Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Baudrate: English

Do you remember the old days when we used modems instead of having high speed internet? And that annoying sequence of noises that went something like this: "bee booo bahhhhhhhhhhh naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa"? That was called "handshaking" and was basically the calling computer saying to the receiving computer "I speak this way (baudrate), how do you speak?" and the receiving computer saying "I speak this way - do we match?" The computers would establish a method of communication that they both understood, and then would begin the conversation, i.e., you were online.
It is amusing to me to see that same process here, with people. Many times I've seen it happen. One person approaches another and the conversation goes like this:

Person 1: "Fron-say?"
Person 2: "Italiano?"

Person 1: "Espanol?"

Person 2: "English?"

Person 1: "Yes! Can you tell me..."

And then the conversation will take place in the established language.

It's funny.
I am doing laundry.
That's all.

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