Monday 22 December 2008


The whole ethos of text messaging is to break Priscian’s head, and has become the nemesis of spoken eloquence, lucid composition, and expressive thought.

As Professor Henry Higgins once so zealously voiced to Eliza, “Think what you're dealing with . . . the majesty and grandeur of the English language, it's the greatest possession we have!”

And so, to quote a phrase more commonly heard on radio phone-ins, ‘to everyone that knows me’, this year, please don’t text me ‘Happy Christmas’, ‘Happy New Year’ or anything remotely similar that encourages participation in a sequence of pointless text distributions to ten of my best friends and thus guaranteeing me good fortune, because with deliberation, a riposte will not be forthcoming.

Contrary to what some of you may suspect, I am intensely compassionate by nature and I realise of course that behind every soulless text message, lays good intent. But so to does junk mail addressed ‘To the Occupier’.

More favourably, to those of you that care, why not use your phone to speak to me personally or even better - write me a card! How otherwise, am I expected to hang a seasonal text message above my fireplace other than by nailing my wretched phone to the wall?

Here’s an idea! Why don’t those of you who read this letter and to whom I refer, go out and buy ten copies of this newspaper, cut this letter out, and send it to ten of your best friends and I promise, you will become wealthy in 2009.

Perhaps then, when you find yourself this time next year living on baked beans and stale crusts, as I do, you will stop sending me any more bizarre and preposterous text messages promising me great prosperity.

Express & Echo
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