Reliance on autocorrect

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Two weeks ago, I was taking notes in class and stumbled upon a challenging word. “Accommodate” is a straightforward and commonly used word but one I could not figure out how to spell, for some reason. Instead of forgetting about it and choosing a simpler synonym, I sat idly at my desk for about 30 seconds, debating internally its exact spelling — the fact that I could not spell this simple word bothered me.  

I rarely handwrite anything anymore, so I put my full faith in the iPhone’s autocorrect software and Microsoft Word’s red squiggle lines to correct my spelling. The Daily Californian uses WordPress when editing articles, so even in a role that demands attention to the details of the English language, autocorrect exists as a helpful — but not always correct — crutch. This reliance on autocorrect has diminished my ability to correctly spell words I see every day.

It doesn’t matter if I know exactly how many of the letters “c” and “m” that “accommodate” has, because my technology will fix the spelling for me, right? In the occasional moments in which I don’t have autocorrect to back me up, however, I am left guessing, just choosing whichever version of the word “looks best.”

As a proud fourth-grade spelling bee champion, I am definitely disappointed in the deterioration of my linguistic abilities. Autocorrect is a handy tool to save you when you’re typing quickly, but it has rendered many of us incapable of using correct spelling and grammar at all times. The benefits of autocorrect outweigh its pitfalls, in my opinion; my spelling skills may have peaked at age 9, but I can type faster and use more complicated sentence structures, knowing that I can (usually) leave spelling to my phone or computer to handle. It is certainly helpful for everyday typing, and we can “acomodate” autocorrect in our lives, but we should be aware of the drawbacks of relying too much on it.

Contact Nikhil Dilip at [email protected].