iPhones Are Suddenly Autocorrecting the Letter I. How Are We Supposed to Talk About Ourselves?


Jacob Brogan

How essential is the letter i really? It’s the fifth most frequently used letter in the alphabet, sure, but the most recent iOS update is making it difficult for some people to use it on their iPhones and iPads. Due to a bug, the autocorrect feature is replacing lowercase i’s with question marks in boxes or A’s with horizontal lines next to them in iMessage, Twitter, Instagram, and elsewhere—and it’s driving people crazy. The problem has even afflicted musician John Mayer, making it practically a national security issue.

Apple is reportedly working on a fix for the issue, but in the meantime, the company recommends using text replacement as a short-term solution. Some fans have dutifully tweeted the Apple Support page at John Mayer, and his tweets appear to be in much better shape.

Not all iPhones and iPads have been affected; Select All highlighted some speculation that the problem might originate from a new letter-i emoji in iOS 11.1. That’s one explanation, anyway. What if this is actually Apple’s way of commenting on how self-centered our culture has become? It’s hard to think about yourself when your ability to use the letter i is snatched away. Maybe this is a social experiment: What would the world be like if we all thought a little less about “i” and a little more about everyone else? Very sneaky, Apple! The only flaw with this plan, of course, is that iPhones, iPads, and iOS themselves all begin with lowercase i’s. So instead of imagining a world where people say “i” a little less, I’ve started to imagine a world without these devices. � like it.