In a word . . . predictive

There have been so many announcements in recent years of the death of the inventor of predictive text

It is to that great Dubliner George Bernard Shaw the quote "I'm sorry this letter is so long, I didn't have time to make it shorter", is most frequently attributed.

But, as with most great quotes, it has many begetters. Others to whom it has been attributed include Mark Twain, Voltaire, Pascal, Goethe, Churchill, Pliny the Younger, Cato, Cicero, Benjamin Franklin.

None had to contend with predictive text.

Truly, overcoming its stubborn insistence that it alone is correct, not the idiot typing a message, can mean deeply frustrating delays of such length it may seem lifetimes pass before you send.


Certainly lifetimes are cut short as heart rates soar, alarmingly. It should carry a health warning. There is no exaggeration in claiming that were James Joyce to have written Ulysses (published 1922) in text it would still not be completed and the title would be Useless.

Maybe this is why there have been so many announcements in recent years of the death of the inventor of predictive text, of whom there now seem to have been as many as occupants of the GPO in 1916.

There were such reports in 2010, 2014, 2015, as well as two last year, in February and June. It has given rise to much witty temptation. Such as “His funfair will be hello on Sundial” (His funeral will be held on Sunday).

And “Restaurant in peace,” (Rest in peace), “Our sins rest in condo lenses” (Our sincerest condolences), “that pour soup, may hen rest in piece” (that poor soul, may he rest in peace).

However a favourite comes from the Ulster Fry satirical site. Allegedly reporting the death of predictive text inventor, "Brian Sturgeon, also know as Brain Surgeon," it said he died "after a shirt I'll nest" and will be "sourly mist." (after a short illness and will be sorely missed).

Founder of Microsoft Bill Gates tweeted "Brain was once of the Finnish mines of his germination, sum one how made tack knoll or key more axe cess able to the horde in any man in the sheep." (Brian was one of the finest minds of his generation, someone who made technology more accessible to the world and the man in the street)."

For me, it is no more. Finally, I found the correct settings on my phone and banished it to nothingness. Such peace!

Predictive, from Latin praedictivus, to foretell, advise (!), give notice.