So, when I was creating my spacehey account, every time I tried to save my "interests", the system kept on deleting them and telling me it contained a curse word.
Turns out spacehey thinks Emily Dckinson's name is a curse word
I could not for the life of me see any curse word I'd used. (Actually back during the early days of blogging I decided to avoid all swear words online, because my theory was I wanted to write posts for audiences that could stretch literally down to elementary school, and didn't want their parents saying they couldn't read my stuff because it had naughty words. So I have not much cursed online for over 15 years, apart from "damn" and "goddamn" etc!)
I tried removing a few terms I thought might be curse words, and tried re-saving, but it kept on telling me I had a curse word in there.
So I had to brute-force it. I started by saving only the first word in my "interests" list, checking to see if it passed (it did), then adding one word at a time and re-saving it, checking each time to see if it passed ...
... until finally I hit upon the term that it banned: "Emily Dckinson".
Obviously, you have to add an additional "i" into her last name to complete it. I daren't spell it out, even here, because the curseblocker will probably ban it in blog posts too.
Of course, one can readily spy the hilarious low-fi-ness of the curseblocker: It's the string "dck" -- again, I'm intentionally leaving out the "i" there -- that triggers the ban.
Two thoughts on this:
i) I am actually super charmed by the idea that Emily Dckinson's name could be regarded as a curse word. In fact, I intend to immediately adopt it as a piece of profanity in my day-to-day life. (While I do not use swear words online, in the offline world I curse like a drunken sailor.) So the next time I, say, accidentally smash my finger with hammer, I'm going to scream her name out loud.
ii) My process here -- submitting and resubmitting a post, tinkering with it to try and figure out what's getting it banned -- is an incredibly common activity for people posting to online services. Attempting to reverse engineer the secret rulesets of algorithms is our modern version of the ancient greeks attempting to suss out the internal psychology of Zeus or Demeter: Which of my daily actions might bring down the lightning? Can we ever truly grasp the mind of such fickle gods?