Monday, June 30, 2008

Unintended humor

Here's a good reason to refrain from that auto-replace feature:

Some far-right sites that subscribe to the Associated Press feed, for example, will use auto-correct to change “Democratic Party” to “Democrat Party.” This, of course, is because they have the temperament of children.

But the American Family Association’s OneNewsNow website takes the phenomenon one step further with its AP articles. The far-right fundamentalist group replaces the word “gay” in the articles with the word “homosexual.” I’m not entirely sure why, but it seems to make the AFA happy. The group is, after all, pretty far out there.

The problem, of course, is that “gay” does not always mean what the AFA wants it to mean. My friend Kyle reported this morning that sprinter Tyson Gay won the 100 meters at the U.S. Olympic track and field trials over the weekend. The AFA ran the story, but only after the auto-correct had “fixed” the article.

That means — you guessed it — the track star was renamed “Tyson Homosexual.” The headline on the piece read, “Homosexual eases into 100 final at Olympic trials.”

The following images are from Right Wing Watch:

Oops! That did remind me of a jazz BBS that I used to frequent around the turn of the decade that had an auto-replace function for words its mods considered objectionable. There was just one little problem. One of the words that the mods blocked was "cock", which was automatically replaced with "thingie". I found this out when I made reference to legendary jazz keyboardist Herbie Hancock in one of that BBS's threads. Instead of "Hancock" the outcome was "Hanthingie". Suffice it to say, any time I wanted to discuss that particular artist's work on that board, I had to misspell his name. I eventually drifted away from there for other reasons, and honestly cannot even remember the name of the board, nor know if it even operates these days. But that bit of stupidity is the one thing I do recall quite well.

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