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NSI challenged over "obscene" domains 128

drwiii writes " has a news tidbit about NSI going to court because of their refusal to register domain names that they feel are "obscene". " What's amusing to me is the steady flow of words that I hear about that are rejected, considering the relative naughtiness of many existing domains.
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NSI challenged over "obscene" domains

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Just about all the 7 words I can think of have been registered. what 7 words are they talking about?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    can be found here:
  • Oh my God... people are selling porn over the internet.

    Is this Anonymous Coward just another bunch of ethically challenged scammers and moralists who will look for any little legal window of opportunity? People like this will usually wrap themselves in the flags of morality or whatever, when their _real_ intention is just to get porn banned.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Check out
    He has a whole section on the seven words.

    From his page:
    "The original seven words were, shit, piss, fuck, cunt, cocksucker, motherfucker, and tits."

    A classic skit!!!
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I have observed that the standards of slashdot readership are steadily improving, someone asked for references. How can I not oblige to such request? The million-word count seems plausible.

    In the "Imaginative Mind in Art", Jacob Bronowski wrote: "...That is, four thousand words is a fair vocabulary that a human being can get along with, if he is not going to spend too much time thinking. And the total store in a good dictionary is more than a hundred times larger again, for a good dictionary contains nearly a million words."

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Sure, real is more fun, but pr0n features instant-on and high availability....

    And as has happened before, it pushes technology, especially if it allows privacy (they say this is how the VCR really got its start). That extra bandwidth wouldn't *be there* if folks hadn't been maxing out.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Ok, I have the Oxford English Dictionary in my room, all 10 inches of compressed print (you need the little magnifying glass it comes with to read the print) and there are 460,000 listed words, note that it's the 1971 print. From what I hear, Oxford is considered the official word base, and upon that another 400,000 or so technical, catalog, and other scientific words have been added to total ~860,000 words. But I don't know if we should really consider Rotary-Engine a word... In my opinion that is where encyclopedias come on the scene.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 03, 1999 @04:53PM (#1905815)
    Only with passing amusement do I take note that the InterNIC is now refusing to register certain domain names (after those with close association the former IANA, the IETF and other important satellite organizations cahsed in on the domain registration process prior when it first opened it's doors to any old joe).

    What I think is a more important aspect of this case is using legal means to disassemble the current little top down, nepotistic, insider trading, self-agrandizing little circle jerk that currenly has control.

    Things went way wrong about 4 to 5 years ago and have been allowed to continue along that path for far too long. The InterNIC/NSI desire to disassociate itself from from the tar pit of legal action points to the best way to attack a corrupt, service poor monopoly (and anyone who thinks the latest decision to allow third party registars to feed the NSI machine will solve all the current problems created by NSI's monopoly is smoking crack).

    Kasparoff, AlterNIC and everyone else has been pursing purly geek solutions. Well, the news is that the head geeks that thought the internet up have designed it so that it can't be re-asembled without their permission (using their tools, which now have the market's code/mindshare). But, geeks are geeks no matter what... and they always fail to expect (no, not the Spanish Inquisition) the legal remedies that are avalable to non-geeks when their closed little geek circle jerk starts to depart too far from known reality.

    Hopefully this will be opening of the floodgate that causing SAIC to drop ownership of NSI and forces the current designers of the internet (v1, v2 and beyond) to develope a methods that respect decentralized competitive systems.

    As much as I hate to make lawyers rich, I hope some street-fighting, class-action consumer oriented lawyers put SAIC/NSI's ass in a sling on this one.
  • Uh, the FCC was created by the Communications Act of 1934. Television didn't start to appear, even on an experimental basis, until a couple of years after that.

  • by gavinhall ( 33 )
    Posted by FascDot Killed My Previous Use:

    I'm getting: "Use a dist". That's offensive?
  • Posted by hanser:

    The thing that torques my nuts is that only English words are being victimized. In Spanish, for example, even the most obscene words are domain names. The internet is not English specific, so why should obscene English domains be picked on?
  • by sterwill ( 972 )
    I gave a link to the OED, as the guy who originally mentioned it didn't. Compared to a pocket dictionary, the OED has orders of magnitude more entries and more quotes and references per entry. I never said the OED had a million words. I never said the OED had every word in the English language. I gave a link to the OED and a comparison to a pocket dictionary both in scope of content and in price.

    Are dictionaries really this exciting to some people?

    The Oxford English Dictionary comes in twenty volumes. It costs about a thousand dollars. If you think your Dude's Handy Pocket Reference to English has every word in the language, such thoughts are gravely erroneous.
  • I agree entirely. But how to keep them to that obligation?
  • On the one hand, the NSI could argue that:

    (a) the domain names don't physically EXIST in America

    (b) there is no way for the plaintif to prove their computer exists in America, either

    (c) the Internet is international, and the US constitution does not apply to international dealings, and

    (d) the Internet is supposed to be an anarchy, so the law doesn't apply to them, anyway.

    On the other, the whole thing is plainly stupid.

    The problem is, the people registering the domain names the NSI are censoring are EXACTLY the same sorts of people who have exploited or claimed at least one of those four points, when it benefitted them to do so.

    Therein lies the dilema. The Internet is ideally deregulated and free, but if you chase that ideal so that YOU can do anything you like, you need to remember - so can they. And if you don't like it, you can't do any more than they can, if they don't.

  • Since when does the Constitution not apply to international dealings? It always has.
  • The correct spelling is shiitake not shitake. The only reason shitake is used is because there are a lot of people who are too stupid to look up the proper spelling before using it.

    Timur Tabi
    Remove "nospam_" from email address
  • It's basically a classic Carlin rant about how you can't say certain words on TV because the FCC decided that television and radio are the only two mediums NOT covered by the First Ammendment to the United States Constitution.

    I'll try hunting down an MP3 of it. e-mail me if you want a copy (if I find one)

    I live in Las Vegas, and Carlin is here nearly every other month for 2 weeks.. I should go see him live...
  • At the risk of this being moderated, here's the words I remember:

    Cock, Cunt, Piss, Shit, Motherfucker, *Thinks* I don't remember the other two.

    I think he changed it to motherfucker from fuck so he could do his "there's a lot going on there" thing.
  • Only a dozen words that are too dirty to say ?

    Americans aparently lack creativity :)
  • The 7 words are apparently: c*cks*cker, c*nt, f*ck, m*therf*cker, p*ss, sh*t and t*ts.

    (You Usians are such pr*des. :-))

    Regards, Ralph.
  • I thought cable got away with it because they need an audience and sex sells. The Playboy channel was a real hit when it first came out. Filters were just being distributed. It was a great awakening for many. When your market depends on material like this and you have the money for lawyers, you have the monopoly since you can keep it banned from broadcast TV.

    This country has been weaned for too long by censors and I feel we as a whole are not intelligent enough to handle free communication. With all the right wingers and religious nuts who survive through propogating fear of media and information, there would be a legal war.

    Perhaps the internet will change all that.
  • ?
  • Well, here around Detroit, we can hear the unbeeped versions on the Canadian stations...
    (Some of which have studios on the Detroit side of the river, and transmitters on the Canada side...)
  • by jsproul ( 4589 ) on Monday May 03, 1999 @09:33PM (#1905834) Homepage
    As others have noted, the original rationalisation for the FCC's restriction on radio/TV speech was the limited broadcast spectrum available. Spectrum is a public good, and some regulation does make sense, particularly to ensure free public access rather than having it totally owned and dominated by large corporations appealing to the least common denominator. (This is a very republican notion, in keeping with the Constitution, which limits direct democracy on the same grounds.) Consider the decline in the quality of radio programming since the Telecommunications Reform Act of 1996 loosened ownership restrictions and increased market concentration.

    The problem we face as proponents of online freedom is that existing legal precedent cannot be easily applied to the Internet. It is funded partly by public money and partly by private money. Its organisation stretches analogies to other media beyond reasonable applicability. For example, bandwidth is in a sense limited, but as a user/listener/viewer-controlled medium that traffic is allocated by consumers, not producers. Moreover bandwidth is not permanently fixed by the laws of physics, but rather can be added on demand. It is an international medium. Hence the clear public interest in regulation does not pertain.

    There is also a fundamental contradiction in NSI insisting that they are a private enterprise not subject to the same First Amendment standard as a government body, and in acting as a regulator like the FCC. Worse, by establishing themselves as a regulatory body, they've violated any pretense at common-carrier privileges and could be held liable in any number of interesting ways for domain names that others find offensive. Oops. :-)

    One might argue that NSI should be compelled to divest control of the root database into a non-profit organisation tasked with minimising the administrative costs of root service. No single organisation (even a nonprofit and especially a bureacracy) will ever have the incentive to actually attain this minimum, and yet the difficulty of maintaining multiple databases for the same TLD appears to make a market solution impossible. Perhaps a nonprofit root service funded by for-profit domain registrars, who would have an incentive to force down root server costs, is the best we can hope for.
  • I reckon that the internet should be treated as an international entity and that if this is accepted as being the case then NSI can't really be taken to the US courts since, as has been pointed out, the US can't rule over international dealings.

    Beyond this though i feel that NSI is looking at this thing the wrong way. It appears that selectively doling out domain names is NSI's way of telling us that to be given anything from them is a blessing. As NSI essentially has complete control over domain names they have an obligation to the internet as a whole not to judge, but merely to serve.

  • Another reader posted a link to the George Carlin 7 deadly words transcript [] which points out, in its fashion, that many words are not dirty unless taken in context. NSI may take it upon itself to disallow registration of domains with "indecent" language but if the courts find that they are allowed to filter out certain words, what is to stop them from selectively banning registration and registration renewal of phrases that they may consider to be indecent?

    A friend of mine owns [] which, if NSI continues on its current path, is almost certain to die off when it comes up for renewal.

    Going a step further, though i doubt this will happen, what is to stop NSI from denying registration renewal to those sites which have objectionable content. I sincerely doubt that this will happen, but then it is only one more leap in logic

  • Many words, if not most, if not #$%^$&^ near all, have more than one definition, so the number of definitions in a dictionary will vastly exceed the number of words defined in that same dictionary.

  • It may not be as easy to refuse renewals as they think.

  • Last I checked, was still active. But isn't.

    I don't check often for obvious reasons. No, I'm not making it up. Yes, it is real.
  • I think it's on ''Class Clown'', but it's been a while...

  • APRIL 29 1999!

    US District Court, Central District of
    Los Angeles, CA 90012

    Domain Name: FUCK.COM

    Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
    Network Operations Center (NSOL-NOC) NOC@NETSOL.COM
    Billing Contact:
    Accounts Payable (AP5173-ORG) ap@NETSOL.COM

    Record last updated on 27-Apr-99.
    Record created on 26-Apr-99.
    Database last updated on 3-May-99 14:41:53 EDT.

    Domain servers in listed order:


    Real Assets Limited (SHIT3-DOM)
    P.O. Box 3321
    Road Town, Tortola

    Domain Name: SHIT.COM

    Administrative Contact, Technical Contact, Zone Contact:
    Real Assets (RA402-ORG) ra@POWERCLICKS.COM
    +1 310 362 8434
    Fax- +1 310 362 8895
    Billing Contact:
    Real Assets (RA402-ORG) ra@POWERCLICKS.COM
    +1 310 362 8434
    Fax- +1 310 362 8895

    Record last updated on 21-Feb-99.
    Record created on 21-Feb-99.
    Database last updated on 3-May-99 14:41:53 EDT.

    Domain servers in listed order:

  • that Secure Shell is not located in Italy.
  • That's cute. I bet that site got a lot of hits.:)
    (no wait, that's a masochist).

    This is not a domain name, but at the start of WWII, the US Navy have some problems with one of their acronyms. It is common to shorten Commander in Chief to CINC. Hence the CinC of the Pacific Fleet is CINCPAC; the Atlantic Fleet (Lant) becomes CINCLANT. But what about the Big Kahuna, the CinC of all the Navy.


    They didn't think that this sounded so good.
  • The funny thing is that they keep referring to the word shit in the document and yet... is registered -- go figure...

    Resume []

  • Although I don't like it, the fact of the matter is, there's no real case here. At least in America, the Internet is considered a broadcast medium, and therefore falls under the jurisdiction of the of the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC mandates the censorship of a simple seven words on mediums owned by the people, of which the Internet is largely owned.

    It's constitutional, as far as the Supreme court is concerned, since NSI gets $$$ from the Government. Its just as much of a violation of freedom-of-speech as not being able to say fuck on the radio or on television.

    But, it is a slippery slope that leads to more 'constitutional' censorship via the FCC. I wonder if is taken. If not, get it soon, before its illegal.
  • As long as they allow they shouldn't get on any high horses...
    Besides, weren't there an article in Wired about this a way back? NSI refused names that were racist, but appearently the one above was ok.
  • by Dast ( 10275 )

    I'm really beginning to miss The Good Old Days when politicians didn't even know the Internet existed, spam email was virtually unheard of, and InterNIC was not run by a bunch of assholes.

    Those days are long over and are never coming back. *sigh* These days the Internet == $$$. What real, meaningful communication that is still going on is in danger of being drowned out in the flood that is the commercialization of the Internet.

    But that is just me.

  • ... and in British English, aka. proper English, "fag" means cigarette. Perhaps "" should be assigned to a religious anti-smoking organization, and everyone would be happy? :-)

    (Except the smokers, of course, but nobody can understand their incessant coughing anyway. :-P)
  • There's actually two widely-used romanizations - the Hepburn system (which is now the most common) and the - urk -forgotten - system, which differs from Hepburn in that ji -> zi, chi -> ti, etc.

  • Hey, that's neat - a word that sounds rude in both English AND Japanese. If you pronounce it out loud, it sounds like the slang term for "smegma".

  • This seems to be sort of bizarre and arbitrary. I mean, what if you work at a law firm that's John J. Cuntsmith & Assoc. and you want to snag Not only would you have to put up with a lifetime of ridicule, you wouldn't be able to get the cool domain.

    Cody-- []

  • No, you prolly shouldn't call that, since that's nowhere close to how it is pronounced.


  • Well, since romaji is not completely generally accepted, it doesn't really matter. Romaji is more a romanized spelling that will help you spell a word properly in japanese phonetics.

  • Man, I keep saying this over and over.

    This will really send the idjits a message. Anyone can run root server, and anyone can pick the resolution they want. Then slashdot can have it's own "geek cachet" servers, WIPO be damned.

    Directory plurality, that's what we need!
  • the internet is not a baby sitter.. monitor your childrenn don't expect the internet to....
  • $ wc -l /usr/dict/words
    45402 /usr/dict/words
  • A friend of mine had registered, because both of his sons are left-handed. This is cool, right? No dirty words...

    NSI rejected it on the grounds that "a leftie is slang for a joint". they told him this - it wasn't an automated reply...

    At this point, I'm not sure if he's gotten his domain or not...
  • what's funny is "obscene words" are only those in english. You can register f--- s---, and the rest in foriegn languages. How international is the net really?

  • I see no problem with a site dedicated to God's
    hatred of cigarettes! The problem, clearly,
    is partly due to cultural differences in word
  • No, there is a standard romanization. It is shiitake. Well, I'm not sure, but if they think it's shiitaki, then it must be spelled with the characters shi i ta ke. There are about 60 phonetical symbols (written with Hiragana or Katakana, the Japanese phonetical syllabaries). All 60 have quite clear romanizations. Every Japanese word can be made up of them; therefore every Japanese word can be romanized consistently.

    You may be thinking of Chinese, which is tonal (making things more difficult) and has 2 "standard" romanizations. One, for instance, would write Qing, while the other would write Ching. They would both be pronounced the same.
  • I'm a language modeling engineer for a large speech-technology company, and I'm working on the Dutch language right now. So far we've counted over 5.000.0000 different words (well, non-space characters separated by spaces) in our text corpora. Even if you throw away the odd punctuation mark and garbage word, that's still a lot of words. And I don't think English will have much less words than that. Don't forget, every compound word counts as a word too, so theoretically you can have an almost unlimited number of words.
  • The FCC argument is...

    The FCC was created to regulate radio frequencies at the urging of the TV and radio industry, which reminds me of the story of the camel's nose.
  • Oh please! The only pornography I know of that is banned in this country involves children.

  • It's shit, piss, fuck, cock, cunt, motherfucker, and tits.
  • I never realized mushrooms were obscene...

    I wonder how many people I've inadvertantly offended in my ignorance.

    Are there any other "vulgar" foods I should be aware of?
  • pretty soon you'll be able to pick from a number of different registrars. Most of them will probably let you register what you want, as long as it's not already taken.
    Or, go another route, and spell the domain so that it sounds like what you want, a la ""
  • Oh is that what they're talking about?
    Yeah I know who George Carlin is (not quite before my time) but I'm not familiar with that bit? Somebody have a link that could help enlighten my youngass?
  • Folks,

    This is a weird issue. I was taught that a word should not offend anyone. I think the words God and Church are extremly offensive, but a domain of or could be okay?

    Well anyway, most four letter words are just expressive English, and a could be a medical site.

    Hard for me to understand how someone can be offended by a word and/or concept. I mean like, I would defend the Human/Constitutional rights of a person who is gay (the word/concept does not offend me), but I am not gay. Also, sexual assult is an assult on Human Rights (I would be offended) hetro or homo. Then again an a-sexual act would be (I guess) masturbation, harm no one and be an acceptable relief. Well I'm glad I'm married all these directions are almost moot for me.
  • Ahh, to be young and on the internet... I guess nobody here remembers Who George Carlin is, much less his bit on the "seven dirty words"
  • Why is it that almost every week now I hear new alligations concerning NSI's policies. Why does NSI seem to think they are a completly independent buisness under the same regulations as any other buisness. I mean get real they are a government appointed monopoly, essentially a utility. Being a buisness gives you the right to essentially turn any customer away as long as you have a set legal policy and non descrimitory guidlines for doing so. But this is essentially a utility ladies and gentlemen. They have to follow federal government rules meaning.... The Contitution.. Just wish public schools did this hehe (grins at JonKatz)
  • I mean, come on... Who CARES?! Obscene domains, obscene web-servers.. what's next in line ?
    It's not like noone's SEEN these words before...

  • That's not the same spelling. The German spelling is bitte and not bite.

    Whe, French people, can say that Nike when pronounced with the French accent is the same sound that a French slang word that mean to fuck (niquer), so should not be renewed :)
  • Heh, it mentions the George Carlin "Seven dirty Words" bit, I'm looking now for a link to the monologue (sp?).

    60,000 words in the English language, 7 can't be said on TV, Man, those must be some $%*@#!$ bad words!

    The stuff I like best are the borderline words that are okay in some contexts...

    "its okay to prick your finger, but you better not finger your ..."

  • Be anal all you want :-) if you have notheing better to do!

    I was just going by the paperback american heritage dictionary I have here on my desk which has '60,000' definitions.
  • Oh, and where can I get definitions for the 940,000 words that are not defined in my American Heritage Dictionary (office edition)?
  • I did'nt say *I* had anything better to do! :-)
    Oh, and the dictionary proclaims the number of definitions contained right on the cover, I didn't count them (duh). :-)

    (god i'm in a pissy mood today) :-/
  • oh, bs! So you're telling me I have a dictionary that has on 6% of the words in the english language defined. hooey! Post some credible source, if you can. (i'm sure there are more than 60,000 words, but twice or ten times as many?)
  • What about the town of Norfuck in Virginia?
  • Wow this has really gotten out of hand.

    I wanted to pull a quote from memory about the Carlin skit where he says ' of words in the English language, and only 7 can't be said on TV. Man those must be some bad #^@%$@ words' or something to that effect. So, not wanting to come up with some arbitrary number, I look at the nearest source, my office edition dictionary, and see it has 60,000 definitions. That's enough research for me to make my point.

    But noooo.... Somehow this turns into a pissing contest about how many words are actually conceibably (sp?) in a 20 volume dictionary, including compund permutations and crap like that.

    Then this constructive quote:

    "If you think your Dude's Handy Pocket Reference to English has every word in the language, such thoughts are gravely erroneous."

    My response to that is "If you think that your observation is somehow relevant and contributory (sp?) to this discussion about censorship of internet domain names, such thoughts are gravely erroneous". :P
  • This is funny, I found a link

    It now remember this, there was a court case where a radio station played this on the air and the ACLU went to court. The transcript of Carlin's bit is part of the legal record. Bet that made for an interesting day in court!
  • I'm not sure what album but is on his video Georges Best Stuff (A get a chuckle out of the
    end he has that picture of his dog trying to hump his cat :) )
  • Correct me here if I'm wrong, but I have been under the impression that the DNS system was a distributed database. In other words, NSI may control the TLD, but once I have a name registered I would control on names under that. Why are we not moving this way. For example, the computer industry could register one TLD, "". Then companies could register as,,, etc. Wouldn't this make more sense AND remove NSI as the arbitrator of all-things-good?

    Yes, is longer than .com, but it removes many of the trademark battles. will not infringe upon, because the distinction is immediately obvious. Furthermore, the arbitrator at would have a different view of the world that the arbitrator of (at least in theory). Each one could do their own thing an not worry about NSI.

    In short this tempest in a teapot is caused by people refusing to pull their heads from their posteriors and to take a look around for solutions that will satisfy everyone. Now, other than having to type a longer name, can anyone offer a reasonable objection to creating bodies from selling registrations within second level domains?
  • and in American English, spoken by far, far, more people, "Fanny" means "buttocks".

    Really, this isn't flame bait :-)
  • OK, I find this bit particularly scary. Read this related artical [] in which NSI asserts the right to deny renewal of domains already registered. Here is a juicy bit regarding

    Huddleston said that domain name was registered before the 1996 installation of the automated registration system. She said the name will be denied when it comes up for renewal.

    So just how do they justify refusal to renew a domain that they have ALREADY registered. As the owner of several domains, I don't like the idea that NSI can pull the rug out from under them just because they *don't like them*.

    I've been a domain admin for a few years (my InterNIC handle is just TDP... no numbers). I'm really beginning to miss The Good Old Days when politicians didn't even know the Internet existed, spam email was virtually unheard of, and InterNIC was not run by a bunch of assholes.


  • I know someone who works at a United States software distribution company that innocently started using the domain name "". They very quickly changed names once they realized the second meaning. :-)
  • Yes, heaven forbid someone would see porn on the internet.

    Welcome to America. Where speech is free, unless it might give you a boner.
  • Yes, I've read their FAQ and they do tell it how the Bible says it. Very accurate.

    The lesson for today is..

    Bible is a big book of 2000 year old hate that should not be taken seriously.
    If you use religion to hate somebody, it's still hate, in most cases dumber hate.

    If anybody finds such sites amusing I've made a list of religious inspired hate sites at
  • I remember George Carlin. I think this is as muc ha grab for publicity as anything else. From what I've read they model their restrictions on the FCC restrictions which are considered Constitutional. I doubt they will win this one, the recent lawsuit about was lost by the plaintiffs.
  • For someone who is commenting on not having anything better to do, why are you counting words in a dictionary?

  • I believe it is spelled Norfolk, but pronounced as you spell it phonetically.
  • Hehehe I tried to register wish I still had a copy of their refusal letter. I do remember they felt it was inappropriate.

    But with all those domains out there matching *teen*sex*, they sure are hypocritical. I thiink that those domains are inappropriate.

  • Intriguing... quick fact finding mission... of the seven words, the following are registered, the others are listed as "ORDERED STATUS QUO ANTE...US District Court...":

  • Tits is a dirty word?
    glad I don't live in Scunthorpe
  • so just because a domain has a substring that is a "dirty word" it will get rejected.... that's cute...

    "it's a sad thing that in today's society this statement must be considered offencive just because it contains the word 'fuck'" --fortune

    i wonder if they noticed that on the day of the events in colorado, some domain brokers registered and
  • I'd point my DNS at them! Lets do it! Rob, you listening?
  • You can't register But is OK. is not ...
    The forbidden words only applies to the english language. The are no problems registering dirty words in just about any other language as a .com-domain. is german for fuck-it. is hard-on in swedish. is pussy ...
    Anything goes -- as long as it's not written in english.
  • in honor of Betty:

    You can no longer register domains like fucker dot com [], but you can register domains like godhatesfags [], etc.

    common sense, thats what should be taught in schools.
  • There goes disney with their
    No more cartoons, I guess... I guess, we are now officially left with guns and things...
  • There's a town in Lincolnshire, England called Scunthorpe (pronounced scun-thorpe)- the tourist board had trouble advertising their town because many of the "nanny" programs that work with browsers rejected the town's name on account of its second, third ,fourth and fifth letters.

An elephant is a mouse with an operating system.