Some of us like a good expletive every now and then. Others like to send dirty messages to our, err, loved ones. But in Pakistan, that's soon to stop, as the country is banning rude text messages.
While older generations bang on about how detrimental the culture of email and SMS is, officials in Pakistan must have decided that it's what gets said in text messages that's the problem.
They clearly got quite carried away by it all, too, because the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) has created a list of more than 1,000 words and phrases, which will be banned from appearing in text messages according to The Guardian.
So, what made it onto the list? Let's start with the obvious ones. There were 50 phrases using the word "fuck" and 17 involving "butt", alongside 17 variants on "tit" and 33 on "cock". As well as 1,109 wonderfully rude English words, the PTA also banned 568 in the Pakistani national language, Urdu.
The PTA is clearly quite perceptive, too, and has included a bunch more -- what's the word? -- figurative phrases too. They include gems such as "strap-on", "beat your meat", "crotch rot", "love pistol", and — wait for it — "flogging the dolphin". I can only guess at what that one means.
To make things tricky, they've also included some words that seem fairly innocuous, like "flatulence", "deposit" and "fondle". I don't know how sensible, or easy, it is to police those, to be honest.
Which brings us to how the ban will take effect. The PTA ordered mobile phone firms to just block messages including the offending words this week, though the Guardian reports that the blocking technology isn't 100 per cent effective.
No word yet as to whether other countries are thinking of following suit. If they do, though, my text messages will end up a hell of a lot shorter. [The Guardian]
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