Try counting….

A graphic designer who was ripped off by an internet seller got his revenge by texting him the entire works of Shakespeare.

Edd Joseph, 24, was furious when he bought a PS3 games console on Gumtree for £80 and the vendor failed to deliver the goods.

So he decided to take his revenge by texting the entire works of the Bard to his nemesis – all 30,000 words.

Mr Joseph discovered he can simply copy the words from the internet and paste them into a text message – without costing him a penny on his unlimited mobile phone package.

He sends it as one text but his victim can only receive them in 160 character chunks – meaning the 37 works of Shakespeare will buzz through in 29,305 individual texts.

30,000 texts ain’t 30,000 words, is it?

19 thoughts on “Try counting….”

  1. So not only can the journalists not do engineering, science or economics; now they can’t even do literature?

    Complete works of Shakespeare in 30,000 words?

  2. I know – one of the longer plays is surely 30,000 words alone!

    A quick google reveals the complete works are closer to a million words…

  3. 29,305 texts works out to about 937,760 at the standard 5 characters per word, which agrees with Charlie’s google.

  4. 30,000 texts x 160 characters is 4.8m characters, so we’re getting close, though that would make an average word length of 3.8 (accounting for spaces). Still, Tim’s point stands.

  5. GlenDorran,

    Call the phone company and tell them what he’s doing. These “unlimited” packages have all sorts of clauses about reasonable use that are designed to stop people doing this sort of thing, or spamming.

  6. Shakespeare’s 37 plays come in at 835,977 words but that’s not his entire works; there are five poems and 154 sonnets which together take the word count up to 844,421 words.

  7. @The Stigler
    Indeed. Buried in the small print of his “unlimited free texts” contract will be a fair use policy. Depends, therefore, on what the contractual arrangement are when he exceeds “fair use”. It maybe withdrawal of text service. it may be billing the service at the non- “free” rate.
    He may have a nasty surprise ahead.

  8. Shakespear’s complete works are a tad over 8.3 million bytes in .txt. Isn’t it 1byte=1 character in ASCII?
    That’d give 51,875 texts

  9. Dennis The Peasant

    Evidently the Telegraph is using the fact checkers as the New York Times. And the same editors…

    Next? Why journalists understand “Climate Science” better than you do…

  10. Text from Project Gutenburg.

    Number of words:
    $ cat shakespeare.txt | wc -w

    Number of characters:
    $ cat shakespeare.txt | wc -c

    Number of 160 character text messages required to send this number of characters:

    Looks like a paid ad for a carrier that will happily accommodate this kind of malarkey for only 37 of your earth Zu per calendar month. Also a hackette who hasn’t even read the figures let alone checked them.

  11. @BiD
    Did wonder, because Gumtree’s a free ad site not an Ebay type auction. There’s no advertiser authentication whatsoever. It’d be hard to imagine anyone anteing up dosh of substance for something unseen, from someone not known, with no guarantees.
    Although someone wanting a PS3?….possibly. Would a journalist believe so? Same territory, really.

  12. Bloke in Costa Rica

    And here we see another shining example of the point I made yesterday that journos have no sense of orders of magnitude and therefore lack a vital component in the critical thinker’s toolbox. Anyone even vestigially numerate and literate sees “works of Shakespeare = 30000 words” and ding! ding! ding! off goes the bullshit detector.

  13. Yes, and I hear the latest modernisation of their show is in the works. It’s called “T cmplt wrx of Sh8xspr in 30k txts. By T Rdxd Sh8xspr Co”

  14. It’d be a fun competition to see who can come up with the best reduction of each play to a single txt. No doubt someone’s already done it on twatter.

  15. @ bis
    “fair use”
    How can you deny that it is fair use?
    So the crook has started ringing up to abuse his victim. I recommend that he follows up by texting the Bible, with frequent repeats of Exodus XX 15, preceding each book.

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