The Thing I Like Least
About My Cell Phone

Alexander S. Peak

Also available in .txt and .pdf.

19 December 2008

Since getting a cell phone in 2007, I have found the thing quite useful.


I am not arguing against the utility of having a cell phone, but rather drawing attention to a personal annoyance, viz. the manner in which I must write text messages.

This sentence you are currently reading is written in standard English with the standard spelling as approved by the Oxford English Dictionary.

But this paragraf is not. In fac, this wuld be considrd horibl spelin by NE rationl prson.

Yet, that is how I find myself writing when sending text messages!

Why I Do It

I do it for a simple reason: money.  Each text message can contain only so many characters, approximately one hundred at most.  And, each text message costs ten cents.

So, if I wish to write a long message, I must choose between writing a well-spelled sentence but spending twenty- or even thirty-cents on the one hand and writing a poorly-spelled paragraph for ten cents.

I chooz the cheap opton. I chooz 2 sav $. I chooz 2 rite lik this.

And I hate it.


I do not precisely know why this fact—the fact that I use poor spelling when writing a long text message—seems to fascinate me.

Perhaps it is because I feel as though I am living a double life, using appropriate spelling in venues such as this while using inappropriate spelling in the venue of the cell phone.

Or perhaps I am curious as to what people think when they receive a poorly-written text message from a guy who they know knows how to correctly spell.

Maybe I am merely making an observation about how people make tiny adaptations to survive in an ever-more digital age.

Whatever it is, I do find the phenomenon oddly intriguing.

Or, shud I say I fnd the phenomnon odly intrigng?

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