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Word for Word: Texting with the teen winner of the 2009 LG U.S. National Texting Championship

Kate Moore was one of the last kids at her high school to get a cell phone. But after less than a year, the Des Moines, Iowa, teenager was sending more than 14,000 texts a month — and sending them faster than just about anyone in the world. • In June, Moore, 16, was crowned the fastest texter in the country when she won the 2009 LG U.S. National Texting Championship — and $50,000. Earlier this month, she was named the world's second-fastest texter in the LG Mobile World Cup. She tied for the international honor in New York and took home $10,000. • We caught up with Kate — by text! — with questions about her flying thumbs. Since we're slow texters, we brought in a specialist to do the interview: 18-year old Kate Feldman, editor of the student newspaper at Palm Harbor University High School. • Following is their conversation, edited for length, but not spelling or grammar. Times staff writer

Kate Moore (515): Hey Kate! Its Kate (:

Kate Feldman (727): Hi! Thank you so much for letting me do this interview

(515): Of course! Im trying to study for finals right now haha, so could we maybe have an interview over text? (:

(727): Actually, that's exactly what I wanted. … Can you explain to me the texting championship you won?

(515): The txting comp. was with competitors from 13 different countries, and we all had to text words as fast as accurate as we could! ... there were long lists of words that we had to text, and if we had a typo they didn't count.

(727): Did you have trouble on any of them?

(515): Nah. Ha. the Koreans did end up beating us so i guess it was just hard keeping up with them!

(727): So, what kind of phone do you have?

(515): An LG env3! Personally I think it's the best phone for texting.

(727): Touch screen?

(515): Nah. Personally I cant stand touch screen!

(727): Why not?

(515): Not quite sure haha. I like the feeling of being able to know if ive touched a button or not…you know what i mean haha?

(727): I completely do. I was trying to use my friend's iPhone the other day. I failed miserably

(515): Haha same here! cant stand iphones

(727): Haha. I'm assuming you have unlimited texting :)

(515): Definitely! Haha. Im not sure how much minutes I have, but I do use those a lot too. I still can have good phone calls with my boyfriend at night haha :)

(727): Do your fingers ever hurt from texting so much?

(515): Definitely not :D maybe my thumbs are just used to it?

(727): An immunity to texting pain. Lol. Now, as a student, I have to ask how much illegal texting goes on in class

(515): From me? Barely any. Hah. i definitely wait till passing period. But everyone of my classmate do… its crazy.

(727): That's insane. I've hit about 8000, but very rarely. So no texting while driving or anything?

(515): Definitely not!! Im actually speaking at a legislative meeting at my tsate capital tomorrow because theyre trying to make a bill banning texting while driving!

(727): Really? It sounds like this competition has really opened up a lot of opportunities for you

(515): Oh yeah. Haha. Countless interviews…

(727): That's crazy. And how about the prizes from the competitions?

(515): the first place for the american competition was 50,000, and second in the lg mobile world cup was 10,000. some nice money for college :)

(727): Nice? I'd pretty much say you've got college covered! … Do you remember life before texting?

(515): Haha not well… I remember itd always be a hassle for my friends to get a hold of me cause i was the last one to get a phone. I only got a phone october of 08.

(727): Have you always been this fast, or did it come from practice?

(515): I think it definitely came from texting a lot. im a fast learner :)

(727): Does that apply to school too? Lol

(515): Haha id like to think so. :) I in an ap class, 4.0 gpa this semester, so yaaa. Haha

(727): Wow. Congratulations! Going back a bit, can you tell me why you agree with banning texting and driving?

(515): Thanks. Well, teenagers are already vulnerable enough on the road. Were beginners at this. So our focus should be only driving. knowing the hot gossip that your friend just texted you can wait. the quick second or two you reply to or read a txt could be the second that you slide out of your lane or strike somebody else head on. No text is worth risking a life.

(727): Haha. Do you think you're going to enter the competition again next year?

(515): Definitely! Its very fun for me, I love the media, and I need to defend my title! ;D

Word for Word is an occasional feature excerpting passages of interest from books, magazines, Web sites and other sources. The text may be edited for space but the original spelling, grammar and punctuation are unchanged.

Word for Word: Texting with the teen winner of the 2009 LG U.S. National Texting Championship 01/23/10 [Last modified: Friday, January 22, 2010 5:56pm]

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