: views from the Hill

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Cupertino effect

Came across an interesting reference today on Language Log to "the Cupertino effect."

What is the Cupertino effect? You've seen it in action. I know you have.

The Cupertino effect is when your spellchecker fixes the spelling of a word and gives the wrong word.

Why Cupertino? (a town, btw, that I lived next door to for almost thirty years)

Seems the EU folks named the error/effect because cooperation is frequently mistyped cooperatino and some spellcheckers offer up Cupertino as a substitute.

Language Log finds that tale of origin suspect because I find it difficult to believe that many custom dictionaries out there include Cupertino but not unhyphenated cooperation.

Turns out that error can be found in an old version of Outlook Express (custom dictionary copyrighted as "Houghton Mifflin Company © 1996 Inso Corporation")

[reached the Language Log post that mentioned "the Cupertino effect" which led me to the post mentioned above from a click on Sour Grapes' tumblr page]

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