Just a few days after the school shooting in Ohio, someone at a school in Georgia reported a shooting threat that caused that school to be locked down for several hours.
Here’s the threat as it was reported to the authorities:
Gunman be at west hall today.
Here’s the message typed by the sender:
Gunna be at west hall today.
The mobile device knew that gunna wasn’t an English word so it changed it to gunman.
Some time ago, I read that a man in England shot and killed a neighbor after receiving a text in which the SpellingSuggester had changed a friendly expression to a disparaging one.
My frustration with the helpful changes offered on my iPhone when I’m writing an email grew to such a pitch that I disabled the function. In my view, I’m better off misspelling a word than sending an insult or a threat.
Now that the schools are throwing cursive writing out the door, perhaps they could replace it with unassisted keyboard spelling. At the same time it would be nice if they could re-institute basic English spelling so that students might learn to spell such phrases as “going to.”