Lookit that! iPhone knows I’m a grown-up!

Earlier today I learned that iPhone’s internal dictionary corrects typos of “shit” and “fuck”. I’m guessing there are two reasons for this. 1) Steve Jobs swears, and probably swears in his written correspondence, and no spell checker is going to give him a damn red squiggly underline when he’s using perfectly good curse words. 2) Apple assumes its users are adults, and if they want to swear, they’re not going to make the user feel needlessly uncouth by claiming their perfectly good words are “misspelled.”

(Mac OS X also recognizes “shit” and “fuck”.)

It seems like a small thing, but it’s an important detail in the design. Nearly every other computer system refuses to recognize curse words, and, in effect, condescend to their users. Apple, by recognizing the reality of English discourse, exhibits respect for their customers.

8 thoughts on “Lookit that! iPhone knows I’m a grown-up!

  1. On swearing with your iPhone…

    peterme.com :: Lookit that! iPhone knows I’m a grown-up! Apple assumes its users are adults, and if they want to swear, they’re not going to make the user feel needlessly uncouth by claiming their perfectly good words are “misspelled.” It……

  2. Children become adults when they know the difference between toys and tools. Every comment I have heard about iPhone implies its use as a toy.

    Have fun, kids.

  3. Well, that argument only goes so far (slang). And spellcheck has always has a learn button (for the adults) and a forget button (for the kids).

  4. “Every comment I have heard about iPhone implies its use as a toy.”

    I’d say that’s what makes Apple smart. Their tools are always made to be as fun as they can. Blurring the line between tools and toys is a great way to go about designing experiences, IMHO.

    No matter what you’ve heard about the iPhone, until you pick it up, you just won’t have any real frame of reference.

  5. I’ve picked one up, and put it down. Too much toy, not enough tool. A good tool is efficiently useful, fun is not even a consideration, Darrel, when a task is at hand. Unless, that is, Apple can design a wrench that will turn a plumbing repair into entertainment

    Enjoy your electronic toys, laddie, but leave them in the playbox when you have any real work to do.

    Unless that toy is a Portable GPS Vehicle Navigation System like my Tom Tom. My wife is only worried that I’ll someday crash the car while playing with it on the freeway. But hey, what’s a toy for if not to have fun?

  6. Adults? Swear words have as much value for kids as they do for adults. Arguably more so.

  7. Yes, Their tools are always made to be as fun as they can. Blurring the line between tools and toys is a great way to go about designing experiences

  8. It recognizes… WTF?

    Sadly, the built-in spell checker in OSX doesn’t?