Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Mobile matters.

One of the advantages of the digital age is the snooze feature on your alarm or, in my case, the mobile phone alarm setting. Instead of switching the thing off and going back to sleep for too long, you put off the dread moment of actually getting out of bed in 9 minute chunks – again and again and again. You might still miss you bus through getting up too late but at least it’s not a complete surprise.

Of course, sometimes you don’t get as far as the alarm ringing at all. Other things wake you first. My granddaughter has taken to texting me before 8 o’clock. All right, I know that some people have been up for hours by then but I am now officially a lady of leisure and no longer need to leave the house at the crack of dawn to cross the Greater Manchester conurbation. I assume that granddaughter does her texting while waiting for the bus to school. Wherever or whenever she is doing it, she must text at speed as she never seems to have time to check what she has written before sending.

We are currently communicating about “Run for Life”, a 5 k jog/walk/run around a local park to raise money for cancer research. As we want to register “Grandma’s Girls” (me, granddaughter and friends) she need to give me some details, most of which she told me she has in her “wong”, which turned out to be her room. Eventually she had all the details except for one friends “bost clod” – her post code. Some are even more incomprehensible.

I should be used it by now. After all, her friend Adam was called Bean for quite a while as a result of one of her texting clangers.

She doesn’t like it if I use text-speak when I send her messages. Grandmothers are not supposed to say things like “c u l8r”. I do try to avoid it as much as possible but sometimes it’s quite fun. There’s a van I see around with the company name “Ener G” on the side. That’s not as good as the French NRJ; if you pronounce the letters French style it gives you “√©nergie”.

Mind you I get a little agitated about “texting” from a linguistic point of view. I long ago stopped ranting about making nouns (the text) into verbs (to text) but the purist in me gets very annoyed about the use of that verb and I have even had arguments with my daughter about it. If it’s a verb then it should behave just like other verbs. Therefore, the past tense should be “texted”. However, my daughter will insist on telling me that someone text (past tense) her with some important information. Now, as far as I am concerned, that should really be “texed” from the verb “to tex” but my daughter is not accepting that. And she’s not the only one of the younger generation to use the “verb” that way.

I must be turning into an old fogey after all!

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