Friday, December 3, 2010

On T-9 Texting (Or, Yeah...some holdouts still use it)

If you're a touch texter or Qwerty texter like I am, you vaguely remember the days of T-9 texting, which is why it's time to revisit the days of yore and examine the humorous and not-necessarily-coincidental quirks of the T-9 dictionary.

As a quick review, T-9 texting attempts to make texting on a numeric keypad easier by trying to guess what word you want to type before you complete it. It's based on common patterns in English, but often sends the texter in an unintended direction. In honor of the approaching Christmas holiday, I provide my own Twelve T-9 Examples.

1. Start typing "kids" and you'll get "lies". The same can be achieved by asking your kids who left toothpaste spittle all over the bathroom sink.

2. If you're a Miami Dolphins football fan and want to text about the "fins", you'll get "egos", leading me to believe the T-9 programmers know more than they're letting on.

3. Type "blogging" and you'll discover that "clogging" is apparently more popular than blogging since it pops up first. (Does this mean I'm using the wrong forum to tout my observations? Perhaps I should attend a local ho-down...which would, if nothing else, provide great fodder for my next blog post, don't ya think?) Worth noting is that on the way to "clogging", you'll see "almighty" pop up as an option. Oh yes, blogging is certainly almighty.

4. Type "wide" and instead you'll get "wife", which will not please many of the married women-folk out there.

5. "Hell" becomes "he'll" because the T-9 programmers - wise as they may be about Dolphin football player egos - are really nerdy guys afraid of using bad words.

6. Start typing "kiss" and you'll get "lip" instead...which was the intention anyway, wasn't it?

7. Try typing "Viagra" and you'll first get "Thai" and then "tiara". Personally, I find the visual of a Thai man on Viagra wearing a tiara worth a thousand giggles.

8. Start typing "money" and you'll get "none". Apropos, no?

9. "Boyfriend" takes you on the road from "any" to "boxes" to "cower" - all words that could tell an intriguing story of one's love life.

10. Type "boss" and first you'll get "cop". For some people, the similarity may not be far off.

11. Here's one to piss off the feminists. Type "girl" and you'll first see "his".

12. And finally, type "home" and the best T-9 error appears..."good". I'll never complain about home being mistaken for good so long as my husband's wife is never mistaken for wide.

Despite the Twelve Days of Christmas theme (could you hear the music as you were reading the list?), I wish those who celebrate a Happy "Chanukah" - a word that comes up on T-9 as "chaotic" "chanting". Ah, I'm afraid the Christians will never figure us out.

Happy Holidays to everyone, and if you'd like to add any T-9 words to the list, feel free to expand this "dictionary", which comes up as "fiction" by the way. I love it.


  1. I LOVE your blog! It is the only one that I read on a regular basis. I do so wish that I had know this talent of yours back in high school - I would have been giggling 24/7!

  2. I couldn't understand why "nun" came up instead of "mum". I have never, ever needed to text about a nun.

    Maybe I'm in a minority.

  3. Ha! I'm actually a T-9 holdout... The QWERTY pad on my phone has buttons which are waaaaay too small for my manly -- read as "fat" -- fingers to accurately use, so I like to use T-9 on my touch screen. (Much easier!)

    I always like seeing what the computer has to say when I try to type what I mean to say! (Well, sometimes it's quite frustrating, though...)

    Note: My fingers are actually normal-sized, but they look massive in comparison to the keypad.

  4. That's so funny. On my old phone, I would accidentally (I still don't know how) turn on the T9 and it drove me CRAZY because it'd get stuck on the *suggested* word and not what I wanted to say.

  5. Those were great. I'm all too familiar with the home/good mix up.

    I still remembering texting my boyfriend years ago on T9. It came through as "Just left the store. Found a cucumber. I'll be good in 5 minutes."

    One word can change an entire story and really raise some eyebrows.

  6. I love texting and absolutely hated doing it "back in the day." The iphone has made it second nature but it still tries to mess up stories by suggesting words and spelling.

  7. Those are great! I've never been a big texter, but I'm tempted to see if my phone does T9 just for the laughs.

    Have a good one!

  8. Those are all pretty hilarious. I was texting on my iPhone and it automatically changed my its to it's, but I meant its. I know I am probably the only one in the world that would be bothered by that, but I am glad I got it off my chest.

  9. This is such a humorous post! Thanks for sharing! And, on an off topic, is that the official spelling: Chanukah? I never know how to spell it, but online dictionaries offer so many options :P

    Thinking of you!