iPhone 4S & Siri: Editing Commands & Adding Punctuation

| TMO Quick Tip

OK, so I’m a bit of a grammar Nazi. I can’t stand it when I make mistakes, and I don’t like sending texts or e-mails with obvious errors, even to friends. Crazy, right? Still, being this way has forced me to figure out how to get Siri to help me be as obsessively weird as I wanna be. And goshdarnit, isn’t that what life is about? Letting our machines assist our craziness? Well, for me it is.

The first thing you can do to start punctuating is to edit your submissions after you’ve made them. So let’s say that I tell Siri to send a text message to someone, and I realize before I send it off that I want to stick a period on the end, a comma in between some words, or something like that. Well, if you click on the composed text following “Here’s your message,” Siri just dumps you into the Messages app without even a how-do-you-do.

Clicking here means going to the Messages app. Boo.

 

However, if you scroll Siri’s screen back up just a little to see the input you gave, you can actually click to edit that text. Afterward, choose the “Done” button to force Siri to update your message with whatever corrections you’ve made.

Scroll up and tap here to edit using the keyboard.

 

Editing e-mails follows the same instructions. Just be aware that if you have some extra steps in between your input and when you try to edit it, you may not be able to do so. For example, if you tell Siri “send e-mail to Melissa Holt, subject ‘tomorrow,’” you won’t be allowed to use Siri’s screens to change the subject line after you’ve also told her what to put in the body of your message.

If you don’t like having to actually touch your phone to get proper punctuation in your messages and e-mails, you can also choose to just say the punctuation as you go. If you look back to my first screenshot above, you’ll note that I spoke normally. Ugly, right? I wouldn’t send that to my best friend, much less a business contact. But in the image below, I said “I don’t like it when stuff isn’t punctuated correctly comma you know question mark.”

Such a sigh of relief for me. It’s like a sickness.

You can say pretty much any punctuation mark you like, including stuff like “ampersand,” “open bracket/close bracket,” and “backslash.” Siri’s also fairly good at distinguishing when you want to use words as parts of speech instead of punctuation.

Nifty stuff! But unfortunately, she’s not always perfect.

I’m not honestly sure what I could say after that. Bravo, Siri.

Comments

vasic

It is a bit sad to have to justify the need for proper writing by labeling it a sickness… I’m pleased that Siri does a good job at helping write well.

Lee Dronick

OK, so I?m a bit of a grammar Nazi. I can?t stand it when I make mistakes, and I don?t like sending texts or e-mails with obvious errors, even to friends. Crazy, right?

It is not crazy, I feel the same way although we may no longer be in charge of the asylum. Don’t get me started on how I feel about texting abbreviations.

I didn’t want to punch him in the: but I did

Sometimes I do want to punch people in the colon.

Melissa Holt

Hey vasic,

I was being flippant (probably the only honest sickness I have). No one has ever accused me of taking anything too seriously!

?Melissa

vasic

I’m glad that’s the case. I may have detected it in your tone, but my overriding anger over the ever-increasing bastardisation of English in written communication got the better of me.

And I’m not even a native English speaker! (first started studying it in my teens…)

Melissa Holt

Lee, I have a feeling if you and I started sounding off about stuff like “LOL,” the Young People Police might just come and cart us off. Whippersnappers.

vasic

Well, against the three of us, that Police better come packing some serious heat, otherwise, they stand little chance!

Melissa Holt

vasic, I find that non-native speakers often grasp the nuances of English grammar better than those of us who grew up listening to everybody butcher it.

In any case, I agree with you about the downhill slide of the language. It’s evolving, sure, but not in a way I particularly like.

vasic

Ah, I see… Just when I thought I was something special; turns out, us foreigners all tend to be a bit more mathematical about the architecture of the language when it is foreign to us.

VaughnSC

?increasing bastardisation?in written communication? And I?m not even a native <insert language> speaker!

You’re not alone; I feel the same way, about my native English or the other languages I’ve picked up over the years.

Melissa: I simply loved the understated eloquence of your ‘:’ example. smile

vasic

One thing I have also noticed over the years; learning other languages (and well) tends to sharpen your mother tongue skill as well.

Lee Dronick

In any case, I agree with you about the downhill slide of the language. It?s evolving, sure, but not in a way I particularly like.

This is not a repeat from :

1969
1950
1920
1878
1601

Just a random list of years as an example that language evolves and the older generation whines about how the younger ones speak.

As to foriegn languages and English grammar. I learned a lot about proper use from my high school Spanish teacher. Maybe he was just more passionate about it than Miss Sauerpuss who taught English.

Anyway, these days I approach word smithing as an art and very much enjoy the process.

DamenS

“Colon Punching” - is that the new euphemism for what gay men do ?

Lee Dronick

Colon Punching? - is that the new euphemism for what gay men do ?

No, brawling in the city at the east end of the Panama Canal. Well technically it is the west end even though it is on the eastern side.

Melissa Holt

Melissa: I simply loved the understated eloquence of your ?:? example.

Aw, thank you. ::blush::

Melissa Holt

Well, against the three of us, that Police better come packing some serious heat, otherwise, they stand little chance!

To be fair, they are probably younger and faster. But I have my cane ready to do some damage! wink

Denise

Does anyone know of a way to “enter” to the next line? Say your dictating a grocery list in a note.

Lee Dronick

Does anyone know of a way to ?enter? to the next line? Say your dictating a grocery list in a note.

Dictate your words and when ready for a new line say “new line”

If you say “new paragraph” it will add a blank line between list items, or paragraph.

Denise

Thank you so much Lee!!

Lee Dronick

Thank you so much Lee!!

Your welcome Denise.

“Speaking” of Siri has anyone else been butt dialing her? I usually keep my iPhone in a belt pouch and when just after getting into my truck I would often hear “What can I help you with?” I found that I was bumping the iPhone against the seatbelt buckle which was activating Siri. I turned my iPhone 180? so that the face was against my body.

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