Stupid mobile tricks: 7 stories of smartphone horror

If the word "smartphone" has ever struck you as ironic, you aren't alone. Thank your lucky stars these horrors didn't happen to you

For a device with "smart" in its name, a smartphone sure can help you do a lot of stupid things. Whether it's racking up thousands of dollars in international roaming fees or encouraging dozens of eye rolls with your misrouted voice dialing -- I'm looking at you, guy who calls Ben O'Lynn in accounting every time he means to call Bennigan's for lunch -- our modern-day mobile devices provide plenty of opportunities for tech-tinged embarrassment.

We tracked down seven of the most unfortunate smartphone disaster tales we could find. The stories are fun to laugh at now, but most of them were anything but amusing when they actually occurred. Some cost companies money; some cost employees their jobs. Others cost something even more difficult to recover: a slice of their victims' dignity.

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So read on, and remember: It could have just as easily been you. (Note: Some of the names have been changed or withheld to protect the guilty.)

Smartphone horror story No. 1: The accidental autocorrect
When you think about it, letting a gadget guess what you want to say is really just asking for trouble.

Off the Record submissions

"Scott," who works at a marketing and Web design firm, learned that the hard way. He was emailing back and forth with his brother, using some colorful language, when a message from a client came in to his phone.

The client's project had a four-letter acronym that started with a "c." It was just a letter or two off from a certain other four-letter "c" word -- yes, that one -- and as luck would have it, the more vulgar variation had made its way into the memory on Scott's phone.

"My brother and I exchange some pretty insulting emails, and like all smartphones, my phone remembers what I type in," he explains. "When I emailed the client back, it jumped in and swapped out the project's real acronym with that other 'c' word."

Scott fired off the email, not realizing it described his client's project as the "C--- project" (I'll let you fill in the blanks). The client -- who, naturally, happened to be especially conservative -- was appalled. He wrote back within minutes to let Scott know.

"I was mortified. I couldn't believe it went through that way," Scott says. "The worst part was trying to explain away the fact that I had used that word enough to get it in the phone's dictionary."

The moral: Never blindly trust a machine. Proofread everything, especially messages tapped out in a hurry. Otherwise, you might just end up calling a client a ... well, you know.

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