The Art of Text vs. the Game of Autocorrect
One of the major means of communication we use is text. With texting, we type or swipe quickly to keep up with our thoughts, which happens faster than our motor coordination can carry out.
I often find I leave out articles such as ‘the.’ I’m so focused on the meat of the sandwich that after I take a bite, a curse word slips out about missing the lettuce. Though it’s annoying not to have lettuce on my sandwich, it’s even worse to see autocorrect decide to play a prank and change my hamburger into a veggie burger or a piece of tofu. I look back at my sent text, and I sigh as I roll my eyes. Every once in a while I find myself saying, “What the heck was I trying to say?”
Autocorrect turns my text into a crossover game of mad libs and charades. So let’s start with the fact it’s a verb. With the surrounding words, it looks like it should say ____. It contains some of the same letters as the word ____. Right now it’s three syllables. Ok, the word is ____ and that’s my final answer. Is that what you meant to text? As much fun as games are, the purpose of communication is to convey a message. The other party receives the message and hopefully understands it. When you add autocorrect into the mix with its powerful word modification tool, it may end up doing more harm than good.
Why does spellcheck work so well yet autocorrect maims my messages? I specifically hit individual letter slowly to make sure I spell out the difficult words exactly as they should be, and autocorrect simple says “denied.” It continues, “If you would like to override my correction, tap this small button over here. I will do what I want next time you type this word too. It is a one-time override.”
Usually, it doesn’t cause more than just an annoyance. It interrupts the flow of a conversation. It may leave the other party in a state of confusion, but it’s soon remedied with a few follow-up texts. I find myself amazed that this is the best there is when I know it can be better.
It seems we’ll have to enjoy the game for now until autocorrect improves.