Tuesday, February 17, 2004

The new fax - Japanese Teen Girls Text-Message in Elaborate "Girl Talk" Code

From Japan.com: The abbreviated language of cell phone messaging has gone beyond smileys among Japanese teenage girls. They're now using something of a secret language called "gyaru-moji," with words replaced by symbols and special characters. ("Gyaru" means gal in English; "moji" means letter or text.) Japan.com writer Arjen van Blokland describes it as "a mixture of Japanese syllables, numbers, mathematical symbols and Greek characters" that "resembles hieroglyphics."

Recently a new trend to send personalized messages was introduced by these girls. They do not send emails to friends anymore. Instead, they jot down their message on a piece of paper, take a photo of it and send it as a picture message to their friends.
-- by way of Japan Media Review

except... is not this just a more hi-tech way of faxing? I friend of mine from college used to fax letters to her family in Taiwan in the early 90's before email became wide accessible. It was an economical blend of the speed of email and personal expression. I guess the new thing here is that they are using new codewords to communicate - but is not that just a limitation of the medium, i.e. current phones? Perhaps we should bring stenography back into schools as a subject?

Do not perish that last thought. For years I have been wishing I knewhow to stenograph in order to take better notes in meetings and phone conferences.

ps. why does almost every article about Japan deal with "japanese teen girls" ?


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