Putting Words, Images and Ideas to Work
My clever new smartphone includes something called Swype – a really cool feature to short cut all that keypad typing. Trouble is, it’s easy to swype your way into serious trouble.
I assume most of you know exactly what Swype is, but just in case, you drag your finger across the keypad to form a word, and when you lift it off the keypad… presto… your word has appeared.
The Swype feature usually just inserts the one word exactly as you “typed” it, but, the instructions even suggest that you can be somewhat sloppy about it, as your smartphone will figure out what you intended, and present you with a list of several words to choose from. And so I swype my way across my keypad with quick abandon.
The trouble is, if you don’t watch carefully, your smartphone can serve up some pretty stupid stuff; some that can even get you into serious trouble.
For example, the other day I typed the word “never.” But my smartphone served up something that looked exceedingly close to “the N word,” only missing it by one “g”. Worse yet, if you don’t select from the list fast enough, it just inserts the word from the top of its options list as the default, without even waiting for you to select it. If I hadn’t looked twice, I might actually have sent it to someone that way. In fact, I was recently blocked from one of my LinkedIn groups, and I wonder if it wasn’t because of something my smartphone “said.”
Of course, there are many more innocuous mistakes my errant swyping has caused. For example, my name is Suzy. It thinks I’m typing either “Duzy”, “Duxy”, “Suxy”, or “Sixty.”
The one that really drives me nuts is that whenever I swype the word “you.” Swype returns with “tippy” and puts it at the top of the list. (Yeah, I have no idea why either… but it reminds me of another blog I’ll send out one day under the “Bad Translations” category. But back to this story…)
I swype, “I’d love to accommodate you, but I have another event scheduled for that date.” It thinks I said, “I would move ti accumulate tippy, but hsve snother ever scheduled for thst montyhuy.” I am not making this up!
Anyway, just a heads up… in business I always proofread my work carefully, and when using your smartphone’s Swype feature, it’s just as important – maybe even more so – to double-check your work.
If anyone has a suggestion on how to “train” your smartphone’s Swype feature to actually be smarter, drop me a line!
Copyright 2012. Suzy Kedzierski. All rights reserved.