Re: Trying again re Cupertino Effect

Subject: Re: Trying again re Cupertino Effect
From: "Downing, David" <david -dot- downing -at- fiserv -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 26 Mar 2009 08:46:05 -0500

From: Nancy Allison <maker -at- verizon -dot- net>
Subject: Trying again re Cupertino Effect

Just found this -- I'd ripped it out of the newspaper a while back. (Yes, I am a doddering old soul who still rips things out of physical newspapers.)

Evidently, Word 97's spellchecker for British English catches "cooperation" as an error, but instead of suggesting "co-operation" as the correction, it suggests "Cupertino."

"As a result of the quirk, "Cupertino" started to make all sorts of unwarranted appearances. A 1999 paper from NATO referred to the "Organization for Security and Cupertino?in Europe." An EU publication from 2003 spoke hopefully of the "scope for Cupertino" on a certain project."

I particularly like another?correction: "a Reuters story which changed the name of the Muttahida Quami movement of Pakistan into the Muttonhead Quail movement."


I've been wanting to share an example of this that I was guilty of once. I intended to write, "Any modifications you make to this screen ... " and instead ended up with, "Any medications you make to this screen." A reviewer wrote in the margin, "Take two aspirins and call me in the morning." My editor wrote, "Congratulations! You have won the Blooper of the Week Award!"

A related issue is what the spell checker will do with people's names. When I wrote my letter of application for this job, the spell checker wanted to change the recipient's name to "Unusable." Now how would that have been, if I'd written an application letter beginning, "Dear Mr. Unusable:"

Not Friday yet, but getting close.

David Downing
Senior Technical Writer
Credit Union Solutions


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