Je v o 6né.
zhuh vay oh see-NAY. Click below to hear this.*
I’m going to the movies.
I thought of this last night, as I was on my way…to the movies. If you don’t belong to the Twitter generation, you may be wondering, Is it some kind of code?
Yes, in fact, it is! Since Twitter only allows 140 characters (including spaces and punctuation, mind you) for your message, people get very creative about abbreviating. The sentence above, in “real” French, is Je vais au ciné: 16 characters counting the period at the end of the sentence, compared to 11. Five extra characters, what a bonanza! Keep in mind too that ciné has long been a spoken abbreviation for cinéma. In this case, numbers and letters of the alphabet stand in for identically-pronounced syllables.
Why would anyone want to do this? Some would say, because it’s a fast way to exchange brief thoughts with friends or, if you choose, the whole wide world. I say, because it’s fun. If you consider it a word puzzle, it becomes an enjoyable mental challenge, in English or in French. Spk Frnch!
*Some mobile phones, such as Blackberries, won’t display the audio player. If no player appears, here’s an alternative link to the audio file: