More surprising censorship

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sun Aug 12 04:16:08 UTC 2007

On 8/11/07, Chris F Waigl <chris at> wrote:
> Arnold M. Zwicky wrote:
> >
> > On Aug 11, 2007, at 8:05 AM, Ron Butters wrote:
> >
> >> Surely this ["may c**k their collective heads in dismay"] is just a
> >> joke.
> >
> > not necessarily.  when i looked at the iTunes automatic asterisking
> > scheme a year ago, *all* occurrences of "cock" (in song and album
> > titles) were translated to "c**k", and automatic asterisking turns up
> > on other websites.
> Even more mindless: "c*m sancto spiritu" and the like.

The sports blog Deadspin has often ridiculed the censorship of user
comments on, e.g.:

Earlier today there was a post about similar censorship on, where "BLEEP" is inserted in place of offending words:

Referencing censored bits here:

"The San Francisco Giants trade pitchers Joe Nathan, Francisco
Liriano, and BLEEP  Bonser to Twins for A.J. Pierzynski." [censoring
"Boof" Bonser]

"They were tradinBLEEP oung player who had put up some nice numbers,
but wasn't projected to be a star..." [censoring the letters "g a y"
in "tradinG A Young player"]

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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