Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Damn That Autocorrect!

Nearly everyone in my family uses an iPhone. So when I gathered with family at Christmas, we all were being nerds, checking our iPhones for text messages, e-mails, playing games, etc.

Well, I wasn’t playing games, but I am guilty of incessantly checking for e-mails and reading stories from various newspaper websites when I should be paying attention to an actual human being sitting across the table. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to soften my addiction to the digital information overload.

Anyway, over brunch at Kerby Lane on the outskirts of Cedar Park recently, all four of us were playing with our iPhones, which is when the younger folks told me about a couple of websites devoted to the goofy — and often profane — messages that result from not paying attention to the iPhone’s autocorrect feature when text-messaging. As always, I thought, “Dang, wish I had thought of that.” Story of my life.

I know there are some folks out there reading this who don’t text message. Good for you, seriously. The reality is that for people under, say, 35, this is preferred to actually talking on a phone or e-mailing. I have learned that I am far more likely to get a response from one of my adult daughers if I TM them. If I leave a voice mail or e-mail, it could be days before they respond.

For those who barely know what an iPhone is, yet alone own one, it is a mini-computer/phone that allows you to do lots of cool stuff. This is no endorsement of Apple’s products. That will require a cash payment that is to date not forthcoming. I’m not holding my breath. Here’s the deal. When you type a text message on an iPhone, it suggests words when the software thinks you have misspelled something. If you are typing quickly, the suggestion takes the place of what you have typed, and you quickly could have sent a message that contains words and phrases utterly unintended.

This is not a problem for geezers like me, who attempt to ensure whatever we write is as grammatically correct as possible. I self-edit everything, even TMs. Not to say I don’t mess up, but it’s not from a lack of effort. Turns out, lots of folks who TM on an iPhone don’t bother to see what autocorrect has done to their messages before they hit the “send” tab. The results are hilarious.

Parental Discretion Note: These sites contain scads of adult language, either because of the inadvertent conversions by autocorrect, or the irritated reactions from the message senders. I had to work at finding family friendly messages to post below. Way I figure, life is funny and at times a bit profane, though I draw the line as usual at putting anything in print that my mom would find offensive. Or your mom, for that matter. But here are several samples of some funny auto-correctiveness:

Are you feeling OK?
No just feel sick to my stomach today.
Take some ammonium

Lol. Damn autocorrect. You prob think I’m trying to poison you.
I was gonna say I’m not drinking windex

• Only time will tell if we incested wisely.
I mean invested oooops lol
Haha what a typo gonna face book that

• I’m getting my loin charged.
Loon charge

• Grandpa bought me a corndog from the devil.
From the devil?
Wow…deli haha

• Can you come over tonight?
I can’t. I have to feed my hostages.
*grandparents. Jeez

Wow, sorry I asked. Haha
You can come eat if you want. I’m cooking ham. Promise I won’t take you hostage

• Momma, I have baked pot if you haven’t eaten.

I just wanted to say: I love you.
Oh, babe. I love you too. So much.
If I could, I’d buy you a casket.
Gah! A castle! Damn auto correct. Way to ruin a moment.
I definitely do not want you in a casket.

• Are you on your way?
Yep! I’ll be home in about 15 mins with the LSD!
Aaaah! Kids! Not LSD!

That would have made for an interesting night, babe.

As Art Linkletter used to say, “Kids say the darndest things.” Especially if they’re TMing.

Originally published in the Hill Country News (Cedar Park, Texas), December 30, 2010.


  1. this.

    My mil is on of those of the "older" generation that wears her anti-technology use like a badge of honor. She does not even use a calculator. It is really sad, because I think she could have better communication with her grands if she would bridge the gap, but I have the distinct feeling her TM's would just add fodder for your column!

  2. Funny, Gary. (I always wondered what my phone was doing when it suddenly seemed to take charge of my texting!)