Browse Definitions:
Definition

Cupertino effect

The Cupertino effect is an erroneous suggestion or replacement by a spellchecker, auto-correct program or smartphone predictive text feature. The Cupertino effect got its name because Word ‘97 suggested Cupertino when co-operation was spelled without a hyphen. Cupertino is a small city in California, best known for being the home of Apple.    

Although it sometimes results in unintended humor, the Cupertino effect can make the writer appear less intelligent.  In Microsoft Word, for example, when a user misspells the word “definitely” as “definatly,” the auto correct program changes the word to “defiantly.” Unfortunately, some users assume the latter to be the correct spelling instead of a completely different word and continue to spell the word incorrectly.

Here are some examples of the Cupertino effect that appeared in print:

  • Queen Elizabeth has 10 times the lifespan of workers and lays up to 2,000 eggs a day. (Reuters)
  • Football player DeMeco Ryans’ name changed to Demerol. (New York Times)
  • Lord Voldemort changed to Lord Voltmeter. (Denver Post)
  • Quaker Maid Meats Inc. on Tuesday said it would voluntarily recall 94,400 pounds of frozen ground beef panties that may be contaminated with E. coli. (Reuters)

 

The Cupertino effect is often noted in text messages sent from cell phones and smartphones, which have small keyboards and display areas and are often operated in less-than-optimum typing environments and postures. New York Times’ technology columnist David Pogue requested smartphone auto correct errors from his Twitter followers. Replies included the following:

  • My iPod Touch thinks “Donner party” should be “dinner party.” It has a morbid sense of humor. (@TMatysik)
  • “What was I thinking?” -> “What was I honking?” (@gregcfl)
  • A relative e-mailed Richard Moxon, a distinguished pediatrics prof at Oxford, only to find his name auto-corrected to “Moron.” (@hmf284)
  • Mine changes “meh” to “Meg.” Texted my significant other, “I’m feeling pretty Meg today.” Got an interesting response. (@sheldonc)

 

Continue reading about the Cupertino effect:

> When Spellcheckers Attack: Perils of the Cupertino Effect

> Auto correct follies

This was last updated in October 2011

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

  • internal audit (IA)

    An internal audit (IA) is an organizational initiative to monitor and analyze its own business operations in order to determine ...

SearchCloudProvider

  • cloud ecosystem

    A cloud ecosystem is a complex system of interdependent components that all work together to enable cloud services.

  • cloud services

    Cloud services is an umbrella term that may refer to a variety of resources provided over the internet, or to professional ...

  • uncloud (de-cloud)

    The term uncloud describes the action or process of removing applications and data from a cloud computing platform.

SearchSecurity

  • cyberextortion

    Cyberextortion is a crime involving an attack or threat of an attack coupled with a demand for money or some other response in ...

  • Cybercrime

    Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, networked device or a network.

  • National Security Agency (NSA)

    The National Security Agency is the official U.S. cryptologic organization of the United States Intelligence Community under the ...

SearchHealthIT

  • Practice Fusion

    Practice Fusion Inc. is a San Francisco-based company that developed a free electronic health record (EHR) system available to ...

  • RHIA (Registered Health Information Administrator)

    An RHIA, or registered health information administrator, is a certified professional who oversees the creation and use of patient...

  • 21st Century Cures Act

    The 21st Century Cures Act is a wide-ranging healthcare bill that funds medical research and development, medical device ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

SearchStorage

  • storage medium (storage media)

    In computers, a storage medium is any technology -- including devices and materials -- used to place, keep and retrieve ...

  • Random Access Memory (RAM)

    Random Access Memory (RAM) is the hardware in a computing device where the operating system (OS), application programs and data ...

  • floating gate transistor (FGT)

    A floating gate transistor (FGT) is a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology capable of holding an electrical ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • hybrid hard disk drive (HDD)

    A hybrid hard disk drive is an electromechanical spinning hard disk that contains some amount of NAND Flash memory.

Close