Simanaitis Says

On cars, old, new and future; science & technology; vintage airplanes, computer flight simulation of them; Sherlockiana; our English language; travel; and other stuff


I’VE DISARMED THE auto-correct on both sides of my PC/Apple machine. I’ve had enough of fighting with its opinions on what I really mean. More often than not, it’s wrong; and I’m happy to live with some red dots warning me that something isn’t part of its bizarre vocabulary.

I offer examples of auto-correct transgressions from sources as varied as the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Huffington Post, SimanaitisSays and Wife Dottie. Here are a few favorites. Maybe you have others you’d like to share?

When our Maine friend’s connecting flight got cancelled because of weather, Wife Dottie texted, “Good luck, Chica!” Auto-correct changed the message to “Good luck, Chicago!”

In my SimanaitisSays compositions, especially those in the Sci-Tech category, I learned to double- and triple-check so that auto-correct doesn’t get the last word. In the recent item on Nanoporous Fabrics, at several stages the algorithm was sure I meant nonporous.


Au contraire, mon petit.

Science, published weekly by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, cited that 20 percent of genetics papers in top scientific journals contained errors traceable to auto-correct in Microsoft Excel, the popular spreadsheet software.

For example, septins are a group of proteins important in cell biology. One of them, septin 2, is encoded in humans by the SEPT2 gene. As you might guess, this plays havoc with auto-correcting to the date September 2. Adding to the confusion, SEPT2 interacts with SEPT6, SEPT7 and SEPT9. But, apparently, not with September 8.

The Internet is replete with examples of faux auto-corrections. Huffington Post collected some great ones. Here are three:

Describing her travails with a new smart phone’s auto-correct texting, a woman wrote, “I think it’s a mixture of lady technology and my satisfied fingers.” “LAGGY, not lady; and sausage, not satisfied.”

“She’s out of surgery now it went very very well I spoke with the doctor he said this horny asian was much larger than expected.” “Herniation.”

Another texted, “I cleaned your meth and crack whores out of my car, since you hadn’t done it.” “I mean ‘mess of crackers!!!’ ”

Golly, whoever programs these spell-correct algorithms? ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2016

6 comments on “FIE ON AUTO-CORRECT!

  1. Vinnie Vidivicchi
    September 21, 2016

    The site “Damn you Autocorrect” has got to be visited. It contains screen shots of some exchanges that made me blush.

  2. Duane
    September 21, 2016

    At least with auto correct my errors are spelled correctly.

  3. Mike B
    September 21, 2016

    Ain’t spill chukkers grate?

    Really, it’s nothing new. Back in Wordstar days a round of chuckles from down the hall often meant that somebody was trying a few names to see what the spelling checker mangled them to.

    LibreOffice can be annoying with popping up suggestions, but if I blithely continue it doesn’t do anything about it. Much prefer the systems (like the built-in checker in Firefox) that marks what it doesn’t recognize but leave it alone; if you right click on a marked word it offers options, including ADD TO DICTIONARY.

    Are spelling checkers the reason why nobody correctly uses the word “brake” any more? It’s almost universal for The Press (in web sites and even in the occasional dead-tree version) to use “break” in that case. Of course, failure of the former often leads to the latter happening.

    • Mike B
      September 21, 2016

      Unfortunately, none of the spelling checkers can prevent one from perpetrating grim grammar. See my comment above for several examples…

  4. sabresoftware
    September 21, 2016

    And to think, these same guys might be working on autonomous vehicle programming – No I meant stop! not step on it!

  5. carmacarcounselor
    September 26, 2016

    There’s a joke running ’round the internet about a guy who shoots his neighbor after receiving a text message confessing that he had used the former’s wife repeatedly. Only when he got home did he get the correction from “wife” to WiFi.

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