Freudian T9

Do you ever feel like your cat can read your mind? Mine can, but that’s beside the point. I think this “technology” that they’re calling “T9” is actually a lot more sophisticated than I’ve given it credit for. In fact I would go so far as to say that “T9” isn’t “predictive,” it’s “mind reading.”

A little bit of background at this point would help. I hate eggs. Don’t get me wrong, I love to bake and I’ll even eat french toast, but the sight, smell and texture of cooked eggs has always made me gag. I have distinct childhood memories of being given eggs and wanting to yack. My mom even says that I used to spit them out as a baby (before the memories started). And I’m not militant about it—I have nothing against people who like to eat unborn fetuses.

Another piece of context that might be relevant to the story (it’s coming, I swear) is that while in Ireland recently I became a pretty skilled text messager. I’m not quitting my job as a grad student just yet, but I can walk down the street, write text messages without looking, and avoid traffic, all while juggling and eating ice cream. But seriously, I don’t look at the phone anymore, I just proof let T9 do it’s business and proof the message before I send it.

So I’m walking home today and a friend sends me a message that she’s looking for some eggs. Of course I keep eggs around for baking purposes, but I don’t really use them that often, and I don’t know how old they are. So I write her a message to convey this information, and this is what I got:

i hate eggs but i can’t touch them since i only able with them and i haven’t baked in a while.

Which of course is not what I meant to write, but by golly, it was nearly coherent and pretty much true. The real message, after a couple of corrections:

i have eggs but i can’t vouch for them since i only bake with them and i haven’t baked in a while

I’ve come into some pretty funny T9 substitutions in the process of writing messages, but this is the god darndest, most stupifying experience I’ve ever had. T9 people, I bow down to you.

8 thoughts on “Freudian T9

  1. If it was really Freudian you would have gotten:
    “i hate eggs because they remind me of my mother’s breasts but i can’t touch them since i’m afraid of my father and i haven’t baked in a while because i’m repressing sexual tendencies aroused by flour”

  2. I’ve tried not to let myself get spoiled by T9, but the hard-to-push buttons on my Ericsson T300 have left me stuck in predictive mode for months now, much to my personal annoyance. The funniest one I ever sent was: “Forecast of hail and pain tonight.”

  3. My personal favorite is a Monty Python reference I tried to send to a friend years ago when I first got a phone (Nokia 8360 or summat).

    “My hovercraft is full of eels” became “My intercsaft is full of delp”.


  4. I dont text message much but i know T9 as we had a project abt it. The most common reason for users not to use T9 is that they are not aware of the Next function, which means when u want to type Marty, instead u get Nasty, press 0 (for Samsung) or any other keypad that says next (becoz this function is dif. for each brand though) and u ll get Marty

  5. The company makes t9 dictionary says they use a web-scanner that saves the most common words and then the phone company has to say what words must be excluded, like fuck and shit etc. In sweden this means that you cant write pussy but you can write arabpussy, you cant write nigger or whore but you can write niggerwhore. ((Terrible words I know Im sorry)). And there re many examples of how it rather use horsecoffin for guestlist (hästlista -> gästlista) or beer for ok (öl = beer).

    Do you have those same problems in your english T9 ?

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