Yan's Corner - In Touch

Friday, November 18, 2005


Can you read the title? Who said that?

"To be or not to be, that is the question" uttered by the eponymous hero of Shakespeare's Hamlet.

AFP reported that some of the greatest English literature have been turned into text messages as a part of a student revision scheme launched yesterday. I picked the story from The Borneo Post today.

Mobile phone company dotmobile, which is behind the project, has translated the likes of William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens and John Milton into text, as a moder-day "aide-memoire" for under-pressure crammers.

Besides, 2b?Nt2b=???. the tragic ending to Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre becomes "MadwyfSetsFyr2Haus". It's "mad wife sets fire to house".

It was reported that John Sutherland, professor of modern English literature at University College London, helped devised the texts. He defended their simplicity - and language - in the face of predictable opposition from linguistic purists.

Sutherland said, "Whilst some may argue that Dickens is really too big a morsel to be swallowed by text, the "Great Inimitable" himself began working life as a shorthand writer and he would, I suspect, have approved of the brevity if nothing else."

AFP further reported that the service - which follows an Australian text version of the Bible last month - will be available to dot-mobile subscribers from January. Dobbs blogged of SMS Bible earlier. Read it here.

By that time, viewers of Dickens' epic Bleak House—currently being shown in a lengthy serialisation on Britain's BBC television—may need a refresher to remember the beginning.

The crib note reads: "EstherBecumsWardOfJarndyceWhosInCortCase.OvaWardsRich/Ada(L8aACuple).Tulkingho rn-nosyLawyer-WorksOutLadyDedlock=E'sMum.CaseEnds w/ no1 gtn money.E marrysSexyDoc-Liv 2gevaInBleakHse.Rich/L.DedlockDie"

Translation: "Esther becomes the ward of Jarndyce who is involved in a court case over Richard and Ada (who are later a couple). Tulkinghorn—a nosy lawyer—works out that Lady Dedlock is Esther's mother. The case is concluded with no one receiving any money. Esther marries the sexy doctor and they live together in Bleak House. Richard and Lady Dedlock die."

Hmm... In da Bginnin God cre8d da heavens & da earth......, now it's "gr8 brit lit turnd in2 txt 4 studes", what's next?

Updated at 1:30 pm - many years ago, about 5 years ago, I received a little "article" on "EuroEnglish". At that time, I still did not know about SMS. Today I found it amusing. Here it goes -

The European Union Commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communication rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

In the first year, "s" will be used instead of the soft "c". Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard "c" will be replaced with "k". Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced by "f". This will make words like "fotograf" 20 persent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptance of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Government will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" by "z" and "w" by "v".

During ze fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou", and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst place.

2 comment(s):


reading sms txt edtns gv desi headache..im buying Panadol co shares!:(

PS: i wonder if anyone wnts to buy my Bloshares?

By Blogger desiderata, at 12:26 pm  

Interesting post. Some day, we may be writing like this: "peehs kcalb aab aab" to mean 'baa baa black sheep' (written backwards).

By Blogger fishtail, at 9:28 am  

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