It should come as no surprise to anyone that I spend a lot of time on the computer. And a lot of that time on the computer is spent writing. I do a lot of different sorts of writing: writing fiction, creating posts, leaving comments, composing emails, chatting with friends – the list goes on.
Since I started using word processors to write fiction a long time ago, things have changed in many ways. Word processors themselves don’t seem to have changed that much… there are new tools available, and I really like using Scrivener to write fiction due to the way you can manage different pieces of your writing, and customize the way you want to publish your finished drafts. But generally the writing itself, and the various writing tools you use to accomplish writing, haven’t changed a whole lot.
That said, one big change that I’ve noticed is the addition of the autocorrect feature. It kind of snuck up on me. At first, autocorrect corrected a bunch of various simple corrections, but over the years it has become much more robust, until now, when almost anything you type incorrectly can and will be autocorrected. Autocorrect will also frequently correct things that are correct, which can be a bit of a pain at times, but generally it’s quite reliable. I have noticed that autocorrect will now also correct series of words – if you type a string of words into your word processor, autocorrect will try to correct them based on context. I find this pretty amazing.
The reason I am posting about this today is because this afternoon I realized just how much I rely on autocorrect. The truth of the matter is, while I’m actually a pretty good typist, I tend to be lazy with my typing. I knowingly typing slews of errors knowing that I don’t have to worry about them because autocorrect will take care of them for me. I noticed this because while I usually do my work on a MacBook Pro with autocorrect turned on, today I spent quite a bit of time on a Windows machine without autocorrect (because Microsoft Publisher is unfortunately only available for Windows). After working with Publisher for a while, I switched to another window to leave a few comments on a web page and used my (now) normal method of devil-may-care typing. I kept having to back up to correct my lazy errors. A few years ago I would not have left those errors, because back then I was more careful to input things correctly the first time (knowing that if I didn’t, I’d have to go back and fix the errors myself).
I wonder if anyone else has adapted their typing style to take into account autocorrect’s usefulness? It’s an interesting paradigm, and one that I didn’t see coming. Perhaps in the future we’ll be able to type some serious garbage into our word processors, and autocorrect will magically change it into the most colorful of poetry! I’m looking forward to it.