Editor’s note: For this week’s blog post, please enjoy a guest post, written by my friend Benjamin Singer.
Computers are sew smart.
Sorry — that was supposed to say “so” smart. Ergh. Stupid autocorrect.
Sometimes my phone fixes typos perfectly. Or takes a complex voice dictation and flawlessly relays it, with proper nouns and all. For example, I told Siri to have Lia tell her dad that I enjoyed the Passover seder with the MIDI files. Basically perfect.
Other times, I’ll be typing too quickly, and the phone amazingly corrects “dint” to “don’t” and “ehy” to “why,” “cant” to “can’t,” “thst” to “that,” “ehere” to “where,” and even “Lia lhrer” to “Lia Lehrer.”
But for some reason, sometimes it can’t type what I tell it explicitly.
When a friend of mine gets engaged, receives a job offer, or wins an election, I like to tell them “mazel tov,” congratulations. (Or “mazal tov” if I’m feeling extra Hebraic.) But a few years ago, I facilitated a discussion with a volunteer corps called TOV. I had an Android phone. At some point they got added to my contacts, and a year later, my new iPhone started autocorrecting all of my “mazal tovs” to “mazal TOVs,” making me appear either incredibly enthusiastic, 70 years old, or both.
But that shrinks in comparison to my oddest, most common, and most embarrassing autocorrect.
If there’s one word I use more than “mazal tov,” it’s “justice.” And every time I write “justice,” it autocorrects to “jolly rancher.”
So “pursue justice” turns into “pursue jolly rancher.”
“The importance of social justice” turns into “the importance of social jolly rancher.”
“Systems of justice” turns into “systems of jolly rancher.”
I once wrote this to a rabbi — check out the picture.
And, in a bizarre twist, the only way I can actually type “justice” (and keep it that way) is by mistyping it as “justic” and then accepting the correction to “justice.” That’s right — if I want to type the word correctly, I have to type it incorrectly.
You don’t even want to know what Siri thought I meant when I wanted to tell my roommate “happy holiday” in Hebrew: “Chag sameach.” Use your imagination.
And if you figure it out, mazal TOV!