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Posts Tagged ‘English’

sms-talk1Google’s Official Blog says:

Here at Google, we’re committed to helping build a clean energy future and reducing our carbon footprint. And now Google Talk is part of the solution. We don’t know about you, but we were surprised to learn the inconvenient truth that every character (byte) we send in a message results in about 0.0000000000000000034 metric tons* of CO2 being released into the atmosphere! So if we can reduce the number of characters we send when we chat with all our friends, we can help the environment at the same time.

Teenagers (and some adults) must be aware of this, because they already reduce their character usage by abbreviating words and dropping vowels when they send IM and SMS (text) messages. We think this is a great idea. If all our millions of users started using IM-speak, we’d save hundreds of millions of wasted (and environmentally damaging!) characters.

For example, if we want to say:
As far as I'm concerned, you can give me the twenty dollars you owe me when I see you later.

You could save more than 50% in wasted characters by saying:
AFAIC, U can gve me the 20 $$ YOM whn I CUL8R.

In honor of Earth Day (3 weeks from today: April 22, 2008), on that day our Google Talk servers will start automatically sending your conversations using IM-speak instead of normal words. But you can help save some computing power (and more wasted energy!) by shortening your conversations yourself.

And here I was thinking that people were killing the language by resorting to “SMS talk.” At least my friend Hari will be happy. He always says girl-textthat the purpose of speaking or writing is to communicate. I have always taken exception to the fact that he writes his blog, like he was text messaging his friends. Now it looks like he’ll have a good defense 🙂

For me the problem is unconsciously this language seeps in, even when you don’t want it to. I remember as a sub, I was proof-reading a page to find that someone had written “know” for “now” and “ur” for “your.” Such mistakes usually escape the eye, because its the phonetics that register.

My English professor says that you will find such spellings even in project reports and assignments. For instance, this becomes dis, sorry becomes sari, what is becomes whatz, because becomes coz, should becomes shud, take care become tc, okay becomes K, My becomes mah, How are you becomes howzzit and For becomes fer.

Americans I think should be held responsible for this dumbing down of language. If everyone started spelling phonetically, then we might as well use sign language.

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Sub-editors are not always those creatures whose English can be termed ‘impeccable.’

Once, a sub-editor overlooked a reporter’s heading that read: JAYALALITHAA DISTRIBUTES AIDS.
Luckily, we changed the heading before it went for printing, but not before there were many off-colour jokes at the expense of Jayalalthaa and the reporter.

And then again there was the sub, who forgot to check whether ‘actress Lakshmi tucked the sari around the temple idol (a news article which was published many years before, which our professors always used to recount to us) or ****ed the sari around the temple idol…..
Apparently the newspaper had to make an out of court settlement, as the rumour goes।

This was one of the really nice ‘LETTERS TO THE EDITOR’ News Today recieved, that made our day.
Letter reads:

Sir,

Nice to know that Jayalalitha has decided to fast on the Cauvery issue. She really requires to trim her sumo-wrestler physique!

P.H. Chandran,
Mumbai.

And then this really superb copy that came down the wires:

Bush’s recipe for a win: Leave before the job is done!

US President George W Bush has added more gems to his long list of unintended gaffes.
Remarkable among them, Bush: The fiscal year ended on February 30

Rachel Chitra

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