Posted: 05 January 2008 09:04 AM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  5963
Joined  2007-01-03

From this blog, in a post announcing the death of the blogger, Major Andrew Olmsted, in Iraq:

Anyone who does not respect his wishes, in this thread, will have his or her comment deleted. I am disemvowelling the one that has already appeared.

Disemvowel is a great verb. Modeled after disembowel, it refers to the making of objectionable text nearly illegible through the removal of the vowels. It is a tool for enforcing rules of respectful discourse without resorting to censorship. Sometimes the vowels are substituted with asterisks, rather than straight deletion.

An example of disemvowelling, taken from the same thread on the Obsidian Wings blog:

This left me infinitely sad, bttr t th lss f nthr lf fr nthng, dtrmnd t s n nd t ths stpd wr. Grg W. Bsh nd Rchrd Chn r th lckst ppl n th wrld - f thr wr n jstc t ll, w wld lng g hv strngld ths tw bstrds wth thr wn ntstns.

I hadn’t noticed the word before, but it dates to at least 1990. The practice even has its own Wikipedia entry.

Posted: 05 January 2008 10:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  407
Joined  2007-02-14

Interesting. I see the Jargon File entry refers to another term, splat out, where vowels are replaced with asterisks.

Posted: 05 January 2008 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Total Posts:  2508
Joined  2007-02-19

marvellous word! The idea is a lot older, I think, than the word --- see E.A. Poe’s short story, “X-ing a Paragrab”.

Posted: 05 January 2008 12:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Total Posts:  4211
Joined  2007-01-29

Thanks for the tip on the Poe story (link)—silly but funny! “Oh, tempora! Oh, Moses!”