This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Nuts and Bolts: the Cupertino effect.

I don't text much.

This is partly because I'm a writer, and so I'm at home most of the time with my phone switched off, but it's mostly because my name isn't Otto.


Well, you see, Otto is how I sign practically all my texts.

Love...Otto. Like that.

Now, what I'm trying to write on these occasions is Love, Mum. But the auto-correct always alters Mum to Otto. Always. I've begged and pleaded with the thing, but it's no good.

(At this point someone always seizes my phone to sort out the problem for me. Then I get to watch the confidence on their face turn to puzzlement, and then bafflement, and then despair. The phone ALWAYS writes Otto when you try to write Mum.)

This sort of thing is known as the Cupertino effect. It's called that because, on Apple devices, trying to type in cooperation without a hyphen results in the device correcting it to Cupertino, which is where Apple's Headquarters is (or possibly are. Do feel free to take your pick).

Of course I'm not the only one to have problems. There's the lawyer who tried to use the Latin phrase sua sponte (which means of one’s own accord), only for his blasted machine to change it to sea sponge; but my favourite story of all is of the computer system which changes netware to knitware.

Sometimes it's just hugely satisfying to see the techno-world getting itself in a twist.

Word To Use Today: correct. This word comes from the Latin word corrigere, to put in order, from regere, which means to rule.

No comments:

Post a Comment