The Odd Ettiquette of Excised E-mail

My friend Debbie is a big fan of Owen Wilson, so when I happened across a story about him, I sent her the link. She replied, saying she checks her e-mail at the YWCA where she likes to swim, and because they had “super limited access,” she couldn’t read the story. So I pasted the text and sent it back.

The fun came when she replied. My eye caught on what looked like some odd justifiying in the automatically quoted reply:

> unleashed on the LAT's Patrick Goldstein last week. Note especially
> Wilson's subtle invocation of the threat of         , and contrast
> with Schneider's near-promise of      shed.

Then I realized that was filtering at work. The proxy on the other end had blanked out the excerpt’s use of the words “violence” and “blood.” Now, I’ve had e-mail to certain domains bounce back entirely because I’ve used the word “fucking” (for emphasis, of course; juvenile work-around: fuc|<ing) but I’ve never had a message actually edited to remove words I put there. (Of course, to be fair, since Deb uses Hotmail, it would be essentially indistinguishable from any other Web page.)

But how can I be offended at something this delightfully inept? Truly, does this sort of filtering work on anything but sites that use filenames like PornyPornPic1.JPG? How cute! On the other hand, bad luck for the YWCAers who are interested in preventing domestic       or attending     drives…

Hit Me With It