I’m a big fan of shortcuts. I meet them everywhere and greet them nicely. On Internet Relay Chat, Instant Messaging, signs on the road and of course Short Message Service. The name already suggests it. The entire system was designed for short messages, so acronyms and other shortcuts are a must. There’s a limit on the number of characters you can send and when you cross that limit, you pay more. It’s understandable why users would want to cut back on characters and even words. Still, I find myself repeatedly writing full sentences.

That’s why I like T9 so much. Not only does it allow me to write messages faster, but due to its somewhat broad acceptance, I also receive messages with what I’d qualify as semi-understandable content. Shiny as it may be, there’s always a glitch. The revered triple dot combo… The two first dots are displayed accurately, but by the third dot it decides a different character was typed that’s not even remotely related to the key clearly marked with the number 1. So instead of receiving the glorious triple dot combo, I get the double dot confusion bomb. Was it an accidental double dot? Was it the combo? It can completely flip the meaning of the message! How can I tell if it was “No…” as in “No, sorry…” or “No.” as in “No way!”. Am I to reply as the combo suggests a continuation is in place or am I missing an abrupt stop of the conversation? This, of course, brings us to the mystery of the ever elusive exclamation mark, but that’s a whole other story.

Yet another reason to just call…

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