Monday, October 13, 2008

economy of language.

my loves, i should have had my fingers glued to my cell phone this weekend—and all last week, for that matter. i am so glad i have unlimited text messaging with my plan, because i was a texting fiend! and since i’m fascinated with all things word-related, it got me thinking about the art of the text message.

while i’m really hesitant to compare texting to poetry (sorry, but substituting “u” for “you” does not compare to reading e.e. cummings), there’s something similar about the need to pack a certain level of meaning into a few brief lines. on my phone, for example, i have 160 characters with which to get my point across—and if i’m texting to a boy i’m interested in or someone i don’t know well, i feel like the pressure’s really on. i want to be concise but not curt; friendly but, again, not overly wordy.

and i know—in a lot of cases, it would probably be much easier to just pick up the phone and call. but—and i think this is because of what i do; i’m a writer and editor—i tend to place a lot of emphasis on the written word. (also? i’m a little bit shy, so texting is a lot easier for me.) there’s something so deliberate about choosing a word of the right length and meaning to fit the text message that’s being composed, almost like putting together a puzzle. again, it's the economy of language.

so, tell me: how much do you guys text? do you find texting easier than calling? what’s the best text you’ve ever received? are you as fascinated with the evolution of our communication styles as i am?

{ images above by artist ginger via joanna goddard’s blog, smitten—she wrote about the art of the romantic text message a few weeks ago, and these photos were too perfect not to include with this post! }


  1. I saw these not too long ago and adore them- so funny

  2. Oh wow these are so wonderful - great job - think I've had a few of those!

  3. oh mego, i love those. so funny.
    the best texts i ever receive are from my mom. we both have unlimited texting on verizon for each other. i saved one that says "Ah. But u can do it. After all u r my daughter. And u r u :) !!!"

    i dont remember what it was i could do, but i still like it ;)