T Rex TExt

i invntd txtng.
Well, at least I thought I did and for it I heartedly apologize.
For we have become a short
Single line read
Sort of society.
Except for my mom
Who denounces advancing
every year still mails
handwritten valentine cards
To each of her 6 children

I made the announcement of
my invention
last year on in my Facebook page
(where announcements of all types are apparently now made)
it was dubiously met.

When pagers were popular,
my coworkers and I would send
coded messages to each other.
It was a faulted system at best.
Tricky. And we had to think ahead of the system.
Pagers could only receive a numeric message.
 Of course, there aren’t enough numbers to match letters
or even sounds adequately
as the most common letters t,r,m were missing.
The numbers had to be put in backwards
and the pager tipped upside down to read the message. Misunderstandings were a given.

For example, the word “hello” was punched into the dial pad as “07734”.
image We added a 411 or a 911 depending on the urgency of the message.


Facebook friends responded.
Military vets chime in that they were using the subversive technique on radios and calculators when digital first arrived in technology.

An argument ensued. Baby boomers SHOUTED

Don’t be ridiculous!Ovaltine decoder rings implemented a numbers to letters system in the 1950s. Then the old CB radio folks jump in with a 10-4 GOOD BUDDY!

A visit to the cable tv 1930s movie channel reminds me that we used to say phone numbers like this HA9—-. A mnemonic device, apparently, to help people remember the new long seven digit phone numbers. Thus, PEnnsylvania 6 five thousand. (which for some reason, also required some shouting).

I admit defeat to Bookworms reminding me of Sir Arthur Canon Doyle’s, Adventure of the Dancing Men from 1898.

Then one must consider Navajo Code Talkers.

Codes and signals are embedded in our language history as we reach to communicate across distance, in that secretly public way.

Circling letters on gum wrappers in grade school and tossing them out bus windows.

Mt me drng rcss at mnky brs.

k. i. b. der.




  1. Ha, ha! It’s fun to joke about it, but it really wouldn’t hurt us to admit it’s a generational thing and we are falling behind the times. We can be grammar Nazis if we choose, but who is listening? Look how different our communication style is from the old greats, such as Shakespeare! He is likely rolling over in his grave! Oh wait, that song from three decades ago was titled “Roll Over Beethoven!” Yes, I’ll admit that I’m old and a digital immigrant.

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