Let’s talk about autocorrect, the modern marvel of technology. Or is it?
I’m old enough to remember writing research or English papers on an electric (not manual – I’m not that old) typewriter, where I had to…gasp…use white out to correct my errors. We didn’t have those very helpful red or green squiggly lines under the text to tell us that we spelled something incorrectly or used the wrong sentence structure. Oh, I saw red marks all right, but they tended to show up in the margins from my teachers and professors.
I suppose you might assume that autocorrect is a welcome technological advance, but you’d be wrong. For me, personally, it is a big fat pain in the rear.
My darn iPad, iPhone, iWatch and laptop (yes I have all four gardgets) often believe in their infinite artificial intelligence wisdom, they know exactly what I want to say. The little buggers will either suggest a completed word, or autocorrect what I’ve written. It’s the computer version of my editor.
When my manuscripts contain helpful suggestions, I’m free to accept to reject them. Sometimes I talk to myself when editing, and the conversation will take one of two tracks. Either I say to myself, “Oh I like that better,” or, “No, no, no, that is NOT what I meant and I definitely don’t think my character would say THAT – way too stuffy.” Sometimes editors will simply correct the grammar, because they need to. Commas and their correct placement is not my thing! However, no matter whether the editor simply corrects the manuscript or offers helpful suggestions, I still get to accept or reject those changes.
When I send text messages or private messages, I’m usually in a hurry and don’t pay a lot of attention until after I’ve hit send. Sometimes I wish the computer would talk to me and say, “I think you really meant to say, pubic, I’ll just change it, is that okay?” If it did that I could catch the message before it goes out, and change it back to “public” before the embarrassing response.
Honestly, like my editor, I don’t mind at all when they suggest a word, but when my darned phone just changes the word, it irritates me. Fortunately, I’ve found the edit option in Facebook posts and with my WordPress blogs. I use it far too often because I am always in a hurry. However, when the sneaky little technology autocorrects my words in a text or private message, I can’t call it back to correct it. So…I’m left with the only option available to me, a follow up text or two or three in an attempt to explain myself. My wish is that when I send a text to my wife asking her to go to the post office, the stupid autocorrect doesn’t change it to…pussy office (yes that has happened to me).
This whole autocorrect feature got me to thinking. What if a person could autocorrect their life. Oops, no, I didn’t mean to sleep with you….autocorrect. Yikes, I wasn’t thinking clearly when I asked you to move in with me after two dates…autocorrect. Really? We’ve been together for the last eight years and now you say you’ve found your soul mate and it isn’t me…autocorrect. Sure, I’ll have another lemon drop…definitely autocorrect.
It’s tempting to have all your mistakes autocorrected…but after all is said and done autocorrecting our life doesn’t allow us to make mistakes, learn from them, and ultimately evolve into better, wiser, human beings. The richness of life with all its ups and downs cannot be autocorrected, similar to the text that is autocorrected, it might just muck up our lives even more than the original path.
Just for grins, one of these days, I’m going to just leave the autocorrect alone and not send that clarifying text. It might be fun to see how the person tries to figure out what the hell I was trying to say. That ought to make those conversations a bit more interesting. Let’s all try that for a month and then post our findings on Facebook….it could be hilarious.
If you want to check out my books that have not been autocorrected, but definitely edited…you know the drill, click the links below. Pissed be with you….oops, I meant peace be with you!