Seven Words You Can’t Say On Yahoo
• eval is changed to review
• mocha is changed to espresso
• expression is changed to statement
• jscript is changed to j-script
• vbscript is changed to vb-script
• livescript is changed to live-script.
The changes are made surreptitiously, without the sender’s knowledge or authorization.
Googling on medireview, for instance, turns up some 1,100 websites that have incorporated the “word” into their sites. A New York Times book review that is reprinted on another web site includes the sentence: “ It was the great Barbara Tuchman who pointed out the capital difficulties of writing about the Middle Ages: that medireview chronology is very hard to pin down.” Evidently someone in the editorial chain forwarded the text of the Times review via Yahoo email. Book reviews are not the only thing affected, other affected sites include university course descriptions, scholarly papers, and bibliographies.
What is really odd, is that this alteration of text is utterly unnecessary. Altering the HTML tags in the script makes sense and many email programs do this (Yahoo also alters tags), but altering plain text doesn’t add security.
Copyright 1997-2013, by David Wilton