Apple saves children from horrible foul language

So, last night I was looking at the iTunes page for the Science on Top podcast. Thanks to all the kind people who have written such nice reviews, it’s very much appreciated!

But while there, I noticed something strange. Our latest episode, “Bugs Bonking Bottles – The Ig Nobel Prizes” has been censored by iTunes. Now, I need to be clear here: the actual show has not been censored, and the show still has a ‘Clean” rating which means it’s not full of rude words. But the title, as it shows up in iTunes, has been censored.

The actual title:

SoT 28: Bugs Bonking Bottles – The Ig Nobel Prizes

Has been changed in iTunes to:

SoT 28: Bugs B*****g Bottles – The Ig Nobel Prizes

Screenshot of iTunes, with "bonking" censored

That’s right, that bastion of good taste has decided that the word “bonk”, with its obvious connotations of wild, vigorous lovemaking, is inappropriate for young children to read. Nevermind that the dictionary definition of bonk lists quite innocuous meanings initially:

noun /bäNGk/
bonks, plural

  • An act of knocking or hitting something that causes a reverberating sound
    • – give it a bonk with a hammer
  • A reverberating sound caused in such a way

And it’s only when you get to the third definition that bonk gets raunchy:

  • An act of sexual intercourse
  • A level of exhaustion that makes a cyclist or runner unable to go further
    • – we had the bonk when we were saddle sore

And personally, I find the words “saddle sore” far kinkier than the word “bonk”, but that could be just me.

Now I know it’s not cool to be ‘hating’ on Apple less than a week after Steve Jobs’ death. And believe me, I’m deeply saddened that the tech world has lost someone of such vision and capability. Were it not for Jobs, I would not be called a podcaster. I’d be a ‘netcaster’ or (shudder) a ‘Zunecaster‘. Even iTunes has changed the game and made it easy for people to find great podcasts like Science on Top. And I know, the word ‘bonk’ was probably automatically ‘bleeped’, I doubt there’s a human being who actually has a problem with the word.

Someone still had to tell the automated software to bleep out ‘bonk’.

And that’s just bonking stupid. #bonkgate