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Obama, Not Osama: Updating That Spell Checker

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Obama, Not Osama: Updating That Spell Checker

Technology

Obama, Not Osama: Updating That Spell Checker

Obama, Not Osama: Updating That Spell Checker

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/102748027/102748001" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Depending on when you last updated your computer, if you type in the name of the president of the United States, you may see a red, squiggly line below it.

Then, the spell checker may invite you to change his last name to the first name of the world's best-known terrorist.

Updating the Microsoft dictionary is the responsibility of a team led by Mike Calcagno. Host Scott Simon speaks with Calcagno about deciding when a word is common enough to be added to the spell checking dictionaries.