What is the Cupertino Effect?
The Cupertino effect occurs in text auto-correcting technologies, where the system essentially 'guessed' the wrong word and putting the wrong word on the screen for eventual textual communication between users. This can be in mobile or desktop systems, in instant messaging or email correspondence, or in any other place where a spell checker, auto-correct feature, or other technology helps people compose text messages that they write.
The Cupertino Effect is named after instances in which users spell 'cooperation' without a hyphen. In these cases, auto-correction technologies changed the word 'collaboration' to the proper name 'Cupertino', a city in California. However, this so-called Cupertino effect can be any word or phrase that is changed by autocorrect tools in a way that is not really correct or is not intended by the user. In some cases, the Cupertino Effect may include offensive or otherwise controversial words on behalf of the user. Other times, misspelling and replacing the wrong word make the message look less intelligent. It can also increase spelling mistakes as less grammatically informed users look at the autocorrect posts and mistakenly think it is the correct word for the sentence.
All of this raises serious questions about how much spell checking and autocorrection help people get better text results and become better writers over time. A common piece of advice from experts is not to rely too much on auto-proofreading or spell checking, but to always manually check the text before sending or publishing.