Hey Apple, What's So Dirty About My Gift Card Note?

Reader Sai says:

This is kind of weird: so, I’m trying to buy my friend an Apple gift card off of their website. My friend is pretty shy about celebrating her bday, so I wrote in the message that accompanies the card: “Happy birthday! I hope you aren’t shy to celebrate this year!” After I typed that, I got a message that deemed my message inappropriate?


We couldn’t figure out what was wrong with it. Can you?


Edit Your Comment

  1. zsouthboy says:

    Probably an improper regex (expressions to filter for swear words, etc.) on apple’s part, but I don’t see where the problem is at a quick glance.

  2. seamer says:

    The best way to work out whats inappropriate would be just to rewrite the message with one word at a time until the error displays again.

    Could it be too long for a character count?

  3. zsouthboy says:

    Oh, and see [en.wikipedia.org] for an idea of what I’m talking about.

  4. cmdrsass says:

    “Shy to” is probably being improperly regexed.

  5. tande says:

    Yep, doesn’t like ‘shy’ for some reason.

  6. TropicalParadise says:

    Isn’t this the oldest trick in the internet book? Where you type something nasty into the search bar and then replace the next screen with something nice.

    ie. typing DIRTY NASTY SLUTS into google, and then on the results screen where you have websites full of dirty nasty sluts, change where you typed that to ‘my mother-in-law’ or something.

  7. Jeff_McAwes0me says:

    Could it be “shy to”?

    Looks a little too close to “shyt”. Which looks a little too close to a word that is apparently inappropriate for gift cards.

  8. SkokieGuy says:

    Apple institutes both spell check and grammar check into their online giftcard program. Apple, in their relentless pursuit of excellence, are not able to permit Apple products to be given as gifts if the contain sloppy sentence constructions.

    “Happy birthday! I hope you aren’t shy to celebrate this year!”

    “Happy birthday! I hope you aren’t too shy to celebrate this year!”

  9. TropicalParadise says:

    apparently I’m just mean, the problem is ‘shy t’

  10. SkokieGuy says:

    In addition, most spam and dirty word filters will prevent the use of ‘celebrate’.

    This is a modern slang term for those who use cellophane materials and products as masturbatory aids. Those who find these practices offensive are of course cellophobic.

  11. taylorich says:

    I tried it out and once you remove the word “shy” from the message it allows it. You can also put single quotes around it – ‘shy’ – and it works.

    Looked up definitions for shy and maybe it’s just considered a derogatory term for someone? Or maybe it’s just messed up.

    Try it yourself


  12. taylorich says:

    @SkokieGuy: Oh dear lord.

  13. taylorich says:

    @Jeff_McAwes0me: Happy birthday! I hope you aren’t shy celebrate this year!


  14. VA_White says:

    no, it’s because “shyt” is a way to get around dirty word filters when you want to type “shit.” Apple’s dirty word filter is not good enough to understand the difference between “shy to” and “shyt.”

    Some places won’t even let you type “baseballs” because it contains the word “balls.”

  15. BoomerFive says:

    I tried to review a computer product recently and was told that “AS5” was innnapropriate. IT stands for the thermal paste named Arctic Silver 5. Thought that was weird, but I guess I can see why.

  16. apotheosis says:

    Happy birthday, I hope you aren’t celibate this year!

  17. MissTicklebritches says:

    maybe you could substitute ‘bashful’, ‘timid’, or ’embarassed’ for ‘shy’

  18. superchou says:

    wait a sec… what is wrong with a little inappropriate wording? I mean, why is apple censoring the words in a personal message!

  19. B says:

    I think it was rejected for being grammatically awkward. It should say “….aren’t too shy to celebrate…”

  20. Agent007 says:

    I’m guessing that the person(s) who typed in the “dirty keyword lists” entered ‘celebrate” instead of ‘celibate’.

  21. semanticantics says:

    Everyone knows “celebrate” means “mouth party”.

  22. MeOhMy says:


    Those who find these practices offensive are of course cellophobic.

    And those who enjoy these practices are invariably fans of Kool And The Gang.

  23. Wormfather is Wormfather says:

    I’ve included the word anal on a gift I bought for my fiancee once. Went through fine.

    No dont ask, it wasnt like that.

  24. rixatrix says:

    Granted, I work with kids sites mostly, but there was a coworker testing something or other and entered her name “Virginia” into a field, and it wouldn’t let her use it because it contained “gin”. In that line of that, celebrate contains “bra”, or it could be the aforementioned “shy t”, but either way it looks like a dirty word filter run amok.

  25. zabaat says:

    Thank you!

  26. sir_eccles says:

    All this dirty talk makes me want to Apple my wife later. Maybe after we’ve watched “Two girls, one ipod”.

  27. austinchu says:

    Interesting. I work for a company that manages and tracks gift cards. We also resell gift cards as well. Often times the messages that people write to each other are grammatically incorrect. We want to go in a change them because we don’t want people to feel stupid. AT the same time, it’s inappropriate for us to do so, and it’s not our job.

  28. SacraBos says:

    Reminds me of Beavis and Butthead, “We shouldn’t need TV to entertain us.” .. “He said ‘anus’, he he he he”. Yes, I saw it…

  29. chiieddy says:

    It might be the ‘bra’ in celebrate

  30. Jack Loftus says:

    @TropicalParadise: What they said. The person entered the dirty words, pressed enter, and then changed the words before taking the screenshot. And now Apple’s image, regardless of how you feel about them, has suffered.

  31. hassanchop says:

    Something similar happen to me this week at UWink. It did not like my name, Hassan. It kept telling me that my name was inappropriate. It took me forever to figure out that it did not like that ass is in my name. Sorry UWink. I guess my name is not common enough. ;)

  32. Nytmare says:

    @chiieddy: Indeed, AOL actually filtered that exact thing for a time (1995). You couldn’t create a chat room name with words like Nebraska, brain, or Debra.

  33. chrisjames says:

    @Jack Loftus: Just like Google, you can try it yourself at store.apple.com. “Celebrate” passes, but “shy to” does not.

  34. ekasbury says:

    Don’t you see? Apple consumers aren’t allowed to be shy about anything. They have to be arrogant and proud. Shyness is just dirty.

  35. Meisterjager says:

    @SkokieGuy: Then we have the whole new problem of a tooshy appearing. I’m sure Apple won’t approve of talking about tooshy’s and shyt on a giftcard!

    I believe ‘shyt’ is spelt shite anyway, no?

  36. macinjosh says:

    I bet Richard Gaywood is also having trouble buying Apple gift cards.

  37. jiggersplat says:


    yeah, this is the real problem. not why is the message inappropriate, buy why is apple policing the messages in the first place? i should be able to put any damn thing i want on my gift card.

  38. VA_White says:

    I’ve always seen SHITE as well. But as it contains “shit” I would think SHYT is an attempt to get around a previously thwarted attempt at typing “shit.”

    I don’t know why Apple would give a fuck what you typed on someone’s gift card. If I get money from someone, I don’t care if the card says, “fuck you motherfucker. here’s your shitty mother fucking gift card.” I say, “woo hoo! MONEY!”

  39. JanetCarol says:

    I like VA White’s second sentence.

  40. thesabre says:

    @MissTicklebritches: “maybe you could substitute ‘bashful’, ‘timid’, or ’embarassed’ for ‘shy'”

    I’m going to go out on a limb and say that embarASSed would probably fail as well.

  41. Superawesomerad says:

    Awkward syntax aside, I don’t understand what that message is supposed to mean. Why would someone be embarrassed that it’s her birthday?

  42. I prefer my cursing DRM-free, thank you. Off to Amazon to download some 2LiveCrew…

  43. My son couldn’t register his name “Mitchell” at Webkins.

  44. smirkette says:

    No Kajagoogoo for you!

  45. rjgnyc says:

    @jiggersplat: Is it that shocking that Apple looked at the number of people who would complain about being able to send dirty messages vs the number of people who would complain about not being able to send dirty messages, considered which group is more likely to collectively not buy things as a result of allowing vs disallowing, and acted accordingly?

    I mean it’s great if Apple decided to celebrate the freedoms of expression we all know and love, but they’re not a political force. They’re out to make as many customers happy so they continue to purchase there.

  46. Norcross says:

    George Carlin must have been a PC fan.

  47. freejazz38 says:

    It’s because the message didn’t include the words “Praise Apple, Praise God, Hallowed be Thy name”

  48. drjayphd says:

    @SF_iris: Apple makes Limahl cry. That is, if his shift manager at Tesco doesn’t mind.

    @Ash78: There’s only one place where we can go
    Where the price is right just to fu-
    erm, download albums without DRM
    It’s always popular with the girls and the guys
    ‘Cause for all my money, it’s the best buy

  49. Comfortablynumb says:

    I’ve run into places where you can’t type “saltwater” (look carefully). And it used to be on NFL.com you couldn’t buy a jersey for Randall Gay because if you typed “GAY” into the jersey creator, it would reject it.

  50. TheChris2.0 says:

    Note to self:

    Do not wish friends ‘The Greatest Fucking Birthday in the History of Fucking Birthdays MothaFucka!’ when buying them Apple products.

  51. bombhand says:

    Is the dirty word bra? I bet it’s bra.

  52. Jack Loftus says:

    @chrisjames: Good point, weird story. Stand corrected.

  53. Maulleigh says:

    Get Meg Frost on this PRONTO!! (Does she still work at Apple?)

  54. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    Pity they guy trying to send to Kosuke Fukudome of the Cubs, especially if he’s vacationing in Phuket, Thailand with his friends, Yamashita & Matsushita!
    Will Apple tell him to phuck off?

  55. luz says:

    @Superawesomerad: Some people don’t like gifts and big parties and lots of attention and such. I remember feeling traumatized on my twelfth birthday, when my parents took me to a hibachi place and had the waiters/chefs all sing to me; everyone turned and stared.

    In hindsight I feel worse for the waiters.

  56. mammalpants says:

    whats offensive is that it’s only $30!

    what will they get? an ipod knit sock? apparently, the cart is also aware of this. you should add a couple of zeros and see if it still disagrees with you.

  57. Shannon says:

    @sir_eccles: Genius.

  58. Mr. Gunn says:

    @Greasy Thumb Guzik: LOL! Apple doesn’t want you to have a great fucking time!

  59. sean77 says:

    @SkokieGuy: That was my thought, too. Apple finds bad grammar offensive.

  60. Jon Parker says:

    I once tripped a filter on a cooking site by using the word “cucumber” because of the third through fifth letters. Filters are dumb.

  61. Crazytree says:

    this is bullshyt

  62. Alger says:

    It’s not so much that the filters are dumb, as that the people who write the filters are.

  63. coolkiwilivin says:

    Wow, no flames about how crappy apple is. Of course Kool Aid drinkers could never find anything wrong with their true love. Here’s to not being shy!

  64. silverpie says:

    Like having a football discussion and finding you are talking about a forward ptookus…

  65. tehdahl says:

    too shy to celibate?!
    OH MY!

  66. tehdahl says:

    @Jon Parker:
    Well, we all now how suggestive cucumbers can be to begin with.
    Thus, that cherished phrase of phrases:

    “cum on my cucumber?”

  67. tehdahl says:


  68. Jones91 says:

    weird because i ordered an iPod Classic with “Fuck iPods” laser sketched into the back as a gift to my friend and it didnt say it was inappropriate *shrug*

    next time i’m getting one that says “I wish i were a zune” engraved into the back and giving it to my friend who is obsessed with apple stuff

  69. flashing12 says:

    having helped put together many of the language “kick rules” files for MSN chat a few years back, I can say for certain it is the combination of shy and t. Doesn’t matter what comes before or after as far as the rule sets are concerned

  70. gamin says:

    you know what’s wrong? you’re buyin crapple that’s what’s wrong

  71. What’s wrong with Apple choosing not to print words that they don’t want to, whether they be curses, attempted curses, or mistakenly identified as curses? Apple isn’t telling the consumer that they can’t say those things, it’s just choosing to not have those words on products they sell.

  72. scooterist says:

    I believe ‘shy to’ might be a well-known abbreviation for “Shit-Head Yank Tosser”….

  73. thomas_callahan says:

    But why can’t you say send a card that says whatever you want? It’s not like it’s going to a public forum or something, so if I want to send a card that says “Happy f*cking birthday you sh*t-eating motherf*cking a**hole”, why can’t I?

  74. vladthepaler says:

    Strangely enough, “You’re a stupid whore” is perfectly acceptable. What do they have against shy people?

  75. drjayphd says:

    @Mr. Gunn: However, Jobs et al. still approve of you having a great time fucking.