Words Your iPhone Won't Spell-Check: Abortion, Rape

But it will suggest 'abiogenesis': Daily Beast
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2013 11:35 AM CDT
Words Your iPhone Won't Spell-Check: Abortion, Rape
A woman walks past an ad for the Apple iPhone 5 in London, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012.   (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

(Newser) – Got the latest version of iOS on your phone? Don't expect spell-check to help you out when you type "abortiom." After using an iOS 6 simulator, the Daily Beast found iPhones do not offer spelling suggestions for a range of fairly common but controversial words, even when they're misspelled by just one letter—and even though they're recognized as words when spelled right. Among them: "rape," "murder," "homoerotic," and "marijuana." (If you test this yourself and your phone does offer corrections, it may be due to the dictionary's learning capacity, the Beast notes.)

The phone's spelling quirks are compounded by the fact that it does correct infrequently used words like "abiogenesis," "electrodialysis," and "pigsticker." "I hate to say it, but I don't think this should surprise anyone," says an electronic free-speech advocate. "Apple is one of the most censorious companies out there." Indeed, it's not part of an online free-expression partnership that includes Google and Microsoft, she notes. Worth pointing out: Spell-check, which allows you can tap on a misspelled word that's underlined in red to get alternative spellings, is not the same as auto-correct, which guesses at the word as you type; the Beast's analysis looked only at the spell-check feature. (Read more iPhone stories.)

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