One of Life’s great annoyances in this advanced electronic age is the auto-correct spelling feature present in our phones. It never seems to get certain things correct, automatically or otherwise. For example, when I type way I get easy and when I type easy I get ready. When I type as, I get add, which is at least close, but when I type better I get beget. That’s kind of close letter-wise, but no one since Moses has used the word beget so I don’t know why the phone automatically includes it as a choice.
The phone seems to have problems with B words in general. When I type, “I am going to breakfast,” the phone spits out “I am going to Bhagat.” Bhagat for those of you who don’t know, and that’s all of us, derives from a Sanskrit word meaning devotee. Again, why is that even a choice? I mean, is the phone thinking, “This guy can’t be talking about bacon and eggs, so let’s automatically assume that he’s making reference to a practitioner of Hindu.”
Often, when I type a, as in, I am going to a public place, I get s or z. What makes the phone think that? There’s only one other single-letter word in the entire English language, so if I hit only one button the phone should give me a or I, not s or z. Someone at Acme Auto Correct should have noticed that an s appeared when he typed a and yelled, “Hey, we need to adjust our programming. Get me the vice-president in charge of vowels!”
Sometimes the phone cops an attitude with me. I might type Chihuahua and it will put down circus, so now the person to whom I am texting thinks that there’s a lost circus in our neighborhood. When I go back and carefully type each letter of Chihuahua correctly, it still puts down circus. Then I realize that I haven’t hit the little check box to tell the phone that yes, this is really the word I meant. It stares at me in a condescendingly blank way and I know it’s thinking that I don’t know what I’m talking about until reluctantly, it spits out Chihuahua. It’s not a Smart Phone, it’s a Smarmy Phone.
Once I texted the phrase final shot, but the phone got all sophomoric on me and changed the vowel in shot. You would think it would auto-correct that, but no, the phone just giggled instead.
Let’s face it, our phones only half listen to us, anyway. I just randomly ran my fingers over the text keyboard and out came Both she only age Muncie. I wasn’t even typing any words, but it repeated what it thought I said. It must have been watching a ballgame on its little internal screen and was only half-listening.
Now, granted, I could hit the microphone icon and speak into the texting app, which would then translate my words into print and send them along, but this I refuse to do on principle. That’s just a phone conversation with a middle man. Many of you remember those decidedly immobile, five pound, rotary-faced, telephones that didn’t do much except connect you directly to another person. Looking back, I’m grateful for one thing in particular that those old phones didn’t do: Raise my blood pressure.