Bess Batterham Team : Web Operations Tags : Technology Facebook iphone Rants

Love, Grandpa and Grandmaster Flash

Bess Batterham Team : Web Operations Tags : Technology Facebook iphone Rants

On August 18, perhaps after the new and not so accurate realisation that it was National Grandparent's Day, Sandy Hall felt a sudden urge to express appreciation toward her second generation of offspring.

And how else to declare your gratitude but through a Facebook status.

Except what was meant as a small sweet tribute that would normally have been overlooked by most against the traffic of their Facebook feed, gained Grandma quite a lot of attention. This was no normal elderly status, it appeared that Sandy was in fact revealing a secret identity, by accidently tagging herself as one of the pioneers of hip hop; Grandmaster Flash.


“Happy National Grandparents Day !!! I feel very Blessed that God has given me the gift to be a Grandmaster Flash !!!”

It was a not so lewd example of the many autofails that I’m sure one has witnessed or fallen victim to since the dawn of the smartphone. The ever amusing Grandmaster Flash fail is so common that it has a tumblr page dedicated to it updated almost daily. A great example of the byproduct that is technology mixed with senility.

Autocorrect originated with word processing programs of the 1980s, where language used was checked against a dictionary to make sure the spelling was correct.  Definitely necessary, as apparently two-thirds of adults would not be able to spell "necessary" and one-third "definitely" without the help of the feature. 

But with solving problems, autocorrect is also creating problems. Google, Facebook and Apple employ dozens of linguists to analyse language patterns and to track slang, even pop culture.

The feature does do mind blowing things, like correct when you hit the wrong keys and also analyse who you are texting, how you have previously spoken with that person, and even what you have spoken about.

But sometimes, you do just want to use the word that you had already written out. I often get called “beds’ which has, at times appeared as a Freudian slip when hearing from a new beau. “Wanna duck?” being the less subtle message.


Apple were recently left red-faced by their own technology, when during a live demonstration for the iPad, “Utah road trip” swiftly became “It’s road trip”. The mistake was not so subtly covered up and grew traction online to the point where Apple have now gone as far as to edit the blunder out of their YouTube video of the event.

Unfortunately, in real life, one can’t edit out the fact that they just texted their mother saying they would call them after they took anal, only to awake from a nap to a flurry of unimpressed text messages.

But Apple wins a lot more than it loses. The iOS 8 operating system, released in September, even purports to know how your tone changes by medium — that is, "the casual style" you may use in texting versus "the more formal language" you are likely to use in email, as the company put it in a statement. It adjusts your vocabulary knowing that you would be speaking differently to your best friend than you would be to your boss. So if you’re an Apple user, only ever email your boss.


These days while your smartphone shows off its intelligence by suggesting not only words but even entire phrases, the more you use it, the more it remembers, it adds the risk that an innocent custom autocorrect of the past can now reveal a whole lot about you.

"A lot of the time, you can't even replicate it because it's so personalised," said Ben Zimmer, chairman of the new-words committee at the American Dialect Society, which is devoted to the study of the English language.


Johan Schalkwyk, an engineer who leads speech efforts at Google, said, "Keeping up with slang and trending acronyms is like a jungle".

It is reassuring to know that someone tweets “stupid autocorrect” or “fucking autocorrect” approximately once every 65 seconds. And no surprise that there is an array of blogs dedicated to humouring the masses with these malapropisms.

Most notoriously, the always amusing,