Tasty cupertinos

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A correction from The New York Times on Damon Darlin's article, "Economic Theory Plots a Course for Good Food" (4/10/12 online, p. D3 in the 4/11/12 print edition):

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: April 10, 2012

An earlier version of this article incorrectly referred to the Ethiopian dish doro wot as door wot. Additionally, the article referred incorrectly to awaze tibs as aware ties.

As noted on the Slate Twitter feed, these goofs are almost certainly the result of overzealous autocorrect — or, as we say in these parts, they're due to the Cupertino effect. We've documented many such cupertinos over the years (old site, new site). Foreign food terms have cropped up before — way back in 2005, before we even knew the Cupertino effect had a name, I noted that menus and recipes had fallen prey to the unfortunate spellcheck miscorrection of prostitute for prosciutto. At least prosciutto is likely to be in spellcheck dictionaries these days — the same can't be said for Ethiopian doro wot or awaze tibs, no matter how delectable those dishes may be.

(Craig Silverman of Poynter's Regret the Error is also on the case.)


  1. Mark Dunan said,

    April 12, 2012 @ 1:25 pm

    I find Mac OS 10.7 unusable until you turn that ridiculous system-wide autocorrect off. God forbid people should make heavy use of words in other languages!

    (Maybe this "feature" has been fixed already, and if so, good job, Apple. But it was there when 10.7 first came out.)

  2. John said,

    April 13, 2012 @ 7:32 am

    Wow, I bet seeing Italian food mistakenly described as containing "prostitute" must have made a few readers spit out their pasta alla puttanesca all over the keyboard…

  3. Rikard said,

    April 13, 2012 @ 6:34 pm

    @Mark: I find the spelling correction in 1.7 much better than earlier versions, because it can now be set to identify language automatically. For the two languages I use regularly (Swedish and English), I find the automatic language selection flawless, so I have left the autocorrect turned on.

    In previous versions, I had the language for the spell checker set to English, since that where I need it the most, but that led to almost every word becoming underlined when I was writing in Swedish.

  4. Rikard said,

    April 13, 2012 @ 6:36 pm

    (And by 1.7, I of course mean 10.7. Errors like these can never be caught by a spell checker, no matter how advanced.)

  5. Graeme said,

    April 14, 2012 @ 7:48 am

    Wot gets me is that "wot" made it through the mangler. An archaic variant of "wit" meaning to know?

  6. Sunset Shazz said,

    April 16, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

    On p. 128 of *An Economist Gets Lunch*, there is a discussion of Filipino “Adobe dishes” (sic). Publisher’s/spellchecker's error, not Tyler’s.

  7. lukys said,

    May 9, 2012 @ 10:49 am

    Autocorrect is a horrible invention. Autocomplete, on the other hand, like in LibreOffice is an amazing time-saving tool.

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