Autocorrect fails are nothing new. In fact, I’m about a decade behind the times in discussing this, and the internet has probably moved on to some new fascinating failure like…I don’t know…mortgaging your house to buy Bitcoins or something. Regardless, I’m going to talk about autocorrect fails because this particular problem is pretty new to me.
A few months back, I got a new phone–a Galaxy S7. I was really stoked about it because I was transitioning from an iPhone, and one of the features I loved about my old Android phones was that they came pre-installed with a Swype keyboard and the iPhone did not (I had to install a 3rd party app).
Swype is my jam. If you’re uninitiated, Swype is a text-input method that allows you to run your finger over the keyboard to spell out a word (instead of tapping your fingers like some troglodyte), and the software predicts what word you intended to spell. This can lead to some minor issues since multiple words could have the same Swype pattern, but after a few weeks of using the feature, the keyboard tends to “learn” what words you spelled most frequently with a given Swype. Super time saving when you need to text in a hurry, and super handy when you need to text your wife with one hand because you discovered you are out of diapers as you were picking your poop-smeared infant up out of his own filth, and you literally can’t move your left arm without starting the poopocalypse.
The problem with my Galaxy S7 is that, no matter how often I type certain words, my Swype keyboard just can’t figure out that, no, I didn’t mean that word. When would I ever use that word?
Here are the top 6 WTF? autocorrects my Galaxy S7 thinks I “actually” meant:
6. I Swype Kids. My phone writes Kurds.
I’m a parent and a teacher. I reference ‘kids’ a lot in my text messages. Unfortunately, my phone apparently wants me to discuss Middle Eastern minority ethnic groups instead of children because it constantly interprets my swype of ‘kids’ as ‘Kurds.’ I’m all in favor of granting further autonomy to the oppressed cultural minorities of Iraqi Kurdistan and its surrounding areas, but I rarely have an opportunity or need to discuss this in my day-to-day conversations. Thanks, Swype.
5. I Swype You. My phone writes Yippy.
The word ‘you’ is ranked 14th on this list of most commonly used English words. The word ‘yippy’ isn’t even on the list. There are five thousand words on that list. ‘Yippy’ isn’t among them. And yet, my phone consistently assumes that I am not trying to write ‘you,’ but that instead I want to write the most cloying and contrived line from the Star Wars prequels. No. Stop it. I have never been tempted to use the word ‘yippy’ in my life, even ironically.
4. I Swype It’s or Its. My phone writes Outs.
At first, this doesn’t seem like it’s so far off, but think about the word ‘outs’ for a minute. Not ‘out,’ but ‘outs‘ with a plural ‘s’ on the end. I use the word ‘out’ a lot. “Do you need anything while I’m out?” “Did we put the trash out?” “Are you out of your ever-loving mind?” So if the autocorrect were ‘out,’ I could understand. But no one has ever needed to use the word ‘outs’ beyond the phrase ‘ins and outs’ and conversations about baseball. I don’t use the former or talk about the latter, so what the hell, phone?
3. I Swype Sorry. My phone writes Situ.
What? What the eff, Swype? “Situ”? Are you serious? As in the freaking Latin phrase in situ, meaning “in its original place”? Because there is literally no other meaning or use for the word “situ” in English. Am I missing something? Is this some stupid teen shorthand for “situation” or some other nonsense? If not, then I’m completely lost. Again, I’m a husband, so I write “I’m sorry” frequently in my texts, and every time my phone displays “I’m situ.” Screw you, Swype. Situ not situ.
2. I Swype Just. My phone writes Jyst.
Ok…so there are three options for the word “jyst.” First, it could be straight-up gibberish which is completely useless, but I wouldn’t put it past the software (see “situ” above). Second, it could be an archaic spelling of the word “gist,” which is arguably less useless than gibberish, but still pointless. The last option, and the one that would be most hilarious, is that it could refer to the app Jyst, which bills itself on Google (in all caps, by the way) as,
THE NEW ANONYMOUS RELATIONSHIP ADVICE APP CREATED BY AND FOR WOMEN. ON JYST YOU CAN ASK ANY QUESTION, SHARE ADVICE OR VOTE ON A USER’S NEXT STEP. JYST IS A BUILT-IN SUPPORT NETWORK WHEN YOU NEED IT MOST. AVAILABLE ON ITUNES APP STORE.
Wow. Is Jyst paying for some sort of advertising on Swype? Like, they pay a premium to have their app name appear whenever someone writes “just,” in hopes of driving more clueless people to the Internet in search of answers? Because that’s…kind of brilliant, actually. I’ll allow this autocorrect to stick around, but jyst this one.
1. I Swype What. My phone writes Whay.
The word “what” is another one of those common words that shouldn’t be confused with anything else, but apparently the proximity of the ‘Y’ and the ‘T’ on the keyboard is such that there is confusion in the Swype software as to whether I mean “what” or “whay,” and the software has decided to default to “whay” because…reasons. In fact, when I Googled the word just in case it had a definition, this is what came up:
YES! I DID MEAN “WHAT”! Why does Google understand what I want, but the phone that runs on Google’s OS doesn’t?
Like “Jyst,” I suppose “whay” could be intentional, as I recently discovered that, just below that “Did you mean” message, a result shows “whay” has an Urban Dictionary definition:
A word used to describe frustration, shock, or questioning. Can be uttered in many tones. Can be synonymous with “What the heck?” or “Huh?”
So it’s stupid teen slang for “what”? Fu–. Ugh. This and the fact that Swyping “it” will occasionally get “ur” instead leave me very little hope for the survival of standard grammar. When the slang becomes the default, we’ve lost the war, English teachers.
In fact, nothing on this list makes me feel good about the future of the language.
Swype, yippy situ piece of junk. Whay the hell?