Language is interesting. I don’t know why I thought about it last week, but I wonder why “text speech” didn’t come up back in the 1800’s during the early days of wire transfers and morse code. I had forgotten this topic until yesterday when I went to look up the spelling for cancelled, or is it canceled? If you must know, it’s both. Apparently, the British way is with the double ell. I figure the Americans shortened it to save on ink and space in newspapers and print media. (Cancelled isn’t the only word like that. Plus you have humour vs. humor, etc.)

In any case, back to wire transfers in the 1800’s during the early days of Western Union and text speak. The reason text speak became popular today is because it is difficult to type on those itty-bitty buttons and have to hit a button 3 or 4 times to get the letter you want. Plus, teenagers are lazy and, at least in the US, teens were the ones doing most of the texting on their cell phones. (Text speak was born from l33t speak, but that’s another topic…)

In the 1800’s when someone wasnted to send a letter by wire they were charged by the letter … Ok, I just looked it up, they were charged by the word. So text speak would not be that big of a deal. However, I’m surprised it didn’t come up in morse code. Okay, question number 2 concerning telegrams: Tosavemoneywhydidn’ttheyjustuseareallylongwordandavoidtheperwordcharge? See, that last question would have saved me the cost of 17 words. So, anyway… this is my post for the day.

2 Replies to “language”

  1. I don’t know if it used to be this way back in the 1800s, but when I took typing back in high school, they taught me that a “word” was 5 characters. So “happy birthday” is just one character short of 3 words. So if that was true back then, it would still make sense to use “text speech” when sending telegrams.

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