It’s been a few weeks now since this news came out, but I still think it’s funny enough to mention. Or funny to us, at least. If you live in Pakistan, in addition to the military miseries in that country, you now might have to put up with an absurd censorship attempt aimed at text messages. the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) released a list of 1695 words and phrases that cannot be used in messages, but then deferred enforcement of the new rule.
The funny part, as headlined on DeadSpin.com, is that the “List Of Words You Can’t Text In Pakistan Is Actually The List Of Things You Can’t Put On NFL Jerseys.” Yes, apparently the PTA simply took a list generated by the National Football League and added other, almost random, words to it. Here are a couple of paragraphs from DeadSpin:
Out of curiosity, we pulled up the infamous list (warning — “R” rated) of the more than 1,100 words that the NFL Shop once banned from use on personalized jerseys, and lo: It’s exactly the same as the list that’s been passed around for Pakistan’s censorship.
But actually, we are sad to report, the list you may have seen is not exactly the list the PTA might eventually use. Newsweek reports that there is one out there that contains “1‚695 terms‚ issued in English and Urdu” and contains “‘monkey crotch‚’ ‘athlete’s foot,’ ‘diot’ and ‘damn‚’ as well as ‘deeper‚’ ‘four twenty,’ ‘go to hell‚’ ‘harder,’ ‘looser’ and ‘no sex.’” Plenty of those words appear on the NFL list, so it’s possible that the PTA simply incorporated some of the league’s naughty words in their quest “to find out whether it was possible to filter obscene messages.” It would certainly make for a good starting point.