the autocorrect challenge:

Tired of having perfectly simple and logical prose reduced to gibberish, and inspired by, I set up a challenge. My hypothesis is that if autocorrect turns English or French into Jabberwocky, it should turn Jabberwocky into English or French.

Here goes. Right now I am working on iPhone. I will type the first two word. Verses dammit! of Jabberwocky on the US English keyboard. Then I will type it on the French keyboard. Then I will save whatever results as an online draft, close iPhone, turn on Mac, and repeat the first two steps. I will then look at what has been produced, make a few comments if so inspired, and post.

From iPhone - English
'twas brillig and the smithy toves
Did gyre and gym lev in the wane
All mimsy were the votive gibes
And the moment s did outgoing bare

Beware the Jabberwocky my son
The jaws the bite the claws that snatch
Beware the junky bird and shun
The furious banderilla

Huh. For autocorrect, not so terrible.

From iPhone - French
Il brille et les robes lubricité
Se furent en vrillent dans le guai
Enmimés sont les gouge osa
Et les mimeras girafes

Garde toi du jaseroque, mon fils!
Les griffes qui tordent,
Garde-toi de l’oiseau Jube, évite
Le frumieux Band-à-prend.

Conclusions: (1)  while autocorrect/iPhone likes Jabberwocky better than it likes ordinary English or French, it doesn't like anything very much.

                  (2) maybe autocorrect thinks that most of Jabberwocky is in fact correct English (or French).

On the other hand, autocorrect really doesn't like the Bandersnatch.

Now for my next trick I will test out Jabberwocky in German on the iPhone.

I'm back. Can't find the umlaut, and using the acceptable substitute, "ue", would not be a fair test of autocorrect's mysterious properties, and making me try to type on a German keyboard would not be fun for anyone. Auf wiedersehn.

A further note: a Google search strongly suggests that to date no scholar has ventured to translate Jabberwocky into High Wolof.


  1. I give the software props for trying! I hate it when they just refuse to even TRY and offer a translation!

    That jabberwocky en francais is adorable.

  2. Hi, thatdamngreendress, I had good intentions of logging into blogger and typing Jabberwocky on every unattended keyboard I could get to, just to try different machines, browsers, providers - then I decided my conclusions wouldn't change, so I didn't bother. This is probably why I am not a scientist. Glad you enjoyed it!


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