Interlude: WTF, iOS spellchecker?

Taking a break from the travel blog, to get a long overdue task out of the way.  I was clearing out my phone and iPad of old photos, I ran across a bunch of spellchecking errors that I’ve been capturing over the last year or so, vaguely planning to post them somewhere.  Might as well do it now, while I’m looking at them, and this seems like a convenient place to do it.

Look, I get that spellchecking programs can’t be perfect.  I don’t expect them to recognize arcane terms, all the computer acronyms and slang that I know, geek/scifi phrases, etc.  If I call someone a noob, or a skrill, or reference a dyson sphere, or use “legal” but unconventional English, a red highlight in a normal editor doesn’t surprise me.  So, it’s not unexpected when things like this happen:

Not a lot of twereking going on out there, so I get this.

Not a lot of twereking going on out there, despite what you hear in the media, so I get this.

 

But they are, of course, really annoying, because iOS autocorrects unless you spot it trying and hit that little “X” to abort the process.  And, when you don’t, you either get weird errors that puzzle your audience, or you catch them after the correction and have to delete and retype, sometimes several times.  Maddening.

And some of this, I have no idea what weirdness of programming would cause it to fail.  Like:

"Story" is a problem?  "Story"? Really, please tell me the tale of how "story" isn't a word, and "tutors" is better.

“Story” is a problem? “Story”? Really, please tell me the tale of how “story” is not a word, and “tutors” is better.

 

Of course, where my iOS devices really break down is at the apostrophe.  Apparently, these miracles of modern technology have the same problem with contractions as Commander Data — perhaps Data’s ancestral routines come from Apple. (And, honestly, would you be surprised if that were true?)  Once an apostrophe appears, iOS just freaks the fuck out, and starts grabbing for random alternatives, resulting in a long list of these:

Yes, iPad. "that' sweat" makes much more sense than "that's what".

Yes, iPad, “that’ sweat” makes much more sense than “that’s what”.

 

Pretty sure Sandy Thing is Ben Grimm's wife.

Pretty sure Sandy Thing is Ben Grimm’s wife.

 

Yes, sure, I can teat, but I generally prefer not to.

Yes, sure, I can teat, but I generally prefer not to.

 

Where should I say it? There. There say.

Where should I say it? There. There say.

 

I think I'd be bothered less if the recommended alternatives made any sense. Any at all.

I think I’d be less bothered if the recommended alternatives made any grammatical or semantic sense. Any at all.

 

Hey, here's one that comes close! Not in context, of course, but at least the words make sense!

Hey, here’s one that comes close! Not in context, of course, but at least the words make sense!

 

Another close call.  Missed it by *that* much!

Another close call. Missed it by *that* much! On the plus side, the miscorrected version sounds happier.

 

Oh, come on!  I'm literally only two words into this tweet, and you hate both of them.

Oh, come on! I’m literally only two words into this tweet, and you hate both of them.

 

Ok, (a) I wasn't done typing, so enough with the prejudging.  And (b) "sivas" isn't a word!!! My gods, at least try to replace my "bad" words with actual, real, "good" words.  Can we at least stick to that?

Ok, (a) I wasn’t done typing, so enough with the prejudging. And (b) “sivas” isn’t a word!!! My gods, at least try to replace my “bad” words with actual, real, “good” words. Can we at least stick to that?

One letter further along, and I was starting to wonder if I should include this one.  Then I remembered what it was I was trying to spell: "vasoconstrictors".  No, really. It made sense in the message thread.

One letter further along, and I was starting to wonder if I should include this one. Then I remembered what it was I was trying to spell: “vasoconstrictors”. No, really. It made sense in the message thread, I promise.

 

I confess, this one blows my mind a little bit. How the hell does iOS make this correction? "Aaa agh" is a correction for "Aaaagh"? It's like a Monty Python routine.  Or maybe Frye and Laurie.

I confess, this one blows my mind a little bit. How the hell does iOS make this correction? “Aaa agh” is a correction for “Aaaagh”? It’s like a Monty Python routine. Or maybe Fry and Laurie.

 

On the plus side, at least there’s some consistency in its insanity:

Common word choice, replaced by uncommon one.  Par for the course.

Common word choice, replaced by uncommon one. Par for the course.

 

The same correction, 2 months later. Who'd have thought an Apple product was obsessed with style? (Oh, wait... only everyone.)

The same correction, 2 months later. Who’d have thought an Apple product was obsessed with style? (Oh, wait… only everyone.)

 

And yet, consistency doesn’t help with things like this, does it:

It scutes now, does it? Does it really?

It scutes now, does it? Does it really?

 

I do think iOS is changing a bit.  The recent miscorrections have stopped including the letters in front of the apostrophe, as we see here:

I can't go so far as to call it an improvement, but it's different.

I can’t go so far as to call it an improvement, but it’s different.

 

So, maybe the change is a harbinger of a real fix in the future.  Though I confess, I would miss the comedy value at least a tiny bit.

itSnot

This is funny, because I’m still in 4th grade.

 

 

 

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One Response to Interlude: WTF, iOS spellchecker?

  1. Florida says:

    Classic! You should send this post to Apple.

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