Technology might improve almost everything we do but there are times when it simply gets in the way. For those lacking confidence in their writing ability, a spell check or autocorrect might be enough to give them peace of mind... but the technology isn't infallible.
For years, we at Pocket Copy have feared the potential disruption caused by a carless SMS asking a friend if they "fancy a riot at the bar". Similarly, when we're really annoyed, sending "What the duck!" just doesn't cut it. There are many other examples of the perils of autocorrect, as you'll see below, and it seems it's only going to get worse for Apple users.
As professionals we avoid autocorrect like the plague. Even the word processor's spell checker.
The brilliant Luke Sullivan puts it best in his book Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This:
"Don't depend on Spell-check. First of all, it won't notice mistakes like this in you're writing. Second, using Spell-check is just lazy. Seriously, if you have to use some stupid computer program on your writing, use Suck-check, whenever that one comes out."
The computer isn't always right. It just thinks it is.
To our great chagrin, there's a bar across the road from the Pocket Copy office with a beautifully designed canvas banner offering "Speciality Coffee's" and "Berties Dish's of the day". A spell check wouldn't have picked up any of those errors.
To further exacerbate the issue, users of Apple's iCloud will soon find their errors being baked in to their own personal dictionary. A new, hidden iOS 6 feature spots words you regularly misspell and, once you've ignored what your device believes is a mistake for long enough, goes ahead and adds the word to your iCloud dictionary. Effectively, if you make enough errors, your device will give up trying to correct you and tell your other iCloud devices to do the same.
While this might be useful for words you actually want to use, it does open the door to persistent errors and spelling mistakes.
The answer? Turn it all off and trust yourself. Take a few more minutes to read and absorb your words and the mistakes are sure to jump out at you.
If not, why not give us a call?
Three fine examples of autocorrect at its worst