Getting to grips with txt mssgs

IT'S probably the bane of parents everywhere - teenagers frantically pressing the buttons on their mobile phones to spell out a text message, followed by incessant beeps as their friends reply.

IT'S probably the bane of parents everywhere - teenagers frantically pressing the buttons on their mobile phones to spell out a text message, followed by incessant beeps as their friends reply.

But for members of the older generation, who can only greet their mobile phone's text message alert with a look of bewilderment and then struggle to decipher the abbreviated language, there is now hope.

For yesterday, in Ipswich, a society for pensioners was showing how to 'tch ur grny 2 txt' (teach your granny to text).

To the text message-initiated it may seem something rather simple to do, but for those who have grown up with letters and telegrams as the way of communicating it was proving a little harder than expected.

Among the group was Mick Hart, 71, from Dales Road, in Ipswich.

“I've had this for five years but you see I rarely use it,” he said.

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Mick's wife Dorothy, 66, who bought her phone to use in emergencies, said: “I tried to text before and ended up talking to someone in a field in Gloucester.”

The course was run by The Oddfellows - which offers care and welfare benefits, social events and activities and is dubbed as the 'first youth club for the over 50s' - at their Winter Warmer meeting in the High Street.

District secretary Wendy Atkins, who held the lesson, said: “This is to 'teach your granny to text' so it's a fun afternoon learning how to use mobile phones. We are going to do a bit of texting and then we are going to text each other.”

When war veteran Jeff Jay, 82, from Grundisburgh, was asked how he was getting on, he replied: “I am not. I am looking forward to the cup of tea. Everything's been going wrong.”

And the pensioner, who served in the parachute regiment, landed in Normandy and was captured 10 days later, concluded that it was only for the younger.

“It's beyond anyone over the age of 70. It's harder than what I did during the war.”

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