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06 2011

The Autocorrect Comedy Show

Posted in Mobile General | 0 comments

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I thought it would be fun to share with you the contents of a recent article in the Wall Street Journal

Google Voice is a great service that automatically transcribes voice messages into text that are then emailed to your mobile phone.

But it can make for some interesting (and very funny!) readings.

So Dan Sheeran (a 44 year old tech executive in Seattle) had his tailor try to leave a message that said  “Just wanted to let you know that your pants is already done and ready for pickup.”  But Sheeran received this message instead:  ”Just wanted to know that your punches ordered the done in the Dipper pickup. Ok. Then you can pick up the French abortion.”

Mistakes are easily made.  Voice recordings can sometimes be hard to hear either because of poor phone connections or accents.  Messages can also be garbled when people try to text from small smartphone keyboards.

So when John Weeden, a social media marketing executive in Orlando sent a message to his wife “Hey Babe-I’m working Kate tonight”, he actually meant to say, “Hey Babe-I’m working late tonight”!  His wife took it in her stride responding with a wry “Hope she enjoys it!”.

Jillian Madison, a Web designer in Connecticut has even started a website called where people send in funny text message mistakes. The site has proved so popular that she now works full time on it and even written a book.

She named the site after autocorrect which is a feature on iPhones that automatically corrects spelling mistakes or ‘guesses’ words before they are fully typed.

So the autocorrect feature will change “Awwww” into “sewer”. Or if you write I work pro bono” it will come out I work pro Bono”, a reference to the U2 lead singer. Or if you write hell, the autocorrect will instead put on he’ll.

Vlad Sejnoha, the chief technology officer of Nuance Communications which makes speech recognition and text input software for phones says there a new generation of autocorrect technologies will soon be on the market which should avoid some of these endlessly funny ‘bloopers’.  He admits that it even happens to him.  Apparently his wife tried to text a work colleague the other day that she was “at home on PTO’ (paid time off) but the message autocorrected to say she was ‘at home on pot”.

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