“Want Me to Bring Some Homemade Humans to Your Party?” … “Huh?” … “I mean HUMMUS.” (Damn You, Autocorrect!)

“Your mom and I are going to divorce next month.” Her father had meant to type “Disney” and quickly corrected his mistake. But poor Hannah was shaken. Another victim of autocorrect.

In a recent New York Times article, Ben Zimmer writes about the often humorous (embarrassing, socially devastating) results of autocorrect.

Wondering how autocorrect works? Or, in many cases, doesn’t work? Zimmer explains:

iPhones, Android phones and other smartphones learn from the patterns of individual users so that suggested replacements are tailored to the history of a given phone, with a focus on recent and frequently used words. Since every phone develops a unique textual footprint, automatic corrections can vary from one device to another.

So let’s play this out: Spend a lot of timing texting with other moms about the ongoing challenges of potty training your toddler? Watch out when you send a sympathetic text to your flu-addled friend. Autoc0rrect might just think you want to ask her about her feces, not her fever.

You can find more examples of autocorrect’s stunning incorrectness on a new website, Damn You Auto Correct! Not surprisingly, the site has become hugely popular.

What’s happening here? Seems like in engineering these phones to be so smart, we’ve actually engineered a bunch of devices with the social intelligence of, well, a potty-training two-year-old.

What to do? If you’re a victim of fat fingers — or simply a victim of your own phat need for speed — do a little human-correct before you hit SEND. That way, you’ll be sure you’re inviting your new boyfriend’s parents to “boardgame” night, not “bisexual” night.

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2 replies
  1. chris says:

    Divorce is never easy to make. It is something that both parties have to decide. Hiring lawyers will just help you with the legalities of the process.

  2. Kara Parlin says:

    I was sending a work email from my iPad. I meant to type “anything” but it auto corrected to Lancome. Needless to say, I had a lot of questions about what the heck I was talking about. 

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