March 1, 2010
I remember proudly walking around with a brick-sized cell phone attached to my belt during the year 2000, a time where I completely fancied myself. Back then, brick-sized cell phones were all the rage, it was during the cell phone boom in South Africa, and you were considered to be un trendy and slightly pathetic if you did not own one.
A truly multi-purpose gadget, I remember using my Nokia 5110 to leave missed calls for my friends, hit people over the head when they annoyed me, and even used it to send an sms to cute girls I wanted to rub my winky on, but was too shy to speak to in person.
Back then, air time was ridiculously expensive, Vodacom and MTN were bending us over and giving everyone a hefty rogering, and you could easily end up paying the equivalent of a month’s rent on a hour long cell phone call. Being a traditionally stingy nation, South Africans proclaimed the sms as the desired communication tool of choice, as it worked out to about 99c to send a 90 character message. Unlike Twitter’s famous 140 characters though, 90 characters never really got you very far.
Usually, you would just about manage to describe the length and girth of your winky, before running out of characters and having to pay an extra 99c for the pleasure of sending a two unit message, which would then take up 10% of the recipient’s cell phone storage. (Hard to believe, but there was a time when cell phones only stored about 20 messages) Obviously this was a lose lose situation, and so people developed a short hand method of communicating via sms.
And so, “that” soon became “dat”, “before” evolved into “b4”, and just like magic, every man and his dog was soon “Lol”ing at anything mildly amusing, saving the “ROTFLMA”ing for the very special moments in life.
Although this was a horrible time for someone who insisted on speaking eloquently, I grudgingly accepted it, both in terms of the economic value in speaking like a retard, as well as the fact that it was quite an inconvenience typing out long words on a cell phone key board.
That was then though, and this is now. Today, I am completely underwhelmed by people who continue to persist in communicating in this manner, especially with the use of BlackBerry keyboards and predictive text. Don’t even get me started on people who use computers to update their Twitter or Facebook status.
Quite frankly, if you are using a fully fledged computer keyboard to update your Facebook status, and you still insist on using “dat” instead of “that”, I will make it my mission to track you down and kick you firmly in the throat. Come on, it’s one extra letter, type the damn thing out. You know how to spell, you are not a cretin.
There is nothing cute about writing like a six year old. Especially when you are a thirty seven year old. Keep this up and you will be needing a colonoscopy, specifically to identify the foreign object found up there, namely my foot. Lol. Or not.
Oakes signing off.
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