Search and destroy

We’ve all had that feeling that we’ve gone too far with search-and-replace when editing a document quickly. A contributor to Language Log found a great example, blending overhastiness with naked defence of your own commercial interests. For the Nook edition of War and Peace, the sub-editor decided, quite understandably, that they shouldn’t plug Nook’s competitor, Kindle. So they replaced every instance of Kindle with Nook.

Please see Language Log » “It was as if a light had been Nookd…” ( for the results

One comment

  1. The health benefits of Language Miscellany are clear. One gets a lot of exercise – and education – as Peter’s interesting posts propel us to hop from website to website.

    One of the sites to which I had hopped finally explained meaning and origin of “clbuttics” (used twice, without explanation, in the Language Log to which Peter’s post had linked). The “clbuttic” Wiktionary page defines the term but fails to explain its origin.

    That, in turn, propelled me to a corollary issue: The Scunthorpe Problem: “The unintentional blocking of websites, e-mails, forum posts or search results by a spam filter or search engine because their text contains a string (or substring) of letters that appear to have an obscene or otherwise unacceptable meaning.” There’s plenty of humour in the examples on that page:

    Another website mentioned an example of the “Consbreastution of the United States of America”.

    Even Peter’s three-sentence post got me hopping down a search path. Is “overhastiness” a real word? I had thought “hasty” meant “acting with excessive speed or urgency”. If “haste” already encompasses “excess”, is it even possible for one to “over-exceed” with “overhastiness”? But yes, many websites report “overhastiness” as a legitimate word.

    All this hopping has made me thirsty. I think I’ll have a glbutt of lemonade.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *