Here it is, a rather baffling claim when you don’t know what caused this particular sequence of words to appear on the web:
A Mongolian wild butt can run 8 mph faster than a reindeer.
Readers of New Scientist and readers of certain blogs may know that one or more web service companies decided that “ass” is an unacceptable word, and set their servers to replace “ass” with “butt” wherever it appeared in posts and in websites.
It’s kind of a Beavis and Butthead joke gone wild. One imagines Butthead saying that he has to go to “assembly,” and Beavis chortling that Butthead said “ass,” then he tells Butthead that he’s going the “buttembly”.
If you Google “buttembly”, you’ll find a number of sites laughing at the replacement of “ass” in words like “assembly” with “butt.” Yet there are even more serious sites that have exactly that replacement, so that at one site you read about the “Chrysler buttembly plant”. There are people writing about their “clbuttic cars,” and “mbuttive” objects.
I just had to find a case where “ass” was totally legitimate and the only proper word to use, so I looked up “mongolian wild butt” to see if the nanny filter “corrected” the proper name, “Mongolian wild ass.” There was only the one, however it appears legitimate.
Now, of course, most nanny filters are applied more intelligently than that one was. Nevertheless, a number of these sorts of errors have been made by righteous censors (google “consbreastution”), revealing still another reason not to censor the web. Issues like these are actually the least reason to do so, while misrepresenting what people write is a rather more important reason, as are many others.