Just recently, my email program has (via iOsmosis, I assume) acquired autocorrect—the first time I've ever used any writing program with that feature. I'm sure I'm very far from the first person to notice this, but autocorrect's function seems to be a) to correct some typing mistakes and b) make all the rest invisible to spellcheck!
When I type "I'll give him a noodge," I do not mean "I'll give him a noodle," which is what autocorrect serenely assumed I was trying to type. "Noodle," of course, while very much the wrong word, meets with spellcheck's wholehearted approval, so it then doesn't bother to...well, give me a noodge.
Any autocorrection program that doesn't countenance neo-Yiddish word variants and compounds is not being expansive enough. All things considered, if I get something wrong (which I often do—have I ever mentioned that I can't type? Really, I'm a horrible typist), I'd like at least a chance to give it my actual conscious sentient attention.
The word 'pro' jumps the shark
And as long as we're completely off topic, I think we can safely assume that the marketing word "pro" is now completely, utterly, 100% meaningless. If it wasn't already. Observed on a set of bedsheets at a Bed, Bath & Beyond store: "Sleep like a PRO!"
That's schmegeggy. If sleeping is a profession, I wanna know—that's going to be my next job.
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Featured Comments from:
Steve G, Mendocino: "Well, you could apply for 'Lil Abner's old job as Mattress Tester for the Stunned Ox Mattress Company.... Seriously, spellchecking and autocorrection have no place in either professional or creative writing. Up until a short time ago I worked in the Composing department of a couple of weekly newspapers, and we made a habit of collecting howlers that passed spellchecking without question. A favorite was a headline in another paper that announced the 'beautification' of some worthy on their path to canonization. Well-thumbed copies of Webster's and the AP manual were kept close at hand."
Martin: "I understand there is a profession for which bedsheets could be considered a business consumable, but I'd think a wholesome respectable family store would want to disassociate themselves from such things...."
Bron: "Not schmegeggy, meshuggah. Really."
David Stubbs: "It should be called AutoCorrupt."
Paul Bartlett: "I imagine you've seen Damn You Autocorrect, or that someone else has already pointed it out."
Mike replies: Very funny! Some of those really made me "lol." Thanks.
Pritam Singh: "The swath that the word 'pro' cuts has ever been widening and has reached ridiculous heights, as you have rightly observed. Hunter S. Thompson contributed to its widening meaning (read: usage) a quantum jump in the '70s with the following line: 'When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.' It was a catchy line then. Modern-day tinkerers have beaten the little word out of any meaningful substance."
Matt: "If you thons autocorrectif si à pain In English, Troy Boeing bilingues and accidentelle Stuart typions with tour keyboard set to thé Wright Language. (If you think autocorrect is a pain in English, try being bilingual and accidentally start typing with your keyboard set to the wrong language.)"