Tuesday, June 3, 2008


A news article in the Malay Mail today (Tuesday, June 3, 2008) had me howling with laughter, lifting my spirit somewhat.

Titled "Spell-checker runs amok", the article recounted how some American high school students in Middletown, Pennsylvania, ended up with new last names in their yearbook, no thanks to a computer quirk.

Apparently, the publishing company that handled the yearbook printing had used a computer spell-check to minimise spelling errors, conveniently forgetting that the book is littered with names of students.

As a result, some students were christened with new, and in some cases unflattering, last names. Consider this: Max Zupanovic is listed as "Max Supernova", Kathy Carbaugh as "Kathy Airbag" and Alessandria Ippolito as "Alessandria Impolite".

"It was kind of funny, but kind of rude at the same time," rued Ippolito. You have my sympathy, you poor thing.

I only hope Kathy Carbaugh sees the funny side of her new surname, Airbag. At the very least, 'Airbag' goes in tandem with the 'Car' in her real surname, and that's cool.

I, for one, know I would not exactly be jumping with joy to be associated with any 'bag' - windbag, eyebag, oldbag, scumbag, fleabag, dirtbag - except perhaps 'moneybag'. Wishful thinking, that.

I don't use spell-check because I abhor American English. Also, I don't take too kindly to the spell-checker's insistence that I change the name of my beloved Dungun to Dungeon.

That, my friend, is sacrilegious!

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