The AtlanticThe Atlantic

Duck off, autocorrect

By Navneet Alang

09 Mar 2023 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

If ChatGPT can write an entire essay, surely autocorrect can figure out how to fix a simple word, right? Wrong. Here, The Atlantic explains why the technology still falls short.

By most accounts, I’m a reasonable, levelheaded individual. But some days, my phone makes me want to hurl it across the room. The problem is autocorrect, or rather autocorrect gone wrong—that habit to take what I am typing and mangle it into something I didn’t intend. I promise you, dear iPhone, I know the difference between its and it’s, and if you could stop changing well to we’ll, that’d be just super. And I can’t believe I have to say this, but I have no desire to call my fiancé a “baboon.”

It’s true, perhaps, that I am just clumsy, mistyping words so badly that my phone can’t properly decipher them. But autocorrect is a nuisance for so many of us. Do I even need to go through the litany of mistakes, involuntary corrections, and everyday frustrations that can make the feature so incredibly ducking annoying? “Autocorrect fails” are so common that they have sprung endless internet jokes. Dear husband getting autocorrected to dead husband is hilarious, at least until you’ve seen a million Facebook posts about it.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content