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Word Power - Idioms

Dead Ringer

What do you call a dead ringer? Ringer is a person who imitates some other person to deceive others.

We are sometimes struck with awe when we notice something identical. We even wonder if both the things are one. We may even think that it is magical. Although somethings may appear quite identical, they aren’t the same. An identical 100 % duplicate is called a dead ringer. It glitters like gold, but it really isn’t.

To quote an example; when a Charlie Chaplin lookalike competition was once organized, it was just about the lookalikes of Charlie Chaplin. The person who looked exactly like Charlie Chaplin would be awarded the prize. Many turned up for the competition looking like Chaplin. All those were ringers.

Also, in ancient days, to deceive horse bookies, the jockeys used to interchange identical horses during the horse race. Gradually, this term ringer came into being. Interesting, yeah?


When we Google something on the internet or when we type something in a word document, we generally get the auto-corrected text or text options. It is more common when we use text on a mobile phone. It automatically corrects the word we intend to type using auto-correct or spell-check options.

This is called the Cupertino effect. Don’t confuse this term with the city in California.

A few years ago, a spell checker was used to correct mis-spelt words. The word ‘cooperation’ was auto-corrected as ‘Cupertino’ everywhere and that is how it got termed as the Cupertino effect.

Now, this effect is very common in mobile texting too. Some funny examples:
When you type Facebook, it may change to Ravenous.

A very funny example of the Cupertino effect:
A father texts to his son ‘Your momma and I are going to DIVORCE in two weeks.’
Son replies: ‘Daddy, why? What happened? Please call me... I’m terribly shocked.’
Father understands the joke that has crept into his text and writes, ‘Sorry darling. I wrote DISNEY, and the mobile auto-corrected. We are going to DISNEY in two weeks.’

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