Friday, August 31, 2007

adult literacy and communication literacies

Adult literacy isnt what it used to be: the advent of computer and communication technologies has had a significant impact on spelling. TXTng a message in SMS sets a max of 160 characters or less for each message sent/received.
This leads to significant changes in spelling and creative writing.
The combat against spam lead to obscure means for testing the humanity involved, u no the reading writing and recognze the human tests...
Today I learn "There are 600,426,974,379,824,381,952 ways to spell Viagra."
Brian Hayes
cites Rob Cockerham viagra/viagra.html
tho the link didnt work 4 me :(
Cockerham apparently gets this number from a combinatorial analysis. He starts by tabulating the various possible substitutions for each of the five letters V, I, A, G and R. For example, any the 12 characters I, i, 1, l, |, ï, ì, :, Ì, Î, Í or Ï might serve for an I. Considering just such one-for-one substitutions, Cockerham comes up with 3×12×17×2×3×17 variations, for a total of 62,424 spellings. Where do the rest of the 6×1020 possibilities come from? Cockerham observes that the spelling can also be altered by inserting extraneous characters into the word, as in V_i_a_g_r_a. Taking the basic pattern to be *V*I*A*G*R*A*, where each asterisk could be replaced by any of 192 printable characters, he multiplies 1927 by 62,424 to get the total cited above. (An addendum mentions a few more substitution possibilities, bringing the total to 1,300,925,111,156,286,160,896.)
Hayes suggests there are other compuations on this numbers game, but concedes the liklihood of over a million recognisable spellings dependent on context.

vi4gra v1agra vi@gra viagr@ v.i.a.g.r.a VIAGRA VI4GR4 etc etc etc
Such creativity, ingenious. The wonders of science, incredible.
We are shaped by nonhuman actors...

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