Saturday, 27 March 2010

Filthy Words

I have just done a ‘live test’ for an on-line chat event on April 15th in which I will be attempting to answer questions from members of book clubs from around the country.

I’m not a computer whizz, and I approach this event with a certain amount of nervousness. It’s not the communicating with people from all corners of the nation that worries me, it’s having to rely on my ability to interact with technology. I have always liked the idea of working like Winston Churchill, barking instructions from my bed to a full complement of staff. Alas, The Mango Orchard sales do not yet merit such a workforce, so I have to get out of bed, and be responsible for my own interface with the world.

It was a good idea to have a run-through. It took a full ten minutes, and several frantic e-mails from the moderator, for me to work out that I hadn’t even logged in.

Once that hurdle had been negotiated, it was fairly straight forward... until I noticed that my user name was “Robin B”. I asked if this could be changed, as I thought it made me sound like a Spice Girl. At least, that’s what I had wanted to say, the text that appeared was “CENSORED”.

I couldn’t work what I had said that was so scandalous. The moderator asked me what I had said. I repeated my message and again, the word “CENSORED” appeared on the screen.

To be honest, I felt quite pleased with myself. Once again I had managed to flummox a computer system.

Eventually, they established that ‘spice’ had triggered the censor, because it had the word ‘spic’ in it. They have now updated the system so it will not make the same mistake again, but it has made me wonder what other words it will pick up.

How about bumptious? Or arsenal? Or how about wankel rotary engine?

Log in to at 7pm on April 15th to see what we can get away with.

No comments:

Post a Comment