The cellular phone is my number one marketing tool. I use it to prospect for clients, to pitch my shows and to close business deals. I believe I generate 80% of my income with the help of my out-of-style mobile phone.
While I find cell phones useful, I have one major complaint against them. It’s the senders’ propensity to use different, usually improvised spelling. Sometimes the improvisation is so farther out of the world than Paul Curry’s Out of This World that the message just totally stumps me.
For example, I’ve spent a good part of the morning trying to decipher a text message I received.
It says, “Mg.kano b mgbyad mg syo2rbus”.
I don’t know if it’s my IQ or I’m just being slowed down by age, but for the life of me, I can’t figure out what the message sender is trying to tell me. I have a sneaking suspicion that the message is about money, and that if I don’t get its meaning, I’m gonna lose some.
The sender is not in my phone book, so he/she just appears as a string of numbers on my cell phone screen.
After spending 30 minutes trying in vain to unravel the mystery of the message, I replied to him/her. “Please resend your text message. I can’t understand what you are trying to tell me, because I can’t figure out the spelling.”
Hours have passed, and no reply. I don’t know if I hurt his/her feelings. If he/she were a client, I lost an opportunity.
Cell phones are wonderful gadgets, but like all grand things, it exacts its pound of flesh. It encourages people to use spellings so outrageous it will even embarrass Dan Quayle.
Over the years, I have seen how text messaging has affected the spelling skills of my children. So a few months ago, I issued a family edict requiring my kids to spell out all the words in their text messages. Absolutely no shortcuts, abbreviations, outlandish spellings or cryptograms would be allowed. I don’t care if they want to text to me “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious ‘; they have to include all the letters in the proper sequence.
Why? Because I hate mispelings. When writing, I don’t leve out a single or add an extrae letter. That way everyone can unde#$^*nd me completely.
There. I’ve unburdened myself.
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