I daresay we’ve all had moments of frustration with auto-correct: when we mean “its” instead of “it’s” and don’t catch it till after we’ve sent a text message, when Word insists on converting an unconventional proper name to a puzzling and nonsensical noun. Or an adjective, in the case of Bill Vignola, whose name, as he once complained to Bill Gates, Word always changed to Bill Vaginal. (Microsoft promptly tasked an intern with removing vulgarities from the autocorrect dictionary.)
Still, where would we be without it? I’m not sure a hastily tapped-out text message would be any more intelligible — reverse engineering nonsensical messages isn’t always easy, after all — but our comedy would be much poorer. Wired has a great history of the technology, at any rate, which is well worth a read.
As for Mr. Vignola:
And Bill Vaginal wasn’t the only complainant: As Thorpe recalls, Goldman Sachs was mad that Word was always turning it into Goddamn Sachs.