Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.

6.08.2011

Texting Will Be the End of Grammar

Of the early days of the telegraph (mid 1800s), from The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

Two motivations went hand in glove: secrecy and brevity. Short messages saved money--that was simple. So powerful was that impulse that English prose style soon seemed to be feeling the effects. Telegraphic and telegraphese described the new way of writing. Flowers of rhetoric cost too much, and some regretted it. "The telegraphic style banishes all the forms of politeness," wrote Andrew Wynter. . . .

Almost immediately, newspaper reporters began to contrive methods for transmitting more information with fewer billable words. . . .

. . . For less sensitive occasions, Vail proposed using abbreviated versions of common phrases. Instead of "give my love to," he suggested sending "gmlt." He offered a few more suggestions:

mhii - My health is improving
shf - Stocks have fallen
ymir - Your message is received
wmietg - When may I expect the goods?
wyegfef - Will you exchange gold for eastern funds?

All these systems required prearrangement between sender and recipient: the message was to be supplemented, or altered, by preexisting knowledge shared at both ends. . . .

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