Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Words are my thing -- that's just how it is

I'm a total word nerd. It could stem from the fact that I was an only child until I was eight, and my mom didn't let me watch much t.v., and so I read a lot. It could stem from the fact that I went to the Colorado State Spelling Bee two years in a row, and let's face it, you have to know a LOT of words and how to spell them in order to get there. It could stem from the fact that as a member of the newspaper staff in college, I was a section editor AND a copy editor, and so it's just a habitual nerdiness. It could stem from the fact that my ongoing goal in life is to beat my dad at Scrabble on a regular basis. Who knows, but the fact is, that's just what I am.

Being a total word nerd, I am a snob about certain things. I’ve mentioned my dislike of the use of “ain’t” in conversation, and unless I’m pretending to be an uneducated redneck, I don’t use it. I’ll say pretty much every curse word ever invented (with a few reserved for really SPECIAL occasions or people) but I cannot say “ain’t.” I also don’t like my food to touch and various other food related issues, but that’s for another post.

Anyway, I’ve recently been using the text messaging feature on my phone. I say “recently” as if it’s just been invented, but the truth is, most of the people I talk to leave regular voice mail messages. If we’re in a bar and it’s loud, it doesn’t occur to us to text each other, instead we’ll call and the person on the receiving end is treated to us yelling or something equally as charming.

However, the boy I mentioned in The History of Us is a text messager. He calls, yes, but he text messages me quite a bit as well. And since he is a lawyer, I figure it’s best to text him during the day if I want to tell him something, instead of calling (“Yes, excuse me a second your honor, I have to take this – hi. What? Yes, definitely red. I don’t know, cabernet? Maybe a rioja if they have it. Yeah, Silver Oak is good. Ok, I have to go. See you later. ”).

So, as a word nerd, I have a hard time with the text messaging shorthand. Saying “4” and “2” instead of “for” and “to” is not something I can do. The same way with “u” and “r” – I would rather type out the word, and plus, with predictive text, it’s not that difficult. If you want to use that shorthand, that’s your deal, but you will be getting complete, actual words from me.

Last night was a good (if sad) example of the extent of the nerdiness. I think I may be the only person in the history of text messaging to use the word “presumptuous.” And I’m here to tell you, there’s no predictive text in the phone memory for that word.


The Zombie Lama said...

I HATE text messaging. I can see your point, where sometimes it is a necessary evil, but for the most part, I would rather just call someone.

The short hand also drives me nuts. What's really bad is I've noticed on several blogs that people's entire writing style consists of this short hand. Heck, I can't even duplicate it, it's that bad!

I am by no means a master of the language, but come on! Ain't it a shame what people do? Sorry, couldn't resist...


appsdshell said...

Using short hand in predictive text, I have found, is much harder than just typing it out, because you have to go to another feature on my phone, to get it out of using the predictive text, and tell it to use ABC instead. I prefer to just spell it out. So does that make me a nerd word or just lazy?

beckibee said...

ur2cute2b4gotn! cul8r qt!

Amber said...

Lama -- I hear you. On all of it. And many thanks for not duplicating it!

April -- It makes you a lazy word nerd. Yay!

Becki -- I hate you.

Beth said...

I know you will find this shocking, but I also hate the shortened phrases. I blame Sinead O'Connor with her otherwise good song, "Nothing Compares 2 U."

Cheryl said...

I'm a word nerd too! Let's start a club!

Oh, but I don't have text we'll have to stick to blogging.

Down with "ain't!"

Amber said...

Beth -- this shared hate of stupid abbreviations must be the reason why we always did so well in elementary school when we would do our homework and write each other's name on it.

And Cheryl -- we're totally starting a club and one of the first rules is that there will be no text messaging allowed. We'll have to think of an appropriately nerdy name...

Nicole said...

Amen, sister! I abhor text messaging and the shorthand that has become far too widespread an epidemic. Equally loathsome to me is the complete disregard for capitalization and punctuation. Lazy or uneducated people -- that's all I can think of to explain it.

Where might one apply to be a member of this club that you and Cheryl are starting? I simply must join!

Thomas said...

I experienced Amber's harsh brutality today because I made a grammatical mistake on mine blog. It wasn't pretty.

Marie said...

LOL! I hate text messaging for that very reason. I dislike typing out incomplete words. And it takes forever to type out what should be a very simple sentence.

Jenn said...

I'm a text messaging whore! There I said it.

I wouldn't be if it weren't for predective text though. And I, like you, spell out EVERY word. I don't see why someone wouldn't with predective text. It's actually easier.

My friends are coming around to spelling the words out withe me because I'll usually send the text back with "What?!" Then they have to spell it anyway.

High five!

Stephanie said...

Let me just say that my blood pressure just shot up at the mere mention of text messaging shorthand. I have way too many friends whose main means of communication is text messaging, and let me tell you - it isn't pretty the things I see on a daily basis! Amber- I want in on this club too! This epidemic just HAS to be stopped! (No drama here!)

On a lighter, less stressful note - That's absolutely wonderful about your involvement with your youth group! It sounds like it's a great fit for you! (And what great travel opportunities!) If you don't mind my asking, what denomination is your church?

trish said...

Hi. I'm Trish and I use shorthand occasionally...and I'm a retard with punctuations..

Marissa said...

That's so funny - I'm a word nerd, too. Although, I do text message because I hate, I repeat: I HATE, talking on the phone. So whenever possible, I text instead. That being said, I also went to spelling bee contests and used to read the dictionary for fun. :)

Alice said...

I AGREE TOTALLY!! i cannot STAND textspeak. texting? love it. very useful. but for the LOVE OF HECK please please please type out "you" and "are" and even "tonite" instead of "2nite". PLEASE.

also, i'm a huge word nerd too. it's awesome. i even signed up for the "word of the day" from (although, i've got to say, the words aren't that great).

The Husband said...

i have to agree about the abreviations used for text messaging. i always write out the whole word...i thought i was the only one but i guess not.

Miladysa said...

Can I join the Club please? I could also do with someone to translate my text messages for me. I am sure my children have made up their own 'textspeak' just to give me a nervous breakdown!

Kiki said...

I catch myself typing in shorthand occasionally, but for the most part I can't stand it either.
Maybe I could join your club!

Kendra said...

I love the text messaging! And I rarely use shorthand unless I'm on a plane and short for time before take off. Otherwise, I just write it all out. Of course, I had to switch my phone plan to unlimited text messages (I believe it's part of the Just for Teens package) because my first "text message bandwagon" cell bill was insane.

Thomas said...

I text message when I drive. And when I bicycle. The funny thing is I don't do it when I am just sitting down somewhere.

heatherfeather said...

i've taught my predictive text "asphyxiate."

i hear your pain

Friends of McDougal said...

Do any plans still charge per character? I could accept shorthand if that were the case.

I have a techno-nerd Treo 650 with a qwerty keyboard, so I'm a little spoiled when it comes to text messaging. I usually spell out the word ... unless I'm driving.

I'm not sure if this makes me a word-nerd, too, but I once shot a man in Reno for using the word "irregardless".

Timmortal said...

I'm really happy 4 U. I h8 txting the whole word. u no? LOL. L8er. KIT

suburban mom said...

But do you use Lay and Lie correctly???


'Thought & Humor' said...

We work like a horse.
We eat like a pig.
We like to play chicken.
You can get someone's goat.
We can be as slippery as a snake.
We get dog tired.
We can be as quiet as a mouse.
We can be as quick as a cat.
Some of us are as strong as an ox.
People try to buffalo others.
Some are as ugly as a toad.
We can be as gentle as a lamb.
Sometimes we are as happy as a lark.
Some of us drink like a fish.
We can be as proud as a peacock.
A few of us are as hairy as a gorilla.
You can get a frog in your throat.
We can be a lone wolf.
But I'm having a whale of a time!

You have a riveting web log
and undoubtedly must have
atypical & quiescent potential
for your intended readership.
May I suggest that you do
everything in your power to
honor your encyclopedic/omniscient
Designer/Architect as well
as your revering audience.

Please remember to never
restrict anyone's opportunities
for ascertaining uninterrupted
existence for their quintessence.

There is a time for everything,
a season for every activity
under heaven. A time to be
born and a time to die. A
time to plant and a time to
harvest. A time to kill and
a time to heal. A time to
tear down and a time to
rebuild. A time to cry and
a time to laugh. A time to
grieve and a time to dance.
A time to scatter stones
and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a
time to turn away. A time to
search and a time to lose.
A time to keep and a time to
throw away. A time to tear
and a time to mend. A time
to be quiet and a time to
speak up. A time to love
and a time to hate. A time
for war and a time for peace.

Best wishes for continued ascendancy,

'Thought & Humor'

P.S. One thing of which I am sure is
that the common culture of my youth
is gone for good. It was hollowed out
by the rise of ethnic "identity politics,"
then splintered beyond hope of repair
by the emergence of the web-based
technologies that so maximized and
facilitated cultural choice as to make
the broad-based offerings of the old
mass media look bland and unchallenging
by comparison."

'Thought & Humor' by Howdy
Great Humor
Great Thought
CyberHumor, CyberThought
CyberRiddles for your divertissement!!!

heatherfeather said...

people lie.

other things lay.

Lil Country said...

Hi, Since I read you so often over on Slacker, I thought I'd stop by for a visit. Hope you don't mind. I, like you, am a word nerd. I love large, long, complicated to spell words that people actually have to go and look up the meanings. But when speaking only.
And text messaging is dangerous to your health. I have a friend Amie who has been in 8 car accidents while text messaging. Can you say put the phone down!!!!

Friends of McDougal said...

Sometimes I lie down and think about getting laid.

Linda said...'!I,too,!

Paul said...

I say you get a hot baby T with the word "ETYMOLOGIST" on it.

Wear it. Live it. Love it.

Thomas said...

Helping to set the record for most comments ever. This is fun.

Thomas said...

What is the record for the most comments to one of your posts,Amber?