Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Be a-Freud, Be VERY a-Freud

New technology is marvellous and I, for one, am generally a fan.

I recently upgraded my mobile phone and discovered that my new one has voice-to-text, which has proved to be very speedy when creating text messages. 

The following true story, however,  provides a salutary lesson - use the tech. but don't trust it.

The other day I received a text, asking about my plans for the next day, and offering a ride to the office.  In reply, I dictated the following 15 fairly straighforward (I would have thought) words:

“Yes I am planning to go into the office and yes please to a lift.”

yes please.



The other cool thing my new phone has is auto-correction - which works even when you're dictating, apparently.  I was about to press SEND but decided to take just a moment to check the words that had been generated.

“Yes I am planning to go into the office and yes penis to a lift.”

yes penis.



Of all the many words my phone's tiny silicon brain could have chosen, it had to choose that one.  Why could it not have decided I was saying 'yes pears' or 'yes peas' or 'yes pleats'?.

Seems even computers make Freudian slips.

The text was intended for my (male) boss.

I’m really glad I read it first. 

I'll be more careful when dicktating in future. 

(Seriously? All that for that one lame pun? - Ed) 


  1. Proof-reading will always be worthwhile, no matter the technology.

  2. LOLOL. I don't know why but I find auto-corrects to be absolutely HILARIOUS. Sometimes I laugh until I cry. It's quite cathartic :)

  3. Could have been 'awkward' had you sent it without checking!
    Reminds me of Barry Humphries (creator of Dame Edna Everage) when he came on stage in his 'Les Patterson' role on tv one evening.
    He strides to the centre of the stage and says to the audience: "Hello! I'v gotta a new penis. Oh yes! Do you wanna see my new penis?"
    And with that the curtains opened to show a skinny old lady sitting at a piano!
    Yep ... his new peenist, as his Australian accent would have it.

  4. there is a site called "damn you auto correct" - some of which is very funny

    Personally i don't like dictating and think better when typing

  5. Oh for the days of analogue technology! Bring back the dictaphone, I say.

  6. Yes, proof-reading is definitely worth doing. Bug, I laugh at these things too. Philip, that's very funny. I like Barry Humphries. DFTP - I think there's loads of these sites. Bill - Hahaha!

  7. oh god, that would have been classic though - you should have sent it anyway, I mean you could clearly explain how the problem occured if ever challenged on it....

  8. He laughed his head off when I told him about it.

  9. Brandon once did something similar, but he actually sent it. He wanted to say he was going to bring over some Fat Tire (beer) for our brainstorming session. Instead, he enthusiastically proclaimed that he was "bringing some Fat Tits!"

  10. I wonder if it is possible that someone at Apple or wherever it was, programmed in a few Freudian slips? Or does that suggestion just say something about me?

  11. Jeeny, a friend of mine reckoned that the speech to text app bases its choices on frequency of word use. I dispute this as I am not generally in the habit of including the word penis in my texts. Maybe the programmers have set it up so that every nth word is a rude one. I think what that says about you is that you are shrewd.


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