iPhone Keyboard: Are we reading or are we in Reading?

Posted on by Mike Evans

Author: Michael Evans

There is little doubt that as virtual keyboards go the iPhone's version is top of the tree. It's definitely a boon to man and beast. The in-build intelligence in producing a comprehensible word out of my random jottings borders on the miraculous. I can type the most appalling nonsense while my iPhone checks the pattern of the (wrong) keys and produces, usually, the very word I intended. It is invaluable, too, for foreign languages* where correct spellings and accents appear like magic, even when you're completely ignorant of the correct form. So far so good.

220px-Reading_Abbey_05Occasionally, though, Professor iPhone is too clever for his own good. Whenever I type the word "reading" the phone insists on Reading. And when I peck out many colours, such as white or green, I get "White" or "Green". As far as I can see this is because the speller gives precedence to proper names in Contacts. 

Following my example, the Berkshire town of Reading (which we backward English insist on pronouncing as Redding and which in reality is nowhere near as idyllic as its Abbey on the right suggests) appears several times in my Contacts file, as does the surname White. Fortunately I haven't got a mate called Red or I would probably get him instead of read(ing).

I haven't seen this particular quirk mentioned anywhere else; so perhaps it is a world first for MacFilos. Probably not, on second thoughts.

The phone never seems to learn from these indiscretions and I continually have to correct its too-clever-for-its-own-good substitutions. Does anyone have a better explanation for this? No doubt there is a little list somewhere that I can edit and some clever clogs will point me in the right direction. 


* If you're thinking of schreibing the deutsch it's a good idea to choose the German keyboard in Settings/General/Keyboard/International Keyboards. The same goes for any other language, just don't choose German. The iPhone knows 'em all and is a proper little Wunderkind.

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