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I'll be there in 5 minstrels
November 7, 2010 5:33 PM   Subscribe


 
I have had coworkers drop off poofarts at my desk; it's one of life's little indignities.
posted by Countess Elena at 5:36 PM on November 7, 2010 [13 favorites]


Weave me a cone, you cupid bat.
posted by jamaro at 5:37 PM on November 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


I totality gnaw whit your toking abort.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:37 PM on November 7, 2010


One of my coworkers' names autocorrects to "Stud Firestorm"--the awesomest, action-heroiest name ever. (We actually had action figures made!)
posted by rodeoclown at 5:38 PM on November 7, 2010 [53 favorites]


Reminds me of KissThisGuy.com
posted by zarq at 5:42 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


We frequently eat at a neighborhood restaurant called The Glenwood. Recently my iPhone changed 'Glenwood' to 'Toenails'.
posted by neuron at 5:47 PM on November 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


Loving it.

McDonalds gets autocorrected into the Norwegian word for "Nauseating", which is a happy coincidence.
posted by flippant at 5:48 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I love grackles!! I mean this!
posted by Solon and Thanks at 5:51 PM on November 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


That was funny, thanks. Laughed out loud.
posted by chococat at 5:51 PM on November 7, 2010


At an old job we had a client in Japan named Mr. Hotaka. I was writing him a letter and Word tried to make it "Mr. Hotcakes." Amused, I printed out a screen capture showing this suggestion to share around the office. I left it at one person's desk and she freaked out, thinking that she had somehow sent him a letter calling him Mr. Hotcakes.
posted by exogenous at 5:52 PM on November 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


Why would it even have "poofarts" in the autocorrect database?
posted by griphus at 5:53 PM on November 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


Terbium
posted by leotrotsky at 5:53 PM on November 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Hilarious! Finally, a reason for texting to exist.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:54 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Liquid terbium, for that quick energy boost at 3:30pm!
posted by mostlybecky at 5:54 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why would it even have "poofarts" in the autocorrect database?

It seems to assume that your hand is one key position over from where it should be and substitutes a wordlike entity for something it doesn't recognize as word-ish.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:57 PM on November 7, 2010


Why would it even have "poofarts" in the autocorrect database?

The database learns from the user's typing. Something to think about before you submit to that site.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 5:58 PM on November 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Oh, god I'm LOSING IT over here. So much for getting anything done tonight...
posted by Space Kitty at 5:58 PM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yep, I nailed the teacher.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:01 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Why would it even have "poofarts" in the autocorrect database?

It may be the case that it had been used in the past. On my iPhone, where I've never typed it before, iOS identifies it as an unknown (potentiall misspelled) word with red squiggly lines underneath.
posted by Mikey-San at 6:01 PM on November 7, 2010


For the record, I am enjoying that in the phrase "potentially misspelled" above, I fucked up "potentially".
posted by Mikey-San at 6:03 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


(We actually had action figures made!)

Dude. Pics.
posted by adamdschneider at 6:03 PM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Were I a naive man, I would suggest that "poofarts" is an oxymoron.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:11 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I will never be able to look at a wicker hat with a straight face again.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:12 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised that so many people who can't figure out how to turn off autocorrect are able to figure out how to take screenshots.
posted by emilyd22222 at 6:13 PM on November 7, 2010 [18 favorites]


"Just got off work lets bang under the stars"
posted by MegoSteve at 6:14 PM on November 7, 2010


I finally figured out that it learned from what I typed. At first I tought apple was full of crazy sick perverts.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:16 PM on November 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


Another mystery. How did I get tought from thought, I blame steve jobs Not my giant fingers which are totally unsuited for an iPad
posted by Ad hominem at 6:18 PM on November 7, 2010


I am helpless with laughter at the original site and the comments.
posted by SaharaRose at 6:21 PM on November 7, 2010


It says how to take a screenshot on the "Submit an Image" page.
posted by antgly at 6:22 PM on November 7, 2010


At first I thought "poofarts" was only a little funny and then each time I saw it I laughed a bit harder and now I can barely type this because I am almost falling off my chair laughing just thinking the word "poofarts". If I don't get anything done tomorrow, this is why.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:28 PM on November 7, 2010 [9 favorites]


I can not stop laughing. And I AM A SERIOUS PERSON!!1!! Family bout ready to toss me out on the street thanks so much. Fucking grackles.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 6:30 PM on November 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


I got an iPhone about a week ago. Am now experiencing a mixture of buyer's remorse, dread, and anticipatory delight.

NOT posted from my iPhone.
posted by maudlin at 6:32 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


I. love. this.

A while back, FriendA was supposed to bake a pumpkin pie as his contribution to Thanksgiving dinner at FriendB's parents' house. Trying to be considerate, FriendA texted "should i bring my own pie plate?" FriendB received "should i bring my own she slave?"
posted by hippugeek at 6:41 PM on November 7, 2010 [23 favorites]


Please don't tell me that the word 'qwerty' is transforming into a synonym for autocorrect malfunctions.
posted by Anything at 6:46 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Autocorrect does learn from a database of entered words, but it also has a database of pure crap. On my phone, I frequently enter a word perfectly fine, and it comes up with garbage. Gtywefc. I mean seriously, I never typed Gtywefc once, ever. About a fifth of the four letter and larger words I enter turn to crap.

People who know me have gotten used to me sending them unintelligible messages, and actually know what I mean now. My kids have now been renamed Fairy and Sulky, and I don't bother correcting the damn phone any more.
posted by Xoebe at 6:47 PM on November 7, 2010 [28 favorites]


I posted one night to facebook about my daughter throwing up on our new carpet. I must have fat-fingered the iPad keyboard because I didn't notice it changed carpet to carrot until it was too late. I still get comments IRL from people about my shiny new carrot.
posted by tracicle at 6:52 PM on November 7, 2010


Xoebe: when I read "gtywefc" I figure that it's some massively elaborated version of "wtf". (except how did the T and W get in the wrong order?)
posted by madcaptenor at 6:55 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, I confess I made that one up, as an example. I actually went to my phone and started a text message trying to mine for garbage, but everything was coming up fine, so I threw my hands up and made up some sample garbage.

Wait...I just got a txt now, and I was responding "roflmao" and it came up with "sodomad".

Seriously. "sodomad". Really where in the world did that come from? I know I hit a wrong key, but sodomad? Is that in a dictionary somewhere?
posted by Xoebe at 7:02 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hysterical, great stuff. "A box of slavery with your name on it" had me laughing for a solid 2 minutes.
posted by jamesonandwater at 7:02 PM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I have taken to swearing using the word duck because that's how my phone autocorrects a common swear. There are many days my texts are full of references to the female parents of aquatic birds.
posted by winna at 7:03 PM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


I get hit by this all the time. Anyway, recently I decided to send a letter to J. D. Salinger's PO Box. I addressed the letter to "Boxholder" and sent this:
Maybe no one will get this letter. Maybe PO Box 32 is on the National Register of Historic Places and all mail sent to it just bounces. For some reason that would make me a little sad. So I am hoping you'll reply. Don't worry, I'm not looking for a penal, but you can ask me anything.
I wanted "penpal," but apparently if you make that one word Text Edit corrects that to "penal." At least it wasn't "penile."
posted by cjorgensen at 7:06 PM on November 7, 2010


On one of those screenshots, the autocorrect wants to change Muahahaha to Mustaches.

Coincidence? I think not.
posted by JaredSeth at 7:10 PM on November 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


"can you arrange for a whorehouse tour for my friend? - whitehouse"

joe?
posted by pyramid termite at 7:10 PM on November 7, 2010 [5 favorites]


Oh man. I went through the whole thing and kept giggling.

That said, how do you take an iphone screenshot?
posted by kavasa at 7:13 PM on November 7, 2010


Top button and home button at the same time, you'll see a flash like a picture was taken and hear it if the audio is on.
posted by cavalier at 7:17 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also part of their site network (on the toolbar at the top of the site): Bad Gifts

Just as funny in my opinion as the Autocorrect site.
posted by antgly at 7:18 PM on November 7, 2010


That was far more entertaining than I thought it would be. Thanks, hermitosis.
posted by vertigo25 at 7:42 PM on November 7, 2010


Wait...I just got a txt now, and I was responding "roflmao" and it came up with "sodomad".

Seriously. "sodomad".


That's actually a technical term used to describe those who are addicted to sodomy.
posted by mannequito at 7:48 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also part of their site network (on the toolbar at the top of the site): Bad Gifts

I love the World's Ugliest Jug.
It really is damn ugly.
posted by mannequito at 7:51 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


One of the funniest web sites I've ever seen!
posted by birdhaus at 7:56 PM on November 7, 2010


Oh my God, I hardly ever laugh out loud at stuff I read online, but this one has me laughing so hard I'm starting to cough. Absolutely priceless!
posted by Michael Roberts at 8:09 PM on November 7, 2010


My husband was out of town on a business trip when I texted him a quick "Miss you, hon."

My phone rang a second later--My husband: "Who the hell is Jon??"
posted by applemeat at 8:18 PM on November 7, 2010 [43 favorites]


Was shocked to see a link on the MeFi page with the Already-Visited hyper link color as I typically watch the blue from afar. Found the site on Gizmodo earlier, totally awesome site. Can't tell you how many ducking times I've told people to go to he'll.

Needless to say, for iPhone folks there is a way to add words into your autocorrect but you gotta add Japanese keyboard first. Strange how that is.

http://iphonehelp.in/2010/06/23/how-to-add-words-to-iphone-ios4-dictionary/
posted by liquoredonlife at 8:22 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


A few months ago, I was riding the train home after a night out with friends. This was one of those all-too-frequent weekends where Metro was doing a bunch of late-night track maintenance, and a friend of mine evidently got caught up in some of these track-work delays after we left the bar. Which is totally annoying, so naturally he texted me to vent his frustration. What he meant to send: "Fuck the Metro". What his iPhone decided he meant: "Fuck the negro". So yeah, more confirmation that the iPhone is totally racist.
posted by av123 at 8:23 PM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


The Cupertino Effect
posted by The Whelk at 8:33 PM on November 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


Does the iPhone keyboard not have a backspace key or something?
posted by Eideteker at 8:43 PM on November 7, 2010


Oh my god. I laughed until I had tears rolling down my face. Oh man, that was some kind of much needed release or something. I'm glad I'm not the only one helpless before the power of this website. Thanks so much for posting!
posted by hippybear at 8:44 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


So can't you see these before you send them?
posted by octothorpe at 8:47 PM on November 7, 2010


If you are me and you type faster then you think then no you don't see them before you send them cause your brain substitutes the word you meant to type or left out cause your brain tends to go a mile a LOOK A CAR!
posted by The Whelk at 8:49 PM on November 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


Reminds me of the old Newton handwriting-recognition joke:

Q: How many Apple Newtons does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Foux. There to eat lemons, axe gravy soup.
posted by rifflesby at 8:52 PM on November 7, 2010 [19 favorites]


These are great. A friend of mine was planning a party recently and intended to say "Great! I'll bring the hotdogs!" but she actually sent "Great! I'll bring the condoms!"

Awkward.
posted by brundlefly at 8:52 PM on November 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Awkward.

No... Awesome.
posted by WalterMitty at 9:16 PM on November 7, 2010 [6 favorites]


Autocorrect on the email TO box is the biggest killer.

Although the times I've accidentally sent people emails for other stupid reasons, blaming the autocorrect can be a get-out-of-jail-free card, depending on the context. That excuse has probably saved my ass more than it's caused problems.

[I once sent my work CFO an email accusing him of being a racist - that was a sticky one, heh]
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:21 PM on November 7, 2010


So can't you see these before you send them?

Well, you can, but in the case of iPhone/iPod Touch, the feedback betrays you. When you hit a letter, there's a *click* and a brief pop-up of the letter you hit right by the finger that hit it. If you're typing with any speed at all, you're not looking at the display you're typing into, you're looking at the keyboard and getting feedback there. So, you've hit every letter you expected to hit, and you hit send.

In the meantime, up in the display, the device has displayed a "corrected" word, and when you hit space, has substituted that word for your own. You THINK you're sending what you meant to type, because the feedback you were paying attention to was fully correct. But since you hit send without looking at the line in the display, you've sent the wrong thing.
posted by hippybear at 9:23 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


And on my Android phone the popups cover the message you're typing so no, you can't really see it. Genius design.
posted by fshgrl at 9:39 PM on November 7, 2010


I'm laughing tears here!
My favourites are the ones that make the texts better.
"oh haiku!"
"aye goTchaikovsky!"
posted by Omnomnom at 9:53 PM on November 7, 2010


Ha! Just tonight I had "hipster" autocorrect to "Hoosier". I did take a screenshot, now I know where to send it.
posted by bwanabetty at 9:55 PM on November 7, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's kind of shocking to see the amount of Parent-generated telegram shorthand, the 2 and U and Rs. Like the txtlingo is supposed to be a Young Person thing but I see it way more often in older people using txting devices.
posted by The Whelk at 9:59 PM on November 7, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also interesting, everyone says "Oh crap, Autocorrect" and the other person commiserates. Clearly it's a big shared experience.
posted by The Whelk at 10:00 PM on November 7, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is just the absolute best.
posted by redspraypaint at 10:18 PM on November 7, 2010


I am laughing far more than is reasonable right now. What the he'll?
posted by doublehappy at 10:47 PM on November 7, 2010


I can't stop giggling. This is ridiculous.
posted by davejay at 11:04 PM on November 7, 2010


So can't you see these before you send them?

That this was posted on MetaFilter, home of the endless string of can-we-please-have-comment-editing pony requests, I find this hilarious.
posted by davejay at 11:12 PM on November 7, 2010 [7 favorites]


Settings: General: Keyboard: Auto-Correction: Off.

You're welcome.
posted by msalt at 11:45 PM on November 7, 2010 [4 favorites]


Well there is always the wonderful time I have typing at my Croatian and Bisnisn FB friends! As far as English goes, I get 'duck' for 'fuck' very often. Not always! Autocorrect on older iPhones is a very inconsistant little nanny! Oh love this post, haven't laughed this hard since the kids and I played Mad Libs and then spent a snowy Sunday reading 'Anguished English' if I fall out of my bed laughing it is your fault!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:16 AM on November 8, 2010


eyes and nose streaming. can't read through hilarity tears.

re: The Whelk's Cupertino link — wow, that's explains so much. I've encountered this puzzling word a lot, and could never figure out what it's referring to.
posted by taz at 12:23 AM on November 8, 2010


Why would it even have "poofarts" in the autocorrect database?

The database learns from the user's typing.

No, autocorrect isn't responsible for 'poofarts'. Many of the entries are simply typing errors.
posted by dgaicun at 12:31 AM on November 8, 2010


Aah Hell! Do not consult your map I meant my Bosnian FB friends. I do have fat fingers some times!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:31 AM on November 8, 2010


Oh and give Fairy and Sulky my love!
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 12:34 AM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Agreed, I lol'd until my sides hurt. Is there a way to take words out of that sodding dictionary, though, or to insist the word "me" shouldn't be "mr" or sometimes "ms"?
posted by imperium at 2:39 AM on November 8, 2010


Yeah. I had to stop looking at those after hearing "Do you want to read something less funny until I wake up?" Interesting how dumb smart technology inadvertently creates humor.
posted by zoinks at 4:22 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Super _e_roid. Apple does not kowtow to political correctness.
posted by exogenous at 4:29 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


"can you arrange for a whorehouse tour for my friend? - whitehouse"
My first thought was... "Hm, wrong administration..."
posted by SaharaRose at 5:03 AM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Bookcase!
posted by run"monty at 5:30 AM on November 8, 2010


Foux. There to eat lemons, axe gravy soup.

I'm very sad. There's actually not much point in writing experimental poetry anymore (I say, as a published experimental poet). Any idiot with an iPhone can now crank out surrealistic gems without even trying. I'm imagining college kids assigned to read Finnegans Wake yawning and dismissing it as the product of some dumb old guy who forgot and left his spell check on.
posted by aught at 5:55 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just out of curiosity, are we allowed to say "country wicker hat" on MetaFilter?
posted by Wolfdog at 6:20 AM on November 8, 2010


If you're a writing teacher, the Cupertino effect makes life more worth living. My favorite example was when a student wrote about her cousins being turned down for a farm loan because they didn't have enough clitoral.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:23 AM on November 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


I hate it when people open my vag, I've got to say. Even squishing it is going too far if you ask me.

(I haven't had too many of these problems because I'm anal about double checking my messages as I'm typing them for spelling and correct grammar. My mom was an English teacher, ok? I CAN'T HELP IT IT'S A DISEASE.)
posted by sonika at 6:28 AM on November 8, 2010


Wait there's an asshole discount? Where do I sign up?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:39 AM on November 8, 2010


Just out of curiosity, are we allowed to say "country wicker hat" on MetaFilter?

This one made me laugh the hardest - a lot of my friends in NYC use 'cunty' as a really positive adjective - something that is fabulously fiendishly, über-feminine, wonderfully, wickedly avant garde.

So when I read that I saw a sedge hat in gold lamée with a bedazzled rim and rhinestone chin-strap with taxidermy mice dressed as Marie-Antoinette dancing around the point while carrying swiffers.
posted by Tchad at 6:42 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


What he meant to send: "Fuck the Metro". What his iPhone decided he meant: "Fuck the negro". So yeah, more confirmation that the iPhone is totally racist.

Antisemitic too, although admittedly this one isn't an autocorrect issue. The first night I had an iPhone, I responded to a Facebook comment by a friend of mine (Jewish, of course) about her coming to visit. I meant to write "come visit anytime you like!". What I actually wrote was "come visit anytime you kike!"

Ooops.
posted by rollbiz at 6:45 AM on November 8, 2010 [5 favorites]


My personal favorite of all time wasn't from my iPhone -- it was from a bad Chinese knockoff of a Nokia with a mangled T9 autocorrect dictionary. "Left jews at house. Bring jews to work please." jews = keys.
posted by nathan_teske at 6:59 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


my whole feminist theory of reproductive choice is in one iPhone typo.
posted by liza at 7:25 AM on November 8, 2010


This is brilliant. I can't count the number of times my iPhone friends have texted me about how their boss can go to ducking he'll, or the like. My new Android phone, with Swype, has its own set of challenges, but not quite the same as these.
posted by antifuse at 8:00 AM on November 8, 2010


My husband sent me a text saying "Chopin notices." I'm a bit paranoid now.
posted by bayliss at 8:04 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know what I mean.
Cogs.

Cogs.
Cogs.


That person really wants their cogs. (I'm loving the idea that they kept hitting send on the word despite it not being the "cigs" they were looking for. I understand losing to autocorrect once, but four or five times in a row? Awesome.)
posted by quin at 8:11 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm very sad. There's actually not much point in writing experimental poetry anymore (I say, as a published experimental poet). Any idiot with an iPhone can now crank out surrealistic gems without even trying. I'm imagining college kids assigned to read Finnegans Wake yawning and dismissing it as the product of some dumb old guy who forgot and left his spell check on.

Having played with computer graphics programs ruined Brothers Quay animations for me in the same way. Seeing a scene, which you initially assume to be comprised of solid, physical objects, break down and elements of it judder back and forth suspended outside of the laws of gravity looks not so much as a surrealistic challenge to one's perceptions and preconceptions as a rendering bug.
posted by acb at 8:30 AM on November 8, 2010


I have taken to swearing using the word duck because that's how my phone autocorrects a common swear. There are many days my texts are full of references to the female parents of aquatic birds.

Weren't Nokia-using teenagers, in the days before the iPhone, using the word "book" to mean "cool", because that was T9's first suggestion for that key combination?
posted by acb at 8:36 AM on November 8, 2010


we have a manager at work who is notorious for letting autocorrect get the best of her. It's not super hilarious stuff (user cases -> uses cases) just awkward and unfortunate; and in many ways reads like it was typed by an ESL student.

So now, of course, folks say that she's a EAL (English as an Autocorrected Language) student, instead.
posted by bl1nk at 8:37 AM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


The aardvark asked for an aardvark.
posted by Iridic at 8:38 AM on November 8, 2010


Turned off autocorrect on my phone pretty much on day one. After jailbreaking I installed a toggle for it in SBSettings to quickly turn it off and on, but so far I haven't found any reason to flip it back on. What's the point?
posted by Thoughtcrime at 8:54 AM on November 8, 2010


One of the early DOS-based versions of Wordperfect would flag the name "Jennifer" and suggest "guanophore" as a correction, which at the time I assumed was the result of some programmer getting dumped or rejected.
posted by straight at 9:07 AM on November 8, 2010 [7 favorites]


When my friend was coming up with a Halloween costume this year, I meant to suggest she get "a pirate's hat," but for some reason it autocorrected to "a pirate's hate." So, now whenever she's mad, someone walks the plank.
posted by aftermarketradio at 9:36 AM on November 8, 2010


With autocorrect, we are all Roman Moroni.
posted by brundlefly at 9:49 AM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is hilarious. The BF once told me he was coming home on the ramen bus.
posted by youngergirl44 at 10:05 AM on November 8, 2010


I cowrote a paper with my friend, a certain Mr. Hooker. He suggested I try Word's Autocorrect Grammar, as "you'd be surprised how good it is getting" (this was circa 1998, when my spelling was still better than Word's Autocorrect feature). The response from Word on the title page was,
Hooker
This is considered sexist by some. Would you prefer using "Prostitute"?


Mr. H had never used it with his name before, but wasn't quite as amused as I was. After all, I never once expected Microsoft to advise me to use a prostitute.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:34 AM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Egg freckles?
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 10:51 AM on November 8, 2010


This is bizarre, I was so going to start up the same site... Yes, I'm sick of the autocorrect changing every "come" to "cone" (are cones really the topic of so much textversation?). The periodic table regularly invades my texts too. Find me the iPhone user who discusses Protactinium by text!
posted by Biru at 11:18 AM on November 8, 2010


I turned off the autocorrect on my Android (an HTC Hero) because it was so awful. My friends are tired of hearing me complain about it, particularly my favorite boneheaded autocorrect: If I type a comma followed by a space, somewhere north of 50 percent of the time my phone autocorrects the comma into a period. Adding insult to injury, it continues to do this with autocorrect turned off.
posted by me3dia at 11:21 AM on November 8, 2010


The periodic table regularly invades my texts too.

I should be so lucky. I was writing that described the use of five molar (a concentration) of NaOH (sodium hydroxide). Spell check's suggestion: "Did you mean five molar NACHOS?"
posted by exogenous at 11:22 AM on November 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


I wonder if autocorrect is based out of Cupertino. (It's delightful).
posted by karminai at 11:25 AM on November 8, 2010


iPhone FTFY = fakes that floor you
posted by Kabanos at 12:48 PM on November 8, 2010


A friend of mine cannot figure out how to turn off autocorrect on her Android-y phone. Whenever I make a joke, she responds "HA!" Except autocorrect turns it into "HAGAR!" every time. Now she just yells HAGAR! when she's amused.
posted by Skot at 1:50 PM on November 8, 2010 [4 favorites]


I just discovered that it corrects "geekery" to "Hewlett". Not too sure what to make of that.
posted by norm at 1:56 PM on November 8, 2010


Metafilter: HAGAR! when she's amused.
posted by The Whelk at 2:04 PM on November 8, 2010


A friend of mine's one-time girlfriend was named Anna. For some reason, his phone always corrected "Anna" to "Taco". As in, "I love you, Taco." or "I'll always be there for you, Taco." It became her nickname pretty quickly.
posted by randomname25 at 2:08 PM on November 8, 2010 [9 favorites]


Typing out my last name often returns an autocorrect of skins. So when I say something like "DO IT FOR THE SKIBA" it gets very creepy very quickly. Serial murder creepy.

That's also my beef with the iPhone's correct- it will ALWAYS autocorrect the last word you type at the last minute, resulting in plentifully and terrifying corrections. Especially when you have as strange a vocabulary as me.
posted by Askiba at 3:52 PM on November 8, 2010


. . . FriendB received "should i bring my own she slave?"

This continues to be funny because I can't help picturing somebody inviting an out-of-towner friend for Thanksgiving so he won't be all alone, but then he gets himself a lifestyle D/s slave girlfriend, and she's got nowhere to go for Thanksgiving either, and she won't snap out of it and he won't ask her to . . . it's probably been in some preciously awkward indie film already.
posted by Countess Elena at 3:56 PM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Regarding the sodomads and the poofarts: The answer to "Why would they have that in the dictionary?" is that they don't. Autocorrect isn't actually working from a dictionary as you imagine it.

We're used to thinking there's a dictionary, because we're used to desktop word processors and the way they do their spell check: You compare each word of the text to a great big stored list of words (well, actually probably you compile that list of words up into a trie, and then hang 'fail' and 'succeed' states from each branch thereof so you can use it to accept or reject words at warp speed, but the end result is the same). If the word isn't in your list, you grab some candidate replacements from the list by some quick heuristic, and you sort the candidates by their edit distance from the word in the text (whether Levenstein edit distance or some other, related metric). And then, as you know, careful users look at the list of candidates and either pick one by hand or add the new word to the dictionary, whereas less-careful users just let the computer substitute the top candidate in, until eventually they learn the hard way about the the impotence of proofreading.

Okay, and that's totally the thing to do on a desktop computer in the 1990s, where your CPU speed limits how much computing you can do per word, and your user doesn't mind explicitly teaching the machine his/her vocabulary. For a mobile device in 2010, things are different. On the one hand, your iPhone's processor completely smokes the old 386 that you used to run WordPerfect 5.1 on. On the other hand, you would rather spend its disk space carrying around your tunes and TV shows than accumulating a complete list of every word you've ever used. And you want it to adapt to your vocabulary, but implicitly, not via some stupid "I don't know that word. Did you really mean to say that?" dialog all the time.

So Autocorrect here is taking a very different approach. Rather than ask, "Is that a real word, yes or no?" it asks, "How probable is it that that's a word? How word-like is it?" Rather than ask, "What is the shortest sequence of edits that will turn this into a real word?" it asks, "Can we make this more word-like by assuming a user error? Is the improvement big enough to offset the improbability of the error?" And instead of doing all this after the word is typed, it may well be doing it on the fly.

(Note: This is all inference, based on Autocorrect's observed behavior. I have not actually directly studied Autocorrect's guts. I don't even own an iPhone. But this site leaves little doubt in my mind as to what's going on behind the scenes.)

Instead of a dictionary, it's got a word model. The model probably looks something like this: a collection of letter patterns, and the frequency of each pattern in some body of text. Given a sequence of letters, you can determine how many patterns it matches, and how frequent they are, and therefore how wordlike it is (relative to your model, of course). You can see intuitively that 'sodomad' looks a lot more like an English word than 'roflmao' does; the model just lets you put a number on it. (Try searching for #so, sod, odo, dom, oma, mad, and ad#; then try the same for #ro, rof, ofl, et cetera, and you'll get the idea. This model is from a million-word collection of 1960s edited American English. The default one in your phone is probably more representative of the kinds of things you type in chat, and probably has more patterns and less round-off error.)

The word model is also what adapts to your habits; whatever you type is broken down into its component patterns, and their frequencies are adjusted. Which doesn't make much of a difference when you type 'this and that are there', but if you tend to type 'loofah, phlegmatic samizdat, gnocchi' more often than the average, some unusual patterns have to get boosted pretty dramatically before the word model syncs up with your habits.

All right. But how does Autocorrect get the idea to replace 'roflmao' with 'sodomad' in the first place? Or why doesn't it replace every word with 'the', since that would make it all an incredibly good fit for the model? Well, there's a second model in there too: an error model. Rather than presume that the button it saw you tap is exactly the one you meant, it's got a list of probabilities: You hit the screen here, so it's probable you meant P but you could have fat-fingered the O. You hit the screen right on the corner of F and it's just as likely you meant T. You failed to get a tap detected, but this gap between letters may stand invisibly for some letter you wanted. In other words, Autocorrect takes the screen-taps as a noisy representation of the letters you enter, not an authoritative declaration of them (Kant would be proud); it works backwards through the error model to hypothesize what you might have meant, and the word model applies to the hypothesis.

Now the task is to figure out the sequence of letters that maximizes the combined probability, both of being a word according to the error model and of generating the observed screen-taps according to the error model. Which sounds like a tough row to hoe, but to the iPhone it's second nature. The word model is a Markov model, because it makes predictions based only on a local sequence of events. The error model hides the word model by translating letters into screen taps. Together, they're a hidden Markov model or HMM, and the iPhone almost certainly has extremely well-optimized algorithms for HMMs because they are used all over the place: speech recognition, audio and speech encoding, gesture recognition—anywhere you have to turn messy measured data into locally patterned symbols.

So when you're writing along, and you tap the screen in a way that's most likely 'poptarts', the word model may pan the 'opta' part of that ('pta' especially is suspect), going, "That does not look like English, dude." The error model may suggest that 'oofa' is less likely for the screen events it saw, but it does suggest it, and if the word model likes it well enough on grounds of letter sequence, it may pull ahead, and suddenly your cow orkers are dropping off poofarts at your desk. Serves you right for writing about loofahs all the time.

(I confess I haven't figured out what's going on with the extensions, like from HA to HAGAR! The predictive text in my low-end cell phone has some of those too (predictive text like T9 is also HMM-based), and all I can figure is that it actually does store whole words if they start with very unusual patterns, on grounds that the rest of the word is going to be funky and unpredictable too. Also, I'm completely mystified by the final 'd' in 'sodomad', because that's a long way from 'o'. But details, details. I'll have my she slave figure something out.)
posted by eritain at 5:17 PM on November 8, 2010 [266 favorites]


bookmarking this whole FPP just for eritain's comment and the box of slavery.
thanx!
posted by liza at 5:43 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


As in, "I love you, Taco."

This has me CRYING. I have no idea why, but this is THE funniest thing I have seen all week.
posted by bibliogrrl at 7:23 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


Personally, the most annoying, but not funny, autocorrect I deal with is that every time I type the name of my union, CUPE (which I type several times a day...) it autocorrects to Cupertino. I am such a nerdy non-geek I couldn't figure out what that word meant.
posted by saucysault at 7:30 PM on November 8, 2010 [1 favorite]


I once asked my African-American boss what he wanted for lynch.

Whoops.
posted by Sara C. at 7:48 PM on November 8, 2010 [2 favorites]


Autocorrect on the iPhone is a massive UI fail. Why must I decline the correction outside of the keyboard area? Just repurpose the backspace key into a "decline" key upon a suggestion.
posted by benzenedream at 11:45 PM on November 8, 2010 [3 favorites]


Seriously. "sodomad".

That's actually a technical term used to describe those who are addicted to sodomy.


I call bullshit on SODOMAD. If it were a real word, it'd be in Scrabble dictionaries (think of the As, Os and Ds it can soak up).
posted by acb at 4:58 AM on November 9, 2010


Purely in terms of coinages and re-invigorating language, this is a great development. Fabulous bonding experience for families and friends to have all these super nicknames and in-jokes to add to their group-speak, and I can't wait to hear some terms enter the broader lexicon:

"Hey, grab me a terbium out of that cooler, OK?"
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:56 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


My phone cannot learn the word "hon". It's always "him" or "Jon". Also, sometimes I misspell "honey" as "homey" and press send before realizing the error.
posted by yeti at 7:15 AM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is there a way to take words out of that sodding dictionary, though, or to insist the word "me" shouldn't be "mr" or sometimes "ms"?

That seems to be an oddly common problem. Take a look here.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:31 AM on November 9, 2010


Metafilter: Serves you right for writing about loofahs all the time.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:36 AM on November 9, 2010


eritain, the content of your post led me on a journey of discovery. I am now developing a number of word recognition, suggestion and rejection algorithms that have pretty much tripled the speed and effectiveness of one limb of the sprawling mass of VBA I maintain/create at work (you don't want to know, but if I ever seem angry at the world, this is why - though I've had some triumphs: turning ~200000 lines of code into ~10000, implementing rudimentary multithreading by sending async http calls to a dummy site, not going completely crazy when I discovered that the original development team were creating invisible documents to store variables during runtime instead of, you know, declaring variables and using those... ironically they were creating variables in order to create the document and store it somewhere temporarily so I don't know what the fuck was going on), so thank you.

My issue with the iPhone autocorrect system isn't its suggestions, which for the most part are spot on, but its interface. I've had my iPhone since March and I still can't get in the habit of touching the suggestion to reject it and ignoring it to accept it. I hope someone tells me it's possible to toggle this... it is not intuitive for me.
posted by doublehappy at 2:07 PM on November 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


I have taken to swearing using the word duck because that's how my phone autocorrects a common swear.

I have a two year old, so my new favorite phrases are "fudging clusterfudge," "who give a snap?" and "suck it, bridges!"

And on my Android phone ...

I don't have my own fancy devices, but I've used my wife's two. The Droid X implementation (where you have to actively select a word) is far superior to iOS, imo.

What's the point?

Misdemeanor. Inarticulate. Prerelease. Onomatopoeia.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:44 PM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've had my iPhone since March and I still can't get in the habit of touching the suggestion to reject it and ignoring it to accept it.

Exactly. I find many things about iOS backwards.

My big question is do any of these touchscreen keyboards ever have arrow keys to move the cursor around? Why not?
posted by mrgrimm at 2:46 PM on November 9, 2010


My big question is do any of these touchscreen keyboards ever have arrow keys to move the cursor around? Why not?

Because it's easier to use your finger to position the cursor.

A tablet OS has to have a very different take on user interaction than the WIMP interface we've come to think of as 'normal.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 3:38 PM on November 9, 2010


Because it's easier to use your finger to position the cursor.

*jaw drops*

Well, I'm off to the "Obvious Things You Didn't Know" FPP to add another one...
posted by Sara C. at 4:08 PM on November 9, 2010


Oh, wait, nevermind. I knew that.

My issue is not arrows to position the cursor within the text. It's the fact that the existing system doesn't allow you to put the cursor in the middle of a word. If you want to remove an extra M from "tomorrow", you have to delete the whole word.
posted by Sara C. at 4:09 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Unless you hold it down and use the magnifier, but my fingers are embarrassingly short and fat and I can't really use this effectively.

Bookcase.
posted by doublehappy at 4:14 PM on November 9, 2010


The thing that I really like about this is that it brings into sharp relief exactly how many words and terms we have for intercourse and genitals. And, apparently, how often people type them, or how often Apple expects people to type them. There's an optimism about humanity somewhere in there that I enjoy.
posted by Errant at 4:36 PM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


eritain wrote: "The predictive text in my low-end cell phone has some of those too (predictive text like T9 is also HMM-based), and all I can figure is that it actually does store whole words if they start with very unusual patterns"

I know for a fact that Nokia's implementation does indeed store whole words if you type strange things. It's sort of annoying that many won't let you go in and delete the words you (accidentally) stored. Based on your explanation, I'd guess that most of the time it just changes the probabilities around based on corrections, though. I've seen something like that in operation when I type '843' and will eventually get something other than 'the' if I do it enough.

Interestingly, it also predicts punctuation. It's only so-so at that.

Anyway, that was a fascinating writeup. Thanks to you and thanks to whoever sidebarred it!

ChurchHatesTucker wrote: "Because it's easier to use your finger to position the cursor."

Not if you're aiming for a specific letter, it isn't.
posted by wierdo at 4:39 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


...doesn't allow you to put the cursor in the middle of a word.
...my fingers are embarrassingly short and fat and I can't really use this effectively...
Not if you're aiming for a specific letter, it isn't.


Here's the cure for this: don't push your finger onto the iPhone's glass. Instead, barely, just barely graze its surface. Think "stroking a butterfly's eyelashes" level of pressure. Works even better if you keep your fingernail short enough to use as a stop. Practice this and no matter what kind of sausages you have at the end of your hands, you'll be getting the cursor exactly where you want it on the first try in no time.
posted by jamaro at 4:51 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


You realize you don't actually have to hit the "x" to reject the suggestion, right? Anywhere in the text area will do that.
posted by norm at 5:01 PM on November 9, 2010


You know what? Poofarts is still pretty fucking hilarious.
posted by Space Kitty at 5:18 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ha! Just tonight I had "hipster" autocorrect to "Hoosier". I did take a screenshot, now I know where to send it.

I have had it correct to "bolsters." Once I wrote: "This coffee shop is full of bolsters!" And though it did indeed have some bolsters, it had way more hipsters.
posted by rtha at 7:00 PM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


btw I fuck trees now

thank you so much for the desperately needed crylaugh!
posted by batmonkey at 7:04 PM on November 9, 2010


Oh god. There's one in which someone has "Woooooooot!" corrected to "Apollonius!"

I'm crying from laughing so hard.
posted by TheRoach at 8:43 PM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would bet money on the iPhone having a dictionary. It, for one, adds all of your contacts into the dictionary, and will also change mistyped words into proper nouns and famous names (not in my contact list) complete with capitalization.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 10:33 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


doublehappy, the book you want to own is Jurafsky and Martin. Or possibly Manning and Schütze; read Peter Norvig's review for some guidance on that choice. (Yes, that Peter Norvig.) You may not have been aware that you wanted to own either of these books, but judging by what you said about your job, it's a fair bet that you do. This may also be helpful; all the things it discusses were the state of the art in 1996, and some of them may not be anymore, but they're still good starting points.
posted by eritain at 10:54 PM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


eritain, while your analysis is plausible, it's wrong. Or at least, the part where you argue that the iPhone is modifying its internal model is wrong.

The iPhone's user-generated dictionary is located at
/private/var/mobile/Library/Keyboard/dynamic-text.dat

and the built-in library is at
/System/Library/TextInput/TextInput_en.bundle/...
posted by suedehead at 12:13 AM on November 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


Dear T9 on my Nokia phone,

At. At at at at at.

I've typed 'cv' once, maybe twice, on purpose, when I was helping someone prepare for a job interview. Aside from that, 28 means 'at'. Yes, even if I fail to notice immediately that you've given me 'cv' again, I still meant 'at'.

"My goodness", you seem to think, "he sure likes talking about his cv -- he mentions it at least once a day. I'd better keep it high up in my suggestion list." I'm telling you now that you have misunderstood my intentions. As of now, I swear to you that when I type 28, whatever the context, there is one and only one word I mean, and it's not the one you've been giving me. So please don't ever offer that word again, not ever, not cv all.

Thanks
posted by logopetria at 4:20 AM on November 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


I am totally using "Apollonius!" as a statement of approval from now on.
posted by KathrynT at 10:10 AM on November 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


On the theme of word prediction, the SwiftKey app for Android phones is awesome. It replaces the default Android keyboard and has predictive spelling, where you are given two possible options above the keyboard (touch one to select it, or keep typing to ignore them), but as soon as you hit space it predicts your next word. It learns as you use it too, so after a while you find it predicting entire text messages along the lines of "Going to be late, can you make dinner. love you xxx" one word at a time (e.g. you type "going" and it suggests "to", you select that and it predicts "be" and so on). It's awesome.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:29 PM on November 10, 2010


Ermmm…

• The iPhone's predictive text is dictionary-based. There are sites that show how one can customize it on a word basis. Erasing the dictionary (for a given language, e.g. English) just resets the predictive text system. And the system file names suggest that the default system is dictionary-based, as well.

• From the articles I've come across, same goes for Android and the new Nokia phones: user vocabulary is stored as modifiable word lists.

• The T9 input method is dictionary-based [Wikipedia, and I found at least one research paper indicating this]. There may be variants and extensions of it such that past inputs are learned and incorporated, but these are most easily programmed using n-gram frequencies, or word frequencies, as opposed to designing elaborate extraction algorithms on HMM's.

sodomad is listed in Webster's. And generally, some examples are going to be fake, or misremembered; it sort of goes with the nature of joke telling.

• There is work on nondictionary-based predictive text algorithms that don't involve hidden Markov Models. There is a whole genre of dictionary-free statistical algorithms that don't use HMM's. And for instance more recently, research in the area of natural language processing demonstrates word prediction using a semantic net consisting of 20,000 data points, which they project to be small enough to fit on a mobile device. In commercial software, it is not obvious what specific class of methods or models is being implemented under the hood.

article from slate.com: Instead, autocorrection systems are usually seeded by a large body of text—what linguists call a "corpus"—that's made up of articles from the popular media. "We analyze those for things like the structure of the language, frequency of word use, and other factors, and then we create this language model," Taylor says. The word-suggestion algorithm also considers the layout of your keyboard in order to predict which key you meant to hit when you mashed several of them at the same time .
—Structure and word frequency analysis is only useful for a predictive engine that suggests words in the corpus. The predictive engine can't cook up any made-up words from it.

• There are many error models, and input errors stemming from mis-typing is just one of them. The are error models independent of keyboard, e.g., swapped pairs of lettesr constitutes an error model—or even of handwriting, e.g., single letter inserrtions/omisions also forms a class of errors. And third, phenomena such as homophone confusion are purely linguistic errors that need to be detection and correction.

The word model is a Markov model, because it makes predictions based only on a local sequence of events. The error model hides the word model by translating letters into screen taps.
—Both the text prediction and correction problems can be approached as a HMM inference problem. You can have correctly spelled a partial word, and yet the prediction problem can still be treated as HMM inference. You can have typed out the letters correctly on your iPhone, and yet have a wrong spelling, which can then be addressed via HMM inference. So the "hiding" is fundamentally because the computer doesn't know your intent. Thus HMM techniques were already standard developments for non-touchscreen usages. The fact that touch-screen typing produces fuzzier input does not particularly cast the problem as an HMM inference problem; conversely there already exist non-HMM statistical methods that account for keyboard-layout information.

•  iPhone almost certainly has extremely well-optimized algorithms for HMMs because they are used all over the place
—There exist problem formulations in terms of HMMs that would not be feasible on the iPhone. For example, there is interest in designing a text input aid that performs context-sensitive prediction of phrases, but obviously it doesn't scale onto current handhelds. That is, the battles one picks affects one's successes.

/endermmm
posted by polymodus at 10:14 PM on November 10, 2010 [9 favorites]


the word model may pan the 'opta' part of that ('pta' especially is suspect), going, "That does not look like English, dude."

You apologize to my ptarmigan before I head off to this heptathlon right now.
posted by kittyprecious at 6:30 AM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


A friend of mine's one-time girlfriend was named Anna. For some reason, his phone always corrected "Anna" to "Taco". As in, "I love you, Taco." or "I'll always be there for you, Taco." It became her nickname pretty quickly.

My sister, Krissy, and her husband, Brian, were always rendered as "Krispy and Asian" by my T9 phone
posted by Riptor at 9:33 AM on November 11, 2010 [4 favorites]


My big question is do any of these touchscreen keyboards ever have arrow keys to move the cursor around? Why not?

Because it's easier to use your finger to position the cursor.


You must be using a different version of iOS than me. I would much rather click an arrow 4 times to go back 4 characters to fix a typo then touch the screen two or three times in an effort to guess.

Perhaps the one that lets you click "anywhere in the text area" to dismiss a suggested word. That is definitely NOT TRUE for me on iPad/iOS 4.x (I don't know the exact OS version number; there may be an update that fixes it?), unless there is a secret setting.

You realize you don't actually have to hit the "x" to reject the suggestion, right? Anywhere in the text area will do that.

I tried this for a while last night, and I definitely had to click the X to make auto suggestions disappear. I turned it off when I was done. I like the idea in general, but iOS implementation is crap. The Droid X is way better.

It's the fact that the existing system doesn't allow you to put the cursor in the middle of a word.

Actually it does. jamaro's advice is pretty good, but the cursor functionality is still too sensitive for my taste. Again, I would prefer a non-deleting backspace key for typos a few letters back. Even better would be four arrows.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:57 PM on November 11, 2010


> cursor

Nothing works as well as the old Clie button-bar on my my TH55, which I still use every day.

It's on the top of the back side -- that three-part silvery bar in this picture:
http://www.palminfocenter.com/images/th55r_2_s.jpg

Leftclick, rightclick, roll-up, roll-down, and middle-click.

Every move is done with the index finger -- of the same hand that's holding onto the device with thumb and other three fingers, leaving the other hand free for straphanging, repelling boarders, or other activities as needed.

With a little thought and practice, it can be operated just as effectively holding the device turned sideways in either direction.

Apple should steal that, or something like it. Why use two hands for a handheld?
posted by hank at 3:09 PM on November 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


On iOS, don't you just hold down your finger over the word to get the magnifying glass, then move your finger to move the cursor to the exact position? I don't understand this stuff about grazing the screen.
posted by smackfu at 6:26 AM on November 15, 2010


Not only does iPhone have a dictionary, it has a cool one, including "Motörhead"
posted by bonaldi at 12:23 PM on November 16, 2010


The flipside of this is the really rather impressive Windows Mobile (up to version 6) autocorrect which, after several years of intense SMS, seems to have learned not just my favourite words but my favourite phrases. So with me typing literally single 1 or 2 letters, it pops up suggestions such as "I love you", "I'll be late", "I'm on the bus" and "What's for dinner" which I can select with a single click. So I often find my conversations constrained to run along certain well-worn tracks if I am being to lazy to type beyond three letters. The time is not long before my handheld AI will be able to simulate a reasonably complete casual SMS conversation with my wife with basically no input from me. Of course, I don't know how much of her real self is actually invested in the conversation on the other end. Is this what a Singularity feels like?
posted by meehawl at 9:51 AM on November 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I had to teach my very first cell phone dictionary the word taco. I felt sorry for it. Who doesn't know taco?

My current cheap as crap cell phone will remember and suggest the word I typed after I typed the previous word last. So say, in my last text message, I wrote "I hate idiots". Now, I'm writing you a text message. After I type "I" to begin my message, the computer remembers and fills in the next word. To keep the automatic word, I have to push the right arrow key. Otherwise, I can keep typing as normal. This is occasionally useful, but mostly annoying.
posted by Night_owl at 11:37 PM on November 23, 2010


On our dialogue group e-mailing list someone mentioned that they were enjoying a glass of wind. This struck many of us as such a good phrase it has become a staple here. But autocorrect has yet catch it.
posted by donfactor at 3:43 AM on November 27, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yep, my aunt brought a bottle of wind to Thanksgiving Dinner. Apollonius!
posted by Sara C. at 9:45 AM on November 27, 2010


So Autocorrect here is taking a very different approach. Rather than ask, "Is that a real word, yes or no?" it asks, "How probable is it that that's a word? How word-like is it?" Rather than ask, "What is the shortest sequence of edits that will turn this into a real word?" it asks, "Can we make this more word-like by assuming a user error? Is the improvement big enough to offset the improbability of the error?" And instead of doing all this after the word is typed, it may well be doing it on the fly.

I find that really hard to belive. Not only are the CPUs much faster then ye' ole 386, but they also have far more storage. A 386 might have a 100mb hard drive, while a modern cellphone can have gigs of flash memory.

Trying to use a model for english is a really bad way to do a spellchecker, because there are some pretty odd words out there "I before e except after c and in the word 'theist' for some reason"
posted by delmoi at 6:20 PM on November 27, 2010


Also I hate touch keyboards. My phone has a real keyboard and a touch keyboard and I'm far faster on the real one. I can easily hit ~30wpm on the real one.
posted by delmoi at 6:21 PM on November 27, 2010


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