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U can't rED DIS, thN U' 2 oldProbably

by Sandra Smith

I used 2 BlEv dat cuz I can troubleshoot my own cmptr probz, knO my way around d Internet, & DzIND & creatD my own website, dat I must b pritE hot 4 a woman Ovr 50.

Translation: I used to believe that because I can troubleshoot my own computer problems, know my way around the Internet, and designed and created my own website, that I must be pretty hot for a woman over 50. I can't be totally out of itcan I?

Let me say one thing in my defense, a video gaming company did offer me a job — sight unseen — after they looked at my website. Viva la Internet! I've always thought it must be the greatest equalizer ever invented. You don't need to be model thin or 22 years old if it looks like you know what you're doing. And evidently I am much more charming in email than I am in person. Who knew?

I even like gadgets so I thought messaging from my cellphone would be fun. Then they started talking about SMS, and GSM , and CDMA. I don't care for acronyms. I think they were invented to make me feel dumb. But it turns out that SMS means Short Message Service which is just a fancy way of saying you can send and receive text messages to and from mobile telephones—even to and from computers.

After you figure out why you would ever want to do that, you still have some questions to answer. You can't do it from every cellphone. It costs extra money if your mobile provider offers the option; plus you must speak another language to use it (refer to the first paragraph) because messages are limited to 160 characters (of course, that is changing even as you read this).

And this all comes under the heading of getting people used to wireless communication. Those marketing people out there have BIG plans. A little Internet research divulges their heinous designs — and it all involves trying to sell us something else we don't need or want. And in even more annoying ways than they do now. Marketers want to target us for advertising because they can find out more about mobile phone users than Internet users. This kind of technology gives advertisers enough information that they could call and tell us our favorite brand is on sale.

Candy vending machines could knowingly whisper as you saunter by, "Hey, looking for Mr. Goodbar?" A clothing store might send a message, "Say, you've gained a little weight since the last time you were by. Larger sizes are in the back." You get the idea. One of Murphy's Laws must say that if a system can be abused by a marketing person, it will be. Look at all the junk spammy email we're forced to deal with.

I'm reminded of a old TV show, Max Headroom. Good science fiction predicts both social and technological 'advances.' Everything in the Max Headroom future was about television and broadcasters ran the world and everybody in it. Channel 23 invented a new commercial format — blipverts. Blipverts were shown at high speed so people didn't have time to switch channels. An unintended consequence was that they caused the viewer to explode. More recently the movie Minority Report showed vending machines and store fronts shouting Tom Cruise's name as he tried to run away from the bad guys. As Pogo once said, "I have seen the future."

While I've decided against cellphone messaging, I'm still entertained by the language. It's also used in chatrooms. Here are a few examples — some are obvious, and some become obvious after you read them.
AFAIK as far as I know
ATB all the best
BRB be right back
CIO check it out
CUL see you later
DKDK:  don't know, don't care
EVRY1:  everyone
GTG:  got to go
IDK:  I don't know
IL B L8:  I'll be late
IMO:  in my opinion
LMK:  let me know
LOL:  laughing out loud
NE1:  anyone
NO1:  no one
NRN:  no reply necessary
OIC:  oh I see
SUM1:  someone

n d meantime, ive found a website dat mAkz translating EZ. jst typ n yor msg, clik d arrow key & it transl8z yor msg 2 mAk U sound lIk U knO wot U' doin.

Translation: In the meantime, I've found a website that makes translating easy. Just type in your message, click the arrow key and it translates your message to make you sound like you know what you're doing.

som ppl nEd 2 get a Lyf.


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