This is an issue which has affected me personally — type my name into a word doc and see what it recommends as an alternative (see below if you’re too lazy to try this yourself). Such a mechanical slip might easily have altered the vectors of my life, compromised my career, and impinged on my freedom, all thanks to the zeal of Microsoft et al. to ease my responsibility to spell my own name correctly. Vorsprung durch technik indeed.
Now that I am in recovery I am amused by it all, and pleased that others are finding similar enjoyment. For instance, I stole that last phrase from Audi and from the following poem:
A life now spent correcting auto correct — Vorsprung durch technik [Noble Francis]
Yes, such is our time that a name or a process outside of the commonplace now must be managed: with a life given over to correcting the corrections. Such time lost, such energy wasted. The only sane response is . . . humor. And there are two chief strategies to arriving at this humor — we can revel in the absurdities foisted upon us, as in my third choice:
I love the verb “to snopake,” — so much unexplored potential — and plan to make it part of my general vocabulary. The other chief strategy is to create the absurdity for ourselves, as in my second choice for this week:winter departs — last year’s errors snopaked out [David Dayson]
TV subtitles — political con men taters tell it how it is [David Dayson]
There is certain satisfaction to making up one’s own algorithm, to overlaying a skewed sense of logic onto something that clamors to express its own. While this particular deconstruction seems unlikely to me, even by Microsoft’s standards, there was good sport at its making, and the whoreson must be acknowledged.
But lucky are they who can rise above others’ foibles, who can extract meaning from the seeming randomness and noise. My top choice this week converts the quirks of serendipity to a stentorian imperative:
to triumph autocorrect tells me — try oomph [David Dayson]
Norman Vincent Peale would be proud.
Now I must get utterly snopaked — “Kacian” suggests, to our algorithm overlords, “cocaine.” Until next week . . .
amartophobia — how obsessively I check each word — Maria Laura Valente * mangled; my English . . . the Cupertino effect the Cupertino effect — Ernesto P. Santiago * making out I’m someone I’m not spell check — Rachel Sutcliffe * Dear John the typos no one accounted for — Michael Henry Lee * dust bowl in vain i seek the vineyard where the gripes of wrath are stored — Jennifer Hambrick * I meant superb not subpar dame autocorrect — Christina Sng * autocorrect she reminds him of her name again — Andy McLellan * grammar nazi I become my own nemesis — Shloka Shankar * boss’s minutes my surname spelt as “Ceremony” — Samantha Sirimanne Hyde * rough draft . . . one misspelled word too many — Willie Bongcaron * message online — my reply is impostible — Angela Giordano * breaking the spell . . . he calls his new girlfriend by his ex’s name — Olivier Schopfer * luckily the punchline didn’t make sense after auto-correct — Mark Gilbert * unforgivable mistake dismissal of the Director on national television — Eufemia Griffo * autocorrect — too many the errors I can’t erase — Anna Maria Domburg-Sancristoforo Domburg * work email my gender autocorrects — Roberta Beary * submission . . . my tale rejected too many typos — Elisa Allo * proofreader Spelchek checks Czech check — Paul Geiger * auto correct not what I had in mind still it persists . . . — Madhuri Pillai * “Thanks” to T9 Mary’s “FIGLIO” becomes her “FOGLIO” grazie al T9 i miei auguri al “figlio” di Mary diventano al “foglio” — Lucia Cardillo * Important document — The last name of the Boss has blossomed . . . — Nazarena Rampini * divorce papers installing a free Auto-Correct — Cezar Ciobika * bip...bip...bip... my software is mad — Antonio Mangiameli * from past and future to present tense auto-correct — Michael Stinson * I'll have you know I mean every auto-corrected word I say — Lee Nash * I’ll find my own spelling errors thanks . . . spellchick — Karen Harvey * Echo in November I have the same paperwork in March — Benedetta Cardone * spellcheck honing my writing skills my first-grade teacher — Devin Harrison *
Next Week’s Theme: The Team Meeting
Send your poem using “workplace haiku” as the subject by Sunday midnight to our Contact Form. Good luck!
From October 2014 through April 2016 Haiku Foundation president Jim Kacian offered a column on haiku for the London Financial Times centered on the theme of work. Each week we share these columns with the haiku community at large, along with an invitation to join in the fun. Submit a poem by Sunday midnight on the theme of the week, from the classical Japanese tradition, or contemporary practice, or perhaps one of your own, which you might even write for the occasion. The best of these will be appended to the column. First published 13 February 2015.