Smart Phone Not So Smart

I know I have already written my iPhone rant.  But, after six weeks of acclimating myself to my new smart phone I feel the topic deserves another visit.

After bemoaning on Facebook and on this blog about my touch screen typing inadequacies, I received a rather unanimous placation.

“Trust me. You’ll get used to it.”

After giving the matter what I consider ample time, I am going to suggest that it is not the iPhone typist that gets used to the keyboard (or lack thereof), but is the recipient that grows accustomed to the sender’s new language; a language where rules of grammar are suspended and eloquently combined words are passé.

I have learned to translate things like “I live you do much” into the intended “I love you so much.” In fact, I rarely notice the errors at all.   My brain just accepts them as correct and automatically interprets their meaning. Much like the iPhone does when it decides for itself what its owner would like to say.

Before I owned an iPhone, I often cocked my head at such texts as:

“going to store.”

Such a sentence structure normally would mean one of two things

1.) a three-year old has gotten a hold of his mother’s phone, in which case we would be impressed by such advanced skills.

Or

2. The writer is severely learning disabled.

Now, I often get texts and emails that are as equally fragmented from people who are doctors, lawyers and even from those with degrees in English.

The following:

“Hey there!  I’m at the store picking up a few things. Do you need me to bring you anything while I’m here?  I cannot wait to see you!”

would most like be received with:

“Hey!  Why are you blowing up my phone with these bulky complete sentences?  Economize characters please!”

I was told recently by a blogging friend of mine whom I respect greatly for her writing talents, that nothing good can be written on a phone. To which I responded

“Well, crap.”

All of my entries have been written on my phone. I have two toddlers.  My writing time is limited to the train and the bathroom . (You’re welcome for that visual.) Bringing my laptop to either of these places is just not a desirable option.  And, the last time I attempted to open this laptop with children awake, one of them  hit some brilliant combination of keys that turned the screen 180 degrees and lost me an hour and a half of precious time to a phone call to India to learn how to restore it to its original position.

Throughout my five or six years as a blackberry user, I became so comfortable with its keys, that I opted to craft my Grad School admissions essays on it.  (Yes. I was accepted to each one of the schools to which I applied.)

So, in an effort to salvage my writing juices, I thought about throwing in the towel on my new toy, hoping blackberry would accept me back with open arms. Lo and behold, my beloved has followed the herd and nixed the keyboard.  What the hell?

I agree that these new apps are very cool. I’m actually quite thankful for the frequent “Google Maps” assistance in finding the locations of my appointments.  But, I hear if I allow the new update, that app will go to the birds, taking its seat next to prepositions and pronouns.

So I give up. I am in the minority. There is nothing left to do but load up my phone with fun and mindless apps in order to drown out my longing for creative stimuli through the beauty of language.

To all those who have written me emails and texts and feel blown off by my lack of response,  I urge you to take it as a compliment.  It means that I have been moved or sparked by your message so much so, that responding with a third grade writing level simply won’t suffice.

As soon as I make it to the basement where my laptop sits (which may be awhile as it seems to be crawling with crickets at the moment and I have chosen to simply close the door rather than acknowledge the issue), I will respond thoughtfully. Most likely we will have spoken at least three times before then.

Should you be searching for me, I’ll be on the train or in the bathroom…playing Angry Birds.

Disclaimer:

All grammatical and spelling errors in this post are blamed on the iphone.

(that, and I don’t have an English degree and many rules I simply do not know)

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19 responses to “Smart Phone Not So Smart

  1. so new blackberries are touch screen keyboard??? guess i’d better stop dropping mine!

    • Emily @ Motherfog

      Well, this post got a lot of feedback on facebook and according to some, there are still blackberries with keyboards. But, when I went to verizon to look, the newest one was a touch screen. I would go back to my old one,but the browser sucks and it froze up on me a lot. I was hoping to get a new blackberry that had advanced browser capability in the body of my old phone. Turns out, this doesn’t exist and most likely never will. I am now very sad that I dropped it so many times. It served me well, and it’s serves me right! RIP

  2. If you wrote everything on the BlackBerry, then clearly something good can be written on a phone.

    Dictation? Laptop after kids are in bed? Weekend writing and scheduling posts?

    • Emily @ Motherfog

      all good suggestions, Christine. but the most important thing I need from you is help with the usage of “whom”. As you sent this comment I was stymied by the online explanation. And have been equally stymied by my mother’s explanation. In my second to last paragraph (which i just changed to “whom” I am unsure. Please help. Yours (can’t write a post bashing improper grammar while my own is filled with such errors) truly

      • Naptimewriting

        Short version:
        If you would use “him” use “whom.”
        If you would use “he” use “who.”

        Longer version:
        If you would use a preposition, use “whom.” You do something to whom, for whom, with whom, by whom…If there is no preposition and the who is doing something, then who. Who acts, sings, cooks, writes. Who does to whom. Who does with whom. Who does. Things are done unto whom.

        Does that help?

      • Emily @ Motherfog

        It does help. But, I am amazed at how confusing it is for me. Either I wasn’t paying attention in school when they were teaching parts of speech or I didn’t understand it then either and blocked it out. I will have to refer to this comment often and perhaps force myself to include the usage of “whom” in every post just to drill it!

      • Naptimewriting

        The “him-whom” bit helps me every time.

      • Naptimewriting

        All those “who have written” is correct. All those “to whom I have written” would be, too, since in the former Who is writing and in the latter you are writing to Whom.

      • Emily @ Motherfog

        this makes more sense to me. I may be getting it

  3. Never mind. My Mother has informed me that whom in that sentence is incorrect. And I as I type this, she is attempting to explain it. Perhaps if I was listening I would understand. But I don’t think so.

  4. sjrozek@aol.com

    How about the beauty language?

  5. My jaw was truly hanging open as I read this because I cannot imagine writing a blog post on my phone. I’ve had the touch screen for a while and a text message is about my max before my frustration kicks in. Color me impressed. Also I’m glad I’m not the only one who gets stymied by things like who vs. whom.

    • Emily @ Motherfog

      BananaWheels, glad to impress! And, I have subscribed to your blog and do not receive email updates. Please discuss this with your computer 😉 In the mean time, I will check my settings as well and try again. I must be reminded of posts!

      • BananaWheels

        Oh dear. That’s no good. Guess my computer is no smarter than your phone. I shall investigate as well.

  6. I love your writing, keyboard or no 🙂 just don’t stop blogging!

  7. I still can’t believe you compose all your writing on a phone! You are amazing! I don’t even enjoy texting, so I couldn’t imagine trying to compose thoughtful pieces on a phone. I am just glad that you are willing to push through the annoyance of the keyboard/no keyboard issue so that we can continue to enjoy your writing.

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