From here and elsewhere…
“I lost it via my bloody Blackberry” is a brilliant gem of a phrase – thank you so much Susan Douglas for sharing this with me. It is adduced to explain the loss of vital communications or data ostensibly due to a fault in the eponymous hand-held communications device. Or possibly by the failure of the operator to have read and understand the operating instructions. This is currently very much a first-world problem.
The brilliant abaporu blog of this parish reports the phenomenon of communicating through “missed calls” – dialing and hanging-up right away before the correspondent picks up.
This is free, since there is no actual call, and it leaves a trace in the form of a ‘missed call message’. Depending on the context, it can mean anything from “call me back” to “I’m thinking of you” or “pick me up at the train station.” In Africa’s English-speaking countries, this is usually called “beeping” or “flashing”, a practical verb: “I’ll beep you when I get there”, or “he keeps flashing me.”
French kids are using the verb “biper” in the same way, says abaporu:
“Je l’ai bipé, il m’a raplé.” They also use “faire sonner” as in “il m’a fait sonner une fois dans la galerie marchande“, or simply “sonner”: “Il m’a sonné today pour le revoir, ça me fait ultra plaisir”.
I note that this form of minimal communication can also be observed on Facebook where users may “poke” one another.
Greeta’s Grandma’s Tales is great fun and she is another great teacher- blogger. (I notice blogging teachers are another phenomenon.) Discussing what it takes to become fluent in a new language, she suggests: “Getting pickled in the language.” Now there’s another lovely phrase.