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txt msgs & BrSc

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Friday, June 15, 2001, 20:30
I couldn't help noticing on the front page of our local newspaper the
R u gr8 @ txt msgs?

Now it sudenly occurred to me that youngsters (and no so young) are using
written texts like this pretty frequently now.  But it contains features
which, when I suggested them for 'briefscript' got less than enthusiastc
reception here, namely:

(a) the use of single Roman characters to denote syllables: {r} = /A(r)/,
{u} = /ju/, {x} = /Eks? in 'txt', while in the last word we have {m} =
/mE/, {s} = /sI/ or /se/ *
(b) the inclusion of numeric and other non-alphabetic symbols: 8 = /eit/, @
= /{t/ (Kirshenbaum /&t/).

* {g} might seem to denote /dZI/, but this is not so. In the singular form
_msg_, {g} = /dZ/.  The addition of /I/ is caused by the suffixing of the
plural ending -s, which may be pronounce /z/, /Iz/ or /s/ according to the
preceeding sound, i.e. the {s} in _msgs_ is an example of a character
denoting a _morpheme_.

Now it may be objected that text-messages resort to such abbreviations to
save space & speed up the transmission of text.  But that is precisely the
aim of a briefscript!  That is exactly what Dutton had in mind when he
invented Speedwords (as well, of course, intending Speedwords to be an IAL).

Why did the ideas of using digit symbols as well as traditional letters of
the Roman alphabet get such a frosty reception when I suggested it for
'briefscript'?  Why has my idea of using the characters to denote syllables
been looked upon as an interesting idea & then rejected?

It seems that ordinary, linguistically naive people have not the slightest
problem in using symbols in this way.

Now, of course, the text above relies on a knowledge of English to flesh it
out, so to speak, and contains a mixed syllabic, phonemic & morphemic
script. Indeed, the same character can be used in different ways.

Dutton was trying to get something a bit more consistent which, he hoped,
could be used internationally. In Speedwords the above question might be
E v lau a ri-infmz?

As you know, my long-standing 'briefscript' project began when I certain
weaknesses in Speedwords.  But maybe the actual way that brevity is handled
in text-messages ought to make me re-think some of my ideas?


A mind which thinks at its own expense
will always interfere with language.
                   [J.G. Hamann 1760]


The Gray Wizard <dbell@...>Have to go for a while
Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>