Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spell check got me

Today, it's The Chief's Corner lite. Last week, I got an email from Google. I almost hit the delete key, but then I realized that it was either a very clever use of content-mining to insert personalized content automatically, or a real human being had actually sent it. I think it's the former, but here's how it started:

"Hello Chief Casady,

We here at Google News noticed that you were in the news recently, in some articles about the recent study from the Urban Institute suggesting a new wave of crime related to iPods and similar devices. We would like to invite you to participate in a feature we created, Comments By People In The News, that allows you and other people in the news to post unedited statements on Google News alongside the articles in which you appear."
I checked out Google News, and noticed that all sorts of people mentioned in news stories--including many public officials--were posting invited comments, so I figured what the heck, I'd try it out by just summarizing my earlier blog post on the same topic, and sending it in as a comment.

I heeded the warning contained in the email:

"...we do not edit comments in any way, even for grammar, spelling, etc. So please send us your comment exactly as you want it published."
After carefully composing, I mashed the send button, and Outlook immediately recognized every occurrence of "iPod" as a spelling error, suggesting alternatives. I quickly clicked through the message hitting "ignore", but the very last one got me, and I inadvertently clicked "change". The result is in the next to the last sentence.

Clearly, crime waves are not caused by iPods, nor by bipods, rather by bipeds.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would like to post a few comments. First, I want to say that I am NOT anti police. I have great respect and admiration for our people that protect us every day. Also, my recent contact with LPD has been very good. The officers were kind and understanding. I think that LPD is a great orginization and I support that.
Dash Cam Guy.

Anonymous said...

Next time you should hit Ignore All so you won't have that problem.

All in all I still think you got your point across.

Anonymous said...

Too funny! Don't feel too bad - I've seen worse.

Anonymous said...

That's the first biped I've ever heard of or seen.

Erik said...

I'm curious to know more about these "Paris" shoes and why you feel they're being stolen?

I totally feel your pain though - nonetheless, the power of good proofreading rears its ugly head.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget about the nine Paris of shoes that were stolen.

Tom Casady said...

Heh, heh, heh. I was wondering how long it would take for someone to notice the nine paris of shoes.

Anonymous said...

It's my impression that all crime is indeed caused by bipeds.

Anonymous said...

My favorite story about errant spellcheckers was the inclusion of PUBIC for PUBLIC in invitations sent to a group of V.I.P.'s.

Gun Nut

Anonymous said...

HA!!! Thanks for the laugh. That was good...and an excelent biped picture selection I must add.

Anonymous said...

I didn't read the article yet. I hope you spelled Pirates correctly.

Anonymous said...

That was hilarious. It seems that the spell checker is more intelligent than I previously thought. Well, I better go feed my quadruped.

Anonymous said...

Chief, I bet no parent has ever done this. I took over my sons myspace and posted the crime stoppers number along with my sons LPD case numbers. Bet your phone rings off the hook by the money hungry teens. See for yourself.Im on my way to hand out Pictures of my fugitive to the CHEEP hotels.Sound like im mad? Im STEAMING.

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=98482463

Tom Casady said...

Anonymous 3:43 AM

Now that's what I call tough love. I've never heard of anyone hijacking their child's myspace page before. I noticed there is nothing on the page that identifies who he is, though. I know by looking up the case number, and I suppose his myspace friends will know when they check in on his page. Hopefully he'll turn up before something bad happens. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

The myspace address got cut off in the post.

Anonymous said...

Bet this gets forwarded to the next LPD supervisor that jumps an officer's butt about his/her spelling mistakes in a report!