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The Web can Bite Back!

Speaking in Tongues on the World Wide Web

By Jim Bray

Are you bored by the same, tired old Websites?

Wanna add a little spice to the sites you surf?

Well, friends, do I have a site for you!

“Rinkworks,” at, is a a privately owned entertainment web site based in New Hampshire that not only lets you wreak virtual havoc on Web pages, but which is also a virtual cornucopia of other offbeat and interesting stuff.

Rinkworks’ offerings runs the gamut from humorous stories about computer users, to irreverent movie reviews and advice on how to be funny or romantic - as if they’re mutually exclusive!

It was “The Dialectizer” that really grabbed my attention, however. It’s so unusual and funny that it kept my family and I entertained for hours one Sunday morning when we had nothing else to do.

It also made us wonder at the kind of minds that spent what were undoubtedly untold hundreds of hours thinking it up and making it work.

When you visit The Dialectizer page, you’re invited to choose a Web page to “adapt,” and a dialect to inflict upon it. You can choose from “Redneck,” “Elmer Fudd,” “Jive,” “Cockney,” “Moron,” “Pig Latin,” or “Hacker,” and as you can tell by the selections available it is nothing if not politically incorrect.

But funny!

To illustrate the havoc The Dialectizer can wreak, without getting myself sued, here’s a brief sample of what it did to an article on my own home page after I told it to make my life’s work appear as if it had been created by Elmer Fudd.

Before“Fuddification:” “Times are good and, other than high taxes and a severe loss of personal freedom, the fruits of the economy leave many of us with a nice wad of cash burning a hole in our pockets. What better time to think about a set of wheels that will give maximum driving pleasure and last a goodly number of years to boot?”

After: “Times awe good and, othew than high taxes and a sevewe woss of pewsonaw fweedom, the fwuits of the economy weave many of us wif a nice wad of cash buwning a howe in ouw pockets. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! What bettew time to think about a set of wheews that wiww give maximum dwiving pweasuwe and wast a goodwy numbew of yeaws to boot?”

You get the idea.

“The Dialectizer” doesn’t merely “enhance” the Web page to which you initially direct it, either; it often works over the pages below it on the site as well.

You can also type, or copy, a block of text into “The Dialectizer” and give it the same treatment. My brother, who works for a government department, was struck with sudden inspiration to use it to give official government documents the “Redneck” treatment, so he could release them that way when receiving official “Freedom of Information” requests.

This could bring society to a standstill!

We even tried Dialectizing a previously Dialectized page, adding “Redneck” on top of “Elmer Fudd.” The result was virtually unintelligible, however, so the “service” is best used one assault at a time.

“The Dialectizer” isn’t perfect, thank God. There were some pages it didn’t work well on at all, though it delighted in messing up mine.

For those with no sense of humor whatsoever, the creators of this public service also include instructions on how to prevent the Dialectizer from working on your site.

Party Poopers!

Once you’ve exhausted the aimless thrills of “The Dialectizer,” the “minds” behind Rinkworks have plenty more pseudo-intellectual fodder for your non-cerebral moments. There’s a section of “really bad jokes,” and an area that gives you an online version of those old fashioned text adventure games from the early days of personal computing.

There’s also a place that serves up a wide selection of mindless gaffes culled from accident reports, courtroom quotations, etc. You may have seen stuff like this in e-mails circulated by friends and co-workers, but Rinkworks gives you a “one stop shopping” source for this kind of, well, crud – so YOU can be the one who originates the e-mails and thereby become an object of wonder in your workplace.

It would take days to exhaust all the stuff offered by the folks at, and it’s all free!

I’m still wondering why they’d do it, though.

Jim Bray's technology columns are distributed by the TechnoFILE and Mochila Syndicates. Copyright Jim Bray.


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January 31, 2006