Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Spell Check Disaster: 'Anshuman' becomes 'Inhuman'...

Recently, when one of my friend mistakingly applied spell check on a widely used mail, the person to whom it was addressed to - 'Anshuman' , was changed to 'Inhuman'.

This incident shows how features in applications which are supposed to make our job easier can actually create havoc (just imagine if Anshuman were his boss...oops!) Also shows the lack of geographic and cultural adaptability of popular applications. Asians, especially Indians form a significant proportion of users of these applications globally. However, only few Indian names are recognized.

Here are few recommendations on how this can be improved-

  • Design applications which can provide geographically and culturally appropriate spell check based on the selected country

  • Have a database of certain disaster words which double checks when used. Eg: provide message which suggests 'Are you sure you want to change it to 'Inhuman'? This may be irritating, but can definitely save all those embarrassing moments.

No comments:

Post a Comment