Since I discovered the voice-enabled texting function on my iPhone, I have been texting like a teen, sending lengthy missives to my friends' and associates' cell phones at a prodigious rate and speed.
As fellow texters can attest, the glitch in the system is Auto-Correct, a function I cannot seem to disable. Throw in my penchant for speaking quickly and constantly, with a higher-than-average usage of Yiddish, Hebrew and otherwise foreign phrases, and you get a one-woman factory of unintentionally hilarious or inane text messages.
Gathering Auto-Correct fails has become a business of its own with sites like Damn You, Auto Correct serving as the Breaking News portal on the front line of this contemporary trend,.
But between bouts of hysterical laughter or cringing embarrassment, I have noticed that my AutoCorrect does more than mangle the meaning of my words.
It provides an often eerily psychic service, offering up insight, midrash, candor and submerged truth instead of my glib spoken words.
Overriding my vocalizations, my personal AutoCorrect serves as a cyber-Ouija-board, spelling out that which I am trying to ignore, forcing me into a direct confrontation with reality.
Once a sporadic phenomenon, my iPhone's psychic powers have grown, along with its chutzpah. Shyly offering up its findings at the beginning, it is now fully empowered to zap me with whatever what it believes I need to confront in my life.
For instance, earlier this week, when I texted a friend about a client who has been verbally abusive, his first name appeared as "enemy." Staring at the word in its text box, I realized that the time had come to sever this business relationship.
Further on the subject of work-related intervention, AutoCorrect changed my chirpy "I can do that," to "I can't do that," when an unreasonable demand was recently placed on me.
While I am inclined to be diplomatic, my iPhone steers me towards radical honesty. Though seeking to soothe a friend who had put on significant weight, the word "fabulous" appeared as "fat ass," forcing me to reconsider whether I needed to lie.
An insincere compliment for an unappetizing dinner was revealed as phony when "marvelous" became "mob violence." And the exclamation "Oops!" appeared as "Boobs" when talking to a busty friend about what she should wear to a work event. When I saw the word, after shrieking with laughter, I realized I was trying to figure out how to tell her to avoid plunging necklines.
While I am being evasive, my iPhone forces candor; texting my husband as to my whereabouts late one night, my claim that I was leaving the gym suddenly turned into a marriage-imperiling "leaving with him," which was creepy, given that I had been schmoozing in the lobby of the JCC with a mutual friend for the previous hour. When I was trying to dissuade a relative from dropping by during the day by claiming that I was "not home," the words "I'm home" wrote themselves instead.
When I am troubled by something, my iPhone finds ways to let me know that IT knows: on a day I was very sad, the word "cold outside" turned into "suicide." Another such time "coming home" became "me alone."
The standard Hebrew proclamation Mazel Tov, rendered upon the news of a difficult (but healthy) birth became "muscle tough," which was entirely accurate from the mother's point of view and the salutation Chag Sameach, which means Happy Holiday morphed into "hog some ass," which is essentially what takes place on most Jewish holidays.
Indeed, "Hog some ass" so appropriately captures the spirit of the day that it has become my standard tongue-in-cheek greeting on the eve of all holidays, Jewish or otherwise.
I could go on and if I were speaking this post by voice-enabled text message, my psychic AutoCorrect would turn it into something else, I am sure.
Or maybe it would leave this one thing alone, as I am finally reporting the truth.
Though I've claimed that there is a Dybbuk inside my iPhone, I realize that nothing sinister or nefarious is going on.
On the contrary, whatever force is possessing my iPhone appears to know me better than I know myself.
It know that I need to extricate myself from an abusive client and decided to help me come to that decision by pointing out the truth about the business relationship.
Thanks, iPhone. Or AutoCorrect.
That is what a good friend would do.