Word play: inputter or imputer? Correct your spelling and grammar

Word play: imputer or inputter?

Posted: 26th Mar 2017

WHEN WE WRITE down a word based on how it sounds, there is ample opportunity to make a spelling mistake.

In the past I have seen the confusion of imputer with inputter.

The verb to impute is to attribute something bad to someone (unjustly), such as a crime. It is also used to mean the incorrect attribution of something to a particular source. The noun ‘imputer’ would therefore refer to the person doing the imputing. However, I cannot find mention of this word in a dictionary – therefore it is either a nonsense or a neologism (take your pick).

In any case, it’s definitely not a word to be confused with inputter.

An inputter is a noun, referring to a person or machine responsible for entering data into a computer (from the root verb to input, or the root noun, ie, that which forms the input)

Input can be data or energy, material, or an amount of something intangible measured through a machine.

Perhaps there is scope for input data to be so terrible that it could be imputed to a source – I’m thinking of those who pass off poor company results to avert a financial crisis!