When I periodically make fun of Donald Trump’s spelling and literacy issues, it’s not because I think they’re anything to be ashamed of. I do it because Trump has the nearly infinite resources of the presidency available to help him work around his semi-literacy, yet he arrogantly refuses to take advantage of them. Also, he’s a terrible person. But lately I’ve noticed something particularly weird about Trump’s pattern of spelling errors.
Most of Donald Trump’s spelling errors on Twitter have been the kinds of things that autocorrect can’t help him with. In other words, he’s spelling just about everything incorrectly, and his phone is cleaning up everything except for “by” vs “bye” and “there” vs “their” and proper names and so on. But over the past week or two, Trump’s spelling failures have taken on a very different hue.
Donald Trump ranted about murderers yesterday but came up with “muderers” instead. Earlier he attacked global warming but ended up with “global waming.” Before that he tried to brag about hamburgers but landed on “hamberders” instead. These are the kinds of mistakes that autocorrect will clean up just about every time. When you type total nonsense like “covfefe” that doesn’t resemble any word, your phone can’t help you. But when you type a long word and you only have one or two letters wrong, it’ll always fix itself. Yet that’s clearly not happening for Trump anymore. So what gives?
One possible explanation would be that Trump has begun tweeting from a computer instead of a phone. But his Twitter metadata says that he’s still tweeting from an iPhone, like always. So the only way to explain these kinds of errors would be if he grew frustrated with autocorrect, and he either had one of his staffers turn it off, or he’s now manually rejecting every autocorrect attempt his phone makes.
In other words, Donald Trump now appears to have reached a point of delusional arrogance about his own spelling abilities, and he thinks he’s a better speller than his phone is. He’s tired of his phone reminding him all the time that he’s semi-literate. He’d rather simply put “muderers” and “hamberders” out there for all to see. If so, it means Trump has somehow become even stupider – not because he can’t spell, but because he can’t handle having his phone try to teach him how to spell.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report