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Auto Incorrect 86

theodp writes "Combine smartphone auto correction and fat-fingered virtual keyboard typing, writes Rob Walker, and the results can be hilarious and even shocking. The website Damn You, Autocorrect collects the awesomely embarrassing text messages that you never meant to send. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to masturbate some chicken for bisexuals night!"


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Auto Incorrect

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  • Filters... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @06:22PM (#34921272) Journal

    ...have led to some clbuttic mistakes.

  • by amazeofdeath ( 1102843 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @06:24PM (#34921300)

    It took only two and a half months for this to get on /., it's yesterday's news tomorrow, as usual.

    • It was mentioned just now in the latest Dork Tower.
    • by glwtta ( 532858 )
      It took only two and a half months for this to get on /., it's yesterday's news tomorrow, as usual.

      Is it really all that important that some bitch-fest about texting idiosyncrasies makes it to Slashdot the very instant it is published?

      I know we're in the social revolution and are all living at the speed of Twitter, or whatever, but really, is that the sort of "news" that loses its awesome impact after a few weeks?

      If it makes you feel any better, it seems the story was posted five days after the NYT
  • I'm crying!!! (Score:3, Informative)

    by IronWilliamCash ( 1078065 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @06:30PM (#34921344)
    Wow, this site is great, don't think I've cried this much laughing since!
    • Can you post some good examples? I'm stuck behind a proxy at work and could use a good laugh.

      • One I found: -- Just got back from the house. ++ good, did u pick up the fags and the Jews? ++ *i mean fags and keys, ++ **i mean bags and Jews ++ FML. I meant BAGS and KEYS. -- LOL, yeah I the keys and bags, I picked up some Jews too.
        • My favorite so far is the one where it autocorrected "Maid of Honor" to "Maid of gonorrhea"

          • Years ago I worked for a department which managed the displayed on electronic road signs. Management decided to display road safety slogans during idle time and sent through a list. The person who audited the list used a word processor with spell check. One message said Freeway emergency telephones are there for your connivance and safety. Fortunately the guy who loaded the messages into the sign control software picked up the mistake and changed "connivance" to "convenience".

          • Quite a few years back I was using Microsoft Word 2000 to type a job performance review document. I typed in the phrase 'See below job description' but omitted the space between below and job. It's suggested correction? 'See blowjob description'. I notice this suggestion is not made in later versions.
      • One of my favourites: ---I just figured out how to use cock slap on my iphone (kinda feel dumb) ----Ummmmm. What?----- HOLY SHIT! I mean: CAPSLOCK (kinda feel realy dumb now)
      • They're hit and miss, is still way funnier, not missing too much. There's no text, just screen shots :p

        - it's freakin loud
        - I wanna put a dick in his mouth
        - Ohhh hahahaha sock
        -Damn auto correct lmao
        = Haha


  • by mark72005 ( 1233572 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @06:30PM (#34921352)
    Welcome to last year, /.
  • As a side note, who designed the horrible buttons on the cellphone in the picture? It looks like an alarm clock out of the 1970s or something.
    • I would say Nokia but I'm already in like, 5 Nokia versus the world flamewars in other threads.

    • It's a Nokia N82, and the keys are actually not half bad - they are much better for fat fingers than most cellphone keyboards.
    • It's a Nokia. That's pretty tame by Nokia standards; some of their keypad designs have been somewhat Avant Garde over the years...

  • ... and whatever i tried it did not auto-corrected to those words in screenshots... pretty sure those were fake... but still funny.

    • by mangu ( 126918 )

      Well, at least "bisex" and "board" are all adjacent letters in a qwerty keyboard, so you cannot deny that it's possible.

      • by enterix ( 5252 )

        Possible, but don't blame auto-correct for your hungry desires...

        • Totally agree that some are fake and some are typos, but there is some comedy gold in there, regardless. Check out the 'best-of-dyac' button.
          • At least with iOS, it depends on your software version. For some reason my phone tries to correct mmmmmmmm to Klingon, budwieser to videotext and several other batshit crazy corrections, My friend's phone with a different version has different quirks.

            • it corrected something that I typed to "Schevardnadze" once. I was more than a little intoxicated at the time and can't remember what the typo it corrected to that was. But I remember texting a friend who also had an iPhone to see if it did it on theirs too. It did.

              I am quite confident I will never need to text someone Schevardnadze...although my phone has my back on the spelling if I do.
            • I think it depends on what words you use as well, my iPhone now auto corrects all kinds of words which aren't in the dictionary, such as the name of my employer, our products and the village I live in. It might be getting these from things like the address book of course so I don't know for sure.
              • If you cancel the autocorrect two or three times, it adds the word to its dictionary. I had to do it for a bunch of words because iOS doesn't offer a Canadian English autocorrect dictionary. Of course, if you spell something terribly wrong and cancel the correction, it'll up an decide that it only needs you to do it once.
    • I think the autocorrect learns from what you type, so they may still be genuine, although I don't doubt many are fake.
      • by tkprit ( 8581 )
        my autocorrect saves and eventually gives better suggestions; I've actually found it useful. It's getting better imo :)
        • which would have unfortunate implications for people who typed "masturbate" and "bisexual" etc, if the phone is picking the more frequently used possibility.

        • by jrumney ( 197329 )
          This feature may be contributing to the problem. If you mostly text crude jokes to your mates, you better proofread carefully next time you text your boss to say you'll be late for work, or you might not have a job by the time you get there.
  • Gabriel Iglesias does an entire stand-up routine about how his iPhone auto-corrected his confession to his wife (about being out drinking) and "lied for him" by changing it to something more innocuous: []

    Short version: it changed it from "Cina Bar" to "Cinnabon".

  • This isn't specific to smartphones, but my least favorite thing about autocorrect is how it's obliterated everyone's ability to put a proper apostophe at the beginning of a word. When an apostrophe shows omitted letters at the beginning of a word, as in 'cause (short for because) or a year shortened to two digits, it's supposed to be a regular apostrophe that (if it isn't just vertically straight, like the ASCII character) looks like a closing single quotation mark. You know, ’. But because Micros

    • You can turn off Smart Quotes in Word.

    • widely accepted usage = evolution.

      do you also lament the loss of the word "gay"?

      already uppercase usage has disappeared except in formal situations.

      and words are being conjoined all the time - upper case -> upper-case -> uppercase

    • It is meet that thou dost fear this bastardization of Couth Speech. I would that there be no turning to the Right nor to the Left in our honest pursuit of Gude Englishe. It is Most Unseemly that tittle hath passed to dot, and I wot that thou has judged true, that current Forms and Proper Usages for the Setting of Type shall soon pass away. It is a most lamentable state of affairs, second only unto the Deplorable disinclination towards Proper Capitalisation where it is most Called For. All of these Offen

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      I think this is more an issue of writing being too hard for the majority of people to do correctly. Like the comma, apostrophes are misused often. I think you are probably right that because the computer corrects something people assume it must be right, but that is a problem of ignorance rather than an issue with the software.

      The question then is are people too poorly educated or is writing too complex. I suspect most /. contributors feel that quality of writing is important and says a lot about the writer

  • by WiglyWorm ( 1139035 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @06:57PM (#34921644) Homepage
    /. How can I contact your advertising department to get a sponsored pidt like this one?
    • how ironic. That should say "am" but I am on my phone using swype.
      • by e4g4 ( 533831 )
        Swype didn't autocorrect "sm" to "am"? That one seems like a no brainer - the only other reasonable word it could be is "em", and aside from web designers and people who like to spell letters, it has a low probability of being anything other than "am". Personally, I was more amused by "pidt", but that's primarily because I didn't immediately auto-correct it in my head; it took a sec.

        Speaking of auto-correcting in one's head, am I the only one who still, on occasion, reads the word "of" in a text message
  • This is not new. In the mid 90's I sent a message to a "Lisa Brennan". Microsoft Word recommended "Pregnant" in place of "Brennan", and in my haste to fix all the spelling errors and get it out, I didn't proof-read the result sufficiently. Fortunately, Lisa was understanding after being shown how Word works (or doesn't work), but it could have meant my job if circumstances were a little different.

  • . . . however, not this.
  • They're quick to blame the auto-correct, but the fact is that it wouldn't be triggered most of the time if people could just learn to spell words correctly and avoid texting-speak. Rather than own up to their own incompetence, they'd rather blame the tools. If only it would embarrass them into actually learning to spell instead of teaching the machine to accept their idiosyncratic errors. (E.g. Brian Tong of CNET's Apple Byte repeatedly tried to type the idiosyncratic "kewl" instead of "cool" and it assumed

    • by v1 ( 525388 )

      OR they could read what they've typed before hitting SEND

      but I'm chronically guilty of that myself, but it tends to be when I somehow futz up the last word or two in the sentence and my reading hasn't quite caught up with the end of the line when my fingers get anxious and hit the retrn key

    • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )

      I can't speak for other people, but I'm about the worst speller I know, and misspellings account for probably only about 10-20% of the autocorrections my phone does on me. Most of the time it kicks in because the phone doesn't have the word I'm typing in the dictionary, or because the phone and my fingers had different opinions on what key was being pressed on my touchscreen's simulated keyboard. If it wasn't for the convenience of that last reason, I'd probably turn the damn autocorrect off.

      My own person

    • I rely on autocorrect because I want to type faster than 1 WPM and I have trouble always pressing the proper "key" on a screen that's A) virtual and B) way too small to really type on. It's not because I'm an idiot who can't spell. See the difference?
    • Nice try, and the elitism in your post will get your post modded up, but this isn't a problem limited to the illiterate, or those with a lackadaisical attitude to spelling and grammar. My Droid's touch-screen keyboard's keys are close together and a combination of mis-hit keys and auto-correct/auto-complete means that, if I hadn't proof-read them, some strange messages would have been sent. If I were in a hurry, or not concentrating, it's easy to imagine that even the most egregious example from damnyouauto
  • IT is instrumental in people dying, secrets being leaked, governments falling, oppressive regimes continuing to oppress, billions being transacted, but alas, we get auto-correct 'funnies' here.
  • Seriously, damn those auto-playing Activa ads. I really don't want to hear about the benefits of yogurt while I'm perusing the pages.

    • by d6 ( 1944790 )
      Ad Block [] No script [] fix the problem nicely.
      Not sure what add-on gets rid of "stories" like this. Did anyone else think "paid link" once the site loaded?
  • Whorehouse (Score:4, Funny)

    by dimer0 ( 461593 ) on Tuesday January 18, 2011 @07:59PM (#34922170)
    Funniest autocorrect that happened to me (on iPhone 4, but I just checked and it's fixed in most currently release)... I was getting ready to go on a trip to Washington DC and my local representative is pretty active on twitter, so while I quickly posted a tweet:

    "Hey I'm heading to DC tomorrow, any chance for VIP tickets to the Whitehouse"?

    The problem was, Whitehouse autocorrected to 'Whorehouse'. I didn't realize this until the next day. My rep had a sense of humor when I deleted that tweet and sent another the next day (apologizing for the first)... Something like "Very peculiar typo"..

    • What's the difference between a whorehouse and the White House? Both are full of people happy to screw you and will do almost anything for money.

      Wait, that's not quite true: The whores have standards.

  • One of the first things I did when I got my iPhone is figure out how to switch off autocorrect. I mean it was making really wierd suggestions. I think Apple needs to rewrite their algorithm, unless it was intended as a joke

    • it gets better as you use it. I hated it at first...and it still gets things wrong....but I wouldn't want it off now. For all the times it makes you go back and more often figures out a long word for you so you don't have to type it all.
  • Have my fingers become fatter since around iOS 4.x / iPhone4 or did they screw something up? Even with the original 2G iPhone I recall being able to type quickly and accurately. Now I just seem to hit the wrong letters and trigger mysterious linebreaks all the time - also when doing things like pressing shift, the following key-tap doesn't seem to register.

    I know this isn't tech support, just I know Slashdotters tend to be a bit more knowledgable on these matters than the anything-negative-deniers on Appl

  • With a combination of iOS 4's autocorrection and my own typos, I sent something like this to my girlfriend:

    I can't wait to give you HIV!

    I meant to say "I can't wait to give you a hug!", but this atrocity of a text message was sent instead. I was like, ohshitohshitohsit! Luckily, she recognized it, but still tormented me with it for a minute or so.

  • I can tell you from experience, auto-correct is absolutely HORRIBLE if you happen to text regularly in more than 1 language.

    I live in Ottawa, Canada and I have many friends who speak English, and many who speak French.
    I constantly have to switch between French & English while texting. I could be typing a perfectly good reply in English, but I forgot to switch the autocorrect language and it starts changing all my words.
    Or worse, I change the autocorrect language by accident, and the same thing occurs. I

  • Most of these examples are from Apple devices. Apple's on-screen keyboards are among the worst on any platform. Not only is the autocorrection extremely poor, users can't replace the keyboard, and the way you choose between autocorrection and original is just wrong.

    • I was thinking around those lines too. Why are almost all the mistakes done with iPhones? Like there is a rare one that isn't an iPhone, but it seems very rare. I admit that my Androids auto correct wasn't that great (tried it with Swype, hated it), but I don't recall it being as bad as these examples. Noticed the odd message here and there from my friends who own iPhones but always thought it was their fast typing causing the issues. Does pretty much every iPhone user notice this problem and just ignore it
      • by t2t10 ( 1909766 )

        Unlike iPhone, Android lets you replace the soft keyboard and there are many choices; some of those are much less prone to errors like the iPhone.

        Also, of course, people who text a lot just get an Android phone with a physical keyboard, which is still by far the most reliable way of entering text on a mobile device.

      • by joh ( 27088 )

        Well, taking a screenshot on an iPhone is very simple (press the power and the home button at the same time), on most Android phones not so much.

        And then I think most of this site is nothing but one big fake anyway. They're just serving the preconceptions of a certain kind of audience.

  • ...even when it's not being embarrassing. Autocorrect algorithms are so incredibly stupid that it's hard to believe... things like autocorrecting piison to prison instead of poison or "meibe" (german for my) to to "keine" instead of "meine" just piss me off. iOS does better than most others, but still can't make out what I'm trying to type most of the time... I end up taking longer correcting the mistakes Autocorrect makes than I take when I just turn it off.

    Autocorrect is the first thing I disable on prett

    • by joh ( 27088 )

      FU Autocorrect!

      Yeah, I have often thought I would much prefer a way to explicitely enter words into a dictionary (by hitting some button after typing them) from which the keyboard then tries to complete words as I type them. I mean, I like it when I don't have to type the very same long names and similar words over and over. But I hate this kind of Artificial Idiocy that tries to guess what I actually meant to write when I typed something else.

      The thing is that as soon as you switch autocorrect off you also don't get any

      • What's the point of completions when they're wrong half the time? I can type pretty well with my thumbs, and a decently responsive touchscreen will allow you to type at a relatively error-free rate... you just have to work at it.

        It's nothing against a hardware keyboard, of course, but much faster than typing with autocorrect on and having to correct the corrections all the time.

        For people who type slowly with their thumbs, I'm sure Autocomplete is a godsend. For people who aren't technophobes, I'm guessing

        • by joh ( 27088 )

          The completions are often wrong because they're not just completions. Especially iOS tries to guess what letters you *meant* to type. Completions that would just work with what you actually *have* typed at the beginning of a word would be much less often be wrong.

  • when I first got my iPhone, I was typing a message and the autocorrect changed one word to penis. The strange thing was that the word I was trying to type did not bear any resemblance to penis. I thought I had found some sort of strange easter egg, but could not reproduce the error.
  • Every screenshot is from an iPhone. It seems like this is the only phone that has this problem.

    • by joh ( 27088 )

      Every screenshot is from an iPhone. It seems like this is the only phone that has this problem.

      Well, taking a screenshot with an Android phone isn't that easy at all... with an iPhone you just press the sleep and home buttons and you're done.

      • Actually that's a good point. iOS has screenshot support out of the box. On Android you have to root the phone. Only recent versions of Blackberry OS that support apps can take screenshots with a free 3rd party app.

        WebOS has it built-in and Maemo has an app in the repos for it, but nobody uses those (unfortunately...they're better than the other current-gen phone OSes by a huge margin).

  • Has been LOLing at this site almost every night for the past few months, so yeah, I already knew about this one!
  • I call it "miscorrection."

No problem is so large it can't be fit in somewhere.