Wednesday, October 1, 2014


I adore my iPhone, even though I’m… ahem… of the age where I can recall all too clearly thinking that FAX machines were sheer magic. In fact,  when I got my phone, my teenage niece had to set my phone up for me, and I’m reasonably sure I’m only using it to a tiny fraction of it’s potential. There are many wonderful apps and tricks to be learned and used.

 We all know that spell check and autocorrect is of the best – and worst- features on smart phones.  There are the funny, odd word substitutions that autocorrect makes as a matter of course; for instance, a friend recently texted me asking if she could borrow my  “oink” veil… and I instinctively knew she meant my pink one!  And since I often use a lot of “colorful language” in my texts, my phone decides to substitute words like ducking instead of the he rhyming oath I’m attempting to type!

 But I think really there needs to be a special  Damn You Autocorrect site for belly dancers only.

  If my  own phone is any indication, many words that are “indigenous” to belly dancers – including common Arabic terms and casually used dancers slang- magically start appearing instead of the “every day” English words I’m trying to use.  

 I can’t be the only one with this problem, right?

 For instance, when I was texting to a neighbor about our parking situation, the word “garage” became Ghawazee.  She had absolutely no clue what I was writing about!

   If I  discuss grabbing a cab, “taxi” always  turns into taxim,  “have to” magically becomes hafla and when I attempt to write  “ I said”, the word Saidi appears.

When I tried typing “infinite” autocorrect decided I was really trying to say infidel;  “being” immediately becomes bling-bling and the word “because” routinely turns into beledi.  

  When texting about  a dish I was bringing to a  ( non belly dance) pot-luck party, “make some”  became maksoum;   the word  “easy”  it  always  becomes  Egypt ,  “purchase”  comes up as Persia and when I  give directions  to my house, “turn ”  morphs into Turkey.  The words "still" or "silly" become zills and  whenever I write the word "about", it turns into Abdou ... as in Fifi!

  Naturally, I’ve learned to live with these silly substitutions, but  they still make me- and most of the people I’m texting-laugh out loud.The one thing I cannot understand though, is that no matter how many times I write my stage name, for some reason, autocorrect never thinks it’s valid.

The general public might think  of me as Princess Farhana... but to my phone, I’ll always be Princess Farmhand!


 Get an autographed copy of The Belly Dance Handbook  or my memoir Showgirl Confidential: My Life Onstage, Backstage And On The Road here:

Photo and graphics by Maharet Hughes

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