Two weeks ago, a friend of mine switched to a new mobile service. As far as my quite limited cellphone needs are concerned - although the atrocious call centre service of my current option makes me wonder if it’s time for a change - I see most providers as more or less the same. For my friend, however, this new company was a hot ticket. They were offering 666 free text messages, or SMS, per day.
he sed “666 s so mny, can snd lts to frnds :)”. i sed “666 s th nmbr of th dvl, dnt u no???”
From the moment I first gave my number to someone in India, I disliked those forwarded SMS. I saw the phone as a communication tool, something with which you can speak to someone in another place or send them a quick personal message when you really need to (i.e. sporadically). Young India sees it quite differently: your mobile is a status symbol and a means of keeping in constant touch with friends. And it is preferable, even encouraged, to use txtspeak for every SMS.
ther wr sm msgs i had 2 read 2 or 3 tyms 2 gt der tru mng n it ws v anoyin
Yes, I’m a bit curmudgeonly when it comes to language. I think that using txtspeak on a regular basis reconfigures the language part of your brain for the worse and in a way that is difficult to overcome, and I am not a fan. oR oF wHeN pEoPlE sWiTcH bAcK aNd FoRtH bEtWeEn UpPeR AnD lOwEr CaSe (ThAnKs MaRiA fRaNcIs FoR rEmInDiNg Me Of ThEm). Or Messages That Put Every Word In Initial Caps To Make Them Seem More Wise And Meaningful, Usually Dispensing Some Cheap (Though Possibly Earnest) Sentiment. Those Ones Are The Worst.
i sps i shud b grtfl der s sum variety n da frwd SMS, bt dat dun mk dem ok
It is not only variety of language that is employed in these forwarded SMS, but also a variety of content. Most common are jokes, either in English or in Indian languages. Most of the ones I receive are in Malayalam and I have to take them to someone to decipher; occasionally, they are funny, but usually diverting at best.
Then there are the ones that provide general knowledge tidbits. Personally, I’d rather enrich my brain with punctuation and correct spelling than with little-known (or cared-about) facts.
The friendship ones are sweet, but sometimes a little bit sinister; for example, ‘The ball can escape from bat, the rat can escape from cat, but you cannot escape from... My Heart you are always my good friend. Our friendship will never end.’’ This came as a bit of a shock from someone I’d only met that day on the train.
As for the occasional dirty SMS jokes that circulate, the less said the better.
bt as u mayb no alredy, ther r 2 syds 2 evry stry
Pretty quickly, my technique for dealing with these forwarded SMS was to never give out my number, and for those that had it, to let them know that I wasn’t interested. Then, one day, I received a message that said something along the lines of ‘Never 4get ur Friends, even one SMS or one missed call in a while can brighten their day’, and the sentiment stuck with me. OK, yes, the mobile phone is a communication tool first and foremost, but what’s the harm in getting the odd silly or tacky word from a friend or acquaintance? They’re just being friendly and keeping the connection alive, and I have no obligation to reply, even if the message says I do. In a way, I should be honoured to be part of that person’s circle.
it wsnt lyk a whl wrld of 1da n joy opend up 4 me, bt afta dat i saw thngs diffrntly
So now, my buddy’s 666 SMS per day isn’t such an awful thing. He sends maybe two or three forwards out per day, I imagine to a list of over a hundred people, and some of them are actually quite funny. Who would’ve thought my devotion to necessity could turn around? Like so many things in India, forwarded SMS were something that I couldn’t stand in the beginning, but I’ve grown to accept and even love them in a way.
nw tht iv seen th lite, i jst hv 2 kp myself frm sndng SMS in txtspk! ... (pls cmmnt if u lykd dis stry, or giv misd cal to unsubscrb) ...