On my new phone (Nokia N8 – the camera is amazing, 12 megapixels!) I write text messages with a qwerty touchscreen, and it suddenly occurred to me that I might never use the predictive text number-pad method again.
I liked predictive text a great deal. First, it worked against yoof ‘txt-speak’, which was supposed to be about to wreck the language (Shakespeare rendered as '2b or nt 2b' etc) and instead encouraged you to write in proper full English words which you had to know how to spell. Second, it facilitated amusing mistakes, especially for people’s names. 'Anna' always came out as 'Bomb', for instance.
But now that the seemingly-indestructible qwerty has already rendered it obsolete, it may be that my generation will be the first and last to have mastered the skill (older people were generally terrified of its interfering ways; younger people will not need it).
To preserve its memory for posterity, therefore, I have composed this short poem.
So long, predictive text
So long, predictive text,
Ingenious but short-lived tool.
You’re gone, and whatever comes next
is unlikely to be as book.