Monday, July 7, 2008

The Dangers of Auto-Replace

I know this is a week old now, but I just have to comment on the hilarious story I read while I was away last week about the American Family Association (AFA) and their embarrassing mistake with using the auto-replace function on their computer. The AFA is a Christian anti-gay organization famous for several unsuccessful boycotts efforts to try to force corporate America and media to stop acknowledging that gay Americans are consumers who deserve equal treatment.

It seems that the AFA refuses to use the word “gay” on their news web site. Instead they prefer the quaint “homosexual” when referring to non-heterosexual folks. To save time, they apparently use the auto-replace function to change the word “gay” to “homosexual” in all of the news stories posted on their web site, One News Now. I guess this was working fine for them until they decided to cover the Olympic track and field trials last week.

The problem was that one of the top sprinters for the U.S. is named Tyson Gay. The AFA auto-replace did its job and here are some excerpts from their coverage of the trials:

"Tyson Homosexual was a blur in blue, sprinting 100 meters faster than anyone ever has. His time of 9.68 seconds at the U.S. Olympic trials Sunday doesn't count as a world record, because it was run with the help of a too-strong tailwind."

"Here's what does matter: Homosexual qualified for his first Summer Games team and served notice he's certainly someone to watch in Beijing."

"It means a lot to me," the 25-year-old Homosexual said. "I'm glad my body could do it, because now I know I have it in me."

The AFA quickly took the embarrassing post down, but not soon enough to avoid becoming the laughing stock of bloggers and other media everywhere. It isn’t often when I think these narrow-minded folks are funny, but please add my name to list of folks who got a chuckle out of their little blunder.

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