Wednesday, February 9 2011

Dear Google,

Auto-correcting my already-correct spelling of a search (even when I’m refining a search by adding additional keywords after already overriding your miscorrection) is annoying, but auto-correcting it to something that you have no search results for at all? STUPID.

The most reliable miscorrection I’ve found is the Japanese version of the LaTeX document processing system, which goes by the name “pLaTeX”. This is always corrected to “playtex”, even if the other words in the search are so specific that there are no Playtex associations possible, such as 傍点, the marginal dots that are used for emphasis in Japanese text.

Searches for LaTeX often include rubber gloves and fetish items, but the TeX community has been online for so long that they don’t dominate. In fact, I suspect horny rubber-lovers are often frustrated to find themselves receiving advice on pagination, hyphenation, and “how to make your font bigger”.