No 'lovemaking', no 'geek': Living in the world of 'Bandroid'

Your Android KitKat refuses to accept some words exist -- at least in polite company. Indeed, there are 1,400 unacceptable words. Including "lactation."

So innocent. Adrianisen/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

All too often in public life, prude defeats rude.

It infects the world of electronics. Steve Jobs always wanted you to know that there was no, never, any possibility of porn on Apple products.

Try typing "f***" into your iPhone and see it chastely insist that you must mean "duck."

Now Android's KitKat has released its latest rigorous list of words that are not automatically de rigueur. These are words that when you start to type them don't exist in your phone's life experience -- which in the case of 4.4 KitKat is 165,000 English words.

I am ducking my head gratefully to Wired for having poured through 4.4. KitKat's source code to decipher the 4,000 words that will not be heard.

Unsurprisingly, "gonadotrophia" is on the list. Any suggestion of stimulation to private parts must be kept in private. Your Android phone is far too public for such talk.

The Android flying sourcers would also prefer it if you didn't mention "lactation." I am not aware if they got together with Facebook's anti-breastfeeding crowd to create an electronic pincer movement, but this seems not to reflect the milk of human kindness.

One might almost fear that this Bandroid list is from the same enlightened school as the binders full of women .

"Tampax" encounters resistance. As do those revelatory words from many a debauched student party: "braless," "panty" and "preggers."

But surely "uterus" is allowed. No, it is not. Neither is STI." I cannot confirm that KitKat offers a boyish quip with this one and corrects it to "GTI."

On KitKat, you can have "bong" but not "morphine." You can have "Nazi" but not "Klansmen" or "supremacist." You can have "Apple" and "Microsoft" but not "AMD" or "Garmin."

It's tempting to wonder whether these rules were written by a supremacist geek with otherworldly gonadotrophic tendencies.

Oh, perhaps I forgot to mention it, but "geek" is banned too.

Google hasn't revealed how this list is compiled. I question, though, whether the person responsible once failed to become a lawyer. Yes, "LSAT" is banned.

Naturally, these settings can be disabled in Google Keyboard and then your life will be autocomplete.

It's odd, though, that those who claim to respect privacy even more than they respect a person's right to lactate still believe that censorship should be the default.

Aren't cell phones supposed to be private, personal tools, there to allow us the freedom of self-expression?

So why, if someone wants to type condom, are you sure that they must mean "confusion?"

And why does your phone primly tell you it's never heard of "lovemaking?"

Perhaps Google, Apple (no suggestion of "ammo" on the iPhone) and the rest don't want to be too autosuggestive. Perhaps they're worried that you'll begin to type the letters "c-o-n" and you'll really want to write "confession." While they might offer you "condom."

It's hardly an open world, though, is it? Especially not for braless LSAT-takers who have just started dating a geek.

 

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