Apple's mobile devices have a secret list of "sensitive" words that don't autocomplete


Isn’t this to avoid the awkward situation where autocorrect guesses the totally wrong word for the situation?

Sorry Mom, I can’t come with you for the walk today, because of all of the rape. (autocorrect for rain).


My thought exactly, I think this is perfectly reasonable. Also,


I’m sure this is simply to keep sites like Damn You, AutoCorrect! from being even more embarrassing. I once texted a friend that I was in D.C. and riding the Metro over to see him. My iPhone changed Metro to negro. I really wish it hadn’t done that.


I’ve been noticing something similar on my Android phone. Swipe-typing "good’ almost always resolves to “God” (with a capital G); even the mildest swear words won’t get accepted via swipe-typing, except for “Hell” (which again, always capitalises). Short words like “gods” can get messed up too. It appears their standard model for a North American is a conservative Christian who uses their phone to write sermons.

I find it amusing that Android finds it easier to believe I want to type “God” than “good”, but overall it’s pretty annoying. Near as I can tell from the behaviour, it seems like they chose to pander to the group most likely to scream about it, with the rest having to put up with it.

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No, it’s to avoid controversial and “sensitive” words. Including, infuriatingly enough, ones like “abortion” that are only “sensitive” because conservative assholes insist on making them so. I wonder if Apple’s autocomplete avoids “global warming” and “climate change” too.


She’s all bruised, but my sister’s gymnast boyfriend finally got her in to the abortion.

I mean contortion. It doesn’t matter if you are pro-choice or not, there are words that should be spelled correctly.


Occam’s razor time, folks: which is more likely, that Apple thinks it can eradicate social ills by programming their autocomplete not to assume certain words, or that Apple doesn’t want me accidentally texting these words to my boss/partner/grandma?


But think about the poor drunkards when they try to drunk-text! This is when you need auto-correct the most! It isn’t as convincing when you text back “No, I’m not a druknerd”


Come now. “Mildy annoying,” OK, but my personal reservoir of fury isn’t deep enough to waste on trivialities such as this.

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They put this in there to piss off people who get mad at anything.

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I just tried swyping “abortion” on my Android device and it worked like a charm. And considering the controversy around Siri when you tried asking about abortions, I wouldn’t be so quick to give Apple an easy out like damnyouautocorrect. Besides, the funniest autocorrects don’t necessitate sensitive words, just the wrong word for the situation.

Occam’s razor tells me that Apple puts stuff like this into their software just to see if they can get Cory enraged.


[quote=“AndBobando, post:13, topic:4223”]
I just tried swyping “abortion” on my Android device and it worked like a charm.
[/quote]Swype isn’t the same thing as autocomplete. The suggestions that pop up for Swype only appear up after you’ve spelled out (or attempted to spell out) the entire word. It’s the device’s best guess at what you’ve already written, not what you might intend to write based on the first few letters.

The very first thing I did when I got an iPhone was to turn off autocorrect. I think I had read too many of those joke websites showing it correcting ‘epi pen’ to ‘epic penis’.


If you’re going to text words like “abortion”, you should probably care enough about what you have to say to not need the autocorrect. For most of us, that’s not a casual conversation kind of word that you just dash off quickly while you’re in line at the grocery store. There are probably a few people who use those terms frequently in their day to day conversation. People who are deeply involved in abortion related causes or abortion providers might use “abortion” daily. People who are avid hunters or gun activists or sporting goods salesmen might use “ammo” and “bullet” all the time. But for most of us, they’re not such a common part of our conversations that we need them autocorrected for ease and speed all the time.

If your friend gets a response to her text about when you’re going to be coming over and it says “In a couple of hours. I’m busy getting an abortiom.”, her response isn’t going to be to the misplaced “m”, it’s going to be toward the content. If you’re having a politically charged conversation about abortion, you should care enough about the ideas you’re sharing to spend a second proofreading before you send. If you can’t be bothered to spend a second checking it, it’s too lame and careless for anyone to spend their second reading it.

I can also see it helping keep folks from unnecessarily getting flagged as terrorists or criminals. I’d hate to have it autocorrect so that it sounded like I was loading up a bunch of ammo.

Sure, but the principle is the same, in terms of the “but what if I text something embarrassing by accident!” defence. Swype could have chosen not to include “abortion” in their dictionary just like autocomplete didn’t. I had to teach Swype a ton of swear words, for example.

It might be cool if they added a special feature to the autocorrect that flagged all of a list of sensitive words before you send. It would make it so that if something had autocorrected to a naughty word or a potentially offensive topic word that it would highlight it to give you an extra heads up that the word was there. That would be beautiful protection against autocorrect horrors as well as ones you mistyped that it saw as actual words. I’ve sent texts with the word “ass” in place of “as” a couple of times. That would help catch those,too.

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Yeah, if I text that “I’ve spent all morning reading about abolition”, or “I can’t chat now, I need to go for my ablutions” and autocorrect swaps in “abortion” - that could lead to some folks getting unnecessarily worried about my well-being.

For that reason, I’ve turned off autocorrect altogether on my phone - I’d rather have people realize I’m a lousy typist, than think I’m good at typing and also rude.


But “The shrimp made me swell up like a balloon! Thank God I was able to jab myself with an epic penis” is, maybe, the best text you could ever send…