Is autocorrect out to get me?
I’ve always been a terrible speller.
In school teachers used to warn me if I wasn’t careful that fault would get me into trouble.
I didn’t believe them.
Now I do.
As a child spelling lessons seemed pointless.
“Why do I need to memorize the spellings of words when I have a dictionary?” I used to ask.
Then along came spell-check and I gave up any effort at spelling things correctly.
“Spell-check always has my back,” I’d tell people.
Now we have the iPhone and autocorrect.
At first I thought it was fantastic.
But combine my poor spelling with the iPhone touchscreen keypad and my iPhone began autocorrecting to things I didn’t want to say.
‘Ahhh’ (in positive recognition of something) became ‘Shhh,’ in a text message to my sister.
‘Jog’ became ‘job,’ in an instant message to my workout partner.
It’s clearly not just me.
“Autocorrect keeps changing ‘freebies’ to ‘Frisbees’ – it’s frustrating,” said KOMONews.com digital media producer Vienna Catalani just yesterday.
You can see the humor, I certainly did (and so do the folks at this fantastic blog).
My good humor changed however after replying to an email from my boss’s boss’s boss.
One handed I tried to type, ‘excitement!’
It was to be a single word response expressing well, excitement over the idea being proposed.
Misspelled ‘Exctement!’ became ‘Excrement!’ and I hit send.
It was only as that email slid down my iPhone screen as it sent did I see that word.
In that split second my future employment security flashed before my eyes.
“I am so fired,” I thought.
But as I hurriedly scrambled to send a follow-up apology email I saw a beacon of hope.
My iPhone service indicator suddenly said ‘searching’ and my Wi-Fi bars were empty.
Faster than I can explain I thumbed into my email outbox and sure enough there it was, that single word email just sitting there unsent.
Still holding my breath I hit the delete and watched as that email disappeared into space.
For the first time in my life I thanked the gods of spotty mobile phone coverage that I was without.
So after all of that you’d think I might have learned my lesson. You’d think I’d be more careful relying on spell-check and autocorrect.
You’d think that.
But you’d be wrong.
In commenting on a friend’s Facebook post the other day I thought I’d typed ‘WAZZU.’
What appeared, unchecked by me and posted on his wall?
“I always call it ‘sassy’ instead of calling it W-S-U.”