There's a new meaning for the word cupertino that has nothing to do with the city in California, according to the etymology site World Wide Words. A cupertino is any word that's produced when a lazy editor accepts spellcheck suggestions without reviewing them, as in this press release:

In August, nGenera announced version 8.1 of its Talisma Knowledgebase, saying the release added enchantments to its search functionality through an OEM agreement with enterprise search vendor Autonomy.

The name comes from Microsoft Word 97's suggestion that Cupertino is the proper spelling of co-operation. "European writers who omitted the hyphen from co-operation (the standard form in British English) found that their automated checkers were turning it into Cupertino," Michael Quinlan writes.

In July, the Christian media site OneNewsNow turned the sprinter Tyson Gay into a human cupertino. In an attempt to reclaim the word "gay," for purposes as yet unknown, the site was automatically replacing it with "homosexual" in news stories. This resulted in several articles about the accomplishments of Tyson Homosexual, one of the fastest men alive. "He was ahead of American Tyson Homosexual from the get-go and beat Homosexual easily," one story states.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

Interesting fact about Cupertino - thanks. Applies even moreso to checking grammar. But, as someone from nGenera, I can't quite see where the error is that you cite in the example sentence - can you be specific? Thanks.


 

The press release uses "enchantments" instead of "enhancements," which appears to be a Cupertino effect caused by the misspelled word "enhantsments."


 

True story. When I worked for the Louisiana Trial Lawyers more than 10 years ago our evil arch nemesis was the Louisiana Association for Business and Industry (LABI). After first reference, we referred to them as LABI in press releases and other copy. Well, one day we sent something out without checking it closely enough. Spellcheck change LABI to LABIA everywhere in the release.

I offered no correction. When I was asked jokingly by a reporter about whether that was a shot or not I said, "You should ask them as to whether they would rather - and do they think it's a compliment - to be known as LABIA."

Rogers you owe me an email a phone call or a million dollars. Take your pick.


 

Add a Comment

These HTML tags are permitted: p, b, i, a, and blockquote. A comment may not include more than three links. Participants in this discussion should note the site's moderation policy.