Welcome to my blog. I write about fitting in, sticking out, and missing the motherland as a serial foreigner.

Auto-correct and predictive text adventures

Jeremy stayed home from church with sick Magdalena a few Fridays ago while I went with Miriam. I periodically checked my phone for messages during the service just because Magdalena had been running a high fever and I wanted to make sure Jeremy hadn't texted me about her taking a turn for the worse. Or there was the possibility that he couldn't find the Tylenol, or couldn't remember the dosage (these foreign bottles of acetaminophen don't always put the dosage right on the label), or didn't know when her last dose had been administered, etc. I was on edge during almost all of church hoping not to hear from him via text message because no news was good news.

About five minutes before the end of church, however, I received a text message from Jeremy, the entirety of which I reproduce here:


That's it. "Weevil." I was stunned and absolutely clueless. What did this message mean??? What had gone so wrong that the only thing he had time to type was a nonsensical "weevil"?? My mind raced as I tried to glean some meaning from that mystery word. I thought back to all our inside jokes and recent random things our kids had said but came up empty. Then I looked at my keypad and tried to figure out if a predictive text FAIL had a hand in the miscommunication, until I remembered that he was using a qwerty keyboard.

Finally I texted him back a frantic "what's going on? be home soon" kind of message and got going as soon as I could.

Turns out, "weevil" was supposed to be "weenik" which is Arabic for "where are you?" Jeremy had lost track of when church was supposed to end and thought we should have been home by then. Then his phone autocorrected "weenik" to "weevil." I never would have figured that chain of error out on my own. Never.

Predictive text has its hand in SMS errors, too. The other day I texted Jeremy that I was "ringssing at cappedous." That's supposed to be "shopping at Carrefour," but "ringssing at cappedous" is what it ends up being when you are pushing a full cart with one hand and trying to text AND keep your kid from jumping out of the cart with the other hand.

And it turns out there is an entire website dedicated to iPhone autocorrect errors. Unfortunately a lot of the autocorrects are moderately inappropriate so the site is not as safely hilarious as maybe it could be. But here are a few gems.

What funny autocorrects or predictive text adventures have you had?

Flashback Friday: Random acts of kindness in Beirut

At world's end