My final Bit of Bytes column – Advance copy

Bleep, Blop, Bloop – Trends in tech language

For my final Bit of Bytes column I’m going to take a trip down technology memory lane. Be it good or bad we all know the impact technology has had on society. With this column I want to put under the microscope how technology has changed how we communicate, particularly the language we use.

giphy1

Some elements of communication have been relatively unaffected by technology. Yes the business letter is less common however the language and tone has simply relocated to email. It hasn’t really been displaced. Throughout history, and through to today, there has been technology that impacts significantly upon how we communicate.

Morse code

-.. . …- . .-.. — .–. . -.. / -… -.– / … .- — ..- . .-.. / ..-. .-.-.- -… / — — .-. … . / .. -. / – …. . / .—- —.. …– —– … –..– / — — .-. … . / -.-. — -.. . / .– .- … / -.. . …- . .-.. — .–. . -.. / .- … / .- / -.-. — -.. .. ..-. .. . -.. / — . -.-. …. .- -. .. … — / ..-. — .-. / – .-. .- -. … — .. – – .. -. –. / .- -. -.. / .-. . -.-. . .. …- .. -. –. / -. .- – ..- .-. .- .-.. / .-.. .- -. –. ..- .- –. . / .- -.-. .-. — … … / – …. . / – . .-.. . –. .-. .- .–. …. / … -.– … – . — .-.-.-

— …- . .-. / – .. — . / — — .-. … . / -.-. — -.. . / …. .- … / -.. . …- . .-.. — .–. . -.. / .- -. -.. / . …- — .-.. …- . -.. / .. -. – — / .- -. / .. -. – . .-. -. .- – .. — -. .- .-.. / — — .-. … . / -.-. — -.. . –..– / .- …- .- .. .-.. .- -… .-.. . / .- – / …. – – .–. —… -..-. -..-. .– .– .– .-.-.- .. – ..- .-.-.- .. -. – -..-. .-. . -.-. -..-. .-. -….- .-. . -.-. -….- — .-.-.- .—- -…. –… –… -….- .—- -….- ..— —– —– —-. .—- —– -….- .. -..-. .-.-.- / .– …. .. .-.. … – / .– . / – …. .. -. -.- / — ..-. / — — .-. … . / -.-. — -.. . / .- … / .- / -.. . .- -.. / .-.. .- -. –. ..- .- –. . / .. – … / -. — – / –.- ..- .. – . / – …. . .-. . / -.– . – .-.-.- / — — .-. … . / -.-. — -.. . / .. … / … – .. .-.. .-.. / .–. — .–. ..- .-.. .- .-. / .- — — -. –. / .-. .- -.. .. — / . -. – …. ..- … .. .- … – … / .- -. -.. / .. … / -… . .-.. .. . …- . -.. / – — / … – .. .-.. .-.. / -… . / – .- ..- –. …. – / – — / — . — -… . .-. … / — ..-. / – …. . / -.. . ..-. . -. -.-. . / ..-. — .-. -.-. . … / -… . -.-. .- ..- … . / — ..-. / .. – … / … .. — .–. .-.. .. -.-. .. – -.– / .- -. -.. / .- -.. .- .–. – .- -… .. .-.. .. – -.– / .. -. / . — . .-. –. . -. -.-. -.– / … .. – ..- .- – .. — -. … .-.-.-

Want to read that bit? Decode it at http://www.unit-conversion.info/texttools/morse-code/

Telegram

Morse code and the telegram are intimately linked but after reading up on the language of the telegram I couldn’t stop. (Hehe get it?)

The telegram forced users to the economical with their communication. With a charge per word the saying a penny for your thoughts had to be taken seriously.

In an ironically wordy guide, Nelson E Ross’ 1928 booklet on how to write telegrams provides guidance on the importance of economical telegrams:

“Naturally, there is a right way and a wrong way of wording telegrams. The right way is economical, the wrong way, wasteful. If the telegram is packed full of unnecessary words, words which might be omitted without impairing the sense of the message, the sender has been guilty of economic waste. Not only has he failed to add anything to his message, but he has slowed it up by increasing the time necessary to transmit it. He added to the volume of traffic from a personal and financial point of view, he has been wasteful because he has spent more for his telegram than was necessary. In the other extreme, he may have omitted words necessary to the sense, thus sacrificing clearness in his eagerness to save a few cents….when you think of telegraphing someone to “reply at once,” you may very well save the cost of an unnecessary word and write it, “reply immediately,” or “reply quickly.” ”

The complete booklet has been transcribed and is available at http://www.telegraph-office.com/pages/telegram.html

Text language

With most smart phones now having a qwerty keyboard theres no real excuse for poorly worded text messages (other than general laziness). This wasn’t always the case. Back in my day communicating was done with 9 keys. Selfies hadn’t been invented yet, Snake was the game of choice and the Nokia unleashed the Mjölnir that was the 3310.

Texting at ‘At the Library’ meant you needed to type: 280844330555444227772777999 subsequently shortcuts were necessary and popular. Some have survived the test of time such as brb, bff and btw but others have not been so lucky like B4N (bye for now) and FWIW (for what its worth).These days the issue isn’t so much pressing the same keys all the time but cucumber popsicle danger…auto correct.

 

Emoji’s and the ‘like

When it comes to the emoji and the ‘like’ I’m moving away from the informative into the rant.

Emoji’s are daft. There is never an okay reason to communicate with someone by way of a poo with eyes or two women with bunny ears. It’s daft, annoying and horrid. Some emoji users are touting them as the next universal language but if that’s the case I want off this rock.

The ‘like’ is just as bad as the emoji. It’s the saviour of the lazy social media user. You don’t want to really say anything in response to someone but you want to let them know you’ve read it. We all know this, I’ve done it, you’ve done it, we’ve all done it and it needs to stop. No more communication short cuts. 

Okay so I don’t necessarily like the ‘like’ but I have very much enjoyed writing this column. Thanks to everyone who read it.

ttfn*

 

*Ta ta for now

 

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