28 January 2004


The New York Times ran a story (free reg. required) today about people who find deals on eBay by searching for misspellings which cause posted items to get few bids and thus sell for a fraction of the price for similar items.

While the idea itself is clever, and I wonder how many searches eBay will start getting for dimonds, anteeks and j00lz as a result of it, I'm most amused by the following quote from a woman trying to sell "chandaleer earrings":

Ms. Marshall, who lives in Dallas, said she knew she was on shaky ground when she set out to spell chandelier. But instead of flipping through a dictionary, she did an Internet search for chandaleer and came up with 85 or so listings.

She never guessed, she said, that results like that meant she was groping in the spelling wilderness. Chandelier, spelled right, turns up 715,000 times.

Interesting to see how people check their spelling--not even by looking a word up in an online dictionary, but by googling for the proposed spelling. Also goes to show that this woman has no concept of the size of the interwang since she thought 85 hits on the word "chandaleer" made it bonafide. I'm sure Amrys will be fascinated by all this, as it's right up her alley.

No comments: