‘I really love banging.’ A dowdy-looking sixty-something woman writes on Facebook. This post has three hundred and eighty likes and almost a hundred comments. She means Banting of course, but auto-correct has a sick sense of humour. On the Banting Facebook pages I follow, the popular lifestyle choice is also often auto-translated into ‘baking’, ‘bunting’, ‘batting’ and my own personal favourite, ‘banking’. Particularly when used in the context of, ‘is anyone else here frustrated with banking?’
A woman texts her mother that she should shove dicks up her nose, instead of Vicks. Another tells her boyfriend she’s been in bed with a Nigerian all day, when she was actually in bed with a migraine, at least that’s her story and she’s sticking to it. And one poor yobo texted his girlfriend to say he’s dumping her when he gets home that night. But before he can say he meant he was ‘jumping’ her the second he got home, she’d already responded to say she’d also been thinking they should spend some time apart.
Dimples regularly auto-correct to nipples. Kissed auto-corrects to killed. Volvo auto-corrects to vulva. And aunt has a tendency to auto-correct to the c-word, making family Christmases more awkies since 1995 (or more ‘walked’ which is what ‘awkies’ auto-corrects to).
It’s already easy enough for things to get lost in translation in a relationship. Men and women don’t speak the same language as much as different dialects of the same language. When a woman tells you she likes your blouse, it means she thinks you are wearing an attractive top, but when a man says it, he actually means, nice tits, wanna shag? When a man says he’s fine, it means, he’s good, okay, alright. But we all know what it means when a woman says it.
I can’t tell you how many times my friends and I have pored over a text message from some guy, trying to figure out if ‘it was nice to see you again’ was a polite euphemism for ‘Wanna bone?’, or ‘I could take or leave you’. Or if it had simply auto-corrected itself from ‘I never want to see you again’.
But auto-correct isn’t always in the wrong, it can save lives too. Once, after the suggestion we hike together went down like a lead balloon with a guy I was hoping to get it on with, I pretended autocorrect had simply changed my suggestion and I’d actually meant we should get a drink together. Oh how we laughed and laughed. Phew.
I’ve often wished there was an autocorrect for in real life too. Being the kind of person who regularly sticks her foot in her mouth, it would be great to have something to blame on those occasions when I speak out of turn and watch the other person’s face sink in discomfort. Sorry, did I say don’t forget to bring condoms, I meant to say don’t forget to bring cardamom, I’ll make a curry. Damn you auto correct.