Tuesday, July 03, 2007


THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY FACET OF SHORT MESSAGE SYSTEM

I consider myself thrifty. In fact I had once blogged an entry and self-proclaimed myself as a cheapskate. Thus when it comes to communication using hand-phones I minimize my phone
bills by only sending sms where feasible. Phone calls are only for urgent matters that need immediate attention or when there's a sudden dire need to hear the voices of your loved ones. No, I am not someone who would make long idle chit-chat calls and I loathe those who do so!

Sms is a relative new trend of making communication, so much so, many of the older generation like my parents have difficulties in utilizing it. My chic mom however has recently mastered its usage and has proudly displayed her prowess by sending me sms-es with the latest sms lingo, courtesy of my youngest sister whom with cute ingenuity had made a flow chart on each steps of making a text message on my mom's mobile! Till today, my mom religiously follow the chart, lest she'll send me blank messages!

Sms lingo nowadays have carved a language of its own. Spellings are stringently shortened, leaving out vowels where possible, barely making out the real meaning of the word. The savvy and seasoned youngsters nowadays employ this 'distorted' language without qualms. They tap on the keypad with both fingers, even faster than a veteran typist. Some have even acquired the art of typing texts without looking at the keypad, using one hand, whilst driving! Such audacity!

As for me, I sometimes still find it hard to comprehend some messages. For instance today I texted a message to dear hubby complaining about somebody's lackadaisical attitude and he replied with a sentence that began with, "hmm.." . Now, how should I interpret the 'hmm'? Is it 'hmm with a ? and rising pitch that translates: "well, that's trivial. Why are you so upset?" Or is it a long 'hmm' that sounds like a sigh that reads: "well, what do you expect? Isn't that normal of him?"

"Entah la" and "Entah ler" carry two different connotations even though essentially they are the same. "Entah la' is sounded short and crisp and it represents a sincere confession of not knowing something. Whilst "entah ler" is phonated in a lax attitude, laden with skeptical insinuation, meaning that the person actually has knowledge of the matter but is simply exasperated to blurt it out. So, do mind your 'la' and 'ler' the next time you text!

I have a hunch that sms was invented for the cowards due to several reasons. If you can't fulfill an appointment you can simply sms and avoid the embarrassment of being a spoil sport. Making complains are much easier through sms as your grouses get across without having to unpleasantly confront and verbalize them. The setback is that the 'defendant' might just deny having received any message. To carry this cowardice sms act to the hilt is to actually divorce your wife via text messages! How can a man even consider himself being a man when he conveniently choses to end his marriage just by tapping his phone!

Despite it's abundant benefits, sms is not without its downside. Due to its widespread availability and low fees, sick people are quick to manipulate and abuse the whole system. Reality shows have and will continue to make billions merely on sms votes. Millions of people are willing to waste their money to make sure their idols win a contest.

Apart from that, sms has also reared its ugly head in the form of spreading malicious lies and creating unease amongst the people. An example is the case where an sms was passed around calling all to an alleged church gathering lead by a muslim apostate. On a personal ground, I was confided by a male patient who claimed that his wife had a torrid 'sms affair' with another man! Blimey!

In truth, all kinds of technical communications are necessary and useful. They make our life better and as communication is just a tap of the keys away, family relationship is uniquely enforced as compared to generations of yesteryears. However when greed and lust overcome, then the whole system evolves into something sinister, wild and unruly. Apparently, the human race never learn its lesson.....as long as they make the devil their advocate, that is!

17 comments:

simah said...

sms is defintely a must for those living far away from their homeland.. and i agree with ur statement of the bad sides of it...

*entah la*.. n *entah ler*..

hmmm i never thought of it that way... u r one very pricky about details la akak... waaaaaaaaa if i ever nak sms u kena tulis clear clear ni or else kena baham hehehehe :0)

ikelah said...

hmmm means bersabarlah sesungguhnya Allah bersama mereka yang sabar.

just to share,
yesterday my aunt received a topup from an unknown and he sms stating that it was her rezeki due to mistyping. it did not stop there once she replied. the same experience happened to my cousin years ago.....

the miss call, miss topup etc are actually a way to start a virtual communication with the unknown at random wishing mother luck is on one side. Just give a try..... ;)

easylady said...

wei-lah kak, saya memang tak tau bahasa sms budak zazman sekarang. Saya rasa smsni kaku.emotionless.

Lagi satu pasal miss call,sasya tak akan return the call kalau saya tak tau no-tu milik siapa. Kalau orgtu rasa penting dia akan call balik. Kalau ada nak buat menggatal memang-lah nak kena maki dengan saya.

Queen Of The House said...

I like sms for the ease and cheap cost. But somehow susah nak get in the flow and use those shortened sms lingo - rsa mcm X btul sje.

One way to protect ourselves from being sms victims is to always remind ourselves to not be gullible, or greedy. Those sms contests are a hoax! My BIL got a rude shock when he received a RM 21,000 phone bill - driver dia (and his wife) guna office allocated mobile account main sms contest!!

Mama Sarah said...

This entry just reminds me of Hiyoshi. Just because I remember him saying, he writes in full sentences and in proper grammar.

I was just talking about this with Min recently, regarding the short-forms 'young' people use nowadays.

Call me ketinggalan zaman, but to me 'bahasa jiwa bangsa'. So use it well.

p/s: point noted on long idle chit-chats.

raggedyanne said...

for some inexplicable reason, i kind of abhor getting calls on my hp & prefers sms instead. tapi jgn harap ah i nak call or sms orang balik. Pemalas tahap max!

btw, dith, you're tagged :)

hiyoshi said...

Puan Mama Sarah

How sweet; you remembered that bit about me :)

DITH

Yes, I myself don't understand what my friends send me sometimes. Especially those who have made it a habit to leave out the spaces between words sothattheylooksomethinglikethis.

Goodness. I almost passed out from trying to avoid the spacebar back there.

In my opinion, the intonation of the text message goes only so far as how the recipient chooses to read it. If you find yourself scratching your head as to what the sender really meant by that "hmm...", well, you're not the first person to do so :)

crimsonskye said...

I really don't get adding the "r" at the end of words, ler, yer, ker, jer, takper and so on and so forth. Doesn't that make the word one alphabet unnecesarily longer? lol

hiyoshi said...

crimsonskye

Strange as it may seem, there is a subtle difference between "yeke?" and "ye ker?"

Think of the 'r' as an intonation indicator rather than a mere letter :)

P5 said...

this what happened one day, between me and He Who Must Not Be Named.

Me: ada mask lebih?

HWMNBN: esok kita makan luar, tak masak lebih.

I spent almost the whole night trying to figure the response out.

hmmm... entah ler.

crimsonskye said...

hiyoshi: I still don't get it lol. Why would someone want to intone Ye, cite, je etc etc with an RRRR at the end.. hehe. I mean if you verbalize it bunyi mcm mengada2. :P

dith said...

Simah- any sms from you are most welcomed!

Ikelah- :p

Easylady- Yg miss call tu sbb dia nampak "budak sekolah bawak kereta getaran jiwa"! hehe

QOTH- wah! 21k just for sms votes!??!! Madness!

Nisak- Wait till Sarah starts using handsets! And some parents let their children use them as early as std one!!!

Anne- Same here! Inexplicable! Hehe. Pasal Tag tu, rasanya Idham dah cukup 100 dah. Boleh beli bus tu untuk Darul Izzah. SO tak payah la I buat. Anyway thanks for tagging me, the old prude! :)))

Yoshi- Should I receive such illegible messages, I would ignore them definitely!

Skye- Yup, logically speaking it's stupid to add the extra letters!

Yoshi- You too are correct

p5-Can I make a wild guess on who this HWMNBN is???

P5 said...

dith, cannnnnn one. :)

in lumut now, until friday. will be travelling back to ktn friday night. hope to see you guys. planning to go to the kebun early saturday morning.

jom heboh kat kebun ramai-ramai.

OOD said...

yo! i l8 rd ts. C u yerrr? id lk 2@ bt mb nt. Yah?

pycnogenol said...

Tak tahu nak komen apa mengenai entri sms ni. Ini sekadar nak memberi tahu DITH yang kawe setuju semuanya dengan yang di tulis tu...;)

Cuma satu saja kot. Pycno suka juga menerima dan membaca sms tu. Tapi, nak membalas sms tu yang malas sikit. Masaalah penglihatan!!

dith said...

P5- wahh. Jom Heboh dah dtg kebun?

Ood- What the heck!? :p

Pycno- Ya, saya pon ada masaalah penglihatan. Lebih2 lagi sekarang screen handphone saya sudah blow lampunya, habis gelap. Kalau dpt message malam2 buta, tak tahu kebenda. Jadi sesiapa yg nak message saya boleh message siang saja, hehe. Itu pon terkial2 kalau tempat kurang cahaya. AGaknya saya kenalah bawa lampu picit mini bersama handset! *mengeluh* :))

Has said...

I like sms too, for the reason, if you message somebody who happen to be busy at that time, he or she could reply later, meaning he or she is quite free by then. So masa tu nak talipon dia boleh la. Sometime before calling, i sms, tanya, boleh bercakap tak sekarang?

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