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Technological Surrealism / Alec Nerds Out

A Clbuttic Backfire

You can’t wash the Internet’s mouth out with soap. Or, to switch metaphors, don’t mud-wrestle with a pig; you’ll both get dirty and the pig will enjoy it.

Running a service on the Internet that allows humans (or dogs) to post their own content sets you up for a thankless job. Foremost you need to avoid becoming a dumping ground for spam, and then you still have good old human nature to contend with: anonymous commenting brings out the worst.

A profanity filter is one small step towards sanitizing peoples’ cretinous tendencies. (I love how daintily people discuss these online.) However, these sometimes backfire hilariously when they gamely replace dangerously seamanlike words with more clinical alternatives.


It’s not just groceries – and the groceries are generally in bulk, insbreastutional sized quanbreasties – Costco offers you sporting goods, clothing, kitchenware, pharmacy items of every variety, get your eyes examined and purchase glbuttes and contacts, jewelry, books, …


OK – little problem here right off the bat. I went to her Web site. On her Main Page, various stories are listed with links. One of them is titled: “They Support The Troops – By Throwing Molotov Penistails At Police Officers.”

That doesn’t sound good – so I hit on the link to read the story. Next, I go to a news release story titled: “Molotov Penistail Hits Officer During Anti-Bush Protest.” OK, so far so good.

So far so good indeed.


Sorry about my language, I’m glad the forum edited it for me. I was, of course, referring to the great poet Emily Penisinson.


If there are 40 rock studios in town and you’re the only one who has any reputation at all for recording clbuttical music, someone who needs a clbuttical recording may very well go to you first based on your greater experience.

Apparently the filter corrects “niggardly” into the unpronounceable “nubianrdly”.

At least a few of these accidental coinings have taken on a life of their own. “M****cript” has become a curse of its own, inspired by the Myst discussion forums’ overzealous filters.

The final irony is that in writing a filter to spare us from cussing, it’s necessary to define what qualifies. Behind every software-enforced Tipper Gore-esque appeal for decency is a complete list of exactly the things that the administrator is trying to censor:

Hey Internet — your id is showing.

Categorized as: Uncategorized


  1. Ingo says:

    Mrs. Digby told me that when she lived in London with her sister, Mrs. Brooke, they were every now and then honoured by the visits of Dr. Johnson. He called on them one day soon after the publication of his immortal dictionary. The two ladies paid him due compliments on the occasion. Amongst other topics of praise they very much commended the omission of all naughty words. ‘What! my dears! then you have been looking for them?’ said the moralist. The ladies, confused at being thus caught, dropped the subject of the dictionary.

    H.D. Best, Personal and Literary Memorials, London, 1829, printed in Johnsonian Miscellanies, (1897) vol. II, page 390, edited by George Birkbeck Hill

    I heard this in a lecture. Attribution found in Wikiquotes on Dr. Johnson.

  2. admin says:

    “A book which, above all others in the world, should be forbidden, is a catalogue of forbidden books.” – Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (pilfered from Futility Closet)

  3. Zhuowei says:

    Don’t forget the list from a VSmile children education game console’s ROMs:

    Also, you might want to redirect your other website to this one – is blank right now.

    • admin says:

      Hey, that VSmile link is great! (I had to get it from the Google cache; orig was down for some reason.)

      Something else I saw a long time ago, but can’t find now: a Mormon web site talking about how to keep from sinning. (Don’t let yourself spend time alone with anyone of the opposite sex; avoid suggestive clothing; don’t read sinful books; etc.) It was on a free hosting account, Angelfire or similar, that peppered pages with ads based on the content, and the ads were overwhelmingly pornographic.

      (That site has been down for a while; dusting it off is on my list. Thanks for the heads-up.)

  4. Zhuowei says:

    I just came across this comic page about the recently departed Yahoo! Chat. That contained a new twist on the spam filter words.

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