Dissociated Press

[Play on "Associated Press"; perhaps inspired by a reference in the 1949 Bugs Bunny cartoon "What's Up, Doc?"] An algorithm for transforming any text into potentially humorous garbage even more efficiently than by passing it through a marketroid. The algorithm starts by printing any N consecutive words (or letters) in the text. Then at every step it searches for any random occurrence in the original text of the last N words (or letters) already printed and then prints the next word or letter. Emacs has a handy command for this. Here is a short example of word-based Dissociated Press applied to an earlier version of the Jargon File:

wart: A small, crocky feature that sticks out of an array (C has no checks for this). This is relatively benign and easy to spot if the phrase is bent so as to be not worth paying attention to the medium in question.

Here is a short example of letter-based Dissociated Press applied to the same source:

window sysIWYG: A bit was named aften /bee't*/ prefer to use the other guy's re, especially in every cast a chuckle on neithout getting into useful informash speech makes removing a featuring a move or usage actual abstractionsidered interj. Indeed spectace logic or problem!

A hackish idle pastime is to apply letter-based Dissociated Press to a random body of text and vgrep the output in hopes of finding an interesting new word. (In the preceding example, "window sysIWYG" and "informash" show some promise.) Iterated applications of Dissociated Press usually yield better results. Similar techniques called "travesty generators" have been employed with considerable satirical effect to the utterances of Usenet flamers; see pseudo.

[Jargon File]

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Nearby terms: display standard « display standards « display terminal « Dissociated Press » distfix » Distributed Component Object Model » Distributed Computing Environment


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Copyright Denis Howe 1985

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