Thursday, February 28, 2008

Un-predictive texts


In a week of fortune telling in general, I now want to move on to the loosely related but only for semi-interesting opening line purposes, subject of predictive text on mobile phones.

You will all know, as fervent readers and hangers on my every utterance, that I like to style myself as a defender of the faith when it comes to punctuation and spelling in general. 'Conan the Grammarian' is what Susan would call me, if she didn't call herself that first, and I think it's a great name, one I'd like even more if I'd had the wit to come up with myself.

Anyway, my Sony Ericsson K800i is really getting up my nose. (I have a big nose). I always use proper English when texting, as in absolutely no abbreviations or txt lnguge bollocks allowed, because I consider this intentional mispelling to be a creeping, stealthy assault on written expression. And when my slang-happy and dumbed-down grandkids are earnestly asking me how to spell FBI and where the '8' goes in 'great,' I want to look them in the eye and know I had nothing to do with it.

The Sony is a grand phone, now, don't get me wrong. It takes good pictures and I like this because it lets me take casual or incidental photos of people without looking like I deliberately bring a camera about with me for the purpose, because where I come from, this would mean you've got 'ooooooooooh creative' leanings and are, ergo, a closet homosexual. It also has a good interface, and there's nothing wrong with its outerface either. The menu is natcherl and inchewative. It comes with blue teeth and Infored and a port for landing US bees at. I like this phone in many ways.

But then we come to the texting bit. The predictive text is...well...it's a pain in the hole. I'm staggered that the person who designed it programmed the phone to do the stupid and annoying things it does. Fr'instance (I'm sorry about the poetic licensing today, I've been reading Huckleberry Finn and the dialects have gotten to me), when you try to type "I've" it gives you "H've" instead. So you have to go back and manually change the haitch to an I. Like who the fuck ever says "H've?"

Then, when you try to type "to", surely one of the most used words in texts, ever, it gives you "un" instead, surely one of the most unused. So you have to manually back scroll and change it, or remember when inputting it that the phone's a feckin' eejit and do it as you go, which I never remember to do. It also gives you "in" instead of "go", "me" instead of "of", or verse vicey, but always gives you the one you don't want.

Worst of all is "ye" instead of "we," that one makes steam come out of my ears. I spend more time correcting the mistakes because of the foibles of this phone than actually writing the texts themselves.

On top of all this distress though, (and this is the real killer, wait till ye hear this), I had toiled for months inputting and saving a doughty corpus of colourful profanities which I usually employ during Liverpool games, allowing my flashing digits to bash out such nuggets as "Dirk Kuyt is a fucking shitey geebag full of a bag of his own shite. Shite!" in jig time. But of late, the phone has come over all piousy and Mary Whitehouse, and has taken to secretly dumping the whole lot of my carefully crafted cuss words so I have to start all over again. Grrrrr.

There's lots more examples of how the phone picks the stupidest option when you're composing a text but infuriatingly, I can't remember them now even though I've just spent 10 minutes messing about with the text and I still can't find them. Typical.

I'm seriously considering getting a new phone simply because of this textual intercourse problem. It's driving me potty.

And five points to whoever spots the pun somewhere in this post...

30 moos and woofs:

Rosie said...

i blame all kinds of shite on nokia's predictive text. like my jaegerbomb habit - pints? is always interpreted as shots? or if the phone is feeling particularly hormonal; riots

nuttycow said...

Sorry to be a bit adult but couldn't you just take the predictive text function off (like I do) and go back to writing out your text in full?

*alright alright I'll crawl back into my cage now*

Terence McDanger said...

Well I suppose I could but my point is I shouldn't have to just because some daft Sony egghead with no concern for customer satisfaction made a balls of the thing in the first place. Like who would give 'ye' precedence over 'we?' It's nuts, and besides going back to the old way would take even longer again than the current half-arsed way. I'm between a rock and a hard place I tells ya it's not easy being me.

They wouldn't pull this shit over at Samsung.

Baino said...

Haha . . I might have an incling about computers but haven't a clue about phones! I can't even work out how to turn my predictive text on let alone how to build a dictionary. It's a flip top samsung and I can't even get the top open before the call ends! Would be nice to swear quickly tho!

Adullamite said...

Some of us don't have enough friends to need 'predictive' systems on our phones. My phone is about six year old and was born before fotocamfones made landing. Tsk!

The Freelance Guru said...

There was a pun? Why wasn't I informed? You're supposed to put a Warning before you start putting puns everywhere.

I love predictive text. My old boss once got a text from his wife which we eventually worked out was supposed to say, "your mum phoned."

Predictive text however, being much more creative, decided it should be, "your nun sinned."

A worrying idea for us all. I wasn't even aware he owned a nun

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