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.