Correction fluid is opaque, normally white fluid applied to paper to cover over errors. Once dried it can be written over. As such it is sometimes referred to as liquid paper. Correction fluid comes in pen form or in a bottle whose lid is attached to small brush with which to apply the correction fluid to the paper. Appearing before the advent of word processors, correction fluid like that manufactured by Tipp-Ex was a gratefully received innovation.
Tipp-Ex is the brand most associated with correction fluid in Europe, so much so that in English Tipp-Ex has become a genericised trademark – to tippex out means to erase, either generally or specifically with correction fluid. To Tippex has also gained figurative use, referring to erasing from the record or firing staff. The spelling Tippex is commonly accepted in verb form.
Tipp-Ex is a German company that was founded in 1959. “Tipp” is the German for “type”, “ex” the Latin for “no more”.
Before the arrival of word processors, Tipp-Ex correction paper made it possible to erase typos typed with a typewriter. The typewriter would be backspaced, the correction paper placed in front of the ribbon and the mistyped letter retyped. Demand grew quickly. Tipp-Ex correction fluid was launched in 1965. Tipp-Ex correction tape first appeared in 1992.