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Culture

Making insults for fun and profit

A California man who created something called NK News, which he describes as a "database of North Korean propoganda," is making headlines with his offshoot Random Insult Generator.

What the media accounts are missing, of course, is the fact that such automated insult mechanisms have long been around on the Web and have even become a tidy little cottage industry all its own. Moreover, sites such as InsultMonger.com don't limit their vituperative repertoire to that of any single country, offering equal-opportunity bile for all. These generators have become so competitive that they even try to distinguish themselves using the kind of marketing language that could be found in a Pottery Barn catalog: The U.K.-based AutoInsult promises, for example, to "generate insults in a variety of styles."