My Name is a Typo
You know you’re ethnic as hell when your own smart devices immediately autocorrect your Korean name. Apparently, according to Apple, Jiyoon is incorrect. Instead, their devices offer a plethora of alternatives; the most notable being Jason, June, Jouoom (this one remains the most mysterious of the bunch), and even Jamie.
That last name, Jamie, is the newest addition to Apple’s ever-growing list of ethnic name alternatives. It’s the name to whom one of the editors of my school’s newspaper once addressed their email response regarding my pitch request. To add some context to this scene, this was my first time ever picking up a pitch from the school newspaper’s weekly emails. After two months of nervously going to their weekly meetings, I felt a tiny jolt of courage and decided to act upon it. I had waited a nerve-wracking forty-eight hours for the editor’s response to my pitch request, so I was utterly crestfallen when their reply read:
Sorry to say but all of the pitches got taken . . .”
I felt like I had been punched in the gut. After about thirty seconds, I received a follow-up email in which they half-heartedly apologized on the behalf of their MacBook’s autocorrect.
But this whole autocorrect fiasco isn’t foreign to me. Ever since I began using Microsoft Word, I would see that persistent red squiggle underlining my name, marking it as a spelling mistake, an error, a non-word in the English vocabulary. The first time I encountered this mocking red squiggle was in the third grade, when our class migrated to the school’s computer lab to learn how to use Microsoft Word. I vividly remember the outrage that rippled throughout my very multicultural classroom, all because of this peculiar little squiggle.
My friend Roja frowned at her boxy computer screen. “That’s weird; why does my name have a red underline?” She peered at the boy sitting next to her. “Danny doesn’t have one!”
Murmurs of confusion reverberated throughout the computer lab. I remember then, quickly typing in some of my classmates’ names to