The definitive guide to South Asian lingo

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Noun. November 30, 2011, Word of the Day


Much to everyone's bemusement, the Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) banned a series of words from being in SMS text messages. The ban wasn't taken very seriously, and a Twitter campaign with #PTABannedList raged on the Internet.

Oddly enough, the words chosen are somewhat bizarre. A few include "athlete's foot" (which is unappetizing, certainly, but obscene?), "monkey crotch", "man paste" (which gets dubious, undoubtedly) and "mastabate" (spelling mistake intentional). Some of the choices have mystified people. For instance, why is "head lights" banned?

The software to implement the ban would likely jam networks, so carrying out the ban is probably infeasible. But we at Samosapedia feel that the list in question gives us rich soil to till, since it is culled from Urdu and English. An unofficial list of words circulates here, and we encourage all cultural cartographers to give us entries.

Unofficial List!

We leave you with our favorite Tweet on the matter:

""The #PTABannedList is what Charles Dickens would have wrote if he lived in Federal-B-Area right now,"


At the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority offices, somewhere in Islamabad:

PTA Official One: Arrey yaar, I am thinking of foul words to ban on SMS to keep the bosses happy.
PTA Official Two: Good idea! Think of the most foul things you can, and ban it off. By the way, what's that smell?
PTA Official One: It's my athlete's foot, alas. It won't heal.
PTA Official Two: Add it to the list! It's pretty foul.

Added 2011-11-21 by mainmacha







Terms referencing this

head lights, Headlights