Correcting Autocorrect

In 1969 we landed on the moon. We, humans, landed on the moon. We figured out how to put people in a metal container, sitting on top of something not unlike a bomb, and detonate it out of Earth’s gravitational pull toward our favorite satellite. We figured out how to get their footprints on said satellite’s surface and crash them safely back into the ocean all one piece.

We created the remote control, the microwave oven, the computer, the internet, GPS, Justin Bieber, LED Bulbs, Culver’s Frozen Custard, smartphones—almost a complete list of wins.

We are amazing. Simply and utterly amazing.

Then tell me, why is it that when I type “either” on my phone, my palm-sized powerful and internet-connected supercomputer CHANGES IT TO “EPITHET”?!?!?!

Epithet?

I would love to go through the NSA’s records of everything I’ve ever said to see how often I have used this word in my life. My money is on zero times. I may have accidentally said it when my mouth was numb from dental surgery, and saw an elephant walking by. “OOK AH DAT EPITHET!” But I’ve never had dental surgery, or lived in Africa.

I had to google it. It means, “an adjective or descriptive phrase expressing a quality characteristic of the person or thing mentioned.” You’re right autocorrect, when talking about pizza it’s more likely I was going for that rather than “either”.
*thumbs sarcastically up*

We all have our daily battles with autocorrect. I find it difficult to believe that considering the accomplishments listed above that this is still an issue. Yes the whole, if we can put a man on the moon… thing.

 

So I offer this suggestion to the software engineers out there:

Autocorrect based on our reading level.

If I were able to go into settings and select say, a third grade reading level, then “epithet” wouldn’t even be in the ballpark. The algorithm would simply say, “Ok, he’s with the other 98% of Americans, so he’s probably not saying ‘epithet’, or ‘eponymous’, or ‘Euclidean’, he’s probably saying ‘either’”.

And you would be right autocorrect…you would be right.

The algorithm could also take into account the number of emojis a person uses. It would determine that for instance, “This girl rarely types words, I’m going to guess that she means ‘the’ rather than ‘theorem’, because let’s be honest, she’s not winning a Nobel prize any time soon.”

I think that software engineers need to understand that, most of our texts are largely about food. And that if we could communicate by just grunting like a caveman we probably would. We are not gunning for a Pulitzer here.

All I want is for autocorrect to be smart enough to know that I’m not that smart.

If we can just bear down and get this problem solved then we, as humans, can focus on much greater achievements and ultimately humanity’s technological endgame: finding a way for Chick-fil-A to stay open on Sundays.

 

 

photo credit: Conrad Unfurls Flag via photopin (license)

7 Comments

  1. Kathy said:

    Yes, but if we fix this problem we will lose all those hilarious posts jamming up our social media feeds.

    April 15
    Reply
    • Ryan Long said:

      Chick-fil-A Kathy…nothing else matters.

      April 15
      Reply
  2. Roy said:

    so Ryan…how many times have you been this week?….me, twice…life of parents with a teenager and 5 year old…school, work, activities…oh and we have to eat sometime…

    April 15
    Reply
    • Ryan Long said:

      Agreed.

      We actually haven’t been to Chick-fil-A yet this week. I know, I’m slipping. But if it was open on Sunday I could stop saying every week after church, “Hey let’s eat at Chick-fil— oh…nevermind.” *slumps shoulders and concedes to Taco Bell*

      April 15
      Reply
  3. Carol York said:

    Ha! I’m tired of it thinking I mean fire when I’m trying to write for. Apparently I’m a pyro and didn’t even know it.

    April 15
    Reply
  4. Serenity said:

    This algorithm might fix that fact that my phone turns a capital (swiped) I into “Kimi”. Because I definitely don’t use enough emoji’s to indicate that I have a friend named that.

    April 15
    Reply
    • Ryan Long said:

      It might. Another solution would be to legally change your name to “Kimi”. Then you would appear to be one of those pompous artists that refer to themselves in the third person all the time.
      They are so cool.

      April 15
      Reply

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