Changing English language without trying


Every time I type the word “gorgeous” — apparently incorrectly — my phone changes it to “hotgroid.”

Is that even a word? In the olden days, (the 1980s) teachers would extol us to “look it up.” If I can’t spell it, how am I to do that?

Apparently, having typed that one too many times, my phone gave up trying and accepted the new spelling, entered it into the predictive text data bank and “hotgroid” was born. I don’t think it sounds as sweet, but who am I to argue? On one hand, I use the word gorgeous (aka hotgroid) a lot! On the other hand, hotgroid sounds like something you’d want a good cream, injection and minor surgery for.

Autocorrect, why do you do me like this?

Speaking English

The English language, at least the way we speak it here in America, is fascinating.

Living in the Midwest, it is my understanding that when actors are trying to lose any accent of their native land, it is the flat Midwestern accent that they emulate. That does not mean, however, that we are without our quirks and for eyeballs. For example, if you just read that and thought “eyeballs, huh?” Trust me, I meant that word to be foibles but text to talk heard ‘for eyeballs.” Yes, of course, but not the same thing at all. Thanks for playing autocorrect.

Correct, kind of

Autocorrect is a phenomena of today’s technology. It started with early computers offering spell check and convincing an entire generation that technology would save them from their own inability to spell properly. Having seen a major university send out many thousands of copies of a newsletter congratulating a woman for being named head of “Pubic Relations,” I am here to assure you that belief is a fallacy.

I like to think that woman (head of PUBLIC Relations, by the way) found the humor in the situation. I’m sure it made a nice addition to her scrapbook.

Today, we carry mini computers in the palms of our hands. In our quest to type ever faster with our thumbs, we rely on autocorrect, predictive text and text to talk. We’ve added little smiley faces and type “LOL” far too often just so people can “read” our tone of voice.

I am not saying this is entirely bad. The first to admit that I text more than I telephone, and that leaving me a voicemail is equivalent to writing your message on a paper airplane and flinging it in the general direction of where I may be. I might get it, but probably not.

Thanks, Siri

Meanwhile my device has accepted “hotgroid” as a word and now adds it every single time I attempt to type the word “gorgeous.” I didn’t mean to make hotgroid a word. It just sort of happened.

Autocorrect wants it and if there is one thing you do NOT do it is argue with autocorrect — or Siri — on a smartphone. She knows where you live and has satellite capabilities, and in many cases, your banking information. It’s best not to argue with her.

It still matters

If you read any social media conversation, you will run into people who truly think that spelling and grammar don’t matter. Sadly, they may have ideas to share, but endless run-on sentences, lacking in even basic punctuation, don’t make it easy to hear them. Today, autocorrect on most devices has made it easy to pretend that spelling (and proofreading) doesn’t matter.

Their, there and they’re very mistaken.


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.



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