Created By: LucAugust 13, 2009
Troped

Anal Bum Cover Problem (will be renamed)

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
A slight, but noticeable, Wiki Trope that also shows up in other places.

To wit: You have a way of storing a name. This way is case-insensitive. This way cannot handle spaces.

So you can sometimes wind up with names that are quite... odd.

Named for an example from one of the Celebrity Jeopardy sketches.

Examples:
  • The most famous example is possibly a collection of UR Ls that were found to be... failures in some way, presented in such a way that you can see both the intended, and Double Entendre readings:
    • Pen isLand.com
    • The Rapist Finder.com
    • Who rePresents.com
    • Expert S exChange.com
    • Mole station Nursery.com
    • Speed oF art.com
    • Go tAHoe.com
  • Played with multiple times in the Celebrity Jeopardy sketches, although it's strongly implied that Connery was just being a dick as it's somewhat hard to read "An Album Cover" as "Anal Bum Cover".
  • If you're not careful, on non-Mediawiki wikis it's quite possible to screw yourself up this way.
    • [Need some examples]

Is this enough of a trope to be worth having? No Launching Please, as given the sufficiently positive response, I'm doing so on Friday.

[Luc: Stop editing the name, dammit. I'm the one who's gonna launch this, and editing the name just causes me to lose the thread in my YKTTW history. I'm planning on launching a crowner simultaneously, since the name does seem to be a problem.]
Community Feedback Replies: 50
  • August 10, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Seems like it is other another name for double entendre, or should be a sub-trope of it.
  • August 10, 2009
    Ryusui
    No no no. This isn't Double Entendre; this is when a perfectly innocent phrase ("Pen Island", "Experts Exchange", "Speed of Art") loses its word breaks and the resulting ambiguity means it can be interpreted as something...questionable (the above examples might be mistaken for "Penis Land", "Expert Sex Change" and "Speedo Fart").

    I'm not sure if it's widespread enough to be tropable, but I do know of a famous sort of example.

    You know why the trigonometric function is called the "sine"? The original word was transcribed centuries ago from Hindi into Arabic, and the text was then translated into Latin by someone who had no idea where the term originally came from. See, in Arabic, you don't always have to mark vowels, and our translator friend inserted the wrong ones: he came up with the Arabic word for bay or inlet, which is sinus in Latin.

    Which, if we accept this as the same thing as the URL and Wiki Word examples above, gives us the perfect name for this trope if it goes ahead:

    Lost In Transcription.
  • August 10, 2009
    CentralAvenue
    I think we should have this one. There are even a few examples on this wiki...
  • August 10, 2009
    random surfer
    There was a Benny Hill sketch where he was a sign painter and he was painting a door for a therapist, and he painted "John Smith, The Rapist" instead of "John Smith, Therapist." (Made a little more sense in context, in that it was all caps, but I didn't want to be mistaken for SHOUTING.)
  • August 10, 2009
    Wulf
    Used in an episode of Squid Billies, in reverse.
    "No, no, I'm not a therapist. I'm The Rapist. A lot of people make that mistake."
  • August 10, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    This is the Scunthorpe Problem.
  • August 11, 2009
    STUART
    It's not exactly the Scunthorpe Problem, since that's about computers making these mistakes before humans can see them vs. humans making these mistakes because other humans didn't see them.
  • August 11, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    This is like a visual version of Mondegreens, since the problem is caused by misplacing the spaces between the words.
  • August 11, 2009
    Tomtitan
    I think when listing the examples of UR Ls you shouldn't put in any capitial letters. Let people figure out the joke for themselves. It'll be funnier then.
  • August 11, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    Name is not intuitive to the trope at all.
  • August 11, 2009
    Lee M
    OK, then... what's the difference between http://www.windrivers.com/ and http://www.windriver.com/ ?
  • August 11, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    I believe there's an actual term for confusion when words are run together. In fact, Hebrew is like that written out.
  • August 11, 2009
    Luc
    If there aren't any objections, I'll launch as Anal Bum Cover Problem (mainly because I like the pun) on Friday.
  • August 11, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    How is that a pun? And it seems like a problem with someone's butt, not a url thing.
  • August 11, 2009
    Gammon
    I don't think it should launch until we have a title consensus and a general agreement on whether or not its covered by existing tropes.
  • August 11, 2009
    Nekusagi
    >Played with multiple times in the Celebrity Jeopardy sketches, although it's strongly implied that Connery was just being a dick as it's somewhat hard to read "An Album Cover" as "Anal Bum Cover".

    The Penis Mightier might be a better title then (since it's easier to read The Pen Is Mightier that way).
  • August 11, 2009
    Vulpy
    In my mind, this is just a bit too meta to fall under our purview. It's not really about stories (though, admittedly, we've been known to have other similar concepts before). That having been said...I giggle like a 10-year-old every time I see those names.
  • August 11, 2009
    random surfer
    It's a "stock gag," and thus I think it does fall under our purview.
  • August 11, 2009
    Vulpy
    Perhaps. But I personally don't recall it having been used in a fictional context. As always, I'm willing to concede to the wishes of Wiki-tachi, and it's not like we haven't touched on non-fictional gimmicks before, but we're tvtropes.org, not a cracked.com list. ;)
  • August 11, 2009
    Ronka87
    It should be noted that pretty well all those website examples are gags-- there is nothing unintentional about the URL names. PenIsland.com in particular, as a favourite among the twelve-year-old kid (see also The Pen 15 club), goes the extra mile and includes order forms for custom pens requesting information on "the size, color, texture, and taste of the pen you're looking for. [...] You'll be surprised at what's available."

    Speed of Art even boasts about it and has a list of other "worst named websites" on the web.
  • August 11, 2009
    random surfer
    But I personally don't recall it having been used in a fictional context.

    There have already been three mentioned: a series of sketches on SNL, a Benny Hill, and a Squid Billies.
  • August 11, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    I don't know if this fits the trope, but just in case...

    There's a certain very popular database of baseball players and their statistics. It lists players by the first five letters of their last name and the first two letters of their first name. No problem, except for Boston Red Sox star Kevin Youkilis.

    Youki Ke.

    Yeah. They changed Kevin's entry real quick.
  • August 11, 2009
    Vulpy
    There have already been three mentioned: a series of sketches on SNL, a Benny Hill, and a Squid Billies.

    Haha. My mistake. ;) Wonder if this has ever been played seriously in, say, a mystery? Something that looks like one thing could actually be another.
  • August 11, 2009
    CentralAvenue
    Similar, but distinctly different tropes:
    • Scunthorpe Problem: A computer finds (and censors) a "dirty" word in innocent context (as opposed to humans finding a dual meaning)
    • Mondegreen: A phrase is mistaken for a similar-sounding phrase (as opposed to a similar-looking phrase).
    • Signs Of Disrepair: The meaning of something is changed by removing letters/words (as opposed to changing the word breaks).

    <s>As far as titles go, I like The Penis Mightier (since it's a common example).</s> We already have The Pen Is Mightier, so that won't work. How about The Penis Mightier Problem?
  • August 11, 2009
    CentralAvenue
    One Dilbert strip had a woman named Brenda Utthead asking for her email address to be something other than the standard first-initial-last-name format. The boss said no.
  • August 11, 2009
    Nekusagi
    >We already have The Pen Is Mightier, so that won't work. How about The Penis Mightier Problem?

    We also apparently have The Penis Mightier as a trope already.
  • August 11, 2009
    CentralAvenue
    That's just how wiki markup works. I could link it as The Pen Is Mightier, The Penis Mightier, or Thep Eni Smightier. (That's why we can't call this "The Penis Mightier".)
  • August 11, 2009
    foxley
    Another website example was the Italian branch of British energy company Powergen. Powergen Italia became 'powergenitalia' when compressed into one word.
  • August 11, 2009
    Ryusui
    I still say this should be Lost In Transcription, because this is about what happens when information crucial to proper understanding is stripped out for whatever reason - such as spaces being lost in UR Ls.
  • August 12, 2009
    Pika_power
    I think the current name is fine, but we should drop the "problem" bit and stick with Anal Bum Cover.
  • August 12, 2009
    johnnye
    "How is that a pun? And it seems like a problem with someone's butt, not a url thing."

    -Because the potential for confusion with something else is a major flaw in a pun...
  • August 12, 2009
    Luc
    Given that enough people have complained, I'll just do a crowner on alternative titles when I launch.
  • August 12, 2009
    Wulf
    Or just hold off on launching it till you get a good title.

    The Problem With Pen Island?
  • August 12, 2009
    Ryusui
    I maintain that we're asking for trouble if we include an actual example of the trope in the trope name, seeing how Wiki Words are one of the ways Lost In Transcription can happen. It's rather like making a sign warning people against nearby radioactive waste out of plutonium.
  • August 12, 2009
    Amy of Darkness
    I admit the other tropers do have a point that Anal Bum Cover Problem is a little ambiguous...let's just say I had quite a different idea of what this trope was until I read the description! (I thought it was about pants...)

    I'd have to say I second Ryusui's recommendation of "Lost in Transcription".
  • August 12, 2009
    Majutsukai
    No. Just... change the title before launching. It's less of a hassle that way.

    Lost In Transcription,

    The Problem With Pen Island.

    Both of those are good.
  • August 12, 2009
    Heliomance
  • August 12, 2009
    Pingo T. Best
    I know the perfect picture for this, but I can't find it....
  • August 12, 2009
    Ryusui
    Also another example: you'd think that Japanese text rendered entirely in hiragana would be easier to read than mixed kana and kanji, but you'd be wrong. Since Japanese text is usually written without word breaks, kanji provide some idea of where words are supposed to begin and end; with hiragana only, however, it's a long string of characters that can be difficult to interpret without context.

    Which is easier to read?

    asentencewrittenentirelyinlowercaseletterswithnowordbreaksorotherpunctuationor

    ASentenceWithNoWordBreaksOrPunctuationButAmpleCapitalization?
  • August 12, 2009
    CentralAvenue
    Lost In Transcription works. I hadn't considered the possibility of confusion arising from Wiki Wording a self-demonstrating title.
  • August 12, 2009
    P
    i think this is great, definitely needed on here, however, i think it should be a sub-trope of double entedre like someone said above

    like also said above, the title should be re-worked, but just as The Problem With Anal Bum Cover
  • August 12, 2009
    Ryusui
    No, no and NO. This is one case where a Self Demonstrating Article would be counterproductive. Wiki Words are one of the myriad ways this problem crops up.

    Hel Lo. M Yna Me Is Inig Omontoya. Yo Ukil Ledm Yfa Ther. Pre Par Etod Ie.

    Must I torture these poor, innocent trope titles to make my point clear? I've already gone and preemptively renamed this trope Lost In Transcription to make sure no well-meaning fool unleashes a name bound to cause confusion and disorder upon the troping world at large.
  • August 12, 2009
    Luc
    Ryusui: Sorry, but this is probably going to get launched under either Anal Bum Cover Problem or The Problem With Pen Island. (Since the latter is more popular, and it captures the problem nicely, probably the latter.)

    Lost In Transcription is just too dull.
  • August 13, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    Dull isn't a mark against a name. Unclear is. Neither of those other names are clear about the trope.
  • August 13, 2009
    Unknown Troper
  • August 13, 2009
    Ryusui
    I swear, if you're going to call this "An Album" or "Penis Land" anything (word breaks intentional), then we're all going to regret it. This is gonna wind up one of those tropes like Dub Induced Plot Hole that gets a thousand different renames.

    At any rate, this round is 3 against 1, so I'm changing the title back to make absolutely damn sure no one jumps in and launches this trope with a name that's going to cause problems in the future.
  • August 13, 2009
    Some Guy
    Eh, does transcription really do it though? Does anybody really think about this trope when they hear the word transcription?
  • August 13, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
  • August 13, 2009
    Dcoetzee
    I vote for The Problem With Pen Island. It's not completely obvious, but it's not likely to be mislinked, and it's funny. It's most common with UR Ls, obviously, but can show up anywhere where word breaks are not used. Good trope.
  • August 13, 2009
    DragonQuestZ
    Ah, there is a term. "scripta continua".

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable