Today Jason writes about “The Cupertino effect”, described as “… incorrect spellcheck suggestions that make it into finalized documents”. He links to this post at the Language blog.

Which made me think of a new word I’ve made up: Tynonym. I googled it and found only two hits, both of which I think is just spelling errors.

Tynonym: Definition

So what is a tynonym? It’s a word that you get as a suggestion on your mobile phone when you spell a word with T9 on.

As you may know, T9 is a system that most mobile phones use, that make it easier to type words faster. You don’t have to press “8-7-9-9-9-4-4-4-6-6-4” to spell “typing”, but just “8-7-9-4-6-4” and T9 figures out that it was “typing” you were going to write.

When I type “typing” with T9 on, I also get a second suggestion, the word “typhoi”. Which makes typhoi a tynonym for typing. Get it?

My built-in OS X dictionary doesn’t know typhoi, there’s no entry at Wikipedia, but Google has 3,200 hits and also suggests “typhoid”, which is a word I know. So T9 thinks I’m about to write typhoid but not pressed the final “d” yet.

Some other words and their tynonyms:

Dog. Tynonyms are fog, eng, doi, enhl, emi, foi and eni.
Cat. Tynonyms are act, bat, abu, cau, cav, acu and bau.
Mobile. One tynonym: Mobilf. ???
Web. Tynonyms are yea, wea, zea and zeb. Lots of odd words!
Sex. Tynoyms are sew, pew, rew and rey.
Apple. No tynonyms!
Microsoft. Ditto: No tynonyms.
Internet. Tynomyns are intermet (what is intermet??) and governet!

Obviously some of the tynonyms for the shorter words are only the first three letters of longer words. It’s also interesting to see whether a word is first in the list or not when you type it. Like “cat”, which was only second in the list, while “dog” were first. This will change from phone to phone and person to person as the T9 software (I think – does anyone know for sure?) notice if you choose a word further down the list all the time, and then move it up the list.

Your suggestions

Do you have some examples of funny tynonyms? Maybe tynonyms that mean the opposite of the word you’re trying to type? Post them in the comments below.

Finally: When I type “tynonym” on my phone, I get no suggestions. So tynonym doesn’t have a tynonym…