Did You Mean … ?

Did You Mean … ?

Sunday, January 31, 2010
| Jeremiah 1:4-10

If you do an Internet search and misspell a term, your search engine probably will ask you some questions and suggest alternative searches.

Paperview boxing.

No, that isn’t a rage new sport featured in the X Games. It isn’t a derogatory term for the way an editor slashes up flabby writing. It has nothing to do with the classic knock on a soft boxer: “He couldn’t punch his way out of a wet paper bag.”

It’s a search engine typo for “pay-per-view boxing.” In fact, it was one of the top search typos registered by Yahoo! last summer.

Other top gaffes included “Brack Obama” and “swan flu.”

Granted, our current president has an unusual name. But “swan flu?” We’re talking about an entirely different genus of animals. One flies, and the other rolls in mud.

H1N1 was the new Y2K. Our 24-hour news machines made sure we didn’t miss a day without a swine-flu-scare headline. So how do people confuse the swine with the swan?

Honest or ignorant, such typos happen to all of us as we fill search boxes with inquiries. Knowing this, search engines use spell-check software to predict what we were actually looking for in the first place.

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