Text Messaging Speed Record Broken, Try to Beat It Yourself

By Alexis C. Madrigal

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I'm a pretty fast texter, even with the iPhone. So, when I saw that Melissa Thompson of Great Britain crushed the standing world record, I wanted to see how close I really was to greatness. Apparently, there is a gold-standard set of words to test these sorts of things. Here it is:

The razor-toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human.

Thompson whipped out that message in 25.94 seconds, shaving more than 9 seconds off the previous record best. (This has not yet been verified by Guinness.)

Just looking at the words, it didn't seem out of the question that I'd get close to at least the old record. So I fired up a flash stopwatch and tried it myself on my phone (landscape, two hands). Turns out, it's much harder than you'd think.

My personal best? 53 seconds (with one error). I'd love to know where I rank among the community here.


This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2010/08/text-messaging-speed-record-broken-try-to-beat-it-yourself/61971/