The Dilemma of Autocorrect: Blessing or Curse?

3 min read

Do you remember dictation lessons back in your elementary school? What was your average score?

What about now? How strong is your spelling game? Gun to your head – can you spell the word “accommodation” “basically,” “commitee,” “consensus,” and “definately” correctly if your life depended on it?

I  think most of us would die at the first attempt, and that some of you haven’t noticed the gross spelling errors I have purposefully made in writing the above words only cements my claim.

I don’t fault you though. We are all in this together. I think that we’ve grown too accustomed to the autocorrect feature- we hardly note the correct spellings of words we use every day.

Look at the following sets of data:

A 2012 BBC survey of 2,000 people found that two-thirds of participants could not correctly spell commonly used words such as “necessary,” and one-third incorrectly spelled “definitely.”

A 1999 study by Steve Graham, editor of the Journal of Educational Psychology, showed a clear correlation between poor spelling skills and interference with the cognitive writing process.

A 2008 study conducted for College Composition and Communication found that autocorrect commonly contributes to the incorrect usage of proper nouns, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling-  ( this  particular study says   that  we are gradually  becoming  dumber than our preceding generations as a result of our over-reliance on AI. Yikes!)

A 2017 study from the Business and Professional Communication Quarterly discovered that the perceived potential of job applicants severely declined with spelling mistakes, even when their qualifications were the same.

Yes, I believe that we have every reason to be concerned. The evidence is clear: our reliance on autocorrect has made us complacent, and our spelling abilities have suffered as a result. But is this a price we’re willing to pay for the convenience of this technological aid?

The dilemma is a complex one. On one hand, autocorrect has undoubtedly made our lives easier, saving us time and effort in our daily writing tasks. But on the other hand, the long-term consequences of this convenience could be detrimental to our cognitive abilities and professional prospects.

So, what should we do? Should we scrap the autocorrect feature altogether, risking a return to the days of constant typos and misspellings? Or is there a middle ground, a way to strike a balance between the benefits of autocorrect and the preservation of our spelling skills?

Tell me, I too want to get out of this!

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