I am in a love/hate relationship with auto correct on my iPhone and don’t even get me started on Siri (which half the time totally gets everything I say wrong). With all of that said, in general auto correct and even Siri have become tools I rely on when texting. However, I can’t tell you the number of times I have read back what I sent to another person and felt completely embarrassed. I also find myself on the receiving end of garbled up texts quite a bit. Here is a brief summary of the types of auto-correct errors that I can think of off the top of my head:
- The Embarrassingly Racy Auto-Correct – One of the most common and most embarrassing auto-corrects is the inadvertently explicit message, where a phrase that was intended to be devoid of questionable content becomes riddled with racy words and references. Depending on who’s on the receiving end, these auto-corrects can be downright humiliating.
- The Inscrutable Auto-Correct – On occasion, an auto-correct will make so little sense that neither the composer nor the reader has the slightest idea what’s being shared. These inscrutable messages are frustrating, but aren’t legible enough to be embarrassing.
- The Mad Libs Auto-Correct – Some auto-corrects can be read as normal sentences, albeit inappropriate ones. Others read more like the product of a Mad Libs worksheet. All of the words in the message can be read, but have the literary merit of a bowl of alphabet soup when they’re taken into account collectively.
- The Alarming Auto-Correct – When a benign statement is turned into something alarming or a message of emergency because of the auto-correct function, panic and a lot of crossed wires can ensue. Unfortunately, these are also quite common.
- The Convincing Auto-Correct – An auto-corrected message that comes across seamlessly, makes perfect sense and is easy to read may still have a text content that’s utterly removed from the idea the original composer was trying to convey. This is a convincing auto-correct, and can be problematic when there are directions involved.
- The Mortifying Bodily Function Auto-Correct – There are people in your life you can frankly discuss a bodily function with, but the majority of the people you speak with on a daily basis probably aren’t that close. That’s why the bodily function discussion inserted into a polite conversation can leave the sender red in the face.
- The Accidental Profanity Auto-Correct – If you use profanity regularly enough for auto-correct to add those words to your dictionary, you shouldn’t be surprised when they’re substituted for non-profane words in a message to your mother, grandmother, or other relative.
- The Forced Confession Auto-Correct – Because frequently used words make their way into your dictionary, the majority of the most embarrassing auto-corrected messages are also forced confessions. Auto-corrected words do tend to be an accurate representation of your actual speaking style, warts and all.
- The False Confession Auto-Correct – Just as your smartphone’s auto-correct feature can land you into justifiable hot water, it can also be the source of a false confession of sorts. Context is everything, and when words come out wrong you may find yourself inadvertently confessing to something you’re not actually guilty of.
- The Scheduling Conflict Auto-Correct – One of the reasons it’s important to double-check your messages, especially those that contain meeting details, is that auto-correct functions can change vital details without your notice. If you don’t want your companion to show up to the wrong place at the wrong time, be sure that the message you’ve sent hasn’t been maimed by auto-correct.
- The First Meeting Snafu Auto-Correct – Some things are appropriate to say before a first business meeting, while others are most certainly not. Because either smartphones or the universe have a sense of humor, auto-correct will invariably send the inappropriate message approximately five minutes before or after a promising first meeting.
- The Parental Auto-Correct – There are plenty of auto-correct failures that embarrass their senders and make for a good laugh, but none are as horrifying as the dreaded parental auto-correct. Whether you’re accidentally getting profane commentary from your dad or inadvertently sending racy phrases to your father (right kids???), there’s no way to get those statements out of your head once they’ve been unleashed by auto-correct.
Depending on the type of auto-correct failure that you’ve encountered and to whom it was sent, these tech-forward typos can have varying degrees of humiliation attached to them. Regardless of how mortified you are, immediately send a message explaining that you’ve had an auto-correct malfunction and did not mean to send such a message. In most cases, the situation can be easily laughed off because it is so common nowadays.