Saturday, October 2, 2010

What Tallahassee do you need? (tales of autocorrect and Spanish vocab)

The other day I was joking around with a friend via SMS about what size shirt he wanted me to buy. It was a joke, as I had no intention of buying him any clothes at all, as this is better suited to mothers and girlfriends, but haha, what size should I get you?

Or, what Tallahassee do you take? Tallahassee? Is there a very large contingent of people who have to text message about Tallahassee all the time? And wouldn't they, by now have created a shorter abbreviation? I (and maybe I alone, but I think everyone gets it) routinely refer to Santiago as Stgo. in text. Maybe Tallahassee could be t'hassee. or Tassy. I'm not really sure how the regional accent would respond to either of those. Any thoughts?

I'm sure there's a way to turn off my phone's autocorrect, and it might even behoove me to do so, or at least to pay attention to the words it tries to insert in my words' stead. Like Tallahassee, which btw, was a stand in for size (talla), which is not the word for all sizes, because tamaño is another word and is a bit more universal, referring to other things besides clothes, Tallahassee is more like the size of a garment (but not a shoe) that you wear (shoes are measured in número, as in "que número" or calzar, which means either "to square" "no me calza" means it just doesn't square, or just doesn't make sense to me, or in this case to wear a size of shoe "qué calzas" means "what size shoe do you wear?" (answer in my case, 38 or 39, depending on the shoe, which makes that Prince line "act your age, not your shoe size" a little less witty than in the United States, and near to nonsensical in my case).

Anyway, Tallahassee. I'm sure it's a lovely city. It's just not what I was trying to say. And everyone who got googled over here looking for info on that city, um? disculpa (sorry!).


Anonymous said...

I never thought of that. Yet, I don't find myself routinely texting about Tallahassee. Although, I think if I texted in Spanish my iPhone would correct it to Tallahassee too which really makes no sense to me. Is that the only possible word I could want if I type out talla? Dunno.

Margaret said...

I hate the automatic word correctors on my phone... I'm sure it would be fine if I stuck to just one language, but since I routinely use 3 (English, Spanish, and most often Spanglish), I am always fighting with the damn things. A new Twitter app for Blackberry is particularly insistent about transforming whatever I write into unrecognizable Tallahassees, mostly because when I think I'm backspacing to re-correct the correction, the damn thing thinks I'm saying "yeah, go for it!" and off goes some absurd message that would require a super-spy decoder ring to decipher!