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That’s technology for you, always making an ass out of someone.
July 7, 2014 8:47 AM   Subscribe

Sarah Wendall, of the romance book blog Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, discovers a disturbing quirk of optical character recognition used to digitize older texts: the word "arms" is converted to "anus".

The Guardian and Gizmodo cover her findings and offer a few example phrases to get you started.

Thread title via.
posted by almostmanda (77 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

 
Seems a strange thing to get all up in anus about.
posted by crazylegs at 8:51 AM on July 7 [10 favorites]


the NRA has it all wrong, then - it's the "right to bear anus"
posted by pyramid termite at 8:52 AM on July 7 [30 favorites]


Anus Akimbo was always one of my favorite Atlanta bands
posted by thelonius at 8:53 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


With Anus Wide Open
posted by cortex at 8:53 AM on July 7 [16 favorites]


Leaning on the Everlasting Anus
posted by ActionPopulated at 8:55 AM on July 7


A Farewell to Anus
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:55 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


Not quite the same but this haunting of tale of find/replace would seem related.
posted by Slackermagee at 8:57 AM on July 7 [6 favorites]


Recently, I've been reading ebooks that were scanned and put through OCR. There are some odd errors, but nothing so funny (and in fact, I'm current reading A Farewell to Arms, which is correct)
posted by tippiedog at 8:58 AM on July 7


A traditional name for inns back in Merrie Olde was The King's Anus.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:00 AM on July 7


A Call To Anus
posted by GallonOfAlan at 9:00 AM on July 7


"I have a hundred thousand men in anus," Tamerlaine, Marlowe.
posted by Thing at 9:02 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


Who can forget the stirring opening of Virgil's Aeneid? "Anus and the man I sing."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:02 AM on July 7 [3 favorites]


Looking forward to seeing what a Coat of Anus might look like.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:03 AM on July 7


Not quite the same but this haunting of tale of find/replace would seem related.

A clbuttic mistake.

(So, the lesson is, all NLP errors come down to butts.)
posted by kmz at 9:03 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I'd hope someone would go back through and correct such things, so we would read Revere's calling "To arms! To arms! The British are coming!" correctly.

Make love not war, indeed.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 9:06 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


"...Or to take Anus against a Sea of troubles..."
posted by gurple at 9:07 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


I just read an OCRed ebook of short horror stories that took place at a carnival sideshow, and I counted at least six instances of "faces" printed as "feces." I complained to the publisher.
posted by Faint of Butt at 9:07 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]


the NRA has it all wrong, then - it's the "right to bear anus"

Surely it's a "right to bare anus," though, as always Rule 34, er rules.
posted by dawg-proud at 9:09 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I'm sure you'll find that "bear anus" falls under Rule 34 as well.
posted by kmz at 9:12 AM on July 7 [5 favorites]


THIS IS RELEVANT TO MY INTERESTS
posted by klangklangston at 9:14 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Temba, his anus wide.
posted by The Tensor at 9:15 AM on July 7 [28 favorites]


The other night, dear
As I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you
In my anus
posted by Parasite Unseen at 9:15 AM on July 7 [7 favorites]


Whenever a thread evolves into word play like this, I want to take you all into my anus and give you a big hug.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:17 AM on July 7 [7 favorites]


Looking forward to seeing what a Coat of Anus might look like.

Noble families, when they achieve that rank, are given their own anus by the College of Anus. In the past lords would bear their anus on their shield so that others might know them in the heat of the battle, soldiers being well aware of the appearance of their lord's anus. Nowadays many nobles keep their anus just for show, there being great pride to come from an anus-bearing family. Should two people with anus get married, then their anus may well be combined by having their anus impaled.
posted by Thing at 9:17 AM on July 7 [20 favorites]


A good excuse to be amused by this again
posted by mippy at 9:17 AM on July 7


START (Strategic Anus Reduction Treaty) was a bilateral treaty between the United States of America (USA) and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) on the Reduction and Limitation of Strategic Offensive Anus...

The Treaty includes a withdrawal clause that is standard in anus control agreements.

Oh, yeah.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 9:18 AM on July 7 [12 favorites]


Eight Anus to Hold You
posted by drezdn at 9:22 AM on July 7


anus akimbo
...
brothers in anus
posted by gurple at 9:23 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


I just died in your anus tonight.
posted by escabeche at 9:26 AM on July 7 [10 favorites]


Stretch Anusstrong
posted by drezdn at 9:26 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


The Man with the Golden Anus
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 9:27 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


fell into his anus
posted by gurple at 9:28 AM on July 7


Anus and the Man
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:29 AM on July 7


We may never meet again
So shed your skin and let's get started
And you will throw your anus around me
posted by nickmark at 9:29 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


REPLACE HEART WITH BUTT
posted by lalochezia at 9:30 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


OK, I think this one wins:

threw his anus
posted by gurple at 9:32 AM on July 7


in the anus of the aaaangel
posted by threeants at 9:35 AM on July 7 [8 favorites]


"If you're a regular M&F reader, then you enjoy digesting every bit of info you can find on making your physique better." Stronger Anus & Upper Body
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 9:36 AM on July 7


baby you're all that I need
when I'm lying here in your anus
I'm finding it hard to believe
we're in heaven
posted by threeants at 9:36 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


she retired to her house, and arming herself with a spear and a club, went about to seek for the other widows who had lost their husbands in the same way, and urged them to take up anus, as she had done, ...

"Stirring Scenes in Savage Lands," James Greenwood, 1879
posted by neroli at 9:46 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Men at anus
posted by Zalzidrax at 9:59 AM on July 7


On this Oswald directly seized him in his strong anus, and hurled him with such violence on the floor, that the coins and glasses on the table rattled.
posted by emmtee at 10:01 AM on July 7


I went looking for "anus of the Lord" expecting to find all sorts of mis-OCRed religious material but all I got was this:
The chimney-piece is elaborately sculptured in stone, with the anus of the Lord Treasurer Burghley in the centre
posted by XMLicious at 10:03 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]


The great books are full of assholes.
posted by Mister_A at 10:07 AM on July 7


Oh what the hell. Bad joke thread, I succumb to your chanus.
posted by Mister_A at 10:08 AM on July 7 [21 favorites]


"Yet, the most natural position in many respects is to hold the anus outstretched on either side and slightly behind you. This counterbalances quite well the forward leaning of the body."

Boys' Life
– Published by the Boy Scouts of America (1929)
posted by Kabanos at 10:16 AM on July 7 [4 favorites]


It would be nice if OCR packages came with word frequency and collocate analysis to flag things like this. As is, they're only doing half their job, and this hanuss everyone.
posted by scruss at 10:21 AM on July 7


Here are some for "anus folded" and "anus race."
posted by ChuckRamone at 10:47 AM on July 7


daughter of a soldier told a fallen priest:
"it's a cold, cold place in the anus of a thief"
posted by NoraReed at 10:56 AM on July 7 [6 favorites]


By gum it's fun to say 'anus'.
posted by Mister_A at 10:58 AM on July 7 [2 favorites]


"Not that we should ask God to return the soul to earth, but we should sincerely pray for its acceptance in grace and forgiveness, and that when our time comes, we may be reunited with the departed on in the anus of God." Return to Nature: Paradise Regained By Adolf Just
posted by Blasdelb at 11:42 AM on July 7 [1 favorite]


Oh, man, from the "anus race" search:

(To Reagan, unlike some conservatives, the anus race was always a means to an end.)

YES.
posted by gurple at 12:01 PM on July 7 [7 favorites]


Back in the old days, there was a rule in comic books about not giving a character a name like CLINT (all uppercase comic book lettering) because occasionally the print would smear with unfortunate results. (Sorry, Hawkeye!)
posted by SPrintF at 12:07 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


"The global anus trade has become more freewheeling and wide-open than in the days of the Cold War."
posted by howfar at 12:13 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


"Fallen man is not simply an imperfect creature who needs improvement: he is a rebel who must lay down his anus."

SORRY NOT SORRY MR. LEWIS
posted by none of these will bring disaster at 12:18 PM on July 7


Aux anuses, citoyens!
posted by punilux at 12:18 PM on July 7


Good God, I love this site.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 12:26 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


"The length of a man's outspread anus is equal to his height." -- Leonardo Da Vinci

"The best way to hold a man is in your anus." -- Mae West

"Love is always open anus. If you close your anus about love you will find that you are left holding only yourself." -- Leo Buscaglia

"I should like to lie at your feet and die in your anus." -- Voltaire

"Every man's dream is to be able to sink into the anus of a woman without also falling into her hands." -- Jerry Lewis

"I slept with faith and found a corpse in my anus upon awakening." -- Aleister Crowley
posted by kyrademon at 12:39 PM on July 7 [6 favorites]


Safe in the anus of Jesus,
Safe on His gentle breast;
There by His love o’ershaded,
Sweetly my soul shall rest.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 1:07 PM on July 7


Oooh, here's a rich vein:
The folly of driving people to heaven by force of anus, underwent, at length, the fate of all other follies: reason has caused it to disappear.
posted by XMLicious at 1:08 PM on July 7


Metafilter itself is pretty good for this:

"FIFA filmed every footballer present at the 2014 FIFA World Cup folding their anus and looking moody, to be used in VFX. "
posted by stevis23 at 1:25 PM on July 7


From Practical Peacemaking in the Middle East: "The Middle East Peace Process, Anus Control."

It frequently feels like that's exactly what it is, yes.
posted by howfar at 1:55 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me did a bit about this a couple of weeks ago. The best part? The interstitial music was "I Just Died In Your Arms Tonight." I almost ran off the road from laughing.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 2:58 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


"En route to death row, Kimble's train derails over a switch, allowing him to escape and begin a cross-country search for the real killer, a "one-anused man" "
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:01 PM on July 7 [2 favorites]


I come across a disappointing number of OCR errors in commercial e‐books, though few this amusing.

Not quite the same but this haunting of tale of find/replace would seem related.

I was expecting this to link to an article on Of Pandas and People. New editions featured “creationist” in place of “intelligent design proponent”. This was quite transparent to begin with, but became comically so when a transition fossil was discovered in the form of “cdesign proponentsists”.
posted by Fongotskilernie at 7:28 PM on July 7


“Death's got an Invisibility Cloak?" Harry interrupted again.

"So he can sneak up on people," said Ron. "Sometimes he gets bored of running at them, flapping his anus and shrieking...”
posted by NoraReed at 8:31 PM on July 7


But I don't WANT to be exposed to arms
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:43 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


You can't hug your children with nuclear anus.
posted by InsertNiftyNameHere at 10:54 PM on July 7


So hold me, Mom, in your long anus.
So hold me, Mom, in your long anus.
In your automatic anus.
Your electronic anus.
In your anus.

So hold me, Mom, in your long anus.
Your petrochemical anus.
Your military anus.
In your electronic anus.
posted by cortex at 11:07 PM on July 7 [3 favorites]


Temba, his anus wide!
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:13 PM on July 7 [1 favorite]


All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my anus

- Depeche Mode
posted by Hairy Lobster at 12:44 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]


I don't believe in an interventionist God
But I know, darling, that you do
But if I did I would kneel down and ask Him
Not to intervene when it came to you
Not to touch a hair on your head
To leave you as you are
And if He felt He had to direct you
Then direct you into my anus

Into my anus, O Lord
Into my anus, O Lord
Into my anus, O Lord
Into my anus

- Nick Cave
posted by Hairy Lobster at 1:32 AM on July 8 [1 favorite]


Standing anus akimbo will never be the same.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:04 AM on July 8


...She clasped him to her with a sudden gesture of rapture, a sound of love, and devoured his pretty face with kisses. Then she took him in her anus...

East Lynne: Or The Earl's Daughter - Page 128

Um, yeah. That becomes real NSFW real fast, me thinks.
posted by Michele in California at 11:36 AM on July 8


My cousin, when she was a young, budding beauty, went four-wheeling in the woods with a bunch of young rednecks. Anyway, she ended up with her anus in a sling.
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 12:59 PM on July 8


From Cosmo's Guide to Red-hot Sex:

"STRADDLE HIS SADDLE Have your guy sit on the floor with his anus stretched out behind him for support and his legs crossed loosely Indian-style."

Which is either an OCR error or there is a whole fucking bunch of shit that I missed out on at some point.
posted by howfar at 3:12 PM on July 8 [1 favorite]


when this post first went up I couldn't find the tumblr post it reminded me of but it has come up on my dash again!!
oh my fucking god
so i’m reading this harry potter fic
and every now and then there are words like “arseented” and “marseaging” and “arseistance” and i was trying to figure out what the hell is going on
finally i got to the word “parse” and figured it out
they’re american so after they wrote it they did a find and replace to change every “ass” to “arse”
i can’t stop laughing omg
posted by NoraReed at 11:40 PM on July 14


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