Wednesday, January 16, 2008

To catch a spleeder

Washington State Patrol Trooper Bradford A. Moon was trying to be sneaky. He put Oregon plates on his unmarked car and caught Dave Milbrandt going 21 miles per hour over the speed limit.

How did he get the idea to sneak around using out of state plates? The AP story tells us the source of this insidious little strategy.

Moon decided on the tactic after reading on misplace about a boy who claimed he regularly drove 100 mph on Interstate 5 and avoided detection by knowing how to spot patrol cars, relying partly on whether the plates were in-state, Hullinger said.


He read it where? On "misplace"?

It looks like a clear example of the Cupertino effect turning myspace into misplace. But most spell checkers are pretty good at recognizing conjoined words. And the only suggestions I get for "myspace" are "my space" and "MySpace". So the networking sight site has made it into the Word 2007 spell check dictionary.

Where did 'misplace' come from? Perhaps the writer put an <l> in there: 'mysplace'. 'Place' seems like a much more common string than 'pace' so a slip like that makes sense. Especially if the writer's ear was contaminated by the old line: 'my place or yours?'

But no one really says that anymore do they?

2 comments:

  1. Pretty exciting isn't it. Thanks to Ben Zimmer reading us little folks.

    ReplyDelete

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