Arnold M. Zwicky zwicky at CSLI.STANFORD.EDU
Tue Apr 8 23:39:52 UTC 2008

> From: "Arnold M. Zwicky" <zwicky at csli.stanford.edu>
> Date: April 8, 2008 4:28:05 PM PDT
> To: ADS <ADS-L at listserv.uga.edu>
> Subject: Ahsome

> about 2k hits for "ahsome" (for you lovers of the cot/caught
> distinction), including this piece on typos from the Toronto Sun
>  www.torontosun.com/Entertainment/ Columnists/Tilley_Steve/
> 2008/02/04/pf-4824184.html

> Ahsome web find

> Sometimes a typo is more than a typo. Like a few years ago when a
> local Chinese restaurant mailed out menus with a chicken dish
> featuring "tender white meat of children." (True story.)
> Or when a Miami lawyer filed court documents on behalf of a client
> who had just undergone painful disk surgery and couldn't sit through
> a trial. Except in his motion , the lawyer typed disk with a "c"
> instead of an "s". (Also a true story.)
> When it comes to auction sites and online classified ads, typos can
> end up costing sellers money, or saving buyers a bundle. Let's say
> you're selling your PlayStation 3 on eBay to raise money for
> grandma's kidney operation, except in the item description you
> accidentally type "PlayStaion 3," a typo so common I've actually
> programmed my spellchecker to auto-correct it.
> That missing "t" means anyone doing an eBay search for the game
> console by its proper name won't see your listing. Sure, it'll still
> show up in the right category and whatnot, but most eBay users just
> type the name of whatever they're looking for into the search bar
> and go from there.
> Fewer people seeing a listing means fewer bids, which in turn means
> a lower selling price. Bad news for the seller, but it can be a real
> boon for a buyer who stumbles across one of these listings, isolated
> from the herd like a wounded gazelle. Easy prey.
> The people behind the DealLocker.com website (which has the
> particularly useful "Amazon secret discount finder" tool) have
> seized upon this phenomenon with a new site called TypoBuddy.com.
> Launching tomorrow, TypoBuddy allows you to search eBay, Amazon and
> your local Craigslist classified ads for pretty much any item you
> can think of. The trick is, it takes your search term and converts
> it into dozens upon dozens of typo-plagued variations, in the hopes
> of coming across a mostly unnoticed listing for that "Volkswagon
> Jetta" or "expresso machine" that you're looking for.
> It's a cool idea, if not exactly revolutionary - canny eBay buyers
> have been doing deliberate typo searches for years in hopes of
> scoring sweet deals.
> The only problem with TypoBuddy is that the more popular it becomes,
> the less effective it will be. If everyone is suddenly doing blanket
> searches for "PlayStaion 3" and "PlayDtation 3" and the other 75
> variations TypoBuddy comes up with, the competition for those
> auctions will spike and the bargains will start to disappear.
> So it might be a good idea to keep this one to yourself. And don't
> go writing about it in a newspaper or anything, because then ...
> oops. Um, anyone up for lunch? I've got a hankering for some children.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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