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.

Advertisements

Chimborazo

You would have all guessed by now my love for fun facts (as seen in Fun Facts for You and various other posts) and my love for poet and TedTalker extraordinaire Rives (as seen in The 4am Mystery). So put those two together and you are looking at just about my favourite YouTube clip on the entire internet. And of course I just had to share it with you all, so prepare yourself for a motherload of fun facts you probably didn’t know (and your Dad probably doesn’t know) in 10 minutes of pure brilliance. Give it a watch –

And there we have it….Chimborazo.

Which Witch is Which?

The English language.

It’s the only one I speak…fluently anyway (Oui). But sometimes, and lately has been one of those times,  it just manages to baffle me in all new ways. I heard somewhere a while ago that English is the hardest language to learn, and I don’t know if that is true or not, but seriously I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s just crazy. So, considering there is no time like the present, I thought I would present you with this present of literary questions.

If I have one goose and two geese, why not one moose and two meese?

We here on the bloggersphere are writers who write, and workers who work, so why don’t hammers ham and grocers groce? And why is it that being a ‘wise man’ and a ‘wise guy’ mean the opposite thing, but having a ‘fat chance’ and a ‘slim chance’ mean the same thing?

I mean, how could it possibly be that dose, rose and lose don’t rhyme?

But it isn’t just spelling, I still think that whoever decided putting ‘g’ and ‘h’ together to make an ‘f’ sound (as in cough) is just cruel. Or that saying the word ‘queue’ is the same as saying ‘cue’.

Now if English didn’t confuse you before, I think that just about does it. However, if I still haven’t quite convinced you, just remember that lead and read rhyme and lead and read rhyme, but lead and read don’t rhyme and neither do lead and read…(good luck wrapping your head around that one first go).

And maybe it’s not even because the English language is that difficult, but that we are becoming consistently worse spellers. Now with technology and whatnot, you don’t need to learn spelling rules, that little red squiggle underneath words simply tells you all the answers. But sometimes even this fails us! And come on, you know English is complex when autocorrect doesn’t even know what were trying to say half of the thyme.

Blog Log – One Blog To Rule Them All

Yep, the Lord of the Rings references are still hanging around for this instalment of Blog Log. And I just know this one is going to be a beauty…let it begin!

Set off the confetti cannons, get the music on, and start the marching band because Write and Day has just ticked over 100 followers. That’s right, the big 1-0-0. We’ve officially hit the hundgy. Woohoo!

You my dearest reader are literally one of hundred intrepid blogging explorers who have been brave enough to stare this blog in the…err screen? and say “I’m going to follow you!”. And yes I know that one hundred people isn’t all that many in the bloggersphere, but one hundred people in real life? Whoa. I can’t even think about what one hundred people look like. I mean, that’s a lot of people. That’s not even a group of people, that’s a small army. Imagine if each of our hundred brought a friend, that would be…a slightly larger army.

We could become a flash mob. Or an angry mob. We could start a mexican wave. We could break the Guiness World Record for most people crammed into a Mini Cooper (yes, it’s a real thing – click here) So if anyone owns a Mini, let us know and we’ll get that ball rolling. We could be in a huge group hug. We could easily fill a double decker bus. We could book out a small aeroplane. We could book out an exceptionally large yoga class. If we all wrote ten pages each, we could write a 1000 page novel. We could book out one hundredth of Wembley Stadium (if my maths is correct).The point is, the possibilities of our hundred strong are endless really.

So a huge thank you to all hundred of you, and everyone else too, for jumping on the Write and Day bandwagon. It’s been a hoot so far, and I’m sure it will only continue to be as our small army of followers grows into that slightly larger army.

 

MAX HELP ME…I’M FEELING

I certainly have a tendency of stumbling across great treasures when scrolling around the internet looking for bloggy inspiration (and it seems you do too considering you are here…eh? eh?… Sorry). And not to exaggerate but what I am about to reveal to you is possibly the best website ever created in the history of “www.” You might have already guessed it if you picked up on the quote as the title of this post, but if you didn’t, and are still a bit confused wondering who on Earth Max is, then I will spill the beans. It is none other than…(insert drumroll)…the Jim Carrey Official Website.

Image

Now you might be thinking, come on Write and Day you can surely do better than that. But believe me when I say, you are in for the ride of your life.

From the Grinch toasters, to singing snails and dancing moose, clicking around on this website is the most bizarre experience. And it has quickly become both my most and least favourite website (other than the one you are reading this on of course). My favourite because it’s just legendary. My least favourite because it’s just a little, how do I put this, unsettling? It’s like when you see someone running through a busy city street and at first you’re thinking “Wahoo you go guy!” but your next thought is, “Wait, what are you running from…should I be worried?”. I’m not sure if that really describes it but nevertheless I have spent far too long fiddling around on there (Click on the hot air balloon).

Heaps of fun. A little odd. I love it. Way to go Jim.

Check it out for yourself – http://www.jimcarrey.com/index_jc.html

P.S. Max is the pet dog. Just in case you still needed that cleared up.

 

On Procrastinating

Image

There are many different forms of procrastination, all highly effective in the art of putting off doing something instead of actually doing it. I have compiled an extensive list for your convenience below – 

PROCRASTIBAKING – Baking something instead of doing what you are supposed to be doing

PROCRASTICLEANING – Cleaning everything (twice) instead of dong what you are supposed to be doing

PROCRASTIFREAKING – Panicking about all the things you should be doing while at the same time not doing them

PROCRASTILISTING – Making lists of what you have to do instead of doing them

PROCRASTISLEEPING – Naps are important for keeping the mind active…and not doing what you are supposed to be doing

PROCRASTISNACKING – Eating something because you need fuel to be doing what you are supposed to be doing instead of actually doing it

PROCRASTIRUNNING – Because going for a jog will help to clear your head and prepare you to do what you are supposed to be doing

PROCRASTISHARING – Taking a photo of yourself pretending to do what you are supposed to be doing and posting it online in an effort to make other people think you are actually doing it

PROCRASTISCROLLING – Scrolling through your social media instead of doing what you are supposed to be doing (are most likely coming across evidence of procrastisharing, see above)

PROCRASTIWATCHING – Watching that one last episode instead of doing what you are supposed to be doing

PROCRASTIBLOGGING – Blogging about something instead of doing what you are supposed to be doing (Example A….this post)

PROCRASTIREADING – Reading this blog post instead of doing what you are supposed to be doing

PROCRASTITHONNING – Doing all of these things in a marathon type fashion, instead of doing what you are supposed to be doing