Tuesday, May 20, 2014

A dictionary question

Okay, so it's a been a while – a long while – since I've posted anything; this is thanks to a combination of being busy and lacking any strong motivation/inspiration. But while I was playing with my phone the other night I realised there was something I could (and wanted to) write about – and, given I've got a couple of hours spare before I'm called for the first theatre rehearsal of Calamity Jane1. So, here it is.

The other afternoon I got a notification on my phone for the latest update to Swype, which (if you're unaware) is a keyboard program for Android phones that allows for 'swiping' for text input. It comes standard with Android, and I've been using it since I got my first smartphone a few years ago – I find it quicker than the standard single-letter input. A while back I went from the free included version to the paid version, mostly because the latter has the option to add words to an internal dictionary. Which I realised I had to do, simply because of the annoyance of it trying to autocorrect words I'd use on a regular basis.

Now, I'm aware that I have a somewhat larger vocabulary than the average user; I also have a fondness for swear words and contemporary neologisms - hence why you'll find words like 'adorkable', 'amazeballs', 'badass', 'douchebag', 'meatspace', and 'retweet' in there. But it's not what I consider my more irregular words choices that have prompted this blog post – it's the 'normal' words that I've had to add which have baffled me.

Here are some examples:


There are others that I've assumed aren't in there because there are alternative forms - words that might otherwise be hyphenated (or un-hyphenated) like 'badmouth' or 'brain-dead' or 'deadlift' or 'double-check'. That I can kind of understand. But some of the others? It's just baffling. I'm not entirely sure who's in charge of compiling phone dictionaries – or those for other apps/programs; I've had to add more than a few similarly 'normal' words to the dictionaries of Firefox and MS Word and Outlook – but I wish they spent a bit more time doing it, and/or consult with some of their more verbose co-workers while doing it.

Meanwhile, my personal dictionary keeps growing.

1Yes, that's a shameless plug.
2The Argentinian in question may or may not have been narcoleptic3.
3If that means nothing to you, you need to watch Moulin Rouge!.

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