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Damn You, Autocorrect!
Awesomely Embarrassing Text Messages You Didn't Mean to Send
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- ebook $1.99 $2.99 CAD
- Trade Paperback $16.99 $22.49 CAD
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“Damn You, Autocorrect!”
If you own an iPhone, BlackBerry, Droid, or any smartphone, there’s a good chance you’ve screamed that phrase out at least once. In Damn You, Autocorrect!, pop-culture blogger Jillian Madison shows you are not alone.
Filled with submissions from readers of her popular website, this laugh-out-loud funny book features cringe-worthy exchanges with parents, friends, significant others, and co-workers that contain some of the most unintentionally hilarious–and mortifying–mistakes ever caused by Autocorrect. Inside, you’ll find a husband who tells his wife that he just “laid” (paid) the babysitter, a dad who tells his daughter that he and her mom are going to “divorce” (Disney), and many more epic texting fails too raunchy to list here.
Whether you love technology, texting humor, or taking just a little bit of pleasure in the misfortune of others, Damn You, Autocorrect! will leave you laughing until you cry, and thankful that nothing this embarrassing has happened to you. Yet.
To Mom & Dad.
Thank you for not owning smartphones, and for only mildly freaking out when I shunned corporate life to “work on the internets.”
Get ready, because tonight, we’re goin’ TOMCAT.
My best friend, and the most amazing woodchuck you will ever meet. I meant woman! Damn you, Autocorrect!
And to everyone who contributed to the website and this book.
Thank you for not proofreading before hitting send.
Text on, motherduckers!
“DAMN YOU, AUTOCORRECT!”
If you own a smartphone, there’s a good chance you’ve screamed that phrase at least once. Maybe you sent a text to your spouse that you “f’d the dog” (fed) or fired off a note to a co-worker about your “bad case of the manboobs” (Mondays). Either way, Autocorrect was likely the culprit.
While the feature on our mobile devices can be a blessing, it’s also often a curse. It frequently changes words without rhyme or reason, and if you hit “send” too quickly, it can lead to some funny, confusing, or just plain embarrassing results. I found that out the hard way in the summer of 2010 when I innocently tried to invite a few friends over for an evening of gelato. My iPhone’s Autocorrect, however, had another idea and asked them over for a night of “fellatio.” And just like that, Autocorrect turned me into a hussy. What would my mother say!
Shortly after the gelato/fellatio incident, I started wondering if other people out there were having similar experiences with their smartphones. So I purchased the www.damnyouautocorrect.com domain, set up the site on a whim, and added about fifteen Autocorrect incidents involving myself and my friends. I could never have anticipated the public’s reaction. As it turned out, there were millions of people who were just as frustrated by Autocorrect as I was.
By the end of its first week online, DamnYouAutoCorrect.com earned write-ups on ABC, CNN, Gizmodo, Mashable, The Huffington Post, and in dozens of other national media outlets. It went viral on Twitter and Facebook and, literally overnight, found itself getting over 1 million page views and five hundred submissions per day from people all over the globe. Those numbers have been steadily increasing every week.
I think DamnYouAutocorrect.com immediately struck a chord because people of every age can relate to it. These days, everyone texts, and the content highlights situations we’ve all been in ourselves. And even if we haven’t, it’s just human nature to enjoy voyeuristically peering in on the hilarious—and often cringe-worthy—text fails our peers have experienced.
And there have been some real doozies. This book is packed with three hundred hilarious images—most of which are found for the first time here—that highlight the unintentional hilarity that often ensues when Autocorrect goes wrong. These laugh-out-loud funny examples include:
• Co-workers talking about their “ejaculation” reports (escalation);
• A husband texting his wife that he “laid” the babysitter (paid);
• A cook warning someone not to touch a bowl of “masturbating” cherries (macerating);
• And of course, friends complaining about how much they hate the dreaded “auto erection” feature on their smartphone.
And then there’s the most popular image on the DamnYouAutoCorrect.com website to date: a father texting his daughter that he and his mother were going to divorce, when they were in fact just going to Disney. Oops! I’ll take “texts I wouldn’t want to receive” for $200 please, Alex.
BUT WHAT IS AUTOCORRECT, ANYWAY?
Autocorrect is a software function—commonly found on many smartphones and portable web-ready devices like the iPod Touch—that attempts to correct common typos on the fly by guessing the word you were really trying to write. In theory, Autocorrect’s ultimate goal is to save time by automating spell check functions and offering predictions, often before you’ve even finished typing the entire word. But is this feature really improving our modern, super-connected lives?
We move fast, talk fast, and type fast, and there’s no denying Autocorrect can be a huge help in certain circumstances. It often works as the silent hero in the background, making otherwise illegible sentences like “Ehag timr is yge mewtigg” show up properly as: “What time is the meeting?”
But not so fast! Unlike Jennifer Aniston’s hair, Autocorrect isn’t always perfect. It has a sinister side too—one that steps in and inserts completely inappropriate words that can make you look like an idiot, a creep, or (gasp!) a total pervert. The iPhone, for example, frequently autocorrects “Whitehouse” to “whorehouse” and “homie” to “homoerotic.” If you hit “send” without carefully proofreading, the conversation will certainly take an interesting turn. And so might your evening.
OKAY, SO HOW DOES AUTOCORRECT WORK?
As it stands right now, it’s almost impossible to find information about exactly how the elusive Autocorrect feature works. It’s a closely guarded trade secret among the mobile phone companies and software developers, and most of them are incredibly tight-lipped when it comes to discussing it.
What we do know is that when you start typing a word, the Autocorrect software checks those letters against a built-in dictionary. If it doesn’t find an exact match, it guesses what you were trying to type and offers that word up as a suggestion. Many smart phones also have some sort of “learning” element as well, meaning they add new words and terms to the dictionary based on the user’s behaviors and patterns of use. As a result, after a period of acclimation, no two Autocorrect dictionaries may ever be alike. That means if you’re frequently using words like “anal” or “vagina,” there may be an increased risk of your Autocorrect, uh, slipping those words in during future conversations. Sexters, beware!
HOW CAN THINGS GO SO WRONG?
Autocorrect seemingly has a mind of its own—and as you’ll see in this book, often a hilariously dirty one. The real trouble comes when you hit “send” without realizing the word you thought you typed was swapped out for something else. For me, there are two fundamental problems with the way the feature works on the device:
First, when you’re typing, you’re instinctively looking down at the keypad. The autocorrected suggestions, however, show up in the message area, making them incredibly easy to miss if you’re typing quickly and not paying close attention. Second, when typing, all you have to do to accept the word suggestion is tap the space bar. That’s it! The only way to get rid of the Autocorrect suggestion is to keep typing more letters, or to hit the little “x” next to the suggested word in the bubble. That’s just not intuitive at all. Often, you think you’re ignoring the word suggestion by just hitting “space” and continuing to type your message. But you’ve done just the opposite. The rest, as they say, is history. You’ve just been “Autocorrected,” my friend!
HOLY MOLYBDENUM! THAT’S TOTALLY HOOSEGOW!
DamnYouAutoCorrect.com receives about six hundred new submissions per day from the website and the iPhone/iPod Touch app, and I read every one of them myself to determine if they’re website-worthy (hey, it’s a hilarious job, but somebody’s gotta do it). I’ve noticed several trends by doing all that reading, one of which is the relatively new “extra letters” phenomenon, in which the more you repeat the letter, the more strongly you mean it. For example, people frequently write the phrase: “let’s gooooooooooooo!” Autocorrect dictionaries have no clue how to handle all those extra letters, and on the iPhone, it’s often autocorrected to “let’s hookup” or “let’s hippopotamus”—either one of which might be incredibly embarrassing, especially if you’re talking to a relative or a zookeeper. But that’s a topic for another book.
Smartphones also love to insert nonsensical, totally random words that have absolutely nothing to do with what you’re talking about. Did someone say something funny? Be careful when replying back with “hahahaha,” because it’s often autocorrected to “Shabaka”—an Egyptian pharaoh back in 700 BC. The word “hilarious” often gets autocorrected to “hoosegow”—a slang term for a prison. And for all my science geeks in the house (holler!), try typing “holy moly” into your phone. On my device, I end up with “holy molybdenum,” the chemical element with the atomic number 42. But I’m sure you already knew that.
Science not your thing? Are you more of a sports buff? Just make sure you double-check your messages before you hit “send” on your iPhone, or you might find yourself talking about Derek Heterosexual (Jeter), Juan Urine (Uribe), or the great play you just saw the Boners (Niners) complete. Take my word for it—your friends will never let you live it down.
Many devices really seem to struggle with pop culture references too. For example, I use Twitter all the time, and no matter how many times I hit that little “x” to dismiss the suggested word, my iPhone tries to change the word “tweeting” (the process of sending Twitter messages) to “teething” and the word “retweet” to “retarded.” Try explaining that one to your unsuspecting friends and followers.
Based on my observations with Autocorrect and the submissions sent into DamnYouAutoCorrect.com, these are the top twenty-five most common Autocorrect mishaps:
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: Hell
Autocorrected to: He’ll
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: A sec
Autocorrected to: Asexual or a sex
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: Awwwww
Autocorrected to: Sewers
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: Thing
Autocorrected to: Thong
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: Bitch
Autocorrected to: Birch
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: Give me a call
Autocorrected to: Give me anal
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: Oooohhh
Autocorrected to: Pooping
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: Grrr
Autocorrected to: Ferret
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: Whenever
Autocorrected to: Wieners
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: Pick me up
Autocorrected to: Oil me up
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: Keys
Autocorrected to: Jews
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: Shit
Autocorrected to: Shot
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: Coworkers
Autocorrected to: Visigoths or Coriander
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: Goooooo
Autocorrected to: Hookup
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: Fucking
Autocorrected to: Ducking
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: Hahahaha
Autocorrected to: Shabaka
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: Homie
Autocorrected to: Homoerotic
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: Sodium
Autocorrected to: Sodomy
Word / phrase you’re trying to write: Mani/Pedi
- On Sale
- Mar 22, 2011
- Page Count
- 288 pages
- Hachette Books