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Vietnam Deems Grapefruit Site Too Cocky
Status: True
The internet is full of many unfortunate urls that can be read in two ways. Some of the urls intentionally have double meanings, some don't. For instance, viagrafix.com (via grafix / viagra fix) was an unintentional oversight, but powergenitalia.com (powergen italia / power genitalia) was a deliberate joke, as is penisland.net. Apparently Vietnamese sites are prone to the same problem. For which reason, Vietnamese regulators have rejected the website name www.buoi.com.vn. The BBC explains:

A website hoping to promote grapefruit in Vietnam has been banned from using the fruit's name because of official fears of a mix-up with a penis.
The Vietnamese for grapefruit, buoi, sounds different from a slang word for penis, but without special accents it looks the same. Vietnamese regulations say website names cannot include "sensitive" words. The site, set up to market a grapefruit wholesaler in Ha Tinh province, was told to find another name. "We have to refuse the website name of www.buoi.com.vn because the word for grapefruit, buoi, without a proper tone marking can be misunderstood," Thai Huu Ly, of the Vietnam Internet Network Information Centre, told the AFP agency.
Categories: Literature/Language
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 16, 2006
...Shouldn't Al Gore be in charge of this sort of thing. After all, inventing the internet probably gives you some pretty hefty leverage.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Thu Feb 16, 2006  at  09:01 AM
Wow, advertising grapefruit without using the word "grapefruit" is going to be quite a challenge.
Posted by Big Gary, on another quail hunt  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Thu Feb 16, 2006  at  04:21 PM
Governments are funny. Always trying to protect us from dangerous things like words.

This reminds me of that story about the TV series "Joanie Loves Chachi" being a big hit in Korea because Chachi is pronounced the same as the Korean word for penis.

http://www.snopes.com/radiotv/tv/joanie.htm
Posted by Captain Al  in  Vancouver Island, Canada  on  Thu Feb 16, 2006  at  05:55 PM
This is funny. My Bulgarian step-mother was shocked the day she moved to South Africa because
someone said Gooie Mooren to her, which in Afrikaans means good morning, but in Bulgarian it means "Tired Penis."
Posted by Lady Hedoniste  in  Chilling with 14 other tiny people in your head.  on  Thu Feb 16, 2006  at  09:05 PM
this begs an interesting question*--is it possible to have a website URL that contains nonstandard characters? Do people in China use the Chinese alphabet for their websites?


(*prescriptivists bug off)
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Fri Feb 17, 2006  at  02:31 AM
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