Feeds

Never Mind The Wingdings

Warning: two mild profanities

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Site News Laurence Sterne, the 18th century novelist, was an accomplished practitioner of visual jokes on the written page. In his landmark comic novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman, a long black squiggle represents the movement of a stick. This is possibly the first typographical joke in the English language.

In a small way, we upheld this tradition with a small story for the weekend. Or so we thought. Heralding an announcement of a new t-shirt line, this article had the word "bollocks" in the headline.

The joke was that the headline was written in wingdings, so satirising conspiracy theorists who somehow read the NYC tragedy in this typeface. (Our original story on Net conspiracy theorists was one of the more popular on the site in recent weeks with more than 100,000 reads and 200-plus emails.)

Unfortunately, our wingdings headline did not render in some browsers, turning our typographical triumph into something rather more boorish.

Bollocks is a mild profanity in English English, but it is not obscene (a court case over the Sex Pistols album "Never Mind the Bollocks" established this).

Nevertheless, it has no place as a headline on our front page, in any typeface, or language.

Bugger Bognor

And now to Bugger, a word as mild a profanity in English English as one can find.

Yesterday we received dozens of bouncers for our daily email news update. The cause? Corporate firewalls had rejected two headlines - our wingdings piece, and the classic "Bugger Hastings".

Here's some context for people outside the UK: there is no sexual innuendo. "Bugger Bognor" are the last words of George V, uttered after he was told by his doctor that he should go to this Sussex seaside resort to recuperate. (Contemporary newspapers reports published rather different dying words: "How is the Empire?" the old goat was supposed to have said.)

Hastings is a seaside resort in Sussex. It is to be an e-city and lots of government money is to be pumped into it. We raised our eyebrows, and several readers, some of them Sussex locals, agreed. The headline Bugger Hastings works for us - but not for the blunderbuss word-blankers behind corporate firewalls. Bugger, alas, joins a list of words banished forever from our front page. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Forget the beach 'n' boardwalk, check out the Santa Cruz STEVE JOBS FOUNTAIN
Reg reader snaps shot of touching tribute to Apple icon
Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL
Bank: 'We are now safely patched.' Customers: 'You were using OpenSSL?'
Happy 40th Playmobil: Reg looks back at small, rude world of our favourite tiny toys
Little men straddle LOHAN, attend tiny G20 Summit... ah, sweet memories...
Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise
Not exactly attractive to the Israeli tourist demographic
Lego is the TOOL OF SATAN, thunders Polish priest
New minifigs like Monster Fighters are turning kids to the dark side
Dark SITH LORD 'Darth Vader' joins battle to rule, er, Ukraine
Only I can 'make an empire out of a republic' intones presidential candidate
Chinese company counters pollution by importing fresh air
Citizens line up for bags of that sweet, sweet mountain air
Google asks April Fools: Want a job? Be our 'Pokemon Master'
Mountain View is prankin' like it's 1999...
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a defence for mobile apps
In this whitepaper learn the various considerations for defending mobile applications; from the mobile application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies needed to properly assess mobile applications risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.