It turns the town of Sequim, Washington, into a “sequin.” A “squash” becomes a “squad” and “Vinyasa” yoga becomes “Bonuses” yoga.
The culprit is predictive text software of the sort found on most smartphones, such as the iPhone.
While this auto-correct feature is usually merely annoying, CNET.com reported yesterday that in Manchester, England, predictive text software had triggered a chain of events that resulted in a man’s death. A Manchester area man who called his friend a “mutter” in a text message didn’t realized the cell phone’s predictive text software had transformed the word into “nutter.” As it turned out, the predictive text software was far more predictive than it had intended: The recipient flipped out, went to the sender’s home, and the resulting knife fight ended in the recipient’s death.
You’ll be relieved to know that on the iPhone, you can easily disable this dangerous weapon.
Tap Settings > General > Keyboard and then set Auto-Correction (which is On by default) to Off.
I sent this solution off to my friend Mike, the fellow who had been trying to key in the word Sequim but kept getting “sequin.”
Clearly, it works. Because a minute or two later Mike sent me back a text message that read “Thunks!”
NOTE: Please see the comments on this post for excellent reader tips on fine-tuning autocorrect.