The “Cupertino Effect” and other interesting facts about this Silicon Valley city

Cupertino is a lovely city of 58,300 with pristine neighborhoods that are among the most desirable in Silicon Valley.  The name Cupertino means many things to many people.  In the computer world, it means there’s been a spelling misstep.  Let’s learn about the Cupertino Effect and a few other things that make Cupertino unique.The Cupertino Effect

The Cupertino Effect is the tech-speak name for when a computer spell-check program auto corrects an incorrect word for one it believes has been misspelled.  The origin of the term came from the tendency of older spell checkers to correct “cooperation” to “Cupertino.”  This happened because the older systems contained only the outdated form of the word “co-operation.”

“Cupertino” has been in Microsoft’s dictionaries since 1989.  But until the current standard styling “cooperation” made it into the database, all kinds of interesting errors in finished documents occurred.  “South Asian Association for Regional Cupertino" and "presentation on African-German Cupertino” are examples of auto-corrected phrases hit by the Cupertino Effect.

Even today, depending on how a word is spelled – or, more specifically, misspelled – a spell-check program will often return a suggestion of an actual word, but not the one the typist was intending.  For this reason, it’s always best to visually edit all finished work before finalizing it.

11th wealthiest city

Cupertino currently ranks as America’s 11th wealthiest city (based on per-capita income) among cities with populations of at least 50,000.  The per-capita income here is $44,749, with a median household income exceeding $160,000 per year.  Topping the Wikipedia list for highest-income places is Brighton, Mich., where the per-capita income is 74,346.

Other Silicon Valley cities making this list include Palo Alto (#6), Mountain View (#21), Sunnyvale (#30), San Mateo (#34), Redwood City (#53), and Santa Clara (#70).

Apple’s expansion

Cupertino is home to the headquarters of Apple, which is in the process of undertaking a massive expansion due for completion in mid-2016.  Apple Campus 2 will be located a mile east of the current facility.  The estimated cost of the land for the new campus is $160 million with a total project cost estimate of $500 million.

The land on which Apple Campus 2 will be built totals 175 acres.  The facility itself will accommodate up to 13,000 employees working in an office space of 2.8 million square feet.  Plans include a café with seating for 3,000, above-ground and underground parking, a 1,000-seat auditorium, a fitness center and a power plant, which will be the facility’s primary source of power.

What’s in a name?

Cupertino was named for Arroyo San Jose de Cupertino, which is now Stevens Creek.  The creek was originally named after Saint Joseph Cupertino, who got his name from the Italian town of Copertino.

The meaning of the name Cupertino is not clear.  It is thought to be a compound Italian word meaning “little (covered) shelter.”  In that language, the prefix “coper” means “to cover”; expand it to “coperto,” and it means “covered shelter.”  The Italian suffix “ino” means “little” or “small.”

Watch future posts for facts and trivia about other Silicon Valley cities and towns.

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