Text messaging, especially among children is a growing trend and is becoming an increasingly common phenomenon these days. More often than not, parents tend to have sleepless nights over such heavy dependence and adding to their dilemma is a language that is unique to text messaging – abbreviations, slangs are the order of the day. The fact that parents fail to understand what the message really is, only adds to their worries. Now, a U.K-based software solutions company called DCML has readied an application called TextGenie that aims to work around a solution to that problem. The app, according to its makers, helps parents understand the text that has become characteristic of the present day text messaging.
Essentially, the app decodes the language of the text, slang and acronyms in the incoming messages and automatically translates it into plain English. The app provides notifications when the messages arrive. TextGenie comes with 1,500 translations pre-installed. Using the application, one can also build their own database of slang or text speak phrases.
In a recent study, it was found that while text messaging offered tweens a short cut to send notes to friends and family, it also was potent to subvert language and grammar skills. This finding was presented by Cingel, former undergraduate student in communications, Penn State University, as per reports. It had also been stated at the time by Cingel, who worked with S. Shyam Sundar, professor of communications and co-director of the Penn State's Media Effects Research Lab, that using these shortcuts could hinder a tween's ability to switch between techspeak and the normal rules of grammar.
On a related note, a British woman took on the world record for typing the fastest text message. Melissa Thompson, 27, managed to type a passage in just under 26 seconds, in the process taking off nearly 10 seconds from previous record holder. She texted: "The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human." The Guinness World Record was earlier held by American Franklin Page who wrote the same passage in March this year. Thompson, from Salford in Greater Manchester, used Samsung's new Galaxy S smartphone to break the record. Her record is subject to Guinness approval.
The app is available for download on the Google Play store. A paid app, TextGenie will cost you Rs.64.94. To be able to use the app, users will need to have Android v2.1 or up. Click here to download the app.
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