back to article User fired IT support company for a 'typo' that was actually a real word

Welcome once more to On-Call, The Register’s weekly reader-contributed story of tech support trauma. On-Call dipped into its mailbag in the hope of finding an Easter story, but found a cracking Christmas story sent by chap named “Peter”. “An irate customer called me on Christmas Eve, incandescent that a letter had gone to a …

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Facepalm

"Mangler" is also a real word and can usually be substituted for "Manager"

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If you get a bit twitchy ....

Orthinology - word botching. Be sure to allow it in your spillchucking dictionary.

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Google's GBoard accepts Mangle* immediately, but if I type Mange (an undesirable canine condition I believe, but then I'm not a Venetian**) and then space without pausing it substitutes Manage.

*"We haven't laughed that much since... aunty Mabel caught her left tit in the mangle." Though I believe with modern spin driers the word Mangle is more commonly used as a verb these days.

** Or a vetinarian.

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One of my spall chuckers ...

... insists that Trump's wife's name is Melatonin. Fitting, methinks.

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Is that how you spell...

...veterinarian?

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Re: Is that how you spell...

Looking to get tutored, Ralph? My Vet does Llamas ...

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Re: One of my spall chuckers ...

> ... insists that Trump's wife's name is Melatonin. Fitting, methinks.

that's weird, I'd assume that the Levenshtein distance from "Ivanka" would be greater

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My boss at the time had written a letter to someone saying that we were ending our relationship with them. The letter was passed to a lawyer for checking that it was airtight and the other person would be able to have nothing more to do with us. Boss was mildly annoyed that the letter had come back with spelling (and grammar) corrections. I pointed out that for the money we were paying it was good that all the autocorrect misspellings had been fixed..What was funny was after the letter was delivered to the recipient the boss received a call immediately. They were pleading for the relationship not to be dissolved and promising to improve things but by then it was too late, way too late.

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"Mangler"

Manager >> Manger >> Pig at trough?

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Re: One of my spall chuckers ...

Eye halve a spelling chequer

It came with my pea sea

It plainly marques four my revue

Miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Eye strike a quay and type a word

And weight four it two say

Weather eye am wrong oar write

It shows me strait a weigh.

As soon as a mist ache is maid

It nose bee fore two long

And eye can put the error rite

Its really ever wrong.

Eye have run this poem threw it

I am shore your pleased two no

Its letter perfect in it's weigh

My chequer tolled me sew.

(Sauce unknown)

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Re: One of my spall chuckers ...

(Sauce knot unknown ... and the hole thing.)

Owed to a Spell Checker (AKA "Candidate for a Pullet Surprise")

I have a spelling checker,

It came with my PC.

It plane lee marks four my revue

Miss steaks aye can knot sea.

Eye ran this poem threw it,

Your sure reel glad two no.

Its vary polished in it's weigh.

My checker tolled me sew.

A checker is a bless sing,

It freeze yew lodes of thyme.

It helps me right awl stiles two reed,

And aides me when eye rime.

Each frays come posed up on my screen

Eye trussed too bee a joule.

The checker pours o'er every word

To cheque sum spelling rule.

Bee fore a veiling checker's

Hour spelling mite decline,

And if we're lacks oar have a laps,

We wood bee maid too wine.

Butt now bee cause my spelling

Is checked with such grate flare,

Their are know fault's with in my cite,

Of nun eye am a wear.

Now spelling does knot phase me,

It does knot bring a tier.

My pay purrs awl due glad den

With wrapped word's fare as hear.

To rite with care is quite a feet

Of witch won should bee proud,

And wee mussed dew the best wee can,

Sew flaw's are knot aloud.

Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays

Such soft wear four pea seas,

And why eye brake in two averse

Buy righting want too pleas.

-Mark Eckman and Jerrold H. Zar, early 1990s

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Re: Is that how you spell...

Looking to get tutored, Ralph? My Vet does Llamas ...

Thats probably not something he wants broadcasted..

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Pint

Have a beer for the Derek & Clive reference!!

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@ Mine's a large one

jump, you ****er, jump....

A classic.

:)

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Re: One of my spall chuckers ...

Spull Chucker on my Android actually got it correct once. I was writing "St. Patty's Day" and it changed it to "St. Party's Day"

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Re: If you get a bit twitchy ....

Humphrey Littleton was interviewed once and was asked, "I understand you're keen on pornithology?"

When he was driving home, he realised he should have replied - "I'm more of a word-botcher"

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TRT
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Re: If you get a bit twitchy ....

Mangelwurzel.

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Re: One of my spall chuckers ...

Your first mistake is thinking there is a worthwhile date worth celebrating called "St. Patricia's Day" or "St. Burger's Day". No wonder your Speel Chuckler was trying to change it: Paddy not Patty

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Re: "Mangler"

Manager >> Manger >> Pig at trough?

Surely any ambiguity between "manger" and "manager" can be resolved with a Crib Sheet.

Mine's the one with the straw in the pocket...

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Re: If you get a bit twitchy ....

"Orthinology - word botching. Be sure to allow it in your spillchucking dictionary."

My internal spell-checker (brain) misread that as "Ornithology".

People are over reliant on spell-checkers. I always re-read important emails before they go out. Sometimes my brain thinks one word but gets overwritten by muscle memory into similar other words. Not that I am an incredibly fast typist, it's just that my fingers sometimes seem to be trying to predict what I want to type before I compete the thought.

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Re: Is that how you spell...

The reference to Venetians made me think "vetinarian" was a nod to my second-favourite Pratchett character, Lord Vetinari :)

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Dudley Moore reference

UV.

Wonder how many people these days have a clue what a mangle is (was). Joke may be lost on ‘em.

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Re: If you get a bit twitchy ....

There's a French version of this. A French bird watcher was asked how he kept the records of all the birds he'd seen. As he was rather proud of being up to date he meant to say "Sur mon ordinateur" (computer) but actually said "Ornidateur".

Which was a happy accident because "Ornidateur" consists of the greek root "orni-" (about birds) and "dateur", which would be a French machine for storing data.

Also, the version of the Humphrey Littleton story I heard was that the question he was asked was "Are you something of an orthinologist, thus his later realising that he should have said "No, I'm not a word botcher."

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Re: One of my spall chuckers ...

That's what you get for misspelling St Paddy's Day in the first place.

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Really? What war were you in?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: One of my spall chuckers ...

Your first mistake is thinking there is a worthwhile date worth celebrating called "St. Patricia's Day"

There is, you get to eat all the Neapolitan you want.

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Re: If you get a bit twitchy ....

I saw what you did there!

Veddy British wot? Nudge, nudge, wink, wink

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@Dave 126

Thank you for your service....

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Re: One of my spall chuckers ...

I thought it was Melanoma....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Dudley Moore reference

Not many, which is why so many people get their tit caught in a wringer.

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Facepalm

Re: My Vet does Llamas ...

My vet did a llama once. Then he suddenly had to move to Belize...

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* For we are miserable sinners...

Appropriate for Easter?

https://youtu.be/_ZEEgIti8sM

The old ones are always the best :-)

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Re: Is that how you spell...

Fernando Llamas?

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Re: If you get a bit twitchy ....

And no one thought to question the use of the word "incandescent"?

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Re: One of my spall chuckers ...

nah, it's Malaria

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Re: If you get a bit twitchy ....

I was remembering that exact same anecdote. Humph told it perfectly (of course) with timing and pauses and intonation that's all lost by writing it down. Sadly missed

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Re: If you get a bit twitchy ....

"Humph told it perfectly (of course) with timing and pauses and intonation that's all lost by writing it down. Sadly missed"

OT but I remember getting tickets for one of his music programmes. His warm up was far better than the broadcast.

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Re: If you get a bit twitchy ....

That one flew way over my head.

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I thought I'd seen it all with awkward customers but this prospective buyer of a blanket takes some beating.

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Pint

Now that takes some beating! Lovely reading, and I'm glad the seller stood his ground and told the buyer off.

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Haha!

Doubles the price at the end. Brilliant!

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Devil

Re: Haha!

@heyrick

"Doubles the price at the end. Brilliant!"

Maybe we'll see Simon pull this one soon?

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Had a similar experience with someone wanting me to design a half page newspaper ad. I have a set of fixed prices for drawn artwork, depending on size and whether it's colour or mono. Guy wouldn't listen and kept trying to bargain me down. I told him I didn't need the work but if he was set on me doing it for him, he'd have to pay my rates, no exceptions.

Eventually he gave up and went somewhere else. Paid double my rates and got a much smaller ad.

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Validation Vs verification

A spell checker can only check that a word is valid, it cannot verify that it is the word you want. Well, it can be programmed to know that some words tend to follow others (i.e 'would have' and not 'would of') but bringing these things to the user's attention can irritate them, much like the green squiggly lines in MS Word.

The Google keyboard for Android will often substitute a correctly typed rare word for the note common word it *thinks* you want. If you type the word 'manger' and quickly press space, it will substitute the more commonly used word 'manager', but if you pause for half a second before pressing space then it will keep 'manger'.

It's a bit smarter than the classic T9 "are you coming down the sub for a riot?" *pub *pint.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Validation Vs verification

They're not so smart on proper names either. If I don't pay attention the checker on my Android phone changes my surname to McLinux, which would be a cool name, but wrong.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: sub for a riot

T9 was even worse for Vodka drinkers ... Smirnoff usually came out as poisonff

I'm sure I've still got a regex somewhere for finding T9 collisions in /usr/dict/words...

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Re: sub for a riot

T9 often made a aunt of my texts tbh.

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Re: Validation Vs verification

"McLinux, which would be a cool name, but wrong."

Have you considered changing your name by deed poll?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Validation Vs verification

"Well, it can be programmed to know that some words tend to follow others (i.e 'would have' and not 'would of') "

Unless it was intended as "wood of the carpenter".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Validation Vs verification

In the days when documents had to be submitted via an office typist - it was not unusual to find "modem" replaced by "modern".

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