Scripts and banned words
A bit late to the party on this one, but a few days ago Danwei had a great translation from Hecaitou’s blog on the futility of blocking dirty words. Creative stuff:
Hecaitou originally wrote: 不 矢口 亻十 么 日寸 候 ， 亻奄 口斤 言兑 矢豆 亻言 也有 辶寸 氵虑 敏 感 字 节 白勺 言兑 氵去 ， 于 是 ， 亻奄 学 会 了 扌斥 字 ……后 来, 亻奄 米青 礻申 分 歹刂 鸟~”
Danwei translation: “I don’t know when it was that I heard that mobile phones are also being filtered for sensitive words, therefore, I learnt to split characters… later on, I became schizophrenic”
For those still wondering what’s going on, Hecaitou takes characters that can be broken into parts which are also characters in their own right — and he simply breaks them up. The result is visually clear but hard for an unsophisticated character/phrase-blocking program to understand. Compare
Original: 不 矢口 亻十 么 日寸 候 (9 characters, meaningless gibberish)
Read as: 不知什么时候 (6 characters)
Gotta say, a lot more fun than #### for naughty words on voicemail transcripts from Google, which was also news last week (NB: my brother tried to reproduce their results in a voicemail to me but only succeeding in getting it to write “box”).
But of course, this sort of script-play isn’t the exclusive domain of hanzi. Try searching this page for Τіbеt and Хіnјіаng and see what you come up with. Nothing? That’s right. If you see it, but you can’t search for it, is it there?
If you like the effect, you too can have it. Check out Kellen Parker’s “sensitive word masking for blogs in China” tool.