Autocorrect (PDF)

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Writing in the workplace
Oops! Autocorrect fails.
by Summer Turner
“OMG! How do I remove this??? Autocorrect has a potty
Bonnie had decided to write one more post on Facebook
before calling it a day. Using her smartphone, this older,
upstanding businesswoman typed out an apology for
not making it to a networking event. “Sorry, I ducked out,”
she wrote. Unfortunately, Autocorrect changed “ducked”
to a word that I’ll leave to your imagination.
“Sorry, you what????” came the immediate reply from one
of the more than 500 women who belong to this closed
networking group.
The thread of comments grew longer, mostly describing
how hard we were all laughing. Bonnie checked Facebook
one more time before going to bed and saw with horror
what had happened.

Summer Turner is the owner of Business
Writing Breakthrough LLC, “A full-service
consultant when workplace writing
excellence is a must!” Turner can be
reached at

You know that sinking feeling of dismay you get when
you hit the “Post” button and then see how Autocorrect
has betrayed you. I’ve caught small errors in my business
writing posts – which I’ve scrambled to correct, since,
aer all, I’m representing “writing excellence.”
Don’t underestimate the power of Autocorrect’s
mischievous behavior. It can change the course of your
personal life. Here’s one that was posted on Yahoo
Answers as a call for epic Autocorrect fails. “I was texting
my boyfriend (now ex) and I wrote I love you Byron. And
I meant to write baby. He thought I was cheating.”
Autocorrect could get you in trouble with the law. This
young man was reporting to a friend on how his dinner
date went.
“We went to dinner, then I walked her home. Then I killed
her in the woods outside her house and le.”
“Killing her seems a bit harsh,” his friend replied. “Did she
order the lobster and filet mignon or something?”
Autocorrect “fails” can also affect how people perceive you
and your business. A marketing professional wrote a post
for a waterfront hotel, enticing folks to come fish while
the Striped Bass (the Stripers) were running. The published
headline read, “The Strippers are Running!” Actually, that
might have been good for business.

To make matters worse, when a kind soul answered her
anguished plea and explained how to edit her post, she
realized that she couldn’t do it from her smartphone.
She had to run and turn on her computer, wait for it
to fire up, find the post, and finally make the edit.
Meanwhile, the thread was growing longer.
“I am crying!!!!!!! LOL!!!”
“I can’t breathe!! LOL!”
While it was funny to read the accidentally R-rated
post from this nice grandmother, and then witness her
panicked responses as she tried to fix it, some of our mirth
was no doubt nervous laughter as we recalled our own
embarrassing posts due to Autocorrect’s overriding word

Beware! Autocorrect can be your worst enemy – although
I have to admit it can be entertaining for those of us
reading your posts!

In Your Workplace ...
The Autocorrect function on your smartphone adds
an extra step to your writing tasks: Double-check
to make sure it puts in the words you meant!

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