Have you ever looked up the words your phone has added to the autocorrect list it draws from when you’re texting?
I’ve now owned a smartphone for a little over a year. Many people, I realize, have been smartphone users since the first Blackberrys and iPhones hit the market in 2003 and 2007 respectively.
But for me, getting a smartphone last year was a huge step. I was already worried I spent too much time on the computer without carrying one around in my pocket as well.
However, when the opportunity to acquire a smartphone cheaply presented itself, I decided to finally join the twenty-first century and embrace all the convenience the technology has to offer.
And it’s been good: I think I’ve managed to strike a healthy balance between the expediency of mobile computing and reliable communication (my previous phone could in no way boast of reliability) and the need to regularly unplug and just disappear for awhile.
This despite the fact I’ve become a much more prolific texter.
Recently, out of curiosity, I stumbled upon my phone’s My Words list (words my phone has learned automatically through my frequent use of them while texting, which it now supplies as options when autocorrecting) and noticed that this list is definitely revealing about me as a person.
Even more so than reading my actual texts, a quick scroll through the My Words screen gives a great overview of some of my interests and of me as a person in general. The words seem to fall into a few broad categories:
1) Proper nouns
These can be further subdivided into:
Local places I visit frequently:
- Welk’s (a general store)
- Cambie Street (a main street in Vancouver)
- Bloor Street (a main street in Toronto)
- Burgoo (a restaurant very near to where I live)
- Japadog (the most awesome hotdog stand in the world – hotdogs with Japanese-style toppings)
- IGA (a grocery store very near to where I live)
- Skytrain (public transportation for those days I don’t commute by bicycle)
People I know:
(Yet who obviously aren’t quite friends of mine or else their names would’ve been in my Contacts list and not autocorrected. So people I’ve been talking (texting) about behind their backs??)
People that don’t actually exist:
(Characters from books, movies, or TV shows that I’m texting about because they’re AWESOME and clearly I am obsessed.)
Something I almost always use while at my frequently-visited autocorrect locales:
2) Words that should have been in the autocorrect list all along:
- Uluru (traditional name for that big red rock in the middle of the Australian desert)
- G’day (for use while in Australia)
- Ick (a universal expression of disgust, or so I thought)
- Blue-green (this photosynthesizing algae is believed responsible for the accumulation of oxygen in the atmosphere of prehistoric Earth, which makes it kind of important)
- Mandarin (the language, the oranges, and the famous buffet restaurant in Toronto)
- MP3 (isn’t that how most of us are listening to our music these days?)
- WIP (this for sure is universally used by writers)
- Intersectionality (because it’s such an important yet still often overlooked concept)
- Autocorrect (for reasons that should be fairly obvious)
3) Swear words, or words otherwise used to express derision:
(Because I evidently do a lot of texting while annoyed, perhaps at the people from item #1.)
- Every one of the usual four-letter suspects
…for when I’m annoyedly texting in a slightly more professional capacity??
4) Words pertaining to the TV show The 100:
(Because I effin love that show!)
- Bellamy (male character with the richest backstory and best character arc)
- Indra (a badass female warrior)
- Jaha (former leader turned spiritual zealot)
- Finn (male character the audience was supposed favour, right up until we weren’t)
- Skaikru (a word in the show’s constructed language that describes the origin of the main characters)
- CW (the TV network that carries the show)
5) Words that don’t actually exist:
- Heya (because it’s a condensed greeting and I still text like it did when I had to pay for each individual outgoing message)
- Goodish (when something is good but I’m having commitment issues)
- Ish, on its own (because I have commitment issues, on their own)
- Crapload (currently pending acceptance into the Système International as a legitimate unit of measure)
- Slooow (the extra O’s perhaps standing for “OMG; oh kill me now.”)
- Yoh (I have no idea what this is)
6) Word conjoined by random periods
(Because I’m actually pretty ham-fisted for texting and the period is inconveniently located right beside the space bar.)
All of which is to suggest I am a lazy, foul-mouthed, gossiping spendthrift who’s obsessed with warrior women, giant autonomous robots, pretty boys with great hair, feminist theory, and remaining as free from commitments as humanly possible.
I think I can live with that.
What words has your phone added to its autocorrect list (trying checking your Language & Input settings)? If you can’t find the list, what sorts of things to you usually text about? Tell me about it in the comments.