Autocorrect Fail, or Just the Funniest Book Review Ever?

 

Before my husband, Mr. She, died last year, he spent many years (probably well over a decade, now that I reflect on it with the benefit of hindsight) slowly succumbing to dementia.  It’s a cruel disease, as many of you know.  But also looking back on it, and–indeed–since he died, I’ve found humor in some of the situations in which we became embroiled as he gradually became more and more confused, and retreated further into his past.  There’s really not much you can do, other than be in the moment with people who suffer this way, go with the flow, and enjoy the parts of life that are still enjoyable, both as you’re living them, and as you look back on them.

Otherwise, you’d probably go mad.

After he died, I discovered that Mr. She had been–for quite a few years–an enthusiastic eBay purchaser.  Model trains and accessories.  Old radios that he thought he’d refurbish, but never did.  And books.  Lots of books.  At some point after the fact, I realized that his adamant determination, almost until the end, that it was “his job” to get the mail, and that I was under no circumstances allowed to do so, probably had something to with the surreptitious smuggling of all these boxes (which I never even saw) into the house.

And so, at some point after July 3, 2020, it became my sad duty to go through them all.

The train stuff I have cataloged.  The radios I’ve disposed of.  The few treasures–like this one–Think-a-Tron: The Machine That Thinks Like a Man–I’ve rehomed in ways I think Mr. She would have liked me to.

Today, I was trying to decide what to do with a very nice book–The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Native American Indian Mounds and Earthworks.  I have absolutely no idea why Mr. She purchased it.  It looks new.  It’s a nice book.  It’s comprehensive.  It has great illustrations.  And, once you’ve finished reading it, I can’t imagine there’s anything to know about the subject matter of Native American mounds and earthworks anywhere in the country that you won’t know.

I have a dear friend whose daughter works closely on historical “digs” in the United States, although her research is confined more to early settlers–Jamestown and the like.  But she’s from these parts, and we have quite a bit of history in this area–Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, only a few miles away, and Moundsville WV, just down the road.

So I thought I’d send my friend an email, tell her about the book, and ask if her daughter might know of an organization or a library with an interest in the subject matter that might take it and give it a home. Failing that, I’ll try some local libraries and see what I can come up with,  (If anyone reading this has an interest in, or yen for, knowledge in this area, please let me know.  First come, first served, and the book is yours!)

In an attempt to do a bit of a reality check, and see if the book actually was useful or might be interesting to researchers of the topic–my conclusion on that is “yes”–I started to read some of the Amazon reviews.  (I’m careful about them. You have to be.)

But I was stopped in my tracks by this review. And I haven’t read any further.

It’s a short review.  Just six words in the title.  As follows:

Font is too large.  Nasty topography.

I’m charmed.  Not because I agree with the comment on the font.  I find the book well organized, well typeset, and eminently readable.

But “topography?”  Really?

Either that’s the most felicitous malapropism or typographical error ever, WRT a book about–well–topography, or autocorrect has made a mess of an author’s good intentions.

Either way, it made me laugh.

Do you have a favorite autocorrect fail story?  Or even just a favorite silly book or movie review?

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  1. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    She:

    Do you have a favorite autocorrect fail story?  Or even just a favorite silly book or movie review?

    No, just typo stories. Student papers that said that Socrates was dieting at the hands of the majority, and Jesus dieted in our place. And a flyer once advertising a “Christmas warship program” at some church.

    • #1
  2. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    And a flyer once advertising a “Christmas warship program” at some church.

    I love that.  The “Church Military.”

    • #2
  3. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    I used to wish I would get a Think-A-Tron for Christmas or something.  Never happened.  Same with the “Visible V-8 Engine.”  Although I did get myself one of those later in life.  Also a “Visible Rotary Engine”.

    I hope you checked first to make sure those radios weren’t valuable to someone who would restore them.  And who knows, maybe photos of them would have wound up on the Saturday Night Radio posts.

    • #3
  4. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Regarding the book on Indian – ahem, Native American – history, since BLM burned down that Indian\\\\\\Native American History museum in Minneapolis, maybe they’d like to get it as part of their rebuilding?

    • #4
  5. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    She (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    And a flyer once advertising a “Christmas warship program” at some church.

    I love that. The “Church Military.”

    Is that anything like The Church Police?

     

    • #5
  6. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Seen online:  Dear Autocorrect: It’s never “ducking”.

    • #6
  7. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    She (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    And a flyer once advertising a “Christmas warship program” at some church.

    I love that. The “Church Military.”

    @dougwatt reminded us that yesterday was the 450th anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto. There were plenty of Christian warships there for that.

    • #7
  8. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    BDB (View Comment):

    Seen online: Dear Autocorrect: It’s never “ducking”.

    I once sent an email to the entire company I worked for that I was about to “Sh*t down the system”.  I got a reply from our technical writer that she felt really uncomfortable about writing up the procedure for that.

    • #8
  9. Annefy Member
    Annefy
    @Annefy

    Back in the 80s I was traveling from bank office to bank office trying to teach people how to measure their employees’ efficiency. Cuts were coming (at that bank cuts were always coming), so our intent was to help managers know where to make their cuts.

    In one state-wide meeting of all the managers, one spoke up and said that she was fortunate in that she’d already lost a few employees due to “nutrition”. I leaned over to my boss and said, “this is getting ridiculous. They’re starving their employees to cut expenses”

    Privately, we never, ever said “attrition” again – it was always “nutrition”.

    • #9
  10. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    She (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):
    And a flyer once advertising a “Christmas warship program” at some church.

    I love that. The “Church Military.”

    Onward Christian Soldiers. Churchill would have loved it.

    • #10
  11. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Annefy (View Comment):

    Back in the 80s I was traveling from bank office to bank office trying to teach people how to measure their employees’ efficiency. Cuts were coming (at that bank cuts were always coming), so our intent was to help managers know where to make their cuts.

    In one state-wide meeting of all the managers, one spoke up and said that she was fortunate in that she’d already lost a few employees due to “nutrition”. I leaned over to my boss and said, “this is getting ridiculous. They’re starving their employees to cut expenses”

    Privately, we never, ever said “attrition” again – it was always “nutrition”.

    Inside jokes can be very good for morale.

    • #11
  12. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    I can’t imagine a favorite autocorrect because every time it does it, I swear and tear my hair out. I write messages in German and Norwegian and it really drives me crazy then.

    • #12
  13. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Mr. C was in an engineering meeting once with other contractors where the speaker had a somewhat pronounced southern accent and said the word, “thing,” a lot, but it sounded like “thang.” The speaker put up a graphic showing the tangent to a curve labeled, “tang.” At which point, Mr. C turned to his boss (the VP of the company) and whispered, “Look, he misspelled ‘thang.'”

    Let’s just say the boss struggled to suppress inappropriate behavior. 

     

    • #13
  14. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    On the dementia front, I have two stories of “enjoying the moment.”

    First, my mother was always a gracious host and felt it important to ‘keep up appearances’ (we noticed some similarities to Mrs Bucket (pronounced “Bouquet” of the British sitcom of that name). When she lost her memory to the point of no longer recognizing her own family, we’d walk in the room and she’d say “Ooooh, look who’s here!!” As if she had a clue. Funny as long as you didn’t take it personally.

    Mr. C’s dad had to be moved into memory care the last three months of his life (Mr. C did everything possible to keep him in his home until that point). He was one of the original Airborne Rangers and a tough guy with a great sense of humor. Mr. C would go sit with him in the common space of the memory care unit, where people would be napping on the sofas or carrying around and stroking their mechanical cats. A pretty sad sight. Dad turned to Mr. C at one point and said, “I could never live like that.” Mr. C didn’t have the heart to tell him he already was! It’s amusing looking back. Poor guy.

    • #14
  15. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    kedavis (View Comment):
    I hope you checked first to make sure those radios weren’t valuable to someone who would restore them. 

    Yes.

    And who knows, maybe photos of them would have wound up on the Saturday Night Radio posts.

    Not these radios..

    • #15
  16. GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms Reagan
    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms
    @GLDIII

    I have been having a losing struggle with autocorrect, however my typing skill are abysmal so I am reluctant to turn it off. My small audience in the PIT is constantly amused, by the folly of my fingers. So much so that our youngest member, whom I find is brilliant, gave me my current Rico moniker.

    I take it to heart, because I suspect in the future, as all things enter their entropic decline, it will suit me.

    • #16
  17. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    What drives me up the wall about autocorrect is how selectively dumb it is.  Sometimes, I type a word like “gumtwazzle” and it says “did you mean ‘fireworks’?” when that actually is exactly what I was trying to type.  Score one for autocorrect!  Other times, I type something like “remunder,” where you might think the logical choices are only “reminder” and “remainder,”—or, at a stretch, “remember,”—and it says something like, did you mean ‘persimmon’?” when that isn’t even remotely close.

    • #17
  18. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Regarding the book on Indian – ahem, Native American – history, since BLM burned down that Indian\\\\\\Native American History museum in Minneapolis, maybe they’d like to get it as part of their rebuilding?

    BLM might be interested in a history of slavery museum or one aligned with the 1619 Project. Ask the boss lady, she is now worth millions. 

    • #18
  19. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    From Powerline’s Week in Pictures, where you can find it its non-CoC-compliant form, proof that autocorrect/suggest can be wildly entertaining, even when practiced by humans lacking even artificial intelligence, but with the right sort of political agenda:

    • #19
  20. JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery Thatcher
    JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery
    @JosePluma

    She (View Comment):

    From Powerline’s Week in Pictures, where you can find it its non-CoC-compliant form, proof that autocorrect/suggest can be wildly entertaining, even when practiced by humans lacking even artificial intelligence, but with the right sort of political agenda:

    Well, that gives me an idea.

    • #20
  21. Dbroussa Coolidge
    Dbroussa
    @Dbroussa

    The reviews on Amazon of the sugar free gummy bears are wonderful, but the 85″ Samsung TV going for $40,000 were just priceless. This one was likely the best ever.

    https://uproxx.com/tv/please-take-moment-read-hilarious-amazon-review-40000-85-inch-television/

    • #21
  22. Front Seat Cat Member
    Front Seat Cat
    @FrontSeatCat

    That is a very funny story and very sweet. He must have had a big curiosity on historical mounds and so forth.  I recently found out about a small raised area where Indian relics have been found,  that I knew nothing about in the county we used to live in next door to where we are now.  It was within walking distance and across the road in a forest that we had walked thru several times (it had trails). 

    Florida is full of Indian mound areas. Loved your story and thanks for looking for good homes for the treasures he snuck in the house!

    • #22
  23. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    From Powerline’s Week in Pictures, where you can find it its non-CoC-compliant form, proof that autocorrect/suggest can be wildly entertaining, even when practiced by humans lacking even artificial intelligence, but with the right sort of political agenda:

    Well, that gives me an idea.

    Brandon Woodruff is starting game two of the NLDS today for the Brewers.  I’m hoping for lots of “lets go Brandon” chants at the game.

    • #23
  24. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    That is a very funny story and very sweet. He must have had a big curiosity on historical mounds and so forth. I recently found out about a small raised area where Indian relics have been found, that I knew nothing about in the county we used to live in next door to where we are now. It was within walking distance and across the road in a forest that we had walked thru several times (it had trails).

    Florida is full of Indian mound areas. Loved your story and thanks for looking for good homes for the treasures he snuck in the house!

    Thanks for such a sweet comment.  Yes, like all the very smart people I’ve known in my life, Frank was interested in everything.  My guess is that he saw a program on TV, or read something in a book, that evoked an interest in the burial mounds.  (Or perhaps it was as simple as a long-ago memory of the fact that when we raised Angora goats, we used to regularly drive down to Moundsville WV, where the feed and grain store (long since closed) carried alfalfa pellets in 100# bags.  Hair goats, such as the Angora need the extra protein, although it’s too much for the sheep.)

    What I learned as Frank’s recollections and thought processes became more and more wayward as time went on was that there almost always was–as with my mentally ill stepson–a grain of sense in his apparent meanderings.  I think this was never more true than when he took, on jaunts out to buy stuff, to buttonholing the salesperson (something he was always very good at, being a college professor, and someone he always said, talked for a living) and explaining that his grandfather had been invited to come over from Poland/Galicia/Germany (one of those parts of the world that was always changing hands) by the President of the United States, to be in charge of all mining operations in the Western United States.  I used to cringe with embarrassment when that happened.  Then I tied it to my finding, on ancestry dot com, a copy of Frank’s grandfather’s petition for naturalization from 1923.  I showed it to him a couple of years before he died, and I think he conflated the official nature of the document with some sort of presidential edict.  After that, it made sense for me, as it had always made sense for him, and I just smiled and let him get on with it.

    (click to embiggen)

    • #24
  25. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    She (View Comment):
    explaining that his grandfather had been invited to come over from Poland/Galicia/Germany (one of those parts of the world that was always changing hands) by the President of the United States, to be in charge of all mining operations in the Western United States.  I used to cringe with embarrassment when that happened.  Then I tied it to my finding, on ancestry dot com, a copy of Frank’s grandfather’s petition for naturalization from 1923.  I showed it to him a couple of years before he died, and I think he conflated the official nature of the document with some sort of presidential edict.

    Some people do this all the time, and there’s a difference between falsehoods and memories that just don’t quite seem to hold formation with facts.  They drift away, becoming stories of something else, but as you point out, if you know their point of departure, you can see the connection.

    It’s amazing that our memories work at all.

    • #25
  26. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    JosePluma, Local Man of Mystery (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):

    From Powerline’s Week in Pictures, where you can find it its non-CoC-compliant form, proof that autocorrect/suggest can be wildly entertaining, even when practiced by humans lacking even artificial intelligence, but with the right sort of political agenda:

    Well, that gives me an idea.

    Wonder if one would be permitted to enter a polling place wearing a hat* or tee shirt with this message.

    *I had to go back and edit this because the autocorrect on my phone replaced ‘hat’ with ‘hot.’

    • #26
  27. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    BDB (View Comment):

    She (View Comment):
    explaining that his grandfather had been invited to come over from Poland/Galicia/Germany (one of those parts of the world that was always changing hands) by the President of the United States, to be in charge of all mining operations in the Western United States. I used to cringe with embarrassment when that happened. Then I tied it to my finding, on ancestry dot com, a copy of Frank’s grandfather’s petition for naturalization from 1923. I showed it to him a couple of years before he died, and I think he conflated the official nature of the document with some sort of presidential edict.

    Some people do this all the time, and there’s a difference between falsehoods and memories that just don’t quite seem to hold formation with facts. They drift away, becoming stories of something else, but as you point out, if you know their point of departure, you can see the connection.

    It’s amazing that our memories work at all.

    Agree.  This is, at its extreme, a phenomenon that I really didn’t understand until my mother, who suffered from frontotemporal dementia (different from Alzheimers or age-related) began to make up stuff in response to questions from her carers or medical interlocutors–stuff which seemed perfectly rational to strangers, but which was off-the-wall bonkers to the family who knew her.  I discovered this phenomenon is called “confabulation.”  The folks in the nursing home in which my mum spent her last years always used to say that “she could confabulate for England.”  Post here: https://ricochet.com/622072/archives/mothers-day-hero-my-mum/

    • #27
  28. Full Size Tabby Member
    Full Size Tabby
    @FullSizeTabby

    Autocorrect kept changing our church’s pastor from “Pastor Roberts” into “Pastor Robbers.”

    It also kept changing my coworker’s name (he had one of those Czech names with too many consonants and not enough vowels) into Mr. “Chubbiest.”

    • #28
  29. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    Our family has a host of inside malapropisms, each with their own story:

    “egg salad” for “excellent”

    Pissghetti

    Orcadontist

     

    • #29
  30. Skyler Coolidge
    Skyler
    @Skyler

    I don’t have an autocorrect story, but I also have a good collection of books.  Since getting married, the rate of growth of my library slowed, and now I’ve been pressured to reduce the library slowly from well over a thousand books (all catalogued in a purpose built database) to now only 700 or so books.  The latest reduction has come with our move to Amarillo and it was a painful cut.  I really love books.

    Here’s the situation now:  My wife wants me to get rid of all of my books now.  Why?  Because someday I might die and it would be cruel of me to leave her with all these books to throw away. 

    Yup.  My darling bride is planning for my early demise and wants me to suffer without my books while waiting to die.  Perhaps with her poisoning plan it might not be as far away as I prefer, but still.  It seems somewhat inconsiderate.  

    I really do like my books.  When I have book shelves for them (which I have always had until this new home, we installed built in shelves in our previous home), I look things up all the time in them.

    So I think I’m going to have to rewrite my will and have the executor be someone close who will know right away if I die and preferably someone who also likes books.  That way they can pick through what they want before my wife burns them all in a huge bonfire. 

    • #30