Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Predictive Text

I have predictive text turned on on my phone. Not for any reasons of usability or speed, but in equal measure: Because I'm already used to it, and secondly, because it means I occasionally get that joyous thrill of having to insert a word the phone doesn't know. It's the biggest confidence boost you're likely to unexpectedly receive in your day to day life. "Oh, hallo!" you think (That makes it seem a little camper than it is) "The phone doesn't know this word. Logically, the fact that I have to put it in means I am using a rare word, and rarity inherently implies coolness when it comes to words.". I'm sat there typing in "satiate" thinking I'm the cleverest man ever to hold a Nokia 6303. The downside to this is once you've added a word, it stays added. This means you have to think up more and more obscure ways to describe things just to get that rush of adding a word. "How far away are you?" "About 200 cubits", for example, or desperately shoehorning the word "Gregarious" into conversation. Describing something as egregious just to type it into the phone. It's a slippery slope.

But these unexpected confidence boosts come at a price. My phone automatically places "Riot" before "Pint". I'm secretly convinced this is the reason for the London riots. Someone with a Nokia texted a friend saying "Fancy coming out for a riot? Bring along your mates." and it all got out of hand. I hope Nokia is happy with this system.

My phone will occasionally trick me, by looking like it's typing one word, then at the last letter, freaking out and switching to a totally different word. "A" "An" "Bon" "Boop" "Compr" "Conspi" "Conspir". When I type the last letter, I assume it'll go from "Conspir" to "Conspire". But it doesn't. It goes to "Comprise". Which leads to sentences in my texts like "I'll somehow comprise to die of exposure in a crowded town centre" (Jokes about me dying of exposure; just imagine the lucky people who actually who receive these texts, it's a rollercoaster of joy with me), which clearly makes no sense, and renders a somewhat amusing sentiment meaningless.

I also typed "Birmingham" (For reasons best left unknown: Perhaps I was amusing some other lucky friend of mine with a fact about canals) and accidentally typed and an extra "O" on the end. This gives you the new word "Birminghano", which I'm pretty certain is a spice deliberately made to taste like despair. I like that it clearly has a system for trying to logically guess the word though. But when I put "ed" after "Compris" you get "comprised". However, it'll allow you to keep doing this for 12 "ed"s and an e, before it goes "I don't recognise that word". Oh, you recognise comprisedededededededededededede, but comprisededededededededededededed would just be CHAOS? In the interest of science/boredom (The building block of all human advancement is boredom) I pressed a single button (Yes, my phone isn't touchscreen. I like the tactile sensation of a button, and I don't need my phone to get my emails) until it stopped giving me a suggestion just to see how long the word I could get was. Answer? "Tuvuttutuvutuvutuvutuvutuvutuvut". Rolls off the tongue.

That is my opinion on my phone's predictive text. I like it.

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