I’ll pick my own words, thank you…

When spell check first appeared on the scene of electronically enabled writing, there were some major learning hurdles that the programs had to sort out.

Local or regional words were especially confusing to the programs. For example, when I would type in the word Mogollon, the program would offer such corrections as “Mongolian,” “moron” or “moose gallon.” For my street, Capri Road, I once got “Carp River.” And of course, this one still comes up: when you type in the name of the most famous New Mexico Christmas decoration, luminarias, the word processor always wants to change it to “luminaries, ” a word that I doubt many people use these days.

Now, Word Press, my platform for my web page and blog has started filling in entire words for what it thinks I should write next. For example, it just wanted me to say “for example” three times when I started this sentence. And it wanted “me to” use the word “sentence.”

Aaarrrgh!!! (No suggestion for that word, thank you, Word Press).

I suspect there is a toggle somewhere in the system that allows me to turn off that feature. It’s becoming more and more intrusive as I write. I suppose I could just ask it to write an entire blog for me, starting with a single word: “annoying.”

In the meantime, it makes me worry that we are all being dumbed down by technology. We don’t have to know how to spell any more. We don’t have to go to reference books in libraries to find information. We can just mumble some generic words into our TV remote or watch to find something that we want to see or hear, even if an Artificial Intelligence algorithm completely misses our intention.

Andy Rooney, of the CBS 60 Minutes TV show

I know, I sound like a current day Andy Rooney, who was notorious on his TV segment on CBS’s “60 Minutes” for speaking his mind on a variety of subjects in a populist kind of way. He got in trouble for some of the things he said, but many of them rang true.

In my opinion, his best comment, especially pertinent today was:

“People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe.”

I wish he was still around. I think he’d have some interesting things to say about what is going on in politics these days. And I wish Word Press would stop trying to tell me how to write.

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