Thursday, July 24, 2014

Where Did Autocorrect Come From?

We've all had the inevitable *autocorrect fail* moments in our lives.
Sometimes they are from our actual computers, but most likely they are from some type of one of our mobile devices.
In an effort to make our lives easier (and since tons of individuals never actually *learned* to type) the smart people behind the tech tried to make using said tech as easy and seamless as possible.  Hence hilarity ensues.
I once texted a friend that I had been planting some seeds (the little objects that plants grow from) in the backyard only to glance at the screen and notice that I told him I was planting Seabees (a part of the US Navy that consists of combat engineers that build bridges, etc).  Then began the inevitable jokes about me being some type of serial killer.
Once after a staff meeting where we played games and just de-stressed for once instead of actually having a working meeting, Dental Assistant Terri posted to her Facebook page (intentionally and full well knowing she was making up a word) "We just had the *funnest* staff meeting ever!!!"  Moments later she was explaining to me that she had NOT posted "We just had the *dumbest* staff meeting ever!!!"
We've all had these ties of situations come back to bite us on the backside at one time or another.  Heck, there are even entire websites devoted to "autocorrect fails*.  Just type that keyword into Google and see what happens...
So… where did this all start?  Where did it all come from?  I happened to be doing some reading and research on another topic for DPR and stumbled across a great read on the subject from Wired magazine.  I can't say enough good things about Wired.  I've been a subscriber for years and I still read every issue pretty much cover to cover.
The article was written by Gideon Lewis-Kraus and is a tremendously good read.  I really think you owe it to yourself to set aside a few minutes, perhaps today over lunch or perhaps right now and give it a look.  The humor of autocorrect as well as the overall history of the project is really fascinating, especially to a die hard geek like me.  If  you're reading this, chances are you're a die hard too.   Give Gideon's article a read.  You'll be glad you did.  

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