I just saw this on yahoo and thought it was interesting and sounds more like a satire than actual story.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20070422/lf ... 0422193357
[/code]NEW YORK (AFP) - It's a sport only for the fleet of thumb with a ruthless dedication to punctuation.
And while competitive text messaging may not have quite gained Olympic status, the hundreds of mostly teenagers who took part in the US championships in New York Saturday could think of little but the 25,000-dollar prize money.
Some 250 challengers shunned the warmest day of the year for a dark ballroom where they battled it out for a chance to take on the reigning West Coast champion, 21-year-old Eli Tirosh, for the title of US Texting Champion.
Contestants had to stand with their hands behind their backs until a bell sounded and a message appeared on an overhead screen. The winner was judged on whoever's message -- checked for exact punctuation -- reached the judges first.
The text tests ranged from "faster than a speeding bullet..." and "what we do in life echoes in eternity" to the less poetic "OMG, nd 2 talk asap," which for those over 30 means "Oh my God, need to talk as soon as possible."
The 250 competitors were quickly whittled down to eight semi finalists, one of whom, Anne Finn, 24, of Allegany, New York, said the pressure was too much.
"It was so nerve wracking. My hands started to shake. I couldn't get my apostrophe," she said.
In the end, 13-year-old Morgan Pozgar faced off against Michael "Cheeser" Nguyen in the east coast final, with Pozgar slipping past her challenger to face west coast champion Tirosh, a law student from Los Angeles.
"I just wasn't fast enough," said Nguyen, a 23-year-old engineer from Pennsylvania. Asked how it felt to take second place, he was clearly disappointed: "I just got beaten by a teenage girl, but you know."
Tirosh, who said she practiced with her friend and trainer Amy, who threw out random words or symbols and even motivational Buddhist quotes, admitted to feeling a certain pressure due to the home side advantage.
Wearing a satin boxing robe before her championship bout against Pozgar, she said success would come down to who could marry lightning speed and accuracy.
"It's all about the thumbwork," she said. "It's about balance." She said she owed her success to relaxation and deep breathing.
So dedicated is she to the art of the text message that Tirosh apparently unwittingly uses abbreviations such as BTW (by the way), TTYL (talk to you later) and LOL (laughing out loud) in her normal speech.
Pozgar said she trained by sending on average 8,000 text messages a month to her friends -- an astonishing rate of one every five and a half minutes. She pays 10 dollars a month for an unlimited text package on her cell phone.
In a tense championship final, Tirosh seemed to have won after putting down her phone first, only for judges to rule she had made a 15,000-dollar typo in the lyrics to Mary Poppins song "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."
Pozgar, who says she wants to work in fashion when she's older, had no hesitation about how to spend her prize money -- 10,000 dollars for the east coast championship and a further 15,000 dollars for the national award.
She said she was going to hit the stores in New York City.
Her mother Shannon, who had driven five hours into New York from Pennsylvania on Saturday morning for the event, said she would let Morgan spend some of the money but was eyeing the rest for her college fund.
Asked if she would describe herself as a geek, Pozgar rolled her eyes and said no. Her brother, who had separately won a television, seemed to disagree.