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“this large reduction in response rats”

Spell check doesn’t catch all the typos.


  1. Michael Chaiton says:

    Personally, I’m happy to see any reduction in Response Rats. Those tails creep me out.

  2. Typos aside, response rats are actually a thing! The phrase occurs 15 times in the study “Place Versus Response Learning in Rats” by Mark R. Cole, Amy Clipperton, and Caryn Walt, published in Learning & Behavior, 2007, 35(4), 204-224. A quote: “As is shown by the solid arrows in Figure 2B, 3 response rats always had to turn right, thus going in different directions (north or south) to arrive at different towers (B or C) from the two different starting points to find food. The other 2 response rats could follow the path traced by the dotted arrows in Figure 2B, turning to the left but going in different directions to find food located on different towers on the two types of trials.”

  3. Michael Nelson says:

    Um, yeah…I think you mean rePROduction in response rats…

  4. For query [response rats], Google says:

    About 123,000,000 results (0.48 seconds) 
    Did you mean: response rates

    Google even went so far as to make the top results about response rates.

    Breck and I once built a TV guide spell checker, and I can assure you that you’ll never spellcheck “Batman” and “Spider-Man” properly without multi-word context plus world knowledge of names. Plus, there’s a problem of false positives. Andrew—are you OK with this use of “false positive”? If not, what would you call an erroneous suggestion? Google corrects [Spiderman] to “Spider Man” (it gets the space, but not the hyphen), but it leaves “Bat-man” as is without a suggestion. Google learns what people do, not what is correct according to Marvel or DC Comics ; Google’s descriptive, not prescriptive, as the linguists would say.

    Peter Norvig wrote up a very neat intro to the “inversion” problem posed by spell checking.

  5. In thyme, eventually someone will invent a meaning chequer and we will no langer worry about this just like with spalling.

  6. Neal says:

    My personal worst typo was in a presentation where I meant to talk about “shifts in perception” but unfortunately noticed while presenting that it said “shits in perception”

  7. John Eppley says:

    Response rats sound like the metaphorical rats leaving a sinking ship.

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