TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Texting is Slower Than Morse

Re: Texting is Slower Than Morse

Robert Bonomi (
Mon, 18 Apr 2005 00:00:50 -0000

In article <>,
mc <> wrote:

>> And telegraph operators can spell also. No silly abbreviations.

Yup. Like almost everyone else of that 'day and age', they had been
*taught* properly.

On the other hand, telegraphers, and later radio-telegraphers, *did*
make _heavy_ use of abbreviations, and other short-hand 'codes', for
operational management 'stuff'. Sometimes they were used when passing
"customer" message traffic, where what went across the wire was "not
exactly" what the customer had said/written -- effectively a limited
form of 'data compression', in addition to the "run-length limited"
encoding methodology.

As one example, consider the antecedents of the radio-telegraphy
"Is anybody out there?"/"Can anybody hear me?" inquiry.

Or the infamous "Q-codes".

> U R SO RITE ! :)

Anybody else remember:

A B C D Goldfish?

L M N O Goldfish!

C D B ?

Entire illustrated _books_ full of of this nonsense.

> Seriously ... my high-school daughter tells me there is now a
> substantial problem with youngsters who supposedly can *only* write in
> text-message abbreviations or "l33tsp33k" and have developed some kind
> of mental block against producing plain English. She, a skilled
> writer, is annoyed with them, of course.

> Accompaying this is an inability to think about language. At one
> point she was trying to refer to the band "U2" but her interlocutor
> (in a chat room) could only see "U2" as "you too" and communication
> failed.

'context' and 'frame of reference' are _everything_.

e.g., a pre-occupied graphics-programmer friend was going down the
soft-drinks isle at the local grocery store, when a label caught his
eye. "Hi Res", that's a funny name for a soft-drink, he thought.
Then realized it was the brand of root-beer.

And, as a youngster, I was _firmly_convinced_ that coyotes could fly.
After all, I heard it repeatedly from my father, reading from one of
my favorite 'read aloud to children' books, And _he_ wouldn't lie to
me about such things, would he? <grin>

What I _heard_:
The blackbird cried: "I see a coyote! I see a coyote! And then he flew

What was _in_print_:
The blackbird cried, "I see a coyote! I see a coyote!", and then he flew

Lastly, please consider the difference between 'unionized', and "unionized".

What? You don't see any difference?

But, the first word describes the presence of a collective bargaining unit,
while the other one describes the absence of ionization.

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