The Swyping of My Grammatical Soul



We have been friends for a long time now.

We first met back in the days of my enormous Motorola flip phone with the 4-inch antenna, back in the days of green lit keys for texting in darkened rooms. This was back when you called yourself “Predictive Text.” Instead of manually pressing number keys multiple times for appropriate letters, all I had to do was press the numbers once and you, my friend, in your infinite digitized wisdom, would nearly always spit out the appropriate word. Based on nothing but number combinations!


If only it could have been a little bit bigger…

Thanks to you, not only did I no longer have to actually speak to live, breathing, sentient human beings on the other end of a satellite triangulation, but I could even save time in typing oh-so-brief messages to them.

What would I have done without such meaningful conversations as, “HEY” “HI” “YR L8 FOR DINNER” “I NO” “LUV U” “ME 2 U” “BRING BEER” “K”?

This was seriously impressive. It was the way forward. The new sliced bread of communication.

But, like all sliced breads, you eventually grew mould and were discarded in favour of Blackberry-style keyboards. No longer was the alphabet buried beneath the weight of your digits. Now your 10 beautiful number keys were relegated to being all but concealed amid a full QWERTY keyboard designed for teeny tiny thumbs. These new phones were nothing more than leprechaun typewriters. As such, one can only assume that the impish spirit of that little green man did indeed enter into the digital age.


The Crackberry: It opened a portal into the world of evil leprechauns

Now, our all-important texts could be expanded to more meaningful messages: “Hi there.” “Hey Honey, what’s up?” “I’m going to be late for dinner :-(” “Again?” “Yes. Sorry.” “No prob. Bring beer.” “Ok. Love you!” “Love you too, honey.” “:-)”

What an advance. Communication was so much more clear. We did not need you to predict our words. We could, with some practice, actually do a pretty creditable job of tapping out our messages on those teeny tiny leprechaun keys. We could even, sometimes, make actual phone calls.

They usually sounded like this: “Hey.” “Hey.” “Comin’ home.” “K” “Beer?” “Yep.” “K” “Love ya.” “Me too you.”

With the advent of the touch screen, what became immediately apparent was that, in spite of a few years’ practice in leprechaun typing, without a stylus to tap that digitized QWERTY keyboard, typing texts, sending emails, even dialing phone numbers were endeavours clearly too technical for 2 thumbs and one brain. We needed something more. Something better. Something to save us from our sluggishly responsive touch screens and our own lack of manual dexterity.


All our grammatical skills have been effectively Swyped

Enter the world of Swype.

It almost seemed too easy. Just run your index finger along the series of letters in your word, and it would appear on the screen as if by some dark magic. Little did we know, with the advent of Swype, that this same dark, leprechaun magic would find its most effective incarnation in the form of an imp called Autocorrect.

Thanks to this digitized sprite, this dark, laughing child that exists inside each and every digital keyboard, we have made an impressive contribution to literary fails. How many parental overshares can one generation take? How many relationships lie in broken ruins on account of this evil that lurks inside our technology? How many careers lie in ashes?

Yes, my friends. That laughter you hear leaking out of your keyboard whenever things go horribly wrong? It is Autocorrect, evil child of darkness, having a giggle at your expense. Little did we know at the time that, with Autocorrect, our entire human civilization had sold its grammatical soul to the leprechauns. 

Thanks to this technical wizardry, my textual conversations now run something along these lines: “Hi.” “Ho.” “I’ll buffer last fits dinner.” “p.m. no prob.” “Need me too hey bet?” “Sure.” “Live you out.” “Live you to.”

Yeah. This is what I call progress.

Money Jerk  (Mother Hen, actually… evil Autocorrect!)

Disclaimer: For anyone who may be inclined to take every word I write in the literal sense, please be assured I have as much faith in the reality of leprechauns and sprites as I do in the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot. They are mythical creatures, and I have been, of course, joking. But not about my text fails. Those are very real indeed.

  • feature photo:
  • flip phone:
  • swype phone:

© motherhendiaries 2014 all rights reserved

18 replies »

    • It is indeed, LFFL! It was hard work trying to find properly clean Autocorrect fails – the internet is awash with rude and filthy ones. Funny, perhaps, but, as you know, this Mother Hen doesn’t do rude… 🙂 As always, thanks for your comments! You have a delightfully ladylike spirit that I admire very much indeed!


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