While I send the majority of emails and communication by typing out messages on a Qwerty keyboard I’m sending more and more from my phone by the week. I’m also using dictation to type longer documents when I’m alone. On my phone I use a the Swype keyboard, I swear by gesture based typing in fact. However Dictation and Gesture Based Typing can lead to some pretty bad typos.

Originally there mistkes would look like that, missing or swapped letters and bad punctuation. Now though spelling mistakes are taking on a new form. I’ll use an example, I wanted to text a friend that I was: “Just heading off now”. I was in a rush, I was about a minute or two on the late side and I wrote the text out quickly. This, lead to me typing: “Just getting off now.”. Wonderful isn’t it?

Perfectly formed, our new error-ridden sentences are much harder to decipher and scan for errors. Mis-typed words have no mistakes, no missing letters - it’s as if we’re not trained to spot errors of this kind. I guess in days gone by we would have seen each word as it was typed. During typing would normally be the best time to spot if you’re typing a completely different word…

These new ‘lazy’ methods remove that first microscopic proof reading we make - completely. Dictation is the worst, it’ll buffer your whole sentence before splurging the whole lot out, ready for more text. This means you just skim the whole sentence, rather than each word, often, in my case leading to some significant errors in my text.

I’m not saying this is a critical flaw, far from it, I enjoy these new ways of typing. It’s just an observation of a change, one that seems to require new skill in proof reading to fix.