This week, Virgin Media’s electronic programming guide saw offence in innocent words and names, causing them to be censored. The likes of Charles Dickens, Alfred Hitchcock, Arsenal and Jarvis Cocker, became Charles D***ens, Alfred Hitchc**k, A***nal and Jarvis C**ker. And it didn’t stop there. Even the kids were watching D*** and Dom.
Virgin Media blamed the mistake on software which automatically filters out offensive words, but I’m afraid the damage has been done. Any innocent delight taken in ‘The Golden Age of Canals’ is officially over!
It was nice to see that Virgin Media had a sense of humour about it though. A spokesperson said: “Over the weekend a temporarily over-zealous profanity checker took offence at certain programme titles. The altered titles have been swiftly an*lysed and we’re fixing any remaining glitches.”
I thought Virgin Media’s over-zealous censoring of some of the nations favourite TV shows was quite enough to giggle over this week, but when I heard that some baby names had actually been classed as illegal, I had to log on and find out exactly what they were. Get ready for a laugh…..
Talula Does the Hula From Hawaii
A nine year old girl in New Zealand had to be renamed during a custody battle after a judge said the name ‘made a fool of the child’. It certainly does, and filling in forms must take forever. According to New Zealand law, any name that would cause offence to a ‘reasonable person’ can be banned.
Among other banned names in New Zealand are 4Real, Fish and Chips (twins), Yeah Detroit, Keenan Got Lucy and Sex Fruit. Having said that though, the names Number 16 Bus Shelter and Violence were allowed. Bizarre.
No, I promise I didn’t fall asleep on the keyboard. A Swedish couple actually tried to inflict this name on their son. Apparently the name is pronounced ‘Albin’ (I really can’t figure that out), and the parents chose it as a protest against Sweden’s strict naming laws. Sweden has also banned parents from calling their children Metallica, IKEA, and Veranda. Apparently the name Google was OK though…
Malaysian authorities banned parents from calling their child Chow Tow AKA ‘Smelly Head’. Apparently it doesn’t follow the religious traditions of the country. Other banned names in Malaysia include Khiow Khoo (‘Hunchback’), Sor Chai (‘Insane’), and Woti,(‘Sexual Intercourse’.) Charming.
In1993 a Japanese parent tried to call his son Akuma, which literally means Devil. The authorities decided this was an abuse of the parent’s rights to decide a child’s name and a lengthy court battle ensued. Eventually the father backed down and the poor little lad got a new, less demonic name. Let’s just hope it wasn’t Damien.