Lexicographical nanny

Του αυτόματου διορθωτή τα καμώματα...

An automated spelling checker attached to a word-processing program is one of the curses of our age. In the hands of an inexperienced, over-hasty or ignorant user it readily perpetrates dreadful errors in the name of correctness.

http://www.worldwidewords.org/nl/olwy.htm#N5 (Q&A: Cupertino)


Staff member

Τα παρακάτω, όλα από eu.int:
  • This can best be achieved by closer economic Cupertino between the US and the EU.
  • development that creates the need for new forms of Cupertino and a more flexible approach
  • the fight against illegal immigration needs to be included in the framework of Association and Cupertino Agreements between the Union and its partners
  • in close Cupertino with the Waterways and Shipping Office
  • It will therefore benefit considerably from synergistic Cupertino.
  • relations with the EU were considered to be a priority for his country and noted the potentialities for further developing bilateral Cupertino

Το λάθος εντόπισαν και στο ProZ, όπου μια Αμερικάνα αναρωτιέται:

This is the context: "Another problem has been the lack of co-ordination among donor countries. The World Bank recently claimed that red tape and lack of Cupertino between donor nations are grossly hampering foreign assistance efforts."

I found a few instances of this phrase with this exact wording (and this exact spelling, with a capital C on Cupertino!). It seems to be used almost exclusively in a political context; among others, I've found it in a reference from UNESCO, and in a reference from NATO.

The context seems to indicate that "lack of Cupertino" is a lack of cooperation. (I've also found a Dutch reference that comes to the exact same conclusion.)

Still, having lived in Cupertino, CA for a number of years, my curiosity is aroused. Does anyone know where this phrase comes from -- and how Cupertino came to be equated with cooperation (but only when it's lacking)?

Όταν της εξήγησαν τα τερτίπια του διορθωτή, αναφώνησε: «For crying out loud!! After you mentioned it, I did remember that Word does in fact suggest "Cupertino" when you misspell cooperation. I must say, though, I find a certain irony in the fact that a Microsoft product would include in its spellchecker the city where Apple Computers is headquartered.»

Όπως γράφει ο Μάικλ, «It could be worse. Leave out one of the os from the beginning of co-operation as well as the hyphen and you might be offered not Cupertino but copulation.» Ξαναδιαβάστε τα παραπάνω παραδείγματα με copulation.