minalisms


    Posts Tagged ‘accuracy’

    ‘If your mother says she loves you…’

    Tuesday, October 13th, 2009

    Today, about 2:30 in the afternoon, I got a text message from a friend who notified me (and probably the rest of her Address Book contacts) of an “Amber Alert” arising from an alleged local kidnapping.

    The text, which also had been forwarded to my friend, divulged the place of alleged incident, make of a car and a license plate number. The tail-end of the message read: “KEEP THIS GOING. YOU WOULD IF IT WAS YOUR CHILD!”

    I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I didn’t keep the message going.

    My initial reaction certainly was to send it blazing through our telecommunications highway — to every one of my contacts — but as I began to compose my very own text message, skepticism stood up to call a Time Out.

    It’s now 4:13 p.m., and I’ve spent the past 90-plus minutes agonizing about my decision to not forward this message. Instead, I scoured Snopes.com, visited the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, signed up for wireless Amber Alerts and e-mailed two government agencies seeking for validation of the alleged kidnapping.

    But I couldn’t just pass on a simple text message to friends for the sake of empathy and worry? Even if it turned out to be wrong?

    It feels as though I never left journalism.

    Here comes Crazy

    Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

    I experienced a nerd binge today. It was ugly and quite possibly futile. But, in my defense, my fervency is justified when considering that accuracy supports my life: It is the foundation of my career, which gives me my income, which pays for my shelter, my food and my (at times questionable) mental health. So it is my mission to correct the world of its errors — one word at a time. And today, the error was personal.

    To Whom it May Concern: 

    This suggestion is long overdue, and I hope someone on the Google team values accuracy enough to implement it. 

    There is only one way to spell “Gandhi” when referring to the legendary icon of nonviolence, Mohandas K. Gandhi. His name is never spelled “Ghandi” or “Gandi” or “Ghandhi”; those common variations are WRONG. 

    I’ve noticed that Google can recognize a misspelled word/name in its search and often offers the correct spelling atop the corresponding results page. For example, searching for “George Wasington” will result in: “Did you mean: George Washington?” 

    This verification is an important and informative element of your search engine. It notifies users that a mistake/typo may have occurred on their behalf. And such mistakes inevitably affect search results. 

    So it was surprising to see that when I typed “Ghandi” into Google, I was not alerted to the error. Therefore, my suggestion is to generate a “Did you mean: Gandhi?” alert in instances like this. 

    Perhaps then we could educate individuals and begin to eradicate this vexing misnomer. 

    I encourage Google to take advantage of its worldwide reach to promote accuracy, respect and truth. It can only boost your credibility and reputation. 

    Thank you for your time. 

    Sincerely, 
    Minal Gandhi

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