Adaptonyms (also known as textonyms and cellodromes) are words that can be typed with the same sequence of keys on a cell phone using predictive text. For example the sequence “2-3-3” can produce “bed”, “add”, or “bee”.
Yesterday I texted a friend to let him know we’d “good to pub”. What I meant to write was “gone to pub”. Anyway he got the idea!
It got us talking about the perils of predictive text.
One friend pointed out that when you want to write “Mum”, the phone insists on offering “Nun” first, even though it’s much less commonly used and comes later in the alphabet. “Book” being offered before “Cool” is perhaps more understandable, but not when you think about which age group does the most texting.
The other day I got a puncture on my way in to work and wanted to text ahead to warn people I’d be late. “Got puncture in Canceryell” (hello, I’m trying to write Camberwell, what on earth is this word?)
Andy becomes body… there are loads of examples. Fortunately I don’t think I’ve offended anyone yet but I can see how it could happen.
And even though I must have written my name hundreds of times my phone never learns to offer it first. When I tap 642 I want Nic not Mic.