You didn’t just have a seizure (probably), and you aren’t tripping (probably), you read that headline correctly.
Apple has rejected a dictionary app because it contained the definitions of vulgar words like “fuck” and “shit.”
The story is more complicated than that, and honestly makes Apple’s insane App application process look even worse. For more on that you can find the whole story on Daring Fireball.
Why I Don’t Have an iPhone
This ladies and gentlemen is why I don’t own an iPhone. As long as Apple is going is going censor things like dictionaries, I won’t be using their phone. I’ve taken a stand and proudly say…
“Fuck you Apple. You are a bunch of ‘C words.'”
And by “C word” I mean censors. That’s truly vulgar.
The Nature of Obscenity
The definition of obscenity is arbitrary at best. There are no words in English, or any other language that are inherently obscene or evil. By that I mean that there is no sound a human can utter that is evil on it’s own. We apply meaning to words on our own. It’s a personal and cultural choice, not something for a computer company can dictate.
You disagree??? You think that the words “fuck,” or perhaps nearly every American’s least favorite word “cunt (that’s right, I went there),” are inherently obscene?
If that were the case, the words would be obscene in any language, in every culture, throughout all of human history. They aren’t and weren’t. We made the words, and we gave them meaning. In 100 years, they probably won’t have the same meaning.
Why So Stupid?
This kind of crap happens so regularly that it would be funny if it wasn’t so pathetic. Apple will end up approving this dictionary app, and all will be well… except for the fact that Apple is still stifling innovation over arbitrary rules… and I’m not even talking about the Google Voice scandal.