Wednesday, April 27, 2011

When a word is worth a thousand pictures...

When I got my first cell phone about 15 years ago, it was about as big as one of my boots, and I had to keep it plugged into the cigarette lighter in my truck to keep it charged up. Sometimes I had to put the base of the phone on the dashboard and hold the handset out the window if I wanted to make a call. Still, it saved a lot of time when it came to getting material to a job site.

The last phone I had didn't resemble the first one in any way, shape, or form. It fit in and fell out of my shirt pocket easily. I could talk to it and it would talk back, and if it didn't understand what I was saying, I could punch a couple of buttons until a list of functions appeared on the screen and I could make my wishes known in that fashion.

But when it fell out of my pocket for the last time a couple of days ago, and it seemed we just couldn't talk anymore, I decided it was time for a new one.

I'm a big fan of the written word. I know that some ancient cultures used picture drawings, or hieroglyphics, to communicate, but I always figured we had it all over them when we came up with the alphabet. (We did come up with the alphabet, didn't we?) Imagine my disappointment when I punched a couple of buttons on the new phone.

It has a bunch of pictures on it. I suspect the picture of the mailbox will take me to my voicemail, and probably the the picture of the hammer and pliers is supposed to represent tools. And the picture of some pictures is probably about pictures, but I don't know why they couldn't call voicemail voicemail, and tools tools, and pictures pictures. I don't know what the sideways pointy mask is for, or the smiley face with an arrow for a nose is for, and I'm not sure I want to know what the abstract picture of the toilet is for.

I suppose I could get the owners manual and check them out. They probably wrote something beside the pictures in it telling me what the pictures mean.

It would have saved me a lot of aggravation if they would have just wrote it on the phone in the first place.

Or if the last one would have just stayed in my pocket.

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