“The Chaos” by Charivarius (Gerard Nolst Trenité): The Classic Concordance of Cacography


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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If you can pronounce correctly every word in this poem, you will be speaking English better than 90% of the native English speakers in the world. After trying the verses, a Frenchman said he’d prefer six months of hard labour to reading six lines aloud. – A post on Facebook titled “English Pronunciation”

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In 1945, a British soldier found a tattered typescript of ‘The Chaos‘, a classic English poem well-known for its versified catalogue of irregularities of English spelling (orthography) and pronunciation, in a girls’ High School in Germany and gave it to Tom Hazelwood, who gave it to Terry De’Ath, who gave it to Chris Upward (1939-2002), Senior Lecturer in German Aston University Birmingham, UK, and Editor-in-chief, Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society from 1985-2000 and the author of Cut Spelling Handbook.

Chris Upward also received a rather different version of the poem from Benno Jost-Westendorf of Recklinghausen. It seems that universities in South Germany used this poem in teaching English. However, No information on the author was available from any source.

Both versions received by Chris Upward appeared as carelessly copied from an original, but it was possible to correct errors in one by reference to the other.

The Simplified Spelling Society (SSS) Newsletter carried an incomplete, rather rough version in the summer of 1986 (pp.17-21) under the heading ‘Author Unknown‘, with a parallel transcription into an early form of Cut Spelling.

Hubert A. Greven’s Elements of English Phonology, published in Paris in 1972, introduced the poem quoting 48 lines from it to prove to French students how impossible English is to pronounce (to read aloud), and by way of acknowledgment said that the author “would like to pay a suitable tribute to Mr. G. Nolst Trenité for permission to copy his poem The Chaos.

Since then a stream of further information and textual variants appeared, culminating in 1993-94 with the most complete and authoritative version of the poem ever likely to emerge ripe for republication in the Journal of the Simplified Spelling Society.

Gerard Nolst Trenité

The Dutch literary (rhymed prose, drama), Anglicist and language critic Dr. Gerard Nolst Trenité was born in Utrecht on July 20, 1870. He passed away on October 9, 1946 in Haarlem.

Gerard Nolst Trenité published under the pseudonym Charivarius. His poem The Chaos demonstrates many of the idiosyncrasies of English spelling. The first version of 146 lines of text appeared in an appendix to his 1920 textbook ‘Drop Your Foreign Accent: engelsche uitspraakoefeningen‘. It has about 800 of the worst irregularities in English spelling and pronunciation. Later, in 1992-93, The Spelling Society published “the most complete and authoritative version ever likely to emerge,” that has 274 lines.

The version I have reproduced below is essentially the author’s own final text, as also published by New River Project in 1993. A few minor corrections have, however, been made, and occasional words from earlier editions have been preferred. Words with clashing spellings or pronunciations are printed here in italics.

The Chaos by Gerard Nolst Trenité

The Chaos by Gerard Nolst Trenité (1922)

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
   I will teach you in my verse
   Sounds like corpsecorpshorse and worse.

I will keep you, Susybusy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
   Tear in eye, your dress you’ll tear;
   Queer, fair seerhear my prayer.

Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
   Just compare hearthear and heard,
   Dies and dietlord and word.

Sword and swardretain and Britain
(Mind the latter how it’s written).
   Made has not the sound of bade,
   Say-saidpay-paidlaid but plaid.

Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
   But be careful how you speak,
   Say: gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak ,

Previous, precious, fuchsia, via
Recipe, pipe, studding-sail, choir;
   Wovenovenhow and low,
   Scriptreceiptshoepoemtoe.

Say, expecting fraud and trickery:
Daughterlaughter and Terpsichore,
   Branch, ranch, measlestopsailsaisles,
   Missilessimilesreviles.

Whollyhollysignalsigning,
Sameexamining, but mining,
   Scholarvicar, and cigar,
   Solarmicawar and far.

From “desire”: desirable-admirable from “admire”,
Lumberplumberbier, but brier,
   Topshambroughamrenown, but known,
   Knowledgedonelonegonenonetone,

OneanemoneBalmoral,
Kitchenlichenlaundrylaurel.
   GertrudeGermanwind and wind,
   Beau, kind, kindred, queuemankind,

Tortoiseturquoisechamois-leather,
Reading, Readingheathenheather.
   This phonetic labyrinth
   Gives mossgrossbrookbroochninthplinth.

Have you ever yet endeavoured
To pronounce revered and severed,
   Demon, lemon, ghoul, foul, soul,
   Peter, petrol and patrol?

Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquetwalletmalletchalet.
   Blood and flood are not like food,
   Nor is mould like should and would.

Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which exactly rhymes with khaki.
   Discountviscountload and broad,
   Toward, to forward, to reward,

Ricocheted and crochetingcroquet?
Right! Your pronunciation’s OK.
   Roundedwoundedgrieve and sieve,
   Friend and fiendalive and live.

Is your r correct in higher?
Keats asserts it rhymes Thalia.
   Hugh, but hug, and hood, but hoot,
   Buoyantminute, but minute.

Say abscission with precision,
Now: position and transition;
   Would it tally with my rhyme
   If I mentioned paradigm?

Twopence, threepence, tease are easy,
But cease, crease, grease and greasy?
   Cornice, nice, valise, revise,
   Rabies, but lullabies.

Of such puzzling words as nauseous,
Rhyming well with cautious, tortious,
   You’ll envelop lists, I hope,
   In a linen envelope.

Would you like some more? You’ll have it!
Affidavit, David, davit.
   To abjure, to perjureSheik
   Does not sound like Czech but ache.

Libertylibraryheave and heaven,
Rachellochmoustacheeleven.
   We say hallowed, but allowed,
   Peopleleopardtowed but vowed.

Mark the difference, moreover,
Between moverploverDover.
   Leechesbreecheswiseprecise,
   Chalice, but police and lice,

Camelconstableunstable,
Principledisciplelabel.
   Petalpenal, and canal,
   Waitsurmiseplaitpromisepal,

SuitsuiteruinCircuitconduit
Rhyme with “shirk it” and “beyond it”,
   But it is not hard to tell
   Why it’s pallmall, but Pall Mall.

Musclemusculargaoliron,
Timberclimberbullionlion,
   Worm and stormchaisechaoschair,
   Senatorspectatormayor,

Ivyprivyfamousclamour
Has the a of drachm and hammer.
   Pussyhussy and possess,
   Desert, but desertaddress.

Golfwolfcountenancelieutenants
Hoist in lieu of flags left pennants.
   Courier, courtier, tombbombcomb,
   Cow, but Cowper, some and home.

Solder, soldier! Blood is thicker“,
Quoth he, “than liqueur or liquor“,
   Making, it is sad but true,
   In bravado, much ado.

Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
   Pilot, pivot, gaunt, but aunt,
   Fontfrontwontwantgrand and grant.

Arsenic, specific, scenic,
Relic, rhetoric, hygienic.
   Gooseberry, goose, and close, but close,
   Paradise, rise, rose, and dose.

Say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle,
Make the latter rhyme with eagle.
   MindMeandering but mean,
   Valentine and magazine.

And I bet you, dear, a penny,
You say mani-(fold) like many,
   Which is wrong. Say rapier, pier,
   Tier (one who ties), but tier.

Arch, archangel; pray, does erring
Rhyme with herring or with stirring?
   Prison, bison, treasure trove,
   Treason, hover, cover, cove,

Perseverance, severanceRibald
Rhymes (but piebald doesn’t) with nibbled.
   Phaeton, paean, gnat, ghat, gnaw,
   Lien, psychic, shone, bone, pshaw.

Don’t be down, my own, but rough it,
And distinguish buffetbuffet;
   Brood, stood, roof, rook, school, wool, boon,
   Worcester, Boleyn, to impugn.

Say in sounds correct and sterling
Hearse, hear, hearken, year and yearling.
   Evil, devil, mezzotint,
   Mind the z! (A gentle hint.)

Now you need not pay attention
To such sounds as I don’t mention,
   Sounds like pores, pause, pours and paws,
   Rhyming with the pronoun yours;

Nor are proper names included,
Though I often heard, as you did,
   Funny rhymes to unicorn,
   Yes, you know them, Vaughan and Strachan.

No, my maiden, coy and comely,
I don’t want to speak of Cholmondeley.
   No. Yet Froude compared with proud
   Is no better than McLeod.

But mind trivial and vial,
Tripod, menial, denial,
   Troll and trolleyrealm and ream,
   Schedule, mischief, schism, and scheme.

Argil, gill, Argyll, gill. Surely
May be made to rhyme with Raleigh,
   But you’re not supposed to say
   Piquet rhymes with sobriquet.

Had this invalid invalid
Worthless documents? How pallid,
   How uncouth he, couchant, looked,
   When for Portsmouth I had booked!

Zeus, Thebes, Thales, Aphrodite,
Paramour, enamoured, flighty,
   Episodes, antipodes,
   Acquiesce, and obsequies.

Please don’t monkey with the geyser,
Don’t peel ‘taters with my razor,
   Rather say in accents pure:
   Nature, stature and mature.

Pious, impious, limb, climb, glumly,
Worsted, worsted, crumbly, dumbly,
   Conquer, conquest, vase, phase, fan,
   Wan, sedan and artisan.

The th will surely trouble you
More than rch or w.
   Say then these phonetic gems:
   Thomas, thyme, Theresa, Thames.

Thompson, Chatham, Waltham, Streatham,
There are more but I forget ‘em-
   Wait! I’ve got it: Anthony,
   Lighten your anxiety.

The archaic word albeit
Does not rhyme with eight-you see it;
   With and forthwith, one has voice,
   One has not, you make your choice.

Shoes, goes, does *. Now first say: finger;
Then say: singer, ginger, linger.
   Realzealmauve, gauze and gauge,
   Marriagefoliagemirageage,

Hero, heron, query, very,
Parry, tarry fury, bury,
   Dostlostpost, and dothclothloth,
   JobJobblossombosomoath.

Faugh, oppugnant, keen oppugners,
Bowingbowing, banjo-tuners
   Holm you know, but noes, canoes,
   Puisnetruismuse, to use?

Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual,
   SeatsweatchastecasteLeigheightheight,
   Putnutgranite, and unite.

Reefer does not rhyme with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyrheifer.
   DullbullGeoffreyGeorgeatelate,
   Hintpintsenate, but sedate.

GaelicArabicpacific,
Scienceconsciencescientific;
   Tour, but our, dour, succourfour,
   Gasalas, and Arkansas.

Say manoeuvre, yacht and vomit,
Next omit, which differs from it
   Bona fide, alibi
   Gyrate, dowry and awry.

Seaideaguineaarea,
PsalmMaria, but malaria.
   Youthsouthsoutherncleanse and clean,
   Doctrineturpentinemarine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion,
   Rally with allyyeaye,
   EyeIayayewheykeyquay!

Say aver, but everfever,
Neitherleisureskeinreceiver.
   Never guess-it is not safe,
   We say calvesvalveshalf, but Ralf.

Starry, granarycanary,
Crevice, but device, and eyrie,
   Face, but preface, then grimace,
   Phlegmphlegmaticassglassbass.

Basslargetargetgingiveverging,
Oughtoust, joust, and scour, but scourging;
   Ear, but earn; and ere and tear
   Do not rhyme with here but heir.

Mind the o of off and often
Which may be pronounced as orphan,
   With the sound of saw and sauce;
   Also soft, lost, cloth and cross.

Pudding, puddle, puttingPutting?
Yes: at golf it rhymes with shutting.
   Respite, spite, consent, resent.
   Liable, but Parliament.

Seven is right, but so is even,
HyphenroughennephewStephen,
   Monkeydonkeyclerk and jerk,
   Aspgraspwaspdemesnecorkwork.

A of valour, vapid vapour,
S of news (compare newspaper),
   G of gibbet, gibbon, gist,
   I of antichrist and grist,

Differ like diverse and divers,
Rivers, strivers, shivers, fivers.
   Once, but nonce, toll, doll, but roll,
   Polish, Polish, poll and poll.

Pronunciation-think of Psyche!-
Is a paling, stout and spiky.
   Won’t it make you lose your wits
   Writing groats and saying “grits”?

It’s a dark abyss or tunnel
Strewn with stones like rowlockgunwale,
   Islington, and Isle of Wight,
   Housewifeverdict and indict.

Don’t you think so, reader, rather,
Saying latherbatherfather?
   Finally, which rhymes with enough,
   Thoughthroughboughcoughhoughsough, tough??

Hiccough has the sound of sup
My advice is: GIVE IT UP!

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50 Common English Phrases That Are Used Incorrectly by Some Writers


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj .

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The-only-thing-Ive-learned-from-my-mistakes

Many probably have their own pet peeves while writing. I am not an authority on writing. When I was young I overcame the writer’s block on reading the masterpiece Say What You Mean” by Rudolf Franz Flesch. Even so, I confess that my grammar is not that good and I do make silly mistakes in my writing.

Here are some common phrases which I have come across that needs everyone’s attention whether they are bloggers or not. I feel the phrases on the left are incorrect,
while the ones on the right seem to be correct.

01: All of my children | All my children

02: A mute point | A moot point

03: Anyways | Anyway

04: Baited breath | Bated breath

05: Begging the question | Raising the question

06: Brother-in-laws | Brothers-in-law

07: Case and point | Case in point

08: Chester drawers | Chest of drawers

09: Circumvent the globe | Circumnavigate the globe

10: Curl up in the feeble position | Curl up in the fetal position

11: Each one worse than the next | Each one worse than the last

12: Expresso coffee | Espresso coffee

13: Extract revenge | Exact revenge

14: Fall by the waste side | Fall by the wayside

15: For all intensive purposes | For all intents and purposes

16: Free reign | Free rein

17: He did good | He did well

18: Head towards the door | Head toward the door

19: Hunger pains | Hunger pangs

20: I’m giving you leadway | I’m giving you leeway

21: I could care less | I couldn’t care less

22: I made a complete 360 degree change in my life | I made a complete 180 degree change in my life

23: Irregardless | Regardless

24: It’s a doggy-dog world | It’s a dog-eat-dog world

25: Jive with | Jibe with

26: Make due | Make do

27: Momento | Memento

28: Near miss | Near hit

29: Nip it in the butt! | Nip it in the bud!

30: Old timer’s disease | Alzheimer’s Disease

31: On accident | By accident

32: On tender hooks | On tenterhooks”

33: One in the same | One and the same

34: Outside of | Outside

35: Pick / Peak my curiosity | Pique my curiosity

36: Runner-ups | Runners-up

37: Scotch / Scott free | Scot free

38: Self-depreciating | Self-deprecating

39: Less than 300 characters | Fewer than 300 characters

40: Should of | Should have

41: Sneak peak | Sneak peek

42: Statue of limitations | Statute of limitations

43: Step foot | Set foot

44: Suppository of information | Repository of information

45: The spitting image | The spit and image

46 They made her an escape goat for the breakup of the family | They made her a scapegoat for the breakup of the family

47: What’s your guyses opinion? | What’s your opinion, guys?

48: Without further adieu / Without further a due | Without further ado

49: Wreck havoc | Wreak havoc

50: You have another thing coming! | You have another think coming!

How to write good

I Hate Internet Slang


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Do you use text speak

What does LOL, LMAO, ROFL, BRB, AFK, TY, THX etc. mean? 

I hate Internet slang!

Internet slang refers to a variety of slang languages coined and popularized by internet users to save time on keystrokes. Internet slang saves the writer’s time, but most writers do not realize that the reader of the slang takes more than twice the time to understand what the writer is trying to say; that is why I hate Internet slang and I try not to use these slang words in my communications.

While surfing and searching the internet, I have come across many words used by the internet communities. Here, I would like to share some of them, and what they mean, with you. This list is not complete. It is difficult to provide a standardized definition of Internet slang due to the constant evolving of the gargantuan internet. If you are interested, there are many websites such as http://www.netlingo.com,where you can find more comprehensive listings.

A Listing of Internet Slang and Acronyms

Slang and Acronyms = Meaning

1 = One / exclamation mark
2 = To / Too / Two
4 = For or Four
403 = Deny Access To

A
AFAP = As Far As Possible
A&F = AAF Always And Forever
A3 = Anywhere, Any time, Any place
AAB = Average At Best
AAK = Alive And Kicking
AAMOF = As A Matter Of Fact
AAP = Always A Pleasure
AAR = At Any Rate
AAYF = As Always, Your Friend
ABD = Already Been Done
ABH = Actual Bodily Harm
ABT = Absolutely
ABT = About
ADL = All Day Long
ADN = Any Day Now
AEAE = And Ever And Ever
AEAP = As Early As Possible
AFAIAC / AFAIC = As Far As I Am Concerned
AFAICS = As Far As I Can See
AFAICT = As Far As I Can Tell
AFAIK = As Far As I Know
AFC = Away From Computer
AGW = All Going Well
ALOL = Actually Laughing Out Loud
ANY1 = Anyone
AYSOS = Are You Stupid Or Something?

B
B = Be
B4 = Before
Bb = Bye Bye, Goodbye
BBIAB = Be Back In A Bit
BBL = Be Back Later
BBS = Be Back Soon
BD = Big Deal
BRB = Be right back
BRB = Be right back / Bath-room break
BRT = Be right there
BTW = By the way

C
C = See
CSWS = Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
CU = See you
CUL = See you later
Cuz = Because
CYA = See you
CYS = Check Your Settings

D
da = The
dat = That
DBA = Don’t Bother Asking
der = There
DIAF = Die In A Fire
Dunno = Don’t know

E
E123 = Easy as One, Two, Three
E2HO = Each to His/Her Own
EAK = Eating at Keyboard
ED = Erectile Dysfunction
EE or EEs = Employee -or- Employees
EFT = Electronic Funds Transfer
ELOL = Evil Laugh Out Loud
EM = Excuse Me
EMBM = Early Morning Business Meeting
EMFBI = Excuse Me For Butting In
EMFJI = Excuse Me For Jumping In
EMI = Excuse My Ignorance
EML = Email Me Later
EMSG = E-Mail Message
EOD = End Of Day -or- End Of Discussion
EOM = End Of Message
ESEMED = Every Second Every Minute Every Day
EWIE = mailing While Intoxicated
EZ = Easy

F
FHO = Friends Hanging Out
FTL = For The Loss
FTUW = For The Uber Win
FTW = For The Win
FWIW = For What It’s Worth
FYI = For Your Information

G
G2G / GTG = Got to go
GAL = Get A Life
GFY = Good For You
GG = Good game, Good going
GIYF = Google Is Your Friend
GRX = Gracias, Merci

H
HAND = Have A Nice Day
HS = Holy Shit
HTH = Hope This Helps

I
IACL = I Am Currently Laughing
IANAL = I Am Not A Lawyer
IANARS = I Am Not A Rocket Scientist
IC = I see
ICYDK = In Case You Didn’t Know
IDGI = I Don’t Get It
IDK = I Don’t Know
IIRC = If I Recall Correctly
ILY / ILU = I Love You
IMHO = In My Honest Opinion
IMNSHO = In My Not So Honest Opinion
IMO = In My Opinion
IRL = In Real Life
ITT = In This Thread
IYDMMA = If You Don’t Mind Me Asking

J
JJ = Just Joking
JK = Just Kidding
JOOC = Just Out Of Curiosity
JP = Just Playing

K
K = Okay
KKOk = Cool / Ok Kewl
KL = kool, cool
Kwl = Cool

The future of texting

L
L8r = Later
LLAH = Laughing Like A Hyena
LMAO = Laughing My Ass Off
LMFAO = Laughing My F*cking Ass Off
LOL = Laugh Out Loud
LQTM = Laugh Quietly To Myself

M
M8 = Mate
MYOB = Mind Your Own Business

N
NLS = Not Life Safe
NOYB = None Of Your Business
NP = No Problem
NSFW = Not Safe For Work
NVM = Never mind
NWS = Not Work Safe

O
O = Oh
O3 = Out of Office
OIC = Oh, I see
OJ = Only Joking
OMG = Oh My God! / Oh My Goodness!,
OC = Out Of Character
OP = Original Poster / Original Post
OT = Off Topic

P
PEBKAC = Problem Exists Between The Keyboard And The Chair
Pic = Picture
PITA = Pain In The Ass
Pix = Pictures
Plz / Pls = Please
PPMSLL = Pissing/ Pissed Myself Laughing
POSL = Piece Of ShIt
PPLL = People
PTTLL = Pop To The Loo

Q
Q = Queue -or- Question
QAP = Quick As Possible, Quickly As Possible
QL = Quit Laughing
QOTD = Quote Of The Day
QS = Quit Scrolling

R
RL = Real Life
ROFL = Rolling On The Floor Laughing
ROFLMAO = Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off
ROFLMAOL = Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Out Loud

S
Shudda = Should Have
SMH = Shaking My Head
SNH = Sarcasm Noted Here
SO = Significant Other
SOS = Same Old Shit
Soz / srry = Sorry
SSDD = Same Shit, Different Day
STFW = Search The F*cking Web
sup = What’s up?
sup homes = What’s up, friend?
SWW = Sorry, Wrong Window – typing in the wrong box

Texting

T
Thnx = Thanks
Tho = Though
TIA = Thanks In Advance
TLTR = Too Long To Read
TTFN = Ta Ta For Now
TTYL = Talk To You Later
TTYT = Talk To You Tomorrow
TY = Thank You
TYT = Take Your Time

U
U = You
ULM = You Love me

V
VBD = Very Big Deal

W
W8 = Wait
Wanna = Want to
WB = Welcome Back
Wd = Well done
WDUWTA? = What Do You Want To Talk About?
Wile = While
WOOT = We Own the Other Team
WTH? = What The Hell?
WURSC = Wow, you are so cool

X
XLNT = Excellent
XME = Excuse Me
XOXO = Hugs and Kisses
XOXOZZZ = Hugs and Kisses and Sweet Dreams
XQZT = Exquisite
XTC = Ecstasy
XXCC = Kiss, Kiss, Hug, Hug

Y
YCM = You Copied Me
Ye = Yeah / Yes
YGTI = You Get The Idea
YMMV = Your Mileage May Vary
Yo = Hey / Your
YSVW = You are So Very Welcome
YW = You are Welcome

Z
ZZZ = Sleeping, Bored, Tired

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Texting language

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No More Telegrams Stop


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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A Telegraph Office

On 14th of July, the era of electric telegraphy will come to an end in India.

Before the advent of electric telegraphy, the word “telegraph” had been used for semaphore signaling. People used smoke, beacons, reflected light, and flag semaphore signals for transmitting line-of-sight signal messages.

Semaphore telegraph Bihar1823

A semaphore “telegraph” signalling tower in Silwar (Bihar), 13 February 1823, thirty years before electric telegraphy was rapidly introduced into India by the East India Company.

During the period 1820–30, the East India Company’s Government in India seriously considered constructing a semaphore network – a series of hundred feet high signaling towers (“telegraph” towers), along the entire distance from Calcutta to Bombay, each tower separated from the next by eight miles. Although such towers were built in Bengal and Bihar, the India-wide semaphore network never took off. By mid-19th century, electric telegraphy had become viable making manual signaling obsolete.

Dr. W. B. O'Shaughnessy

Dr. W. B. O’Shaughnessy

In 1851, Dr. W. B. O’Shaughnessy, an Irish Professor of Chemistry in the Calcutta Medical College, famous for his work in pharmacology and inventions related to telegraphy, conducted a trial run for a telegraph service from Calcutta to Diamond Harbour along the river Hooghly. He used a galvanoscope of his own design manufactured in India as the telegraph receiver. Signals were transmitted using electrical telegraph which unlike pigeon post did not carry a physical object bearing the message. The pre-requisite to use of telegraphy required that both the sender and the receiver should be aware of the method of encoding the message.

 Lord Dalhousie

Lord Dalhousie

A year later, after the experimental telegraph service was deemed to be a success, Lord Dalhousie, the Governor-General of India, sought and obtained permission from the Court of Directors of the Company for the construction of telegraph lines from “Calcutta to Agra, Agra to Bombay, Agra to Peshawar, and Bombay to Madras, extending in all over 3,050 miles and including forty-one offices.”

By February 1855 after all the proposed telegraph lines had been constructed paid messages were sent using these lines.

By 1857, the telegraph network had expanded to 4,555 miles of lines and sixty two offices, and had reached as far as the hill station of Ootacamund in the Nilgiri Hills and the port of Calicut on the southwest coast of India.

Replica of Morse's first telegraph instrument.

Replica of Morse’s first telegraph instrument.

In early 1857, the Morse instrument supplanted Dr. O’Shaughnessy’s instrument.

During the Indian rebellion of 1857, more than seven hundred miles of telegraph lines were destroyed mainly in the North-Western Provinces by the rebel forces. Nevertheless, The East India Company used the remaining intact telegraph lines that to warn many outposts of impending civil disturbances. The political value of the new technology was, thus, driven home to the Company. In the following year, the Company not only relaid the destroyed lines, but also expanded the network further by 2,000 miles.

The first Telegraph Act for India was the British Parliament’s Act XXXIV of 1854. When the public telegram service started operating in 1855, the telegraphic charges was fixed at one rupee for every sixteen words (including the address) for every 400 miles of transmission. The charges were doubled for telegrams sent between 6 PM and 6 AM. These rates remained fixed until 1882.

In the year 1860–61, two years after the end of Company rule, India had 11,093 miles of telegraph lines and 145 telegraph offices. That year telegrams totaling Rs. 5 lakhs in value were sent by the public, the working expense of the Indian Telegraph Department was Rs. 14 lakhs, and the capital expenditure until the end of the year totaled Rs. 65 lakhs.

The advent of radio in the early 1900s brought about radiotelegraphy and other forms of wireless telegraphy.

SMS

Since telegrams can no longer compete with internet and mobile SMS and smartphones, it is not surprising to learn that India going to shut down its 163 year old ‘Telegram’ service and the last telegram will be sent on July 14, 2013. The reasons cited: It is not commercially viable, there are huge losses, and in the current scenario it is outdated.

Shamim Akhtar, general manager of Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), India’s state-owned telecom company said: “We were incurring losses of over $23 million a year because SMS and smartphones have rendered this service redundant.”

In 1985, at its peak, 60 million telegrams were exchanged across 45,000 offices. Today, only 5,000 telegrams are sent every day in India by 75 telegram offices that exist, employing 998 people, down from 12,500 telegram employees in better years.

Telegraph services ended in the United States seven years ago. On July 14, 2013, 158 years after the public telegram service was first set up in 1855, the world’s final telegram will be sent in India.

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CISPA Passes in Closed Door Vote


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Myself . By T.V. Antony Raj

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At the Congress of the United States begun and held in New York, on March 4, 1789, several States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, wanted to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers by adding further declaratory and restrictive clauses.

The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution in its original form is as follows:

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants
shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Fourth Amendment (Amendment IV) to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights ratified on December 15, 1791.

This amendment tries to protect two fundamental liberty interests – the right to privacy and freedom from arbitrary invasions. It guards against unreasonable searches and seizures, along with requiring any warrant to be judicially allowed and supported by probable cause.

Now, the United States Government is attempting to control and censor the internet by passing the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), a law that would allow for the sharing of Internet traffic information among the U.S. government and technology and manufacturing companies.

The stated aim of the bill is to help the U.S government investigate cyber threats and ensure the security of networks against cyber attacks. This bill would allow major internet entities such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google to share voluntarily our personal information with the U.S. Government. This will not only affect users in the United States, but also anyone with an account with these companies.

As written, CISPA will not protect us from cyber threats, but will violate our Fourth Amendment’s right to our privacy, and freedom from arbitrary invasions.

    • It lets the government to spy on us without a warrant
    • Companies cannot be sued when they do illegal things using our data.
    • It allows companies and corporations to cyber attack one another and harm individual people outside the law.

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Anonymous: CISPA Internet Blackout April 22nd | #CISPABlackout


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Dear citizens of the internet,

We are Anonymous.

The United States Government is again attempting to control and censor the internet. The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act has just recently passed the house.

This bill would allow major internet entities such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google to voluntarily share your personal information with the U.S. Government. This will not only effect users in the United States, but also anyone with an account with these companies.

This upcoming Monday, April the 22nd, we invite you to join Anonymous in a internet blackout. We encourage all web developers and website owners to go dark on this date. Display a message as to why you are going dark, and encourage others to do the same.

We hope, just like the successful protest over the Stop Online Piracy Act, we can encourage the senate to stop this bill.

Spread the message, and inform the world.

We are Anonymous
We are the people
We are the internet

Knowledge is free

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RELATED ARTICLES

Impressions: 2012 in review


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Myself

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I wish All My Readers

And

Well-wishers Around the Globe

A HAPPY NEW YEAR

2013

T.V. Antony Raj

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The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 210,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 4 years for that many people to see it. This blog “Impressions” had more visits than a small country in Europe!

I thank you my readers for visiting my site and reading what comes to my mind.

Click here to see the complete report.

Hoax: A 14-Year-Old Boy Was Shot Six Times By His Stepfather


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Myself By T.V. Antony Raj

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Here is a heart wringing message forwarded to me via Facebook.

Boy was shot 6 times by his step dad

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Everyone with a sympathetic heart wants to help sick children to get better. The message about a little boy or girl suffering from some dreaded disease or infirmity certainly tugs the heartstrings of many. Even so, on the internet pranksters play upon these pathos for their personal odious amusement.

Search through the archives on the internet failed to turn up any news about shooting of any young man by his stepfather and his struggle for life in any hospital.

Lamentably, this message is a hoax.

This message  does not give the date and the place where this incident occurred nor does it mention the name of the hospital that takes care of the boy.

Similar appeals to save a young life began circulating first through e-mails and later as cell phone text messages and in social websites such as Facebook.

Here are two earlier versions of this hoax message.

Version #1:
Last friday 2-12-10 a 14 yr old boy was shot 6 times by his step dad. The boy was protecting his 2 yr old sister, in whom the step dad was atempting to rape. The young girl was not harmed, bc of that young mans courage & loyalty to his sister. The mom was at work during this time. The 14 yr old boy is now fighting for his life, and the doctors say he will not make it unless he has this life saving surgery in wich the boys mom cant afford. So At&t has agreed to donate $0.45 every time this msg is sent. So fwd & help save a life! (sic)

Version #2:
Last friday 2/12/10 a 14 y/o boy weas shot 6 times by his step dad. the boy was protecting his 2 y/o sistetr, whom the atep dad was attemping to rape. the young girl was not harmed because of that young mans courage and loyalty to his sister. The Mother was at work when this took place the 14 yr old boy “dominic james daggner” is now fighting for his life, and the doctor says he will not make unless he has life saving surgery in which the mother cant not afford. So, Verizon and AT&T have agree to donate $12.00 everytime this text is sent. (sic)

Both the above versions mention a date (2-12-10) when the shooting supposedly occurred. The second version even quotes a name for the victim as “dominic james daggner.

According to the current version of the message, an ante of 45 US cents would be paid by “Facebook Companies” for each forwarded message. In Version #1, cited above AT&T also offered the same amount per forwarded message. Version #2 of the message surpasses these two offers; it states that Verizon would pay a fantastic $12.00 as ante per forwarded message.

Since 1997, we have seen in circulation hoax emails appealing with phrases such as: “Forward this message to others and help fund medical care for a sick or dying child”. Invariably, these messages named a large charity as the benefactor stood ready to direct monies towards the costs of medical care for a child fighting for life. That trend continued into 2010.

The message “shot 14-year-old boy”, circulated on the web similar to the hoaxes that used the name of the American Cancer Society, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, or some other large social or business entity. The pranksters even roped in McDonald’s and Pizza Hut in the Justin Mallory hoax: “… epileptic in need of long-term care … ” and AOL and ZDNet in the Rachel Arlington hoax:  “… brain cancer sufferer in need of an operation …”

Do not immediately believe that whatever appears on Facebook or any other site on the web as 100% true. First, verify the news. If it is true, and you want to help, then give your money or your time.

Refrain from forwarding worthless messages to others. Well-intentioned forwarding of messages does nothing towards helping a sick child; however, it does make the day of the prankster who initiated the hoax.

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When a Palm Reader Knows More Than Your Life Line by Natasha Singer


By NATASHA SINGER

“PLEASE put your hand on the scanner,” a receptionist at a doctor’s office at New York University Langone Medical Center said to me recently, pointing to a small plastic device on the counter between us. “I need to take a palm scan for your file.”

I balked.

As a reporter who has been covering the growing business of data collection, I know the potential drawbacks — like customer profiling — of giving out my personal details. But the idea of submitting to an infrared scan at a medical center that would take a copy of the unique vein patterns in my palm seemed fraught.

The receptionist said it was for my own good. The medical center, she said, had recently instituted a biometric patient identification system to protect against identity theft.

I reluctantly stuck my hand on the machine. If I demurred, I thought, perhaps I’d be denied medical care.

Next, the receptionist said she needed to take my photo. After the palm scan, that seemed like data-collection overkill. Then an office manager appeared and explained that the scans and pictures were optional. Alas, my palm was already in the system.

No longer the province of security services and science-fiction films, biometric technology is on the march. Facebook uses facial-recognition software so its members can automatically put name tags on friends when they upload their photos. Apple uses voice recognition to power Siri. Some theme parks take digital fingerprints to help recognize season pass holders. Now some hospitals and school districts are using palm vein pattern recognition to identify and efficiently manage their patients or students — in effect, turning your palm into an E-ZPass.

But consumer advocates say that enterprises are increasingly employing biometric data to improve convenience — and that members of the public are paying for that convenience with their privacy.

Fingerprints, facial dimensions and vein patterns are unique, consumer advocates say, and should be treated as carefully as genetic samples. So collecting such information for expediency, they say, could increase the risks of serious identity theft. Yet companies and institutions that compile such data often fail to adequately explain the risks to consumers, they say.

“Let’s say someone makes a fake ID and goes in and has their photo and their palm print taken as you. What are you going to do when you go in?” said Pam Dixon, the executive director of the World Privacy Forum, an advocacy group in San Diego. “Hospitals that are doing this are leaping over profound security issues that they are actually introducing into their systems.”

THE N.Y.U. medical center started researching biometric systems a few years ago in an effort to address several problems, said Kathryn McClellan, its vice president who is in charge of implementing its new electronic health records system. More than a million people in the New York area have the same or similar names, she said, creating a risk that medical personnel might pull up the wrong health record for a patient. Another issue, she said, was that some patients had multiple records from being treated at different affiliates; N.Y.U. wanted an efficient way to consolidate them.

Last year, the medical center adopted photography and palm-scan technology so that each patient would have two unique identifying features. Now, Ms. McClellan said, each arriving patient has his or her palm scanned, allowing the system to automatically pull up the correct file.

“It’s a patient safety initiative,” Ms. McClellan said. “We felt like the value to the patient was huge.”

N.Y.U.’s system, called PatientSecure and marketed by HT Systems of Tampa, has already scanned more than 250,000 patients. In the United States, over five million patients have had the scans, said Charles Yanak, a spokesman for Fujitsu Frontech North America, a division of Fujitsu, the Japanese company that developed the vein palm identification technology.

Yet, unless patients at N.Y.U. seem uncomfortable with the process, Ms. McClellan said, medical registration staff members don’t inform them that they can opt out of photos and scans.

“We don’t have formal consent,” Ms. McClellan said in a phone interview last Tuesday.

That raises red flags for privacy advocates. “If they are not informing patients it is optional,” said Joel Reidenberg, a professor at Fordham University Law School with an expertise in data privacy, “then effectively it is coerced consent.”

He noted that N.Y.U. medical center has had recent incidents in which computers or USB drives containing unencrypted patient data have been lost or stolen, suggesting that the center’s collection of biometric data might increase patients’ risk of identity theft.

Ms. McClellan responded that there was little chance of identity theft because the palm scan system turned the vein measurements into encrypted strings of binary numbers and stored them on an N.Y.U. server that is separate from the one with patients’ health records. Even if there were a breach, she added, the data would be useless to hackers because a unique key is needed to decode the number strings. As for patients’ photos, she said, they are attached to their medical records.

Still, Arthur Caplan, the director of the division of medical ethics at the N.Y.U. center, recommended that hospitals do a better job of explaining biometric ID systems to patients. He himself recently had an appointment at the N.Y.U. center, he recounted, and didn’t learn that the palm scan was optional until he hesitated and asked questions.

“It gave me pause,” Dr. Caplan said. “It would be useful to put up a sign saying ‘We are going to take biometric information which will help us track you through the system. If you don’t want to do this, please see’ ” an office manager.

Other institutions that use PatientSecure, however, have instituted opt-in programs for patients.

At the Duke University Health System, patients receive brochuresexplaining their options, said Eliana Owens, the health system’s director of patient revenue. The center also trains staff members at registration desks to read patients a script about the opt-in process for the palm scans, she said. (Duke does not take patients’ photos.)

“They say: ‘The enrollment is optional. If you choose not to participate, we will continue to ask you for your photo ID on subsequent visits,’ ” Ms. Owens said.

Consent or not, some leading identity experts see little value in palm scans for patients right now. If medical centers are going to use patients’ biometric data for their own institutional convenience, they argue, the centers should also enhance patient privacy — by, say, permitting lower-echelon medical personnel to look at a person’s medical record only if that patient is present and approves access by having a palm scanned.

Otherwise, “you are enabling another level of danger,” said Joseph Atick, a pioneer in biometric identity systems who consults for governments, “instead of using the technology to enable another level of privacy.”

At my request, N.Y.U. medical center has deleted my palm print.

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E-mail: slipstream@nytimes.com.

Reproduced from The New York Times – Business Day Technology

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