am available to translate West By God for a small fee, due to having many relatives residing in that fair State).

dave said...

Is there a way to forcibly send this to each and every Twitter user?

paulcr39 said...

"illiterate devolved protosimian fifth grader"

Preach on Sister Tam!

Revolver Rob said...

You could just text with full sentences and appropriate punctuation, like I do.

Just sayin'...


WV: umbera, the lack of punctuation in texts makes me umberable.

Anonymous said...


Home on the Range said...

I guess this isn't a good day to send you an entire Star Trek episode in LolCat Speak.

Fred said...

I text with full sentences and punctuation, and I cringe whenever I get a text that's not. Plus I tend have an unnerving desire to slap anybody who uses "lol" in the face. It really is my least favorite of that crap. Can't you just say "hah" instead? It's the same number of letters even, and it's actually a word!

Tam said...

I do not use "LOL" for any reason except to shorthand to someone that what they just wrote actually made me laugh out loud at my keyboard, but I was too busy to type the usual trite sentence about having to clean Diet Mountain Dew out of the keyboard, or whatever.

Also, I sometimes use it to be ironically unhip.

I use it in spoken conversation for the latter reason, mostly.

LabRat said...

We know exactly how you feel, and this is why the cell phone is only ever turned on for travel.

John Peddie (Toronto) said...

Tam missed her vocation.

I can see her, granny glasses and hair pulled back in a bun, at the front of a classroom of those protosimian fifth-graders.

Quiver in fear, they would, after she confiscated the first student cell phone, but after one decade of that the institutions of "higher" learning could all disband their first-year remedial English efforts.

No further need.

Steve Skubinna said...

Why isn't there an acronym for "You owe me a new keyboard?"

Well, okay, there could be, YOMANK, all it needs is for people to start using it. Next, it would inevitably migrate into spoken language and people would be saying "Dude, yomank!" even if there were no keyboards in sight.

Anyway, I do get a kick out of Tam recounting the conversations she has with her imaginary roommate. What I am still struggling with is the question of whether Tam is imaginary or not... pretty sure I'm real, but that's as far as I go and I'm keeping an open mind on that.


Anonymous said...

I find SMS convenient, as I can express myself far more literately in the written than in the spoken. I don't understand - in the age of QWERTY keyboards or at least predictive text - why some peoples' written English is an insult to proper gibberish everywhere. I will assume they either don't know or don't care.

Voicemail can take a long walk off a short plank though.


Stingray said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one that doesn't know how to get to my voicemail.

Drang said...

I have a hard answering my new cell phone when it rings. Texting is not so bad. I started texting out of self-defense, all the young people working for me did it even though I told them not to. Now Mrs. Drang and I do it frequently, it is, among other things, easier to be precise with SMS than with voice mail. During my last year in Korea we had been IMing each other anyway (cheaper than international telephone calls) so it was not a great leap, once we got phones (and a contract) that supported it.

Roberta X said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Roberta X said...

I am not either imaginary and I was sitting on the floor howling with laughter when she finished up the rant, wound up tighter'n a two-dollar pocketwatch.

Also, Redeye is durn good food.

...Imaginary... The very idea. I have my own ham callsign an' ever'thing.

WV: feapshu. Take that!
WV, repost: bickses. Yeah, feapshu, bickses!

Justthisguy said...

Nah, J. Peddie, she reminds me more of Mrs. Reynolds, my ancient 2nd-year Latin Teacher, who confiscated a dirty book, perused it, shredded into the trash can, and then said, "If you want to read that kind of stuff in this room, you'll have to sign up for my third-year course and read Suetonius!"

theirritablearchitect said...

"...crap that looks like it was disgorged by an illiterate devolved protosimian fifth grader!"

You are being far too kind about the texting thing, here.

og said...

I have been texting since texting was possible. I do not use abbreviations, I text complete sentences, with punctuation. I comment on blogs at least 1/3 of the time from the blackberry. Technology can be used properly. The people who misuse it should not be used to cast aspersions on the people who do not.

Sent from my blackberry while driving 75 and getting my wing-wang squeezed.

Painfully, by a pair of ill-fitting boxers.

Anonymous said...

"Sent from my blackberry while driving 75..."

I hate laws. The proliferation of legislation is perhaps the single most chafing and strangling and pointlessly confining manifestation of modern society.

But "texting" while driving, thereby gravely endangering every innocent within range of that hurtling one-ton battering ram, regardless of whether by abbrev. textspeak or full and eloquent expression worthy of the Bard?

First offense, loss of license.

Second offense, loss of wing-wang.

Third offense, loss of life.


Steve said...

Og - I humbly suggest the ultimate solution to ill-fitting boxers... a Kilt! For summer driving I find nothing beats it for comfort - and just think of the lovely places the air-conditioning (or breeze from the vent window) can reach!

and AT - A kilt will easily fix "most chafing and strangling and pointless(ly) confining"!


og said...

AT: Whyncha hop on the hog and head on up 75, and see if you'd like to enforce your ideals? I'm anxious to see you try.

And I can drive, text, and eat a cheeseburger half asleep, and do so safely, endangering nobody. And i have been doing so for over half a million miles.

Sent from my blackberry while driving through a rainstorm, safely, endangering not even myself, only the idiotic notions of an internet coward, Alterego. When you gonna stop by my site and have a nice conversation with me, instead of hiding behind Tam's proverbial skirts?

Steve: Nobody wants to see me in a Kilt. The imagination reels. people could get Kilt.

Anonymous said...

"I can drive, text, and eat a cheeseburger half asleep, and do so safely, endangering nobody."

Buffoonery, even considering the neander-source. Keep texting, boy, you're proving my point quite well. Hopefully the collision will be of the single-vehicle variety.


Sarah said...

Text messaging is a useful tool but, like all the others that come to mind, an ignorant (or, worse, willfully stupid) person's attempts to use it horrify me. Sometimes I receive text messages that make me think of a poo-covered ape in a cage at the zoo and, sadly, I'm not always convinced that my mental image is very far away from reality.

S. L. Haynes said...

You said it woman! I don't mind the voice mail much, especially for certain people.

Midwest Chick said...

I have to admit I've been texting more often--actually having full conversations via text alone. And I always try to use full spelling and punctuation--I don't want to get sloppy in other venues. And Og, I think you'd look great in a kilt....

Anonymous said...

Heh. Yeah, I don't blame you for wanting to escape the light of day on this discussion, og...though it is a crass use of Tam's site to try to increase readership over there at the primordial slime pit beyond a dozen or so.

And besides, our exchange couldn't be more apropos to Tam's post. She railed against the degradation of written communication to the level of an "illiterate devolved protosimian fifth grader!".

In addition to your defense of texting and your atypical use of it for longhand typing, you went for points as a cool early adopter:

"I have been texting since texting was possible. I text complete sentences, with punctuation."

Not made your point and scored a few, but you hadda go and add this about the comment you had just made:

"Sent from my blackberry while driving 75...I can drive, text, and eat a cheeseburger half asleep, and do so safely, endangering nobody. And i have been doing so for over half a million miles."

Well I guess you really *were* an early adopter...but I doubt you could get a single one of the thousands of readers here at VFTP to defend that behavior. Hell, probably not even the toads back at the pond would readily lump themselves with you in this case as a demonstrably accomplished -what was that term you used again- ah, yes...fucktard.

Because there just is no defense of it, is there? Go ahead and try if you please, but keep to the issue and can the schoolyard threat shit, willya? That's really just further proof of really being dumber that the fifth grader that Tam references. Have the strength of your convictions, even if they are uh, fucktardish.

And as to your cluelessly ironic criticisms of noms de plume, keep in mind that not everyone chooses to put their full given name and chronological photos of themselves right on their site as you do, og. But whatever we call ourselves, I own what I say, as do you, so stop running from it or trying to divert it to where there are few eyes and adult minds to judge you harshly.

I would appreciate it though, and I think many others would as well, if you'd print a detailed itinerary of where you plan to be DWT...we'd like to keep ourselves and our families far, far away.


Jake said...

heh, I once had a glorious month of phone usage that entailed 11 minutes of voice, and 12000 or so text messages sent...

I find voice to be the awful middle ground between face-to-face interaction (with all the benefits of non-verbal communication), and text/email (with the benefit of being allowed to think - however long you want - before you speak, and even an additional backspace key past that).

Will said...

I spent a few years patrolling the Bay Area freeways during commute lane hours. It was easy to tell when someone was using a phone, just look for drunk driving effects. Then get close enough to see their hands. One of the unintended consequences of the no handheld phone law is texters now hold the phone near their laps, out of sight. This leads to a significant amount of time with their eyes looking down inside the vehicle. You can judge the age of the driver from the rear, by how long they keep their head down. Since old eyes don't do instant near/far focus anymore, older drivers tend to want to get the most text per look. Younger heads are bobbing up and down at a quick pace.

Question is, how much are they actually seeing of the road conditions? I know talkers are not seeing much, even though their eyes are facing the road. For example, I spotted cars dodging something big in the roadway, major maneuvers. Turned out to be an extension ladder, laying across the lanes. About 3:30 on a sunny day. I hit the shoulder, and prepared to grab it. Had to wait for a large pickup, running by himself. If he had gone around it, I could have gotten it out of the road in one piece. Talking on the phone, he never saw it. Ran right over the middle of it. The look on his face was priceless as his truck bounced. His big 4x4 broke it up enough that I had to call for a unit to run a traffic break, so I could grab all the pieces.

Og may be one of those somewhat rare individuals who's brain wiring has no problem competently multi-tasking. I say this because I use to have that ability, (conferred by ADD, Aspergers Syndrome, and left-handed), prior to a brain injury. Now, I don't even answer the phone while driving.

RM1(SS) (ret) said...

I know how to get to my voicemail, but it wants a password and I haven't the faintest idea what that might be....

WV: daughtm - They saughtm here, they saughtm there, those Frenchies saughtm everywhere. But they never foundm.