The Cupertino Effect

Ben Zimmer* has an interesting and amusing post in today’s OUPblog about the Cupertino Effect: the tendency of spellcheckers, due to outdated dictionaries, bad algorithms, or a combintion thereof, to insert or suggest nonsensical words.

The recent addition of WordNet definitions to Wordie (which I’ll blog at greater length on Monday) was resulting in a version of this before I tweaked the algorithm. As someone famous once said (Barbie, I think), natural language processing is hard.

* update: I incorrectly called Ben “Bill Zimmer” when this was first posted. Not sure where that came from, sorry Ben!