Archive for April 23rd, 2012

Beware the autocorrect … and other hazards of a wired world

I was communicating with a blog pal this morning through the comment section on her blog via my Kindle Fire. I like the Kindle Fire for that very reason – WiFi is totally portable. I’m even learning to type without a real keyboard. Of course, then, there’s the autocorrect function. Blog … bologna. It’s all pretty much the same, right?

While this was a humorous episode of an auto fill mistake, there can be more serious consequences.

Say you have two people in your e-mail contacts: Jackie Wood and Jack Woodson. You’re in a hurry as you enter the names, and you accidentally send the message meant for Jack to Jackie. Not that big a deal if they don’t know each other – just a little “Please delete that message I sent in error” note to Jackie, right? But what if they do know each other? And what if the message you intended for Jack contained sensitive information about Jackie – or something she didn’t need to know? Raise your hands if it’s happened to you? I’ve definitely made this embarrassing mistake.

Other mistakes we make when we’re in a hurry:

  • Addressing someone by the wrong name (happened to me just the other day)
  • Referring to someone by the wrong gender
  • Using an incorrect title, particularly if the mistake is a demotion
  • Copying someone on a message that they don’t need to see

Yep – everybody’s busy these days, and all this technology is supposed to make life and business easier. But even with the myriad time- and labor-saving devices we have available at the touch of a screen, we still need to slow down, stop, and give our full attention to what we’re doing, especially when it really matters – like e-mails to new connections in the publishing industry or applications or contest essays.

Sometimes a typo is just a typo and you can fix it before anyone notices, like on Facebook or your own blog post. But other times, like on someone else’s blog comments or an e-mail, once you hit “Send,” it’s gone like a flash of lightning and there’s no getting it back, erasing it, or making it better. Those 30 extra seconds it would take you to re-read your message before sending it could be the most important 30 seconds of your day.

Happy spellchecking!



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