Icy What?

I thought I’d close out the year with a fun topic. I should add that while I would normally count 2020 as the first year of a new decade, I might – just this one time – bend to the thought that 2021 holds that honor. Pushing 2020 into an even bigger box to be taped up and shoved into a corner in the attic seems like a good idea. 2021 will start bad, but let’s hope it grows toward the sun and turns out well.

My fun topic does come in the form of laughing at myself, although I suspect my particular misery will draw some company from at least a few of you. The topic is typos, and I am an expert. While only a few typos have made it to this space, that’s because of technology and oversight. Most of you are aware that The Editor does provide a valuable service on most days. She doesn’t edit my One-Liner Wednesday posts, and she doesn’t edit any post that I pull together late in the evening. That’s OK, when she misses the typos, I can depend on a few friends to catch them. I make the bulk of my typos today when I comment on your blogs, particularly when I make them from my iPhone. Technology, in the form of spellcheck on that device has turned against me in recent years.

I have collected hundreds of typo screenshots over the years. Many of those were featured in a previous typo-induced post back in 2015, when I redesigned the virtual keyboard to better accommodate my fat fingers. Things have changed since 2015 and, according to the phone manufacturers, those changes have been in the form of improvements to the autocorrect technology. Spellcheck and autocorrect have become more advanced. They have larger dictionaries in which to look for malformed words, they can search your contacts to see that Teagan should not be Regan, and they have expanded the volume of words which they can bring into context so as to not substitute ‘Math’ for ‘Mary’ – cuz no one should ever confuse those two words, at least not on a Monday.

I have read that my iPhone considers the keys next to the letters in my misspelled words and then applies its keen artificial intelligence to save me from embarrassing errors. I do not believe this because I still see:

Dootball – instead of football, although with the way the Steelers have been playing…

I’m do sad – instead of I’m so sad

I’m going out to get some door – instead of food

That’s a great phoot – instead of photo, and

Hoof job! – instead of Good job.

And, despite the fact that I have never written about either subject, ‘thongs’ is substituted for things and the space in the simple expression ‘got it’ is often misplaced into an embarrassing remark that I know someone is capturing with a screen shot.

In case you’re wondering why an allegedly technically capable person like myself hasn’t figured out how to solve these problems; I have tried.

Some of it is my fault. I type ‘doot’ for foot and ‘phoot’ for photo so often that my self-educated spellcheck ignores those errors. In fact, my iPhone has “corrected” photo to phoot on more than one occasion. When that happens, I try to clear the dictionary of everything it has learned. Unfortunately, as my phone gets “smarter” it searches more and more content in its various lists, repositories, and memories. That means it finds mistakes I have made and considers them as valuable insight into the context of my world. So when it sees that I used the word ‘phoot’ in dozens of text messages in reply to a photo someone has sent me, it figures I know something it doesn’t.

Accordingly, it will never correct me when I misspell ‘great’ as ‘greta’ because I call my GPS Greta (Greta Garmin…Greta Garbo…get it?). I have lots of text messages saying something like “Greta says I’ll be home by noon.” So it must be a word.

If you wonder why my stupid phone can’t scour the web and see that nobody uses ‘greta’ like that, you might be surprised. Privacy laws would prohibit that search. Perhaps there’s a way I could allow my phone to compare my text messages to the web, but that would require sharing my texts with those algorithms and no, no thank you Apple/Google/Facebook.

I’ll end with the auto-correct-induced typo that caused me to pull this draft out of Trello and share it with you. Early Sunday morning, I was reading Laura’s “Sunday Snapshot” in which she shared some beautiful photos from 2020.

I left the comment: “Beautiful pictures and memories.”

I may have hit one or two wrong keys, but nothing can explain what my auto correcting-artificially-intelligent iPhone concocted:

“Besutiful icy urea and menorah.”

Thankfully, I caught that before pressing ‘Post.’ I make the s-for-a mistake so often when typing beautiful that my phone sometimes corrects my typing into that form. As for the rest of it, I have no clue.

Happy last Monday of 2020.


  1. I well never be able to type the word “museum” correctly the first time. The default is musuem… which is a pain since in my “work” I need that word many times in a day.

    I took guitar lessons some years ago. One key point of the teaching stuck with me – that when you make a mistake, you must slow down and with focus and deliberation pick out the notes one by one correctly so that you learn to play it right, instead of learning to play it wrong. I obviously didn’t heed the advice.

    Lovely colours in your photos, Dan!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Maggie. Museum would seem to be a necessary word for you. I have words that I misspell because my left fingers are faster than my right, ‘repalce’ vs ‘replace’ is the most common mistake that I make. My phone refuses to recognize it. If I slow my typing down any farther, I won’t ever finish commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I read a lot on my iPhone but don’t do a lot of ‘replying.’ Have you ever watched young folks key on a smart phone? Their thumbs approach it differently than those of us who learned to type. They use the tips of their fingers while I tend to use more of the sides like I do when we hit a space bar. I will never be able to key on a smartphone without correcting almost every other word. What’s behind the bookends?

    Liked by 1 person

    • My daughter and I and my brother text in a group while watching sports. When we get the game but my borther doesn’t, we try to keep him up to date. She types so much faster than I do that her texts are arriving while mine are half-formed. Yesterday, I suggested we just have a conference call during the game.

      The bookends are guarding a firewood rack that they have broken into and called home. My wife is not happy.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Dan – sadly so easily done by the dreaded thingie that secures itself behind something techie … I get frustrated with it … but as you say – no way to correct – except to repeat properly. Love that last one … what an amazing autodidact … have a peaceful rest of the week … Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • They (the technical press) keeps saying that the technology is getting better, but they (in my opinion) don’t understand how we use these devices. If I’m texting my brother, I don’t really care about correcting typos I know he will understand from context. That should not be included in the “dictionary” my phone uses for reference. I should at least be given the option to edit that dictionary.

      Have a wonderful week, Hilary.


  4. Auto-Correct and I have declared war. It not only changes spelling, it changes grammar. Not a day goes by where it doesn’t change something incorrectly. I appreciate when it gets it right but changing ‘they’ to ‘those’ IS WRONG!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I don’t use my phone for drafting, reading or replying to comments. ‘Fat-fingers’ is my problem. The keys are way too small. Fortunately, my desktop is ‘reply to comments’ friendly, and does not predict what it thinks I’m trying to say. I must have turned that setting off if there is one. However, typos do happen in posts, some of which only reveal themselves seconds after a post goes live! And why is it that I can spot typos and mistakes in other people’s blog posts, yet don’t spot them in mine?
    Happy New Year, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Typos are the bane of my existence as you well know. Even when I check my posts multiple times, hubs will find an error. The most common is live instead of love and goy instead of boy. But the worst is when I tell my kids “love you guys” and it comes out “love you guts”. While that may be true it wasn’t the sentiment I wanted to express. FYI when I tried to type guts it came out ‘gurs’. Grrrrrr….On mu iPad the spacebar has decided to not respond to my touch about half the time, forcing me to edit often. Sigh.
    Love the Christmas after storm shot and of course the moon. Stay warm.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I laughed at “my fat fingers.” It’s the excuse I use when misspelling on the cell phone because I do. A instead of S. A space instead of a letter. And weirdo spellings that equate to icy urea, only with a few spaces and a couple // in between. My phone does a pretty good job with suggested words and spellings, but it still needs some help.

    Thanks for not typing Math instead of Mary on a Monday. I appreciate your kindness.

    Have a wonderful Monday, Dan. Your Steelers gave you hope and a win yesterday as did the Packer’s defense provided stress relief for me. It was a good football Sunday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mary. There is still hope for that rematch. I only hope we can keep playing like we did in the second half yesterday, throughout the playoffs. I’ll try to keep Mary and Math in their separate corners. It’s the weirdo spellings that totally confuse me – who says “icy urea” ?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. OMG! I thought it was only me! “Besutiful icy urea and menorah” will have me laughing way into 2021! Perfect one liner to end this year with.

    In the 60’s I worked in the Transcription Center for Standard Vacuum Oil Company. We had two full-time Proofreaders in our department. One day I asked my supervisor why we didn’t just proofread our work ourselves. She said that when we read over what we’ve typed, we know what’s “supposed” to be there, so that’s what we read. She was right! That’s why it’s so easy to spot typos made by others. Maybe that explanation helps Hugh.

    The squirrels are getting to be too funny. Soon they will have talent agents tagging along with them!

    Ummm no, MiMi did NOT want that foot touched. And look at that poor leaf out there doing push-ups trying to stay warm!

    Wonderful shots of the moon and Christmas Day sky.

    Be safe and warm.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d like to think your explanation is why I don’t spot my typos. Of course, I like to think MiMi likes it when rub her feet. Apparently, I have much to learn.

      I do better when I write things in advance and edit them later. It’s so hard when I write a blog post right before uploading it. My wife caught a doozy in this post. I had made it sound like “there’s far more typos in your posts” but unclear that I meant “my comments on your posts” which might have been hard to explain.

      The squirrels are coming from all angles and doing whatever they can to get our attention. We need a rapid-fire peanut dispenser – of course, all while tethered to Maddie who’s trying to find just the right spot.

      Take care, Ginger. Stay warm.


  9. Laughing here as I’ve had similar problems, although usually not along the lines of that last correction your shared. But just this morning on a family text group, my s-i-l’s bit of message that was supposed to say “You are more than welcome to it” somehow came out as “You’re f-ing welcome to it!!” Now that’s creativity on a massively bad scale. :-)


    Liked by 3 people

  10. My worst typos come when I do voice to text. I always have to double-check it because Siri always puts words in my mouth that I did not type, lol! I use Grammarly and since I have been studying so much grammar for my transcription course, hopefully, my typos are less frequent. We are all human though. ;)


  11. Typos are a colloquial ethnic regional derivation of language. They occur in the regional of the keyboard and drift onto the screen and paper. Fortunately they are almost cured by whatever. Jashure !

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Like you, I have a problem with typos in comments. The word thank provided the biggest headache. Always deop one letter or another. Comes out thanks or (sorry I can’t give you examples. Autocorrect is correcting and I don’t want to give it an excuse for stopping. I made a doozy on a comment last week. I wrote the word “count” but dropped one of the letters. It wasn’t pretty. Loved the photos.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I must be the typo queen. On my phone I constantly hit h for g, o for p, i for o, etc. And that’s just a few. And if I try to be funny, quickly hit send and it’s out there, gone. That combined with bad grammar makes me a winner. I like the explanation of spellcheck but it does not have common sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Even though I do most of my bloggy things on my desktop, I still manage to make plenty of typos in my comments. I remind myself to slow down and proofread before hitting send, but I don’t listen very well. I do remember finding one of George Carlin’s seven words in a caption of yours. I can’t remember what word it was suppose to be but I figured The Editor wasn’t on duty before you hit “publish.”

    I’m with you about pushing 2020 to the end of the decade. Let’s start a fresh one on the 1st.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In her defense, Janis, my wife never sees the captions, since they’re only available in the WP Media Library. I might remember that caption, I’ve caught at least one of those. I type the posts and the captions on my laptop, but I still make mistakes. I say the same thing, “slow down, double-check” but I still miss some.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I’m so late! All of Monday seems to have gotten lost in my fog of apathy. But maybe I just needed this post today, Dan — because you slay me! Hahahaha! I love the idea of 2021 growing toward the sun. A whimsical yet profound outlook, my friend.
    Yeah, it’s a real bruise to the ego when my phone refuses to get my name right. Although I don’t remember you ever getting it wrong.
    Those (you listed) are some of the most bizarre auto-correct errors I’ve ever seen. My favorite of my own is an email I ALMOST sent to my boss. It changed her name to Malarkey. While “Hi Malarkey,” might have been appropriate, it would have been bad if I had not caught the auto-correct error. LOL. Sometimes it feels good even to almost get to tell it like it is. ;)
    Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Teagan. We don’t look at the clock here, so there’s no such thing as late – unless you’re entering the Thursday Doors badge contest (which you did, on time). I’ve worked for bosses who might answer to “Hi Malarkey” or at least who should. I’m always happy when I can make people laugh or smile.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m so with you…the auto correct drives me crazy!! I still can’t figure out why it doesn’t auto correct when I hit the “i” key next to the “o” key when I type ” this shot was taken……” Come on!! I have had some words like your last correction added and I can’t get where they came from! Love the squirrel pics!! Heh….we got weather yesterday….real weather. Thunder….heavy rain…hail and the mountains got a ton of snow. I think it’s prepping us for a better new year!!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I never use spellcheck (or do I? Er… yes, I did recently, but can’t remember in which app or on what device). Well, I rarely use spellcheck. Usually turn it off so it can’t do its horrible thing automatically. Instead I type quickly, make a huge number of terrible errors and then go back and edit. Thankfully I don’t message, either. I can imagine the mess I’d get into…

    I absolutely LOVE the sky behind the tree. Wonderful!

    Happy Christmas just past and happy new year just coming. I hope it’s better. Well, I hope the whole year is better, not just the new bit.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. AHAHAHA! urea and menorah! Awesome!
    I will spare of you of my recent auto correct malfunction, the kind like urea and menorah, but I am so, so, so glad it was a time when talk to text was in my hand and not through my car, or I would have given Mentor deep pause.

    Liked by 1 person

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