iPhone 4S & Siri: Editing Commands & Adding Punctuation

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.