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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.




Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

Recent entries

The New World Upon Us

This is the 45th installment of Lighthouse, my monthly column for BLink, a supplement of the Hindu Business Line. Alpha…

Facts. Don’t. Matter

This op-ed of mine was published in the Hindu today. Politicians like Trump and Modi play to our worst impulses…

Neech Whataboutery

This is the 61st installment of Rhyme and Reason, my weekly set of limericks for the Sunday Times of India…

Hadiya and Ivanka

This is the 60th installment of Rhyme and Reason, my weekly set of limericks for the Sunday Times of India…

A Few Thoughts on Match Poker (and the Match IPL)

A couple of weeks ago, I took part in the Match IPL, playing for Goa Kings. The IPL here stands…

23 April, 2008

A Communication Problem

This story from Turkey is too strange to not be true:

The life of 20-year-old Emine, and her 24-year-old husband Ramazan Çalçoban was pretty much the normal life of any couple in a separation process. After deciding to split up, the two kept having bitter arguments over the cellphone, sending text messages to each other until one day Ramazan wrote “you change the topic every time you run out of arguments.” That day, the lack of a single dot over a letter—product of a faulty localization of the cellphone’s typing system—caused a chain of events that ended in a violent blood bath (Warning: offensive language ahead.)

The surreal mistake happened because Ramazan’s sent a message and Emine’s cellphone didn’t have an specific character from the Turkish alphabet: the letter “ı” or closed i. While “i” is available in all phones in Turkey—where this happened—the closed i apparently doesn’t exist in most of the terminals in that country.

The use of “i” resulted in an SMS with a completely twisted meaning: instead of writing the word “sıkısınca” it looked like he wrote “sikisince.” Ramazan wanted to write “You change the topic every time you run out of arguments” (sounds familiar enough) but what Emine read was, “You change the topic every time they are fucking you” (sounds familiar too.)

Read of the rest of the Gizmodo post to see what happened next. (Basically, much violence, and both Ramazan and Emine are dead now.) And when there is strife, don’t bother with messages: just call.

(Link via email from Gautam.)

Posted by Amit Varma in News | Science and Technology

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