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2 is the magic number
 
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post #66
bio: stu
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7/26/2005
12:39

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English As She Is SMSed
The rising prevalence of text messaging via cell phones has introduced a new way for people to screw up and bastardize the English language, in ways unheard of since the language was standardized. The problems of homonyms and homophones has been around as long as semi-literate punks have been putting stylus to papyrus (in a Scottish church, I once saw a tomb where the guy's name was spelled different in all four different places it'd been etched--you'd think someone would have commented, but after all, it was etched in marble, and the guy most concerned was in no shape to complain), but text messaging and instant messaging allow people to screw up more efficiently and effortlessly than ever before.

So fast, that we are completely outpacing etymology. While homophones and -nyms can accurately describe many mistakes (especially when spell-check is slovenly used), and misspellings can cover most others, the autofill feature on many cell phones has created an interesting wrinkle. Most of us can grasp when someone puts "two" instead of "too," but how many people instinctively know that an auto-complete can write "nod" instead of "one." And that's assuming the messager spells their word correctly. Otherwise, "See me at the park; you know I love you," can come out, "Red of at vie park; wot Knox I loud you," in the proper drunken hands.

Clearly, a new word is needed to describe this phenomenon. I submit "smsonym" (pronounced "smessonym"), "textonym," or "messonym." I'm most partial to smsonym, since it's the most enjoyable to say, and it's also the one that will drive any spell-checker the most batty.

I'm open to suggestions, though.






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