Misspelling for profit (or lack of it)

I read an interesting story today on several sites, quoting an article that originally appeared in the New York Times about misspellings on eBay and people who get bitten by them–and others who exploit them. (This particular link is registration-free.)

Executive summary: A lot of people can’t spell, and that means items sell for much lower prices than they would otherwise, if they attract any interest at all (one has to be able to find them, after all).

Funny how there’s little demand for “Compact Laptops.” Less yet for “Compact Labtops.” (Why would I want a small hat for a Labrador?)

Some people are afraid their secret’s out now, but I suspect there are more people on eBay than there are who regularly read the NYT. Fewer still will try it. Fewer still still will remember it for more than a couple of weeks.

But it gives me an idea. Is there such thing as a dictionary of common misspellings? Not commonly misspelled words, but common misspellings? Imagine plugging that into a piece of software that searches eBay.

I think I need to patent that.

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