Vowel Movement


After he bought the Washington Post, Jeff Bezos suggested a premium feature for readers to remove all the vowels from stories they didn’t like. Other readers would have to pay to restore the missing letters.

Bezos called the feature, “disemvoweling.”


Won’t they be sued by that other “I’d like to buy a vowel” intellectual property?


Not sure if that show has that phrase trademarked or even if it’s trademarkable because of how generic it is.


I’d like to buy a vowel, tax free.


EVERYTHING is trademarkable, and does get trademarked after they come into common use. “Let’s roll.” “Nothing but net.” “Stealth.” Everything.

Like patents on common ideas, it’s a matter of whether someone is willing to spend a fortune fighting you when you sue them. The trick is to sue those with little resources, at least until you’ve built up a war chest and a few wins.


that used to be a mod tactic here before BB switched to Wordpress. comments didn’t get removed, just disemvoweled. I don’t know if this was before or after Bezos bought the WP.


Yep, Teresa Nielsen Hayden brought it to BB.

Teresa Nielsen Hayden used the vowel-deletion technique in 2002 for internet forum moderation on her blog Making Light.[5] This was termed disemvoweling by Arthur D. Hlavaty later in the same thread.[6]

Nielsen Hayden joined the group blog Boing Boing as community manager in August 2007[citation needed] , when it re-enabled comments on its posts,[7] and implemented disemvoweling.

Antinous was still using it when I started as a moderator (2011-ish?), but it was phased out soon after that. I think that’s because we started using Disqus, which allowed people to edit their comments. It didn’t work as well if people could just add the vowels back.


right, that’s right. I remember now.

one of y’all got me a few times :P


I thought this would be a thread of linguistic puns.

/stomps out, disappointed


Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his vowel is.


Not even 10 posts and you’re throwing in the vowel?


I can dig it. Vowel puns are a consonant disappointment.



Forget it, funruly, @chgoliz is consonantly doing that.


I thought it was a reference to the great vowel shift or some modern equivalent.

/Flounces off


Maybe she made a solemn promise?

From what I gather, she does vow well.


Wait, you mean Sarah?


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