Why Auto-Correct Is The Devil

Taylor Mali, poet and all around linguistic genius, once spoke of a problem affecting ‘manly manly students across the Word’, a problem so deeply ingrained in our society that the worst offenders don’t even know that they are taking part. Mali described this in his poem, The The Impotence of Proofreading. However, Mr. Mali, your highness-almighty, through a series of unfortunate and tortuous experiences I have boiled this down even further to one single compromising factor, and I am here today to share this with you.

From a very young age we learn to read, we learn to write, we learn to dot our I’s and we learn to add apostrophe’s to our possessives. Then somewhere along the long twisted road to adulthood, we forget a few of those rules, not really the important ones, but a few nonetheless. That is to say, some rules are less memorable but we can still function as human beings when it comes to communication of the written form.

Fast forward a little while and somewhere around the turn of the Century came Mr. Jobs with his good intentions and Apple wizardry, and as a generation we all lost our fucking (excuse my language) minds. It changed the world, but was it for the better? I have to say, as an IPhone user and winner of my second grade Spelling Bee, I find it a little ironic that the smart phone is the one piece of technology that is making us dumber.

According to a study by the BBC, in a poll of over 2,000 students it was found that over a third could not spell the word ‘definitely’, two-thirds could not spell the word ‘necessary’ and, in an even more alarming statistic, only 9% said that they never use spellcheck to correct such errors for them.

And there it is, those fateful words – spellcheck. The Apple Computers term is ‘auto-correct’, and it’s that handy little popup bubble that manages to edit all of your misspellings before you get a chance to notice you’ve made them. Pre-installed, ready to dull your mind of any prior knowledge of ‘I before E’. Yes auto-correct, I have come to accept, is the most harmful piece of technology currently gracing this planet.

The BBC has even given us all a name, “The Auto-Correct Generation”. Not only is this an outrageously bland and uninventive nickname, it just doesn’t do justice to the creative, inspiring and resourceful minds which should be depictive of those growing up in the tech boom. As the youngest generation we are among the likes of Leila Janah and Jay Kimmelman who with their companies, are working to end third-world poverty. We are among the likes of Jack Andraka, who received the National Jefferson Award at the age of 17 for his work on a potential method for detecting the early stages of pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers. Yes, there is a boy the age of 15 who is curing cancers, but alas here we are, known as the generation who can’t spell the third-grade level word ‘definitely’.

Ian McNeilly, director of the National Association for the Teaching of English said that the use of auto-correct in phones and computers has become a ‘knee-jerk reaction’,

“if people are blindly writing things and expecting automated programs to address all of their inaccurate spellings, that’s a concern – because they won’t. It’s the linguistic equivalent of indiscriminate sat nav users driving into canals”.

You heard the man.

Driving.

Into.

Canals.

I’m not going to lie to you all, there was a point in my life where I was an autocorrected zombie too. However, one lazy Sunday afternoon after letting various family and acquaintances in my contact list know I would be ‘coming in for a sex’ instead of a ‘sec’, something clicked in my brain and at that very moment I collectively lost my will to live and battled through the twelve layers of Settings mastery to turn off autocorrect. And it is the best decision I ever made. It sounds pretentious but I refuse, as a human being living on this fine Earth, to leave it to a machine to spell for me.

Autocorrect is the devil, and I am a woman scorned.

However, I still live it hope. I like to think of myself as a reckless optimist, but I do have my limits. Hashtags and memes, not a problem, emoji’s are absolutely fine (the moonface is my favourite), but sometimes even the Oxford Dictionary likes to test the parameters. A quick flick through the modern dictionary will reveal that due to popular usage, words like ‘bruh’ and ‘awesomesauce’ have been added to it’s hallowed pages. Surely we realize there’s a problem with that when Microsoft Word still puts that dreaded little red squiggle under those words (they are sitting there right now as I type just taunting me).

Anyhow, I digress.

Generation Y I am talking to you here. This is do or die now, for the love of all that is good and pure just turn off your autocorrect. Learn to spell words again, learn to finish typing words even. I refuse to believe that such a boundless and innovative group of humans can be defined as the most aggressively inarticulate generation there has ever been. We have the world’s resources at our feet, we can research, we can learn, we can question and we can investigate. So why are we all still stuck here struggling with which witch is which? I’m not saying any of us need to go back to school, or attend a nation-wide spelling bee, but I am saying that in between all the IPhones, IPads, and IPods, I’ve just had enough.

Definitely.

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Grand Return and Life Musings

So here we are, bet you never thought this day was coming hey? I’ve been taking “long time, no blog” to the next level. I could’ve easily let this roll around to the two year silence but that just isn’t my style…one year eight months is pretty perfect.

Now you’re probably all wondering why I haven’t been on here – what could I have possibly been doing for this length of time to have warranted such actions? I realise I’ve left you all hanging and being the dedicated and unwavering audience that you are I think it’s only fair I explain myself properly. No doubt you have all waited patiently, checking every day without fail to see if Write and Day was back in the stratosphere and finally after all this time the silence is broken. The truth is, I was writing a detailed and all-encompassing biography on the longevity of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s marriage. That uh…fell through. Anyway I’m back!

What else have I done in that nearly two years? I was going to give you a day-by-day run through but I changed my mind at about day 423 so I’ll just sum it up briefly – I did some study, read a book or two, discovered I enjoy pickles, saved some money, spent some money, drank wine, laughed a lot, cried a little, got a tattoo (small, modest, meaningful), tried learning chess (still haven’t won a game but I’ll keep you updated), didn’t get stung by any bees, and ticked off a couple of bucket listings along the way.

I’ve even gone M.I.A. on you all before but that was just for a mere month! A MONTH! I even wrote a whole blog post apologising for my rude and lengthy disappearance (To read that post click here, but not here). If only I’d known what was coming, I’d have given myself an aneurysm.

Anywho, there wasn’t anything in particular I wanted to chat about other than getting something out there into the big bad blogging world so this is pretty much the end of this post. Short and sweet seems a good way to go at this point.

Who knows maybe you’ll hear from me tomorrow (probably not), maybe I’ll be back next week (probably not). Either way I will be back so stay tuned.

I don’t know about you but 2018 is feeling like a good year for the old blog…

Stay zesty,

Write and Day

(Authors Note: I’ve never signed off any of these blogs before and I don’t know why I did it that time but I kind of like the jazziness of it so I’m going to leave it there just this once). 

 

Would You Fly In A Glass-Bottomed Plane?

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Initial thoughts…no freaking way. 

I have copied those pictures from a 2013 Virgin Atlantic post – an announcement releasing the first ever glass-bottom Airbus A320 flying domestically within the UK.

I don’t often fly, and it’s only been over the last few years that I have started to (almost) enjoy flying. And when I say ‘enjoy’ I mean ‘not grip the armrests for dear life on take off’. So you can understand my apprehension at being able to see the tarmac fall away under you as you jet 35,000 feet or so into the thin air. 

As I thought about this over the next few minutes, the more I realised that I probably would go on that plane. But there is no way in hell I would be getting up to walk down the aisle. That would just be terrifying. But a short, no need to stand up, flight? Yeah why not.

By this point in my thought process I had truly convinced myself that this was a grand innovation in air travel, and someday I would travel in it. However, I decided to do a little more research into this  to see when this masterstroke would be in the skies. 

So you can understand my dismay when I found out it was a Virgin Atlantic April Fools joke. 

Initial thoughts…how could you do this to me Richard?! 

Clearly I was more on board (get it?) with this idea than I had realised, because I was sufficiently devastated. I had lived with this idea for no more than fifteen minutes, and my trust in the Internet was completey crushed (because clearly you should believe anything you read on the internet as a totally factual account of everything, ever, especially on April 1st). I think I was more upset about this fake glass bottomed plane than when I read that study saying both Jack and Rose could’ve actually fitted on the driftwood. I could practically hear Celine singing in the background, as tears rolled down my cheeks. 

Okay there weren’t any tears, I do have a life. 

But of course I realise now that logistically it wouldn’t work. Where would you put the luggage hull etc etc.

But the idea of it makes you think doesn’t it? What could be next? A completely ‘glass’ aeroplane, like the elevator in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Wow, that would be insane. Even Willy Wonka wouldn’t be booking that flight I don’t think. 

(Read the Virgin Atlantic post here)