New fast texting world record holder is, gosh, a teen

Marcel Fernandes Filho can text perfectly at inhuman speeds. That's what it takes to be a Guinness World Record holder.


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Here he is becoming the world's greatest. Fleksy/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

It all started in 2009 when Marcel Fernandes Filho took a hammer to his Dell desktop. He's not proud of the violence, but the monitor was flickery. What 13-year-old should have to put up with that? Because the young Brazilian didn't have money for a new computer, he resorted to using his iPhone 3GS for everything.

From these modest beginnings emerged the new Guinness World Record holder for texting.

You might wonder what it takes to become the world's fastest texter. Well, you have to type sentences such as: "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."


You have to get the spelling right and, something very foreign to almost all teens, the punctuation. The previous record was 18.44 seconds, achieved by, how extraordinary, another teen -- a 15-year-old who performed his feat at Microsoft.

Filho, now 17, flexed his fingers last month in New York and managed to record a time of 18.19 seconds.

Some, though, might be suspicious that this was all a sponsored affair. Filho is wearing a t-shirt that reads "Fleksy." This is not his nickname, though it surely should be. After all, Brazilian soccer players go by only one name.

Still, Fleksy is the brand name of a touchscreen keyboard which Filho used during his quest for immortality. Filho said it first found Fleksy on Flipboard in 2012. In 2014, it helped him conquer the world.

Personally, I am astonished that Filho's nose ring didn't get in the way, as he typed with controlled abandon. Surely just one distracting swing of your ring and you could become a texting has-been.

He, however, would like it to be known that he isn't some dreary recalcitrant teen spending all day on a phone. "I don't know if you guys would be interested in knowing this, but I'm currently studying physics in UFSC (a college south of Brazil)," he said in a statement.

Which leaves on only with this thought: what if Einstein had owned a cell phone?

 

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