"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"gunna be at west hall today"

Back in the day, I used to type things on a typewriter. The only check on my spelling was a secretary who -- fortunately -- could spell a lot better than I. Then came word processing, to which was quickly added automatic flagging of misspelled words. Of course, this feature gave a false sense of security, since every time I typed "Untied States," the program properly failed to report that I didn't really mean that.

But then came "autocorrect." No need to scan the document, no need to judge what flagged words were supposed to be. Some computer code and a database and you were good to go.

Also back in the day, on those unusual occasions when I really wanted to communicate with someone right now, I'd dial the telephone. Now and again I'd dial a wrong number. No big deal (so long as I didn't instantly say "Hey babe!"), just apologize and dial more carefully.

These days, of course, we have email, instant messages, and texting. Hit the SEND button, and the message is away, beyond recall, whether you've dialed the wrong number or not.

So what happens -- here in the second decade of the 21st Century -- if you text "gunna be at west hall today" to advise one of your buddies that you'll be at West Hall High School today? What if you text it to the wrong number, and it's sent to a stranger? What if autocorrect gets hold of "gunna" and corrects it so that the message, sent to a stranger, reads: "gunman be at west hall today."

The Gainseville (Fl.) Times reports:
An autocorrected text message, accidentally sent to the wrong number, was the catalyst to a lockdown Wednesday at West Hall middle and high schools.

Just before noon, law enforcement and school officials issued the lockdown after a West Hall community member reported a threatening text message.

The text, saying "gunman be at west hall today," was received and reported to police around 11:30 a.m. But after police tracked the number, they learned the autocorrect feature on the new cellphone changed "gunna" to "gunman."

The message being sent to the wrong number added to the confusion.

As law enforcement learned of the text message, the schools were notified to go into lockdown as they investigated the origins of the message.
Every day, in every way, things get better and better.


Comments on ""gunna be at west hall today""


post a comment