Date: Thu, 28 Mar 1996 05:47:15 -0800 From: SETH SKLAREY Subject: does Comm Decency Act prohibit mentioning "Dole" on the net? This came from some anti-censorship lists: > >Tehran (Reuter) - For the past few weeks, the behind the doors discussion >at many Iranian newspaper and magazine publishing outfits seems to be >revolving not around political, social and economic issues, but the >spelling of Bob Dole's name instead. It turns out that the proper spelling >of the Republican Party's likely nominee, Dole, is exactly the same as that >of the word penis in Persian. "At first it might seem funny to some people, >but it's creating a serious issue for us. How can we write headlines using >that word?," said Majid Fanni, a prepress specialist at a Tehran service >bureau. > >Professor Hassan Khadem, a Persian literature lecturer at New York >University added "It's actually not a real problem. In Persian, certain >vowels are optional. [Therefore] they could write his name a couple of >different ways to avoid the ambiguity. But for an exact pronunciation, >'Dowl' as opposed to 'Dol', well, they'd have to spell it that way." Fanni >explained "It's not easy. In print, especially for headlines, we don't use >[optional] vowel symbols. Because of that, his name can be read in that >way." > >International organizations are quite familiar and cognizant of these types >of issues. General Motors for example, spends over 300,000 dollars a year >just researching car names to make sure they are not trade marked, as well >as being acceptable in foreign countries. > >Ali Zarkoob, a grade school teacher in Western Tehran said "I'm sure kids >will find it very funny. The humor magazines will probably go crazy over it >too." A columnist for Tehran's Hamshahri daily who requested to remain >anonymous stated "It's a real problem that no one wants to face. Think >about it. What should we write if he wins? 'Clinton loses Presidency'? >That's not right. 'Penis wins US Presidency' isn't exactly acceptable >either."