The venerable interface designer Bruce Tognazzini devotes his latest “Ask Tog” column to the question of whether it’s better to browse or search lists in iOS, such as in the Contacts app. It’s a fascinating read, not so much for his proposed redesign, but for the background of why aspects of iOS can be so frustrating for some people. follow link
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Bruce Tognazzini Discusses Browse vs. Search in iOS
It's not because I can't handle different spellings like Bruce suggests.
I think my reluctance is a combination of the search (temporarily) destroying my spatial list, and having something to 'clean up' afterwards.