This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Saturday Rave: texting.

Happy Christmas!

Hm, yes, I know I'm early with that, but that was the message Neil Papworth sent on this date, 3 December, in 1992. In his defence, Papworth was a computer geek, and only twenty two, so sparkling small talk may not really have been his thing.

Neil was using a Vodaphone network to text his colleague Richard Jarvis, who (although he was also, I'm guessing, a computer geek) was at a party. Okay it was a works party, but hey, a party's a party - and there's nothing like receiving a text to prove you're not a johnny-no-mates after all.

I imagine it was a swish sort of an occasion, a bit James Bondish, with vol-au-vents and stuff with bubbles...

...lemonade, perhaps.

Anyway, Richard Jarvis was in Newbury, Berkshire, England, and the whole party had been organised to celebrate this event - no, not Richard Jarvis getting a text, but anyone getting a text, because that Happy Christmas message was the first text message ever sent, and has led to the great pleasure of hearing so many old folk harrumphing about text speak (which is, I fear, dying out now most of us have QWERTY keyboards on our phones) and has also led to so many messages lying completely unread and ignored on my phone until much too late to be useful.

Still, there's not a lot of things that aren't all the better for being ignored, are there.

Word To Use Today: text. I do sometimes wish people would remember that the past tense of text is texted and not text, but, hey, the easiest thing will be if I stop wincing about it, so that's clearly the way to go. The word text comes from the Mediaeval Latin textus meaning version, from the Latin textus meaning texture, from textere, to compose.

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