don't have one of those fancy texting phones the kids have, where the
thing springs open like a Transformer and suddenly there's a whole
typewriter keyboard. On my phone, all texting must be accomplished with
just the usual 12 buttons of a touch-tone phone. Each of the number
keys (except 1 and 0) has three (sometimes four) different letters on
it. But the clever part is, you just start typing on these keys and the
phone guesses what you're spelling before you've even finished the word.
And most of the time it does this brilliantly. When you think about it,
8 keys should be plenty. Within five keystrokes you have 8x8x8x8x8 --
over 32,000 combinations, which is more words than most people use. So,
like I said, most of the time it easily guesses what you're going for
well before you finish the word. But there are those few, fascinating
The most annoying of these is OF/ME. Both are words that you need all
the time. Unfortunately, they are both spelled as "63" on my phone. I
once got a text from Cara (whose phone works the same way) that said,
"Do you even case about of?" It took me a little while to figure out.
Some of the other pairs that I've found are:
I like it when there's kind of a connection between the two words. Also
interesting are the ones where a finished word could still turn into a
totally different word if you added more letters:
SCENES can lead to SADNESS
FRIENDS can be EPHEMERAL
LOVERS can turn into LOUDSPEAKERS
And finally there's a type of word where the outcome hangs in the
balance. F'rinstance, if I type "466672," the phone gives me two
choices. If I add a"5" it's IMMORAL; if I add a "2" it's HONORABLE.
Such a tiny difference between the two!