Friday, December 4, 2015

Autocorrect Is Smarter Than You Think

You've probably seen the collections of text-messages-gone-wrong floating around your favorite social media sites. They draw me in every time. I have been known to literally laugh out loud while reading some of them. It's actually gotten to the point that if I'm looking at my phone and laughing hysterically, my wife will just ask, "Text message mishaps?" Yep. Got me again. My favorite "seasonal" text-gone-wrong is this one:
Guy: "I'm outside defecating and it's getting all tangled up. Could you give me a hand?"
Gal: "Ewww. Gross. No way!!"
Guy: "Decorating! I'm outside decorating. I'm hanging the Christmas lights and they're getting tangled...."

This made me think about the times autocorrect has really bugged me. (Side note: According to my Google search, "autocorrect" is one word, but Wordpress keeps telling me I'm spelling it wrong.) Ok. Back to MY problems with autocorrect...because that's what you really want to hear.

My biggest problem is the word "girls." I use it all the time and it's NEVER right. Being the sole man in a household of four, everything about my family involves me and "my girls." Whether I'm referring to just my daughters or my wife and daughters, I typically say "my girls." Well, my super smart smart phone is constantly giving me not so subtle options to use other than "girls." Here is the "progress" I've made so far with the word "girls" while texting:

The definition, according to the Oxford online dictionary, describes a Gurkha as "a
 member of any of several peoples of Nepal noted for their military prowess." An extended Google search will show you pages upon pages describing their fierce fighting style and even a few pictures of their traditional 18" long fighting knife called a kukri.

Although I don't intend to refer to my girls as my little Gurkhas, it's really not that far off. If you don't believe me, stop by our house some evening around bedtime when my two little Gurkhas are over-tired and downright cranky. Every toy they pick up suddenly looks like an 18" fighting weapon....and believe me, they know how to wield it.

I finally got sick of manually typing in "girls" every time I texted my wife to see how they were doing, so I followed the excruciatingly difficult process of removing the word "Gurkha" from my phone's dictionary. (Tech tip: When you type a word and it gives you a bad spelling, tap and hold the incorrect word for a second and it will pop up a message to remove that word from the learned dictionary. Not sure how it "learned" the word in the first place since I don't recall ever wanting to spell the word Gurkha prior to this post.)

Perfect. Everything's fine now, right? Nope. Autocorrect just found another incorrect word to use. I would be upset, but the new word is still fitting.

The definition according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary  is (abbreviated) a "teacher or guide" or "a person who has a lot of experience in or knowledge about a particular subject."

My girls fit that to a tee. They're always trying to teach me what they learned in school each day. They certainly talk like they have a lot of experience and knowledge in any topic that may come up. In fact, they often challenge the minute details of everyday occurrences regardless of the facts and/or who witnessed them firsthand.

Truth be told though, I really think I learn more from them on any given day than they do from me. If you took a little time to read through some of my older posts, you would find that I have often related lessons learned from them to the "real world" in regards to customer service and general employee management. I still haven't decided if that means my girls are really smart or if your average employee acts like a kid.

I have since removed "guru" from my phone's learned dictionary as well. I guess I will have to find a different word to describe myself in text messages going forward. For the most part, I have actually had my phone write "girls" when I swipe the word "girls." I have noticed a couple of times recently that it autocorrected it to "forks," but I can totally explain that away as well. I just don't have enough time right now to explain just how much my girls and I enjoy food....and there are often forks involved. Until next time....