Thursday, November 18, 2010

Auto-correct and predictive text adventures

Jeremy stayed home from church with sick Magdalena a few Fridays ago while I went with Miriam. I periodically checked my phone for messages during the service just because Magdalena had been running a high fever and I wanted to make sure Jeremy hadn't texted me about her taking a turn for the worse. Or there was the possibility that he couldn't find the Tylenol, or couldn't remember the dosage (these foreign bottles of acetaminophen don't always put the dosage right on the label), or didn't know when her last dose had been administered, etc. I was on edge during almost all of church hoping not to hear from him via text message because no news was good news.

About five minutes before the end of church, however, I received a text message from Jeremy, the entirety of which I reproduce here:


That's it. "Weevil." I was stunned and absolutely clueless. What did this message mean??? What had gone so wrong that the only thing he had time to type was a nonsensical "weevil"?? My mind raced as I tried to glean some meaning from that mystery word. I thought back to all our inside jokes and recent random things our kids had said but came up empty. Then I looked at my keypad and tried to figure out if a predictive text FAIL had a hand in the miscommunication, until I remembered that he was using a qwerty keyboard.

Finally I texted him back a frantic "what's going on? be home soon" kind of message and got going as soon as I could.

Turns out, "weevil" was supposed to be "weenik" which is Arabic for "where are you?" Jeremy had lost track of when church was supposed to end and thought we should have been home by then. Then his phone autocorrected "weenik" to "weevil." I never would have figured that chain of error out on my own. Never.

Predictive text has its hand in SMS errors, too. The other day I texted Jeremy that I was "ringssing at cappedous." That's supposed to be "shopping at Carrefour," but "ringssing at cappedous" is what it ends up being when you are pushing a full cart with one hand and trying to text AND keep your kid from jumping out of the cart with the other hand.

And it turns out there is an entire website dedicated to iPhone autocorrect errors. Unfortunately a lot of the autocorrects are moderately inappropriate so the site is not as safely hilarious as maybe it could be. But here are a few gems.

What funny autocorrects or predictive text adventures have you had?


Liz Johnson said...

Whenever I text "Ian," my phone corrects it to "Ham." I accidentally named my kid after pork.

Amber said...

I think I must not be cool enough to have a device that has autocorrect on it. However, this post and the accompanying examples had me laughing to tears! That is an excellent way to start the day!

Natchel said...

I was texting my friend if he was going to be home for Christmas but it sent to him, Are you going to be good for Christmas? He sent back "... um I was going to try to be... I'm not sure!" I was so confused! "Why don't you know?" "I don't really think I can control that!" This went back and forth for a few minutes until I checked the text I sent and saw "good". We had a "home" laugh about it. :)

Craig said...

How hilarious! And more so since I can relate due to my autocorrect adventures and frustrations.

There is one "autocorrect" my own fingers are guilty of, though. I too often type "bridget" when I mean "bridge".

And it is especially difficult in the technical world with so many acronyms that get "corrected" to words as you type.

Matthew said...

Silly Jeremy, everyone knows that the right way to spell that word is:



What would autocorrect do with that I wonder?

Or, is that the Lebanese-influenced Arabic spelling?

Katie said...

I am not cool enough to:

A.) Join in the auto correct texting banter since I don't think my junky little prepaid phone even has auto correct and, if it did, I wouldn't know how to use it.

B.) Make witty jokes about how to spell things in Arabic.

But your post was funny. :)

Alli E. said...

Finally someone who understands! For some reason my phone autocorrected and i called Justin Death! it is so frustrating!!

Kathy Haynie said...

I've had a long and demanding day. Thanks for a delightful chuckle this evening.


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