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September 06, 2006



Yeah.. I tried that, but I kept getting emails from ICE, texts from ICE, phone calls from ICE..

Jacques Zammit

What's wrong with the good old storage names like MUM, DAD, BRO, etc?


Srl, oh how funny, I've just realised the reason why my Dad's name never shows up when he phones me - my phone is confused about whether to show "Dad" or "ICE", because I've got him stored under both.

Jacques, I imagine it would be especially helpful then for orphans with no siblings...


Funny that you have to mention this, Jacques, being one of the proponents of multi-cultural cities.

What happens if someone who speaks Swahili (or some other widely-unknown language) but doesn't know a word in English, albeit living in London, is involved in an emergency? (This is a very common occurrence, as you can find out for yourself over at Tom Reynolds' blog, where I originally read about this ICE thing.)

You can force the ambulance crew to carry around a list of all nouns of siblings ("mum", "mother", "mummy", "dad", "daddy", "father", "pa" and so on) in 60 languages. I'd rather have them rush me to hospital rather than waste a good 5 mins looking at a translation chart.

You can force every citizen to adopt the nouns "Mum", "Dad", "Bro" etc in the nation's official language. Bad luck if you're a frequent traveller because you have to change your entries' names quite frequently (good luck if you're visiting China), not to mention the hassle for older citizens who will find the whole thing uncomfortable.

Or else you could resort to a universal "ICE" which everyone will understand.

Better support from mobile manufacturers to standardise this would be ideal though, for the problem mentioned by Srl. Given that certain emergency procedures are already in use (such as allowing you to enter 999 or other emergency numbers even when the phone's keypad is locked), I would expect this to catch on rather soon.

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