Monday, January 17, 2011

Is your smart phone making you seem stupid?

Posted By on Mon, Jan 17, 2011 at 12:12 PM

New York Times Magazine has an article this week titled, "Auto (in)correct." I can relate and, if you have a smart phone, I bet you can, too. Fortunately, people seem to understand that typos happen ... especially when your hand-held computer thinks it's smarter than you are. Also fortunate: I've found that, over time, some of these smart phones can be trained. For instance, many of my favorite cuss words are no longer auto corrected — though I fear "hell" will always end up as "he'll." Damn it.

Here's a snippet from the piece:

Pity poor Hannah, who received a startling text message on her cellphone, sent from her father: “Your mom and I are going to divorce next month.”

After Hannah registered her alarm, her father quickly texted back: “I wrote ‘Disney,’ and this phone changed it. We are going to Disney.”

Welcome to the world of smartphone autocorrection, where incautious typing can lead to hilarious and sometimes shocking results. With the rapid success of Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android phones, more and more people are discovering the pitfalls of tapping on a virtual keyboard. Just as the spell-check feature in a word-processing program tries to save you from your own sloppy typing, either by politely suggesting alternatives or by automatically replacing egregious errors, the latest mobile devices are supposed to take care of your typos — but often fail with comic results.

Read the rest of this article, by Ben Zimmer, here.

Truth Rage says the words auto correct's suggestions often don't make sense:

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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