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Spelling Errors

When I was in my first year of college I was working part time at a defense firm that would end up shaping my career.  When you are young and new to a group, you take things at face value and assume that intelligence is at play.  At least I did.  Anyways...

One of the contracts the firm was working on had to do with a software package called costumer.  I took it at face value, but wondered if it was some secretive government codeword, or some elaborate project name to mask the identity of the end user.  About six months into my employment I asked about the program name and learned the humorous truth.  A young programmer was told to generate an executable file for their customer.  Being literal, yet spelling impaired, the programmer generated costumer.exe.  Once it was delivered, it was set in stone.  It wasn't a spelling error, but a well thought out program name. 


(Photo courtesy of locket479 on Flickr)

I wouldn't be suprised one bit if the legacy of this lives on.  I recently ran into a current version of software that was generated at that firm (which is defunct now), that is still in use today after almost two decades.  I wonder if they see the sad jokes are still built into the source code [i.e. using the variable willy, so that you can free(willy)].

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