What's in a name? Unwanted autocorrect.
January 13, 2015 9:28 PM   Subscribe

My father is having an issue with unwanted autocorrect suggestions when he types in my mother's name on his iPhone. How can we delete a suggestion from the phone's dictionary so that he doesn't have to worry about accidentally clicking on it?

My mother's name is Gay. My dad has the iPhone 5C, and keeps it updated. After the most recent update, any time he types "Gay and" (as in "Gay and I" or "Gay and our family" or what have you) his phone now attempts to be helpful by suggesting he add "lesbian" onto the phrase.

Since he types "Gay and..." many times each day, this is becoming tiresome, and he's worried that he might accidentally accept the autocorrect while responding to a work email (as my parents are also colleagues in client facing roles).

Can the suggestion be permanently deleted?
posted by ocherdraco to Technology (11 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Here's a guide.
posted by pompomtom at 9:35 PM on January 13, 2015

On my iPhone 6,
Settings >General>Keyboard>
here you can turn off auto-correction as well as Predictive.
Not exactly what you asked but it could help.
posted by artdrectr at 9:35 PM on January 13, 2015

If he could get a third party keyboard like Swiftkey, it is supposed to be better at learning what is usually typed and so should 'learn' that your dad never includes the word 'lesbian' and then stop suggesting it. I'm pretty happy with its performance in matters like you describe, but I haven't had that exact problem...
posted by Tandem Affinity at 9:38 PM on January 13, 2015

Response by poster: That guide seems to give instructions only for adding to the phone's dictionary, pompomtom. The goal here is to remove an entry.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:39 PM on January 13, 2015

A couple other suggestions that might help at least somewhat:
- your dad should make sure your mom is in his contacts under her full name, and under his info tell iOS she's his spouse. (I can't remember offhand how to do this, but it should be easily googleable)
- create a keyboard shortcut for something like 'Gay and I' to be 'gni' so that every time he types 'gni' it gets expanded to 'Gay and I' -- iOS shouldn't autocorrect text expansions.
posted by cgg at 9:55 PM on January 13, 2015 [13 favorites]

How about adding her name to the dictionary? Then it won't be flagged as bad spelling and there won't be any replacement suggested?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:02 PM on January 13, 2015

hahaha what an unfortunate problem! This reminds me of a college roommate who had a small meltdown when my friend posted her study abroad pics on facebook in an album titled "Gay Paris" because omg it should be homosexual Paris because omg you can't just say the word gay.

I see on preview that cgg has suggested one of my suggestions already, which was to program a text shortcut. My other suggestion is to teach the iPhone to always autocorrect gayy to Gay and then have your dad always type gayy.

Does the 3rd party keyboard let you access a dictionary to edit it? On my android I can make it forget words (DUCKING) so if that functionality transferred I'd say do that for sure.
posted by phunniemee at 10:06 PM on January 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I thought add the correct name as an alias.
posted by pompomtom at 10:56 PM on January 13, 2015

From your description (you say suggestions plural) it sounds like the part that's suggesting is the Word Suggestions bar. If your father doesn't use those suggestions in everyday use, he can just minimize the whole bar by swiping it down. Video of that here.
posted by homesickness at 11:10 PM on January 13, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks for these suggestions!
posted by ocherdraco at 3:03 AM on January 14, 2015

If he defines "Gay and" as a shortcut (expanding into "Gay and " for example), it should use that rather than the built-in suggestion.
posted by alms at 6:48 AM on January 14, 2015 [2 favorites]

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