Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Mimsy Were the Technocrats: As long as we keep talking about it, it’s technology.

iPhone review process squeezes out another one

Jerry Stratton, August 4, 2009

Apple Oxford Shit

Mike Royko once asked Carl Sandburg what he’d take with him if he had to deal with the iPhone app store review board. Sandburg answered “I would be sure… to take with me… a sufficient number of receptacles… to hold that… which Norman Mailer… calls shit.”

Apple’s iPhone review process is now so officially full of shit that it can’t accept any more. They’ve decided that dictionaries aren’t allowed to contain objectionable words—words that are included in the Oxford dictionary included on every Macintosh.

Matchstick makes Ninjawords, a fast and easy on-line dictionary, and created an iPhone version.

From Daring Fireball:

Matchstick did not hear back from Apple until May 30. Then, says Crosby: “We were rejected for objectionable content. They provided screenshots of the words ‘shit’ and ‘fuck’ showing up in our dictionary’s search results. What’s interesting is that we spent a good deal of time making it so that you must type vulgar words in their entirety, and only then will we show you suggestions in the search results. For instance, if you type ‘fuc’, you will not see ‘fuck’ as a suggestion. This is in contrast to all other dictionaries we’re aware of on the App Store (including Dictionary.com’s application), which will show you ‘fuck’ in the search results for ‘fuc’, ‘motherfucker’ for ‘mother’, etc.

In other words, the App Store reviewer(s) explicitly searched for curse words they already knew, and found them. (Reminiscent of the reviewer who rejected the e-book reader Eucalyptus after searching for, and finding, the Gutenberg edition of The Kama Sutra.)

I have to agree with Gruber on this. “Every time I think I’ve seen the most outrageous App Store rejection, I’m soon proven wrong. I can’t imagine what it will take to top this one.” It’s as if there’s a contest going on for which reviewer can produce the most ridiculous rejection.

Apple Oxford Fuck

Yes, Apple, there is a fuck word. It exists as certainly as any other word in your own damn dictionary exists, and you know that they abound and give to your operating system its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no fuck word. It would be as dreary as if there were no iPhones.

As it turns out, I’ve just acquired a secret tape of an Apple reviewer talking with a developer:

Apple: Do you have Olsen’s Standard Book of British Birds?

Developer: Yes, well, we do have that, as a matter of fact.

Apple: The expurgated version.

Developer: The expurgated version of Olsen’s Standard Book of British Birds?

Apple: The one without the gannet!

Developer: The one without the gannet? They’ve all got the gannet! It’s a standard British bird, the gannet, it’s in all the books!

Apple: Well, I don’t like them. They wet their nests.

Developer: All right! I’ll remove it! [tears out gannet page] Any other birds you don’t like?

Apple: I don’t like the robin.

Developer: The robin! Right! The robin! [tears out robin] There you are, any others you don’t like, any others?

Apple: The nuthatch?

Developer: Right! The nuthatch, the nuthatch, the nuthatch, here we are! [tear] There you are! No gannets, no robins, no nuthatches, there’s your book!

Apple: I can’t buy that! It’s torn!

17+ to read old books; 17+ to use a dictionary. Apple seems to be waging a war on literacy.

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