Mobile messaging: Substitute for proofreading?

From the Archives

Originally published August 31, 2012

We’ve all done it: fired off that text message, only to catch our errors later; or sent that e-mail from our phone and see our mistakes when we receive that quizzical reply. I’ve stooped so low as to send a follow up “correction” text message followed by some slanderous remark about how stupid the auto-correct feature on my phone is.

What really bugs me isn’t that the phone mistakenly “corrected” something; rather, I’m more annoyed at myself for not doing due diligence. I’ve even gone so far as to include some clue about the device from which I’m sending my messages, as if that will excuse me for any typos that may exist in the message. It’s sort of my disclaimer: “This message has been sent from my mobile phone. There’s a strong chance that there are some typos or something in here. Just excuse them in advance because after all, we all know how stupid auto-correct can be, right?”

The real message is, “I just hastily and sloppily threw these words together and tapped the ‘send’ button without properly reviewing what I wrote. It is terrible, and I should be publicly executed for it. I want to live, so can you just blame the tiny keyboard on my touch screen phone instead?” The answer: mobile computing is not a substitute for basic proofreading; review what you’ve written, or be satisfied NOT to slam your phone’s auto-correct feature. Share your thoughts and funny “oops” mobile computing stories in comments.