This is a real text I sent to my cousin Nate this morning:
“You know how Up-Goer 5 only uses the most common words of English? Well, you should code a thingy to only use words that were lines of dialogue in Friends.”
I followed that text with this:
“I feel that then Sara and I would really be at a peak efficiency in communication.”
I suppose you’ll need some context.
Nate is my cousin, a computer genius extraordinaire who works with Media Temple. Sara, his wife, is my best friend.
Sara and I often (always) quote the still-popular WB tv show “Friends” to each other. We quote it for joke punchlines, to breakup a monotonous meeting, or just to let each other know which episode we’re watching. We’ve even been known to start telling a story about our friends, only to realize we aren’t actually friends with Joey, Monica, Chandler, Rachel, Ross and Phoebe.
So my thought this morning was that if my brilliant cousin could design a simple program like the Up Goer Five translator (more on that in a second), then it would be even easier for Sara and I to speak only Friends. You know, without having to think too much.
SIDE NOTE: I am at Nate and Sara’s home right now and the three of us are watching – yep, you guessed it – Friends. Which means that this post is taking about two-to-three episodes longer to write than normal.
Now to the Up Goer Five…
There’s this clever little comic called “xkcd,” and a while ago the Up Goer Five was posted online. Take the time to check out Randall’s site (hi, Randall!) and peruse his comics. I don’t always get them, in the intellectual sense, but when I do I’m always lol-ing.
According to the xkcd wiki (check out ALL the info here)
Most of the jargon used in rocket science is not among the most commonly used words in everyday life. This comic is a commentary on the absurdity of boiling down technical explanations for lay people, with Randall challenging himself to “translate” the blueprints using only the one thousand most commonly-used words in the English language.
So how cool would it be to have a text editor that speaks only Friends?
Come on, Internet, please?
In the meantime, I will just have to keep playing with The Up-Goer Five Text Editor.