Monday, September 26, 2005

You’re always Igna to me
where Gina learns to text message in French, plans are made, and everyone rejoices

I have become one of the people I always used to make fun of. I blame French portable culture. They are craaaazy for cell phones, or portables, here. And even more so for the famed SMS, or text message for the uninitiated. I’ve had a cell phone before. I was, in fact, attached at the hip, or umm, earpiece, to my little phone back in the States. But even after my wonderful friend Jen taught me the ways of the text message, I still scoffed at it. Sure it was a good idea, but don’t you just hate those people who walk down the street constantly pushing the little buttons to send messages to their friends and remaining impervious to everything going on around them? Mea culpa, mes amis. I am now one of those people.

I have a compte bloqué here, which means that I pay SFR a set amount each month (or rather, they take it out of my account) and when those minutes are used up, I can’t use any more. Because incoming calls are free here (I KNOW! how great is that?) I can still receive calls, but can’t call out myself without recharging. Those 18 euros of time go pretty quickly (especially when you’re on the phone with UPS), so the cheapest way to communicate has become to simply send text messages. They take up less minutes than calling, and you have the chance to review your work, thus lessening the amount of stupid things said.

I swear, some people, especially the French, must have been text messaging since birth. Am I the only one who has trouble with this? I had enough trouble getting the words out in English, and now I’m supposed to do it in French? While it is cool to be able to use accents on text messages, it is much more time consuming and requires more concentration en français. Hence the reason I walk down the street, entranced only by my phone (I even ignore shiny things).

Through my continued practice with “texting,” my friends and I have developed an un-official code for this method of communication. And because I care, I’ll share it with you-

Thou shalt use “texter” as a verb. It is conjugated as a regular –er verb, and is common in all tenses.

Thou shalt continue all conversations begun in text mode in text mode. Said conversations shall be in French, as we are in France. Exceptions include when one is very tired and the thought of continuing to text is too much to bear; when long sets of directions are to be given; and when important decisions, like which bar one is going to, must be made.

Thou shalt maintain text conversations with several people at the same time. For example, this evening I held simultaneous conversations with Marc, Mandee and Emily (confirming that the concert we just bought tickets for is, in fact, not really in Lyon, but in a mini-suburb. Stay tuned for updates, because I AM GOING TO SEE PARIS COMBO AND YOU ARE NOT!)

Thou shalt be a self-motivated grammar checker. No one likes textos with bad grammar.
And finally, thou shalt strive to spell important things correctly (see grammar, above), unless it is endearing, as Mandee’s frequent mistyping of my name as “Igna” is.


At 6:29 AM, Blogger maranda said...

it's true!!! don't think i couldn't switch to abc mode if i wanted contraire, i let the t9 mode of fate call the shots, and thats why you're igna.

At 10:48 PM, Blogger E said...

I love texting G! i wish I could text you across the ocean...but I don't think it works. I also love the t9 and frequently call my friend Alison "Clip" instead of her name, which is Alison. It's like real late. g'night.


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