This GSM add-on was introduced in Manila in mid-90s (or early 90s, I don’t remember). Only a handful were subscribing until Globe offered their services pre-paid. A mobile call back then was pretty expensive so this SMS thingy was a hit for additional savings. I was a subscriber and I remember paying P330 (less than $10) for unlimited texting service for three months. That started it I think, the increase of subscribers for SMS and making the Philippines the supposed texting capital of the world. Even the word “text” became not just a noun but also a verb (“Just text me when you get there!” Got my drift?)
Aside from saving some bucks, why is there a service like this? To save time. Yes. And also to send a SHORT (obviously) message that is important. There are 160 characters to one message (if you have an older phone; most new phones allow longer than 160 characters but there is an additional charge, of course). You have to fit what you need to say in those 160 characters.
Thus the disgusting text-speak was born. People, usually the young ones are guilty of this. I cringe at people my age or older than me using this blasphemous form of language (if it is considered a language). It started as a way to shorten words then evolved into something ugly and uglier!
I can accept wat, wer, y, d, tnx and u for what, where, why, the, thanks and you, respectively. I also text in English most times because the words and sentence constructions are shorter than Tagalog. And I still find it amusing to receive a message “Wer na u” instead of “Wer r u” or “san ka na”. This I totally dig because I find it funny, LOL!
But this is a league of its own: “Mom and2 na p0h zi zer!” which means “Ma’am andito na po si Sir” and in English “Ma’am, sir is already here.” Excuse me, but the last time I checked, you press the letter “S” the same number of times to get the letter “Z” on the phone keypad! And why would you call me “mom”?!?! LOL! Plus I don’t get it why they have to add the letter “h” to the tagalog term “po’” when the point of a text message is to make it short not longer?!!? Aren’t you supposed to be saving the 160 characters and your energy?!?
I am ranting :p I have been meaning to write about this but only felt this urgent need to let it out when I received this last Sunday:
“Ate, pabu|<as dw p0h u|t ng pn2”
(“Ate, pabukas daw po ulit ng pinto” which means Please open the door again)
Wow, I can only say. Totally defeating the purpose of SMS by using special characters! No wonder kids and teenagers nowadays are really poor in spelling!
Oh well. There is a part two about this :p For now I will stop ranting and go back to work, LOL!