How Ducking Annoying
August 1, 2018 8:58 AM   Subscribe

If, God forbid, we say something too obscene, Apple is there to remind us that we didn’t really want to say it.

A couple years old, but as far as I can tell from messing around with my message app this morning, still totally relevant.
posted by Caduceus (95 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
I wish my phone knew I am never referring to anything as a ponzu scheme
posted by The Whelk at 8:59 AM on August 1 [54 favorites]


Mine has an irritating habit of remembering my misspellings and helpfully substituting them for the words I actually meant to say before I can kill the wrong words in its dictionary. It also sometimes assumes I meant to sprinkle random v's and c's throughout my text as some sort of bizarre garnish.
posted by sciatrix at 9:04 AM on August 1 [31 favorites]


plucking piece of ship
posted by sephira at 9:06 AM on August 1 [8 favorites]


Mine has an irritating habit of remembering my misspellings and helpfully substituting them for the words I actually meant to say before I can kill the wrong words in its dictionary.

I am glad to see I am not alone. Somehow I have managed to replace a letter with an adjacent one in some past typo and then obliterate the correct word. As a result, every time I type the word ‘three’ my phone corrects it to ‘theee’. It makes my texts sound like I am singing a hymn.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:08 AM on August 1 [18 favorites]


Um, guys, this is obviously because we are already in the Bad Place.
posted by praemunire at 9:13 AM on August 1 [85 favorites]


Duck Steve Jobs
posted by gnuhavenpier at 9:13 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


I use Swiftkey on my Android and for the most part it learns my various word choice/spellings/habits pretty spot on. It knows that I enjoy typing out "Huzzah!" and "Boourns!", so it never thinks to correct these. I'm always annoyed by more normal word entries that seem to flummox my phone, things like: "and" "the".
posted by Fizz at 9:19 AM on August 1 [8 favorites]


If having autocorrect steer towards bowdlerising our profane language is necessary, it would have been better to have a Unicode codepoint for the grawlix (the set of glyphs used by old-time comic-book letterers to represent profanity) and have that be one of the suggestions for a range of words, including but not limited to “fuck”, “shit”, “piss”, “bother” and “heck”.
posted by acb at 9:23 AM on August 1 [9 favorites]


My phone has a really weird habit of changing "flat" to "Flat" and I have no idea where that came from.

It also changes misspellings of the word "two" to "Teo" which is the name of an old coworker who I haven't worked with in over 5 years. Actually now that I type that out maybe I just need to delete them from my phonebook?? BRB and fingers crossed.
posted by like_neon at 9:27 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]


Google's GBoard has a setting for "block offensive words" which you can turn off. Which I've done, because I never want to type "ducking". For the most part I've been happy with it, except for the time it autocorrected "nuggets" to the worst possible option (which I have never typed).

Luckily I caught it before I hit send on that text message...
posted by asterix at 9:28 AM on August 1 [8 favorites]


Fortunately Apple's handy speech-to-text transcription doesn't censor.
posted by exogenous at 9:28 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Holy shit also now that I wrote that out, I just realised I have our flat's land line as a contact in the phonebook as "Flat". *facepalm*
posted by like_neon at 9:28 AM on August 1 [32 favorites]


I’ve added common curse words to the text replacement list on my phone so now it helpfully autocompletes my filthy tirades.
posted by rodlymight at 9:28 AM on August 1 [6 favorites]


Apple's autocorrect may like ducks, but it doesn't like you to get too specific: that wasn't a teal you just saw, it was a real. It's not great on other birds either: not terns but teens, not doves but dives.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 9:30 AM on August 1 [8 favorites]


So this article is almost 2 years old, and iOS 12 will likely come out next month -- any updates on the swearing front?
posted by crazy with stars at 9:35 AM on August 1


I use swype on an Android and it loves to substitute extremely rare words for extremely common ones. Its favorite is "peyote" for "people." I have never on-purpose typed any message using the word "peyote" but I talk about "people" all the time.

I also discovered that the voice-to-text will censor you. The way I discovered it was that I was messaging my husband about wanting to go to the pool later because "it's hot and I could really use a dip." The text it produced was me insisting that it's hot so I could really use a d**k. Just like that, with the stars. Man, what happens if your name is Richard?
posted by soren_lorensen at 9:38 AM on August 1 [28 favorites]


It also refuses to learn Palestine though Israel pops right up after typing the first two letters. (Just tried again here on my phone.)
posted by Burhanistan at 9:39 AM on August 1 [10 favorites]


Meanwhile, google is having the opposite problem.
posted by sagc at 9:40 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]


I think the part that disturbed me wasn't so much the censorship of the Seven Words You Can't Say on Television, though that's bad, but the expansion of that censorship to include words like "tampon".

It illustrates how the censor's mind words. They start with the idea that they are saving The Children from the horrible naughty words, but as they build their dictionary of banned words they discover that there's more naughtiness lurking everywhere and their criteria for words to be banned expands.

It's a real life example of the slippery slope. I doubt Apple started out saying "let's ban the word tampon, cuz girls are icky!" But that's where it wound up, and then it went even further.

Also, relevant XKCD: https://xkcd.com/2015/
posted by sotonohito at 9:41 AM on August 1 [24 favorites]


I use swype on an Android and it loves to substitute extremely rare words for extremely common ones. Its favorite is "peyote" for "people." I have never on-purpose typed any message using the word "peyote" but I talk about "people" all the time.

It's SO FRUSTRATING and what's worse is that I'm pretty sure it's getting worse over time. I had an Android device in like 2013 with Swype and I had nowhere near the issues I have with the version on my 2015 phone.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:45 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]


I find autocorrect useful enough to keep it on, but I do wish it was easier to teach it things. I mostly run into problems with multilingualism. For instance I refer to my parents as Ima and Aba (Hebrew), one set of grandparents as Oma and Opa (German), the other set of grandparents as abuela and abuelo (Spanish), and write the rest of the time in English with occasional French and Yiddishisms.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 9:48 AM on August 1 [4 favorites]


I don't understand. Is it not possible to turn this autocorrect thingy off? Can't you browse in the dictionary and make your own fixes? Of course, I'm a phone Luddite and have a stupid flip phone so I am ignorant of these modern wonders.
posted by MovableBookLady at 9:50 AM on August 1


I think the part that disturbed me wasn't so much the censorship of the Seven Words You Can't Say on Television, though that's bad, but the expansion of that censorship to include words like "tampon".

This. This and this and this. If it had just been the swears, the article probably wouldn't have been written and if it had I probably wouldn't have posted it, but the fact that one can't text "Hey honey, could you pick up some condoms" without it trying to suggest that you're asking your SO to pick up some condominiums is insane and insidious.

If you haven't read the article, here's the last paragraph:

We certainly don’t masturbate or ever talk about it. Apple assumes the human race is more likely to discuss Nasturtiums—a genus of flowers— by text than we are to masturbate. If you continue spelling the word manually, the predictive text function then offers up “Mad turbulence,” and, eventually, “Mad turbans.” According to Apple, we are botanists first, frequent flyers second, and racists third—but the thought of masturbating has never crossed our minds.
posted by Caduceus at 9:54 AM on August 1 [20 favorites]


You know what is super weird about typing on a Pixel? I can swear all I want, but as soon as I type "well" it auto corrects to "we'll". Same with other things that it thinks are supposed to be contractions. It's bizarre. I'd rather it censor me tbh.
posted by Hermione Granger at 9:54 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]


Apple doesn’t want you to send the wrong message to your colleagues at the duck factory.
posted by betweenthebars at 9:55 AM on August 1 [4 favorites]


Life hack: replace all your relatives names with swear words.
posted by el io at 9:57 AM on August 1 [7 favorites]


Now that this prompted me to look into it, it does seem like there is multilingual functionality. I don't use the other languages enough that it makes sense to install a whole new dictionary (rather than just easily add certain words), but I'll see how it goes.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 9:58 AM on August 1


The real reason autocorrect changes "fucking" to "ducking". (Warning: contans appropriate language and ducking situations.)
posted by CrunchyFrog at 10:04 AM on August 1 [4 favorites]


It's a heckin' bamboozle I tell ya.
posted by Splunge at 10:07 AM on August 1 [6 favorites]


I use swype on an Android and it loves to substitute extremely rare words for extremely common ones. Its favorite is "peyote" for "people." I have never on-purpose typed any message using the word "peyote" but I talk about "people" all the time.

Oh my god. The things Swype gives me instead of People. It was purple for awhile. And peeps, which at least kept the meaning sorta. Right now it is Poole. Drives me nuts.

I wonder if the Apple thing may be because those words are the ones that would tend to embarrass people if it auto-corrected to them incorrectly. Which is a slightly different thing than censoring them because Apple itself finds the words icky and problematic. But if autocorrect and predictive text aren't that tightly coupled, then maybe not.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:08 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Fortunately Apple's handy speech-to-text transcription doesn't censor.

I find Aaple’s voice to text Prone to adding profanity too innocent messages. I have to very carefully reread all my student comments for fear that I Mac has inserted some thing… Inconvenient to explain.
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:10 AM on August 1


Locket yawl still tippin werds lick a brunch a elds.
posted by srboisvert at 10:12 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]


So while I agree that this is annoying and patronizing, there is a relatively easy fix for those of us using Apple devices:

Go to Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> Text Replacement. From here you can add swear words to the dictionary (“phrase” and “shortcut” being the same dirty word, or even feel free to make the shortcut shorter for more efficient swearing 😉)
posted by Nutri-Matic Drinks Synthesizer at 10:16 AM on August 1 [3 favorites]


Duck that- my company got acquired by a company whose first name is IHS. It's impossible to keep my iPhone, outlook or any other platform or app from making it "his". On some apps on windows I can't even figure out how to override it . And the second name is "Markit" ... not market. It drives me into a rage .
posted by freecellwizard at 10:17 AM on August 1 [5 favorites]


I had finally taught my phone that indeed I always am saying fuck and fucks and fucking, it's fine, please let those be the words, and then I started sharing that article about the 76 baby ducklings and my phone clearly became sentient just to think "I knew it all along" and now I'm back to ducks.
posted by jeather at 10:18 AM on August 1 [17 favorites]


Also, swype on Android has the very irritating habit of switching "?" for "mmm" which means I send a lot of supremely passive-aggressive texts.
posted by jeather at 10:19 AM on August 1 [9 favorites]


I do wish there was a toggle for "avoid profanity," but this article sort of has it wrong.

The whole point is that it's infinitely more embarrassing to accidentally slip profanity into a text or email to a business colleague than to accidentally slip a non-profane mis-corrected word to a friend.

No amount of "he clicked that he understood the risks and turned off the profanity filter" is going to make for good press if someone texts their boss "fuck n*****s" when they fat-finger "duck nuggets."

Apple simply does not want the "autocorrect made me say this horrible thing" stories, and is willing to live with a bunch of "autocorrect made me say this stupid thing" stories instead.
posted by explosion at 10:20 AM on August 1 [14 favorites]


All you iPhone people are missing Android's highly useful corrections, where they take real words, change them to other words that are also real, and then when you hover over the word to change it back to the word you wrote, they instead provide emoji options for the word they put in as a substitute.

Me: Now
Phone: Bow
Me: [trying to change it back]
Phone: here are 3 bow emojis, pick one! Yay! Presents!
posted by Emmy Rae at 10:20 AM on August 1 [38 favorites]


I should also mention that the “Text Replacement” fix I mentioned above obviously works for any words you might commonly use that aren’t in Apple’s dictionary, like freecellwizard’s issue with IHS above. I’ve also added the little shruggie text emoticon ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ to a shortcut to make it easy to type!
posted by Nutri-Matic Drinks Synthesizer at 10:22 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


I'm always annoyed by more normal word entries that seem to flummox my phone, things like: "and" "the".

The one that gets me is that apparently Swiftkey isn't aware of nouns that start with a vowel. It always offers 'a', but never 'an' - even after I type the two letters an, instead of 'an' it offers 'any', 'another', 'annoying', etc. etc. Granted all I need to do is type a space and move on, but it's the principle of the thing!
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:29 AM on August 1


Um, guys, this is obviously because we are already in the Bad Place.

Oh man - I can't believe you figured it out!
posted by lagomorphius at 10:36 AM on August 1 [6 favorites]


The T9 interface by which those twelve keys were used to peck out the alphabet was rendered obsolete by Apple’s smooth glass screen.
Does anyone believe on screen keyboards (or even hardware keyboards) originated with or made popular by apple?
posted by Mitheral at 10:38 AM on August 1 [4 favorites]


I don't think that apple is ever going to enable auto-correct to filthy urban dictionary-isms. I think an achievable target would be the seven dirty words. They are well known, fairly harmless, and you could have a switch in settings (that parental controls could disable) to add them to the dictionary. If only they had the fucking spine.
posted by macrael at 10:39 AM on August 1


But does it censor forking shirt eating son of a bench ash hole motherforker?
posted by signal at 11:12 AM on August 1 [6 favorites]


fargin icehole
posted by Burhanistan at 11:16 AM on August 1 [9 favorites]


I swear a lot so I long ago added curse words to my iPhone library (don't forget the capitalized version as well) as per Nutri-Matic Drinks Synthesizer above. I also disable auto-correct about a year ago. I realized that my typos without it occur at roughly the same rate as bad auto-corrects, so I wasn't saving much time with it on.
posted by xmattxfx at 11:19 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]


So that's what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 11:26 AM on August 1 [13 favorites]


my company got acquired by a company whose first name is IHS. It's impossible to keep my iPhone, outlook or any other platform or app from making it "his".

Have you tried adding "IHS" to the dictionary? I work with somebody named Hsi, but once I added "Hsi" to the dictionary my phone stopped trying to correct that to "His".
posted by Lexica at 11:27 AM on August 1


My friend's phone autocorrects fuck to fuchsia. I'm a 39 year old grown ass woman, but I cannot say fuck in front of my mother, even though she says it in front of me. I can, however, say fuchsia. My mom thinks it's adorable.

In a group chat, that same above mentioned friend's phone auto corrected sea bass to sea asshole, and that's how the name of my girl gang became Fuchsia Sea Assholes.
posted by Ruki at 11:42 AM on August 1 [12 favorites]


I upgraded to Android years ago... but are you telling me that you have to correct this on iOS every ducking time?! You don't just correct it once and it remembers forever? Does iOS not have a "personal dictionary" like Android does?

Next you're going to tell me that it still puts an unremovable icon on the homescreen every time you install an app.
posted by dobbs at 11:50 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]


I think an achievable target would be the seven dirty words.

Carlin later updated the list to include 'fast', 'turn', and 'twit' (uncorrected = fart, turd, and twat).
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:51 AM on August 1 [1 favorite]


I like to train my autocorrect to say things like "motherducking" because consistency is important.
posted by surlyben at 11:53 AM on August 1 [2 favorites]




On our way home last weekend, Comrade Doll was driving and asked me to respond to a friend of hers with a text from her phone. The variety and nonsensical quality of the autocorrections nearly convinced me I was experiencing some kind of brain injury, until I realized her phone was autocorrecting to Hungarian, since she'd just messaged her cousin in that language.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:59 AM on August 1 [8 favorites]


Autocorrect + Duolingo leads to obscene language, in my experience. Not in text form, though.
posted by teaspoon at 12:00 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Despite Gboard autocorrect often knowing the complete sentence I'm about to type by the end of the first word, it sadly did not know I wanted to write "shit piss fuck cunt cocksucker motherfucker tits," but it wasn't at all shy about offering any of them as options fairly early on. Except tits. It preferred tit's for some reason.

It is a new phone (Nokia 7 plus is fantastic, btw), but i'm pretty sure Gboard syncs across devices.

And yes, it is pretty fucking creepy that I can often type one or two words and then finish a fairly long sentence just by tapping on the predictive text bar. Google is in fact incredibly creepy, but I'm willing to accept that for the benefits I get in return.
posted by wierdo at 12:03 PM on August 1


I mostly run into problems with multilingualism.

Yessss. God forbid someone use more than one language at a time or code switch in the middle of a sentence. It's like trying to have a conversation and constantly being interrupted by some stranger going "Speak English!" whenever they hear something they don't recognize.

Do companies think about the messages they're sending with these design decisions? If I put a red squiggle under something you typed, or autocorrect it to something else, I'm telling you you're wrong. You made a mistake. You did a bad thing. We have the exact same feedback for 1) a legitimate typo 2) things people might choose to say but are naughty so we avoid autocorrecting to them and 3) things some people are much more likely to have to say, for reasons related to their identity or circumstances outside their control.

Tampons are bad and if you talk about them you are bad. Using more than one language is also bad and if you do so you are bad. Speaking a dialect whose vocabulary and grammar differ significantly from the prestige dialect, and doesn't have a built-in dictionary for it, is bad. Having a career that uses a lot of specialized terms is bad. Bad user. Bad.
posted by hyperbolic at 12:18 PM on August 1 [3 favorites]


I turned off autocorrect on my phone so long ago that I'm always baffled at people who complain about it. However, my laptop does autocorrect stuff when using the internet and I haven't figured out how to turn that off because it drives me nuts.
posted by acidnova at 12:35 PM on August 1


My Android phone auto corrects here to "Herr". Every ducking time. It's not even English.

It also went through a phase of auto correcting "people" to "Ripley" but I think I've beaten that out of it.
posted by fshgrl at 12:39 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Mister falcon autocorrect's always trying to ice skate uphill.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:29 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


Well, because of this thread I was motivated to learn that SwiftKey will remove a suggestion from its dictionary if you long-press on it (but that's the only way to do this). I have some typos/misspellings that made their way in and it's annoying.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:40 PM on August 1


Back in the pre-smartphone days I had an Ericsson that was absolutely convinced that I really wanted to type "Jews" instead of "keys". Which is why I had to explain to my supervisor that no, "My Jews were not locked in my car"
posted by nathan_teske at 1:49 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


autocorrected "nuggets" to the worst possible option

Nougat?
posted by Abehammerb Lincoln at 1:55 PM on August 1


My only contribution here is that multilingualism isn't a problem using gesture typing with GBoard on Android; you can choose the languages you want to enable, then I long-press the space bar to switch between English, Turkish (native tongue) and Portuguese (that I'm trying to learn). Duolingo is smart enough to shift automatically, and doesn't offer autocorrect. I've turned the profanity filter off, so even though I don't use a lot of profanity, I probably bloody well could if I fucking wanted to. (...test successful.)

It occurs to me that I haven't tested this in Turkish though...

Just tested that, as well, and it's working just fine. And I've just discovered that I'm way too prudish to swear in my mother tongue in front of you all, because I couldn't bring myself to not delete the test text. I'm going to have to go and think about this.
posted by seyirci at 1:55 PM on August 1 [3 favorites]


My friend's phone autocorrects fuck to fuchsia. I'm a 39 year old grown ass woman, but I cannot say fuck in front of my mother, even though she says it in front of me. I can, however, say fuchsia. My mom thinks it's adorable.

Alvin Toffler initially planned to go into hardcore porn, but Fuck Shock was not to be.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:59 PM on August 1


The whole point is that it's infinitely more embarrassing to accidentally slip profanity into a text or email to a business colleague than to accidentally slip a non-profane mis-corrected word to a friend.

That's actually a good point but I'm not sure it explains the full extent of the bowdlerization.

Go to Settings -> General -> Keyboard -> Text Replacement. From here you can add swear words to the dictionary (“phrase” and “shortcut” being the same dirty word, or even feel free to make the shortcut shorter for more efficient swearing 😉)

When I first got my phone I put a whole list of my favorite profanity in there but while it seems to have persuaded the prediction system to be less stubborn about converting "fuck" to "duck" as I type, it still won't suggest "fuck" if I put in "f-u-c." Am I correct that this is as far as the trick will get you or am I missing something?
posted by atoxyl at 2:03 PM on August 1


my favourite was the time my friend was trying to call me "history's greatest monster" but her phone corrected it to "his titty's greatest monster" which, how is that better, phone. what even.
posted by poffin boffin at 2:05 PM on August 1 [4 favorites]


I use swype on iOS and it lets me swear all I want. But it does correct "and" to "abs" about 90% of the time. Apparently it really thinks I want to talk about how ripped I am 24/7.

(Side note - I came to iOS from Android and the first thing I did was replace their godawful keyboard. Typing one letter at a time? What is this, the 1800s?)
posted by skullhead at 2:10 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


On the one hand, my phone is my property and I should be able to use it to communicate in any manner I so choose, thank you very much Apple.

On the other goddamn hand, I do swear too motherfucking much.
posted by vibrotronica at 2:18 PM on August 1


I wanted to change a few common words on my wife's phone for fun to other words, so I tested it on mine first. 'car' is replaced with 'monkeymobile'. The thing is, I've forgotten how to do it, and I quickly became meh about doing it to my wife's phone for whatever reason. This has led me to routinely refer to cars as autos now by default. And every time I forget and the word monkeymobile autocompletes - I have a great sense of joy to inadvertently pranking myself.
posted by Nanukthedog at 2:32 PM on August 1 [4 favorites]


China requires Apple to remove the 🇹🇼 Taiwan flag emoji from its keyboard for phones sold there. Due to a bug in the code to make this patch, recently fixed, typing the word “Taiwan” would attempt to autocomplete the flag emoji, thereby crashing the entire phone.
posted by vogon_poet at 2:35 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


Apple assumes the human race is more likely to discuss Nasturtiums—a genus of flowers—by text than we are to masturbate. If you continue spelling the word manually,

so to speak,
posted by aws17576 at 2:41 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]




Bad news for those of us using Swype. This will likely delay my next phone purchase just so I can keep using Swype (for all its quirks) as long as I can. Tried using the native Android keyboard once, and it's one of those things where the basic idea is the same, but the minor differences are just different enough to be really annoying to someone used to Swype.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:48 PM on August 1


Swiftkey for Android is pretty damned good (and has great CJK support). I never have these problems, but then again, I don't let my phone autocomplete anything. Picking from the predictive words goes just fine (other than my clumsy fat fingers that are always hitting numbers when I want a whole word - also using French and English at the same time seems to offer French words ahead of English even though I almost always type English). It does make me realize how predictable I am in in my speech patterns - I can complete whole sentences with single letter [predicted word] single letter [predicted word]...
posted by kokaku at 2:53 PM on August 1


It would make much more sense if the plural form of the f-word were changed to "fox", or maybe any form.

One of my great unfulfilled project ideas was a published collection of Sci-Fi Swear Words, examples of mostly-nonsense words used as substitutes for profanity, usually intended as the vocabulary of alien cultures but really just ways to bipass TV and other censorship. I was going to call it the "Fraktionary". But I've told here about how long ago in my college radio days I edited a 'creatively bleeped' version of Carlin's original Seven Words monologue substituting cartoon sound effects, and this feels going back over things I done before. So !!!CRASH!!! that.
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:23 PM on August 1


I turned off autocomplete/predictive text on my phone and now I can say whatever I want AND I have to spend more time editing what I do say since no robot is doing all the heavy-lifting for me.
posted by eustacescrubb at 4:31 PM on August 1


Firefox’s Autocorrect used to try and change “kanji” into “ganja” all the time....
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:33 PM on August 1


This is why I turned autocorrect off. I'd rather have typos than Apple controlling my words. Freeeeeeedoooooommmm! This is mu tiny revellion.
posted by chiquitita at 4:36 PM on August 1 [4 favorites]


It illustrates how the censor's mind words. They start with the idea that they are saving The Children from the horrible naughty words, but as they build their dictionary of banned words they discover that there's more naughtiness lurking everywhere and their criteria for words to be banned expands.

Maybe so, but this seems kind of off-topic? As explosion said, this seems driven entirely by a desire to err on the side of not causing a user to accidentally send an embarrassing message, which seems like a pretty darn good UI principle to me. And yes, there are situations where substituting the word "tampon" where it wasn't intended would be embarrassing for some people. Whether that ought to be true or not isn't Apple's fault.
posted by straight at 4:47 PM on August 1


To my mind, there is a vast difference between actually censoring the word "fuck" and declining to sit next to somebody's elbow saying, "F...U...are you gonna say FUCK?!"
posted by straight at 4:49 PM on August 1


Bad news for those of us using Swype.

Well, shit. I've been using Swype since my second Android phone. (The first one was a G1 with the physical keyboard. I still miss that thing.) I've tried SwiftKey and GBoard and others, but none of them really seemed to work as well for me. Looks like I'll have to get used to one of the alternatives now, though.

It may be just as well, though...Swype's accuracy has really gone downhill in the last few releases.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:52 PM on August 1


I just turn that fucking shit off. It's one of the first things I do whenever I get a new phone—turn off all the autocomplete and autocorrect. I'll make my own typos, thanks.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 5:50 PM on August 1 [1 favorite]


I don't mind the autocorrect as much as I mind that it just never seems to learn my preferences. There are words I use and words I mostly don't use, but whatever is on top of it's internal autocorrect dictionary is what gets suggested. The systems are just smart enough to be annoying, without being smart enough to be fully useful.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:10 PM on August 1


Yeah when Swype finally dies I am going to have to use ask to find the closest alternative. I love it, the Google keyboard drives me nuts.
posted by jeather at 8:09 PM on August 1


One time my phone corrected "it's not so bad" to "it's not Sinbad," which makes sense because one is much more commonly said than the other.
posted by shapes that haunt the dusk at 9:08 PM on August 1 [6 favorites]


oneswellfoop: "But I've told here about how long ago in my college radio days I edited a 'creatively bleeped' version of Carlin's original Seven Words monologue substituting cartoon sound effects, and this feels going back over things I done before. So !!!CRASH!!! that."

You ever seen the "censored" version of Sesame Street's Count? It's hilarious.
posted by Mitheral at 9:13 PM on August 1 [2 favorites]


To my mind, there is a vast difference between actually censoring the word "fuck" and declining to sit next to somebody's elbow saying, "F...U...are you gonna say FUCK?!"

Smartphone autocomplete generally learns as one uses it, and words one uses frequently get suggested more than words one doesn't. Given that, if 85+% of the time that I start a word with "F…U…" it winds up being "fuck" rather than "functional" or "furious", it'd be nice if autocorrect didn't pretend to be selectively amnesiac.
posted by Lexica at 9:52 PM on August 1


Give it a good decade and all phone calls on Android or iPhone could be edited for content in realtime. Imperfectly rendered substitutes or elision of all the bad words, you know "bomb", "abortion", "$candidate name", that sort of thing. Not that the GOOG or AAPL are particularly anti-humanity, but local laws are local laws and those profits aren't going to make themselves.
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 9:53 PM on August 1


"Siri is an apple"!!!
*asshole
posted by bendy at 10:37 PM on August 1


"The systems are just smart enough to be annoying, without being smart enough to be fully useful."

Privacy concerns aside, I've been using SwiftKey for years after having allowed it access to 14 years of my gmail. I didn't even write this comment.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:00 AM on August 2 [5 favorites]


i got suggested "mast urban" on my iphone x

tampons = ramping
condom = condone

i see.
posted by sio42 at 9:24 AM on August 2


Given that, if 85+% of the time that I start a word with "F…U…" it winds up being "fuck" rather than "functional" or "furious", it'd be nice if autocorrect didn't pretend to be selectively amnesiac.

CRAP CRAP CRAP, I just meant to tell my intern I couldn't make it and they would have to have fun themselves.

"But sir, 85% of the time you type F...U... followed by 'yourselves'..."
posted by straight at 9:25 AM on August 2 [2 favorites]



It's a real life example of the slippery slope.


Jokes on you. I have it under good authority that this slippery slope does in fact NOT EXIST.

QED
posted by some loser at 3:51 PM on August 2 [1 favorite]


I mind the name choices that it will autocorrect to. I often refer to colleagues in my texts, or search for articles by particular authors, and there’s definitely some ducked up bias in which names autocorrect expects or doesn’t.
posted by nat at 4:31 PM on August 2


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