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Tricks for save money in your SMS

Posted on: Jul, 27th 2010
Computable Minds in a N70
Some of you would think that has to do this post with computers. Well, the reason is that I'm going to talk about some tricks from the world of informatics that will allow you write SMS messages with fewer characters, with the consequent save of money.

The SMS's has a maximum length of 160 characters, for this at the time of write it, the people use a lot of invented abbreviations. For instance "lol" instead of "Lot of laughts" or "WTF" instead of "What the Fuck!". This saves a lot of characters in the message but there are other techniques that in combination with this, allows save a lot of more.

The first technique that I'm going to explain avoid having to write spaces without impede that te receiver understand the message. Consist in write all the words together and use uppercase letters to indicate that we are in the next word. This technique is called capitalized text, a technique very used at the source code of the programs, because in a program the names of certain entities haven't spaces. We can see it with an example:

The message:

Come to my house this afternoon and we play some games with the Wii

67 characters

We can transform it as:

ComeToMyHouseThisAfternoonAndWePlaySomeGamesWithTheWii

54 characters. Compression rate comparing it with the original 19.4%

By average, the save of characters suppressing spaces will be about a 16% and although the receiver doesn't know this technique, will not be difficult for him understand the message.

Now read the next paragraph, although some of you already know it:

Aoccdrnig to a rseearch at an Elingsh uinevrtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the lteters in a wrod are, the olny improatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer is at the rghit palce. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it witohut porbelm. Tihs is bceusae we do not raed ervey lteter by it slef but the wrod as a whloe.

This research is totally wrong. First because there are words that begins and ends by the same letters and also have the same characters in different order, therefore if we change the order of the characters will be impossible differentiate it. A pair of examples: cloud - could, prenatal - parental.

Second because, really what it's happening, is that our brain is calculating the edit distance of the word that we read to the words that we know, and if it find some that has a short edit distance respect the one that has been read, that is to say is seemed, our brain make us think that we have read the word that have been found. But if you don't believe me, see this version of the prior text, merging further the characters of the letters, makes increase the edit distance. You will see how it's more difficult understand it:

Aniodcrcg to a rcarseeh at an Eslngih utsiiervny, it dneso't mteatr in waht oedrr the ltreets in a wrod are, the olny inatorpmt tinhg is taht the fsrit and lsat letter is at the rhgit pclae. The rset can be a ttaol mses and you can slitl raed it wuohtit pelborm. Tihs is bscuaee we do not raed erevy lteetr by it slef but the wrod as a wlohe.

Now knowing that, we can eliminate letters of the words of our SMS. Although probably this already you know it, but now you will know how apply better this technique.

We can eliminate only one or two letters from every word, otherwise the receiver will can't understand the message. When the word to compress be less seemed to other words, more letters we can eliminate without confuse the receiver.

Applying this to the prior example:

CmeToMyHuseThsFtrnon&WePlySmeGmesWitDaWi

Total 40 characters. Compression rate comparing it with the original 40,3%.

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