Local Lifestyle

Friday, Jul 11 2014 04:38 PM

HERB BENHAM: Text typos: Pissibilities are endless

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    By Henry A. Barrios / The Californian

    Herb Benham

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By HERB BENHAM, Californian columnist hbenham@bakersfield.com

I meant to type possibilities in a recent text but accidently substituted an i for the o and wrote pissibilities .

There are websites devoted to text misfires. One woman wrote "I'm busty tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday afternoons and probably a few days next week."

It is possible that the woman is both busty and busy and, if she is, she is at least one of these things most of the time no matter how stacked her schedule is.

Some of the misfires are due to spelling errors and others to the autocorrect feature in a smartphone that kicks in to finish unfinished words or correct words it doesn't recognize.

Imagine your high school English teacher whispering "Dear, I think this is what you meant to write."

In a sibling exchange about their unwell mother, one texted "How is Mom doing?"

"She's hanging in there," the other responded. "We've resorted to gun since we have no pain meds."

"To gun? Did you shoot her?"

While resorting to "gun" is an option, gin can be served neat, and if it spills, cleaned up easily.

Californian reporter Laura Liera sent a message to her sister telling her she was going to transfer money to her bank account. The autocorrect bubble offered transsexual as an option. Not only would her sister receive a cash infusion but it would be in denominations the opposite of which she might have expected.

My texting mistakes include replacing are with ate because r and t are neighbors on the keypad. Ate you here? Ate you on your way? and How ate you doing? It makes me sound famished and indiscriminate about what might sate my appetite.

The i for an o , also lodged next to one another, explains the recent misspelling of possibilities . My message read: Check your schedule and let me know what the pissibilities of getting together are.

The English language has approximately 1,025,109 words. Four thousand words are added every year.

Might it be pissible to add one more?

For instance, during the World Cup, fans thought there was a possibility that the U.S might climb out of group play and make it into the knockout round, which it did. Possibility was the correct word in this case.

However, if one wanted to describe the team's chances of winning the tournament, it might have been more accurate to have said: The American squad had at best, a pissibility of prevailing.

Possibility is born of hope, optimism and perhaps a reward for hard work. Possibility is a shot at achieving something beyond what normally might be expected.

While it might be possible for me to win the Pulitzer Prize, given that I am 0 for 29, this may remain an impissible goal.

Earlier in the week, Douglas R. Greener, the Bakersfield fire chief, went on record saying that he wanted to ban legal fireworks and urged people to support professionally run fireworks shows. The majority of the council didn't agree, so Greener may be like Don Quixote, "dreaming an impissible dream."

Substituting an i for an o might be considered in the following sentences.

Rain is a possibility in the next three months.

It's possible that my tomatoes may stop dying.

Four thousand new words a year. Could it be pissible?

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