Spell-check is evil, but funny: The Cupertino Effect -
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I enjoyed Cory Doctorow’s BoingBoing post on the Cupertino Effect, “the technical term for a correct word that is consistently erroneously replaced by spell-checkers.” He links to Michael Quinion’s World Wide Words newsletter, which describes the origin of the term and gives some choice examples: An automated spelling checker attached to a word-processing program is one of the curses of our times. In the hands of an inexperienced, over-hasty or ignorant user it readily perpetrates dreadful errors in the name of correctness. One example appeared in a piece in the New York Times in October 2005 about Stephen Colbert’s neologism truthiness: throughout it instead referred to trustiness, the first suggestion from the paper’s automated checking software…. In 2000 the second issue of Language Matters, a magazine by the European Commission’s English-language translators, included an article by Elizabeth Muller on the problem with the title Cupertino and After. Cupertino, the city in...
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