The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority just released a list of 1,600 words in English and Urdu that will be banned from text messages within the next few days. The PTA released the list of banned words, which has left me (along with many others) scratching my head. While I'm all in favor of permanently banning such words as "bitch" and "slut," I'm not sure why "athlete's foot," "Jesus Christ," "poor white trash" (exactly how often do you get to use that term in Pakistan?) and "barf" are on the list. And who exactly is going to take the time to text out "bestiality" in either of two different spellings?
"Budweiser" is a legitimate noun (although alcoholic) and I personally find "idiot" helpful, although "dickforbrains" is much more metaphorical. But blocking words such as "condom," "herpes," "drunk," "no sex," "rape," and "suicide" seem like a bad idea. Imagine this little exchange going back and forth: "Sex?" "No sex." "No herpes today!" "No sex." "If I make you?" "Rape." That's a really useful little text exchange.
There are hundreds of anti-gay slurs on the list, which is disheartening ("bisexual," the cleanest of the bunch, must be threatening enough to warrant inclusion). But "wuutang," perhaps a misspelling of the "Wu-tang Clan?" And "poontang?" Granted, not the nicest of words, but who's heard that one used in the past 10 years? (Maybe it's big in Pakistan?) But the real question is: who created this list? Clearly a lot of time and energy (and I'm sure a great deal of market research) went into the alphabetical listing of 1,600 terms the breadth and depth of which even drunk frat boys would have difficulty compiling. Really? Is preventing inappropriate texting worth that much effort?
|Cell phones there|
|Cell phones everywhere|