Personal electronic deDeputys

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On the heels of the notorious Nooking of War and Peace, Shane Horan sends along "a priceless search-and-replace error on the rules page of an Irish secondary school." St. Joseph's College in Borrisoleigh, County Tipperary has an entire section on "personal electronic deDeputys": though "mobile phones and other electronic deDeputys can be very useful and helpful," the school's rules say "these deDeputys may not be powered on while the student is on the school grounds, including before classes begins or at break or lunch time."

Horan says a listener to Ray D'Arcy's radio show found the flub and figured out the problem: "The title of VICE principal was changed to DEPUTY principal." And with it, all appearances of the string vice were changed, too. The global search-and-replace clearly did a disserDeputy to the adDeputy given to students.


  1. Antariksh Bothale said,

    June 10, 2012 @ 12:26 pm

    And to think that so much of this could be avoided by simply selecting the 'Whole Word' option in the Find/Replace tool.

  2. jp 吉平 Villanueva said,

    June 10, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

    there's something about this "replace all" phenomenon that is awfully close to "Translation Server Error" restaurant Chinglish…

  3. A. Pedant said,

    June 10, 2012 @ 1:05 pm

    "while students' are on school grounds"

  4. Juan said,

    June 10, 2012 @ 1:47 pm

    I shot the sheriff, but I did not shoot deDeputy.

  5. Eric Walten said,

    June 10, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

    @Antariksh Bothale
    Or in this case by just using the terms you want to find & replace: "Vice Principal" and "Deputy Principal" – 100% effective with 0% error rate.

  6. Yuval said,

    June 10, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

    Not even the "whole word" option is necessary, just pad with space characters… They didn't even bother to match capitalization… Oh the horror.

  7. Tom O'Brien said,

    June 11, 2012 @ 7:53 am

    Another example of the "global search and destroy" feature.

  8. Robert Coren said,

    June 11, 2012 @ 8:56 am

    Like I said in that other thread: Summarily fired, forbidden to touch any text destined for publication.

  9. KeithB said,

    June 11, 2012 @ 9:22 am

    Well, "cdesign propentists" help lose a court case:

  10. Ted said,

    June 11, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

    I'm afraid that someone is likely to receive a visit from the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Deputy.

  11. Steve said,

    June 12, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

    @Eric Walten

    I agree that using "Vice Principal" and "Deputy Principal" as the terms would have been the best way to go. Search and replace is a kind of skill that, I feel, could be a class unto itself.

    As a hobby, I format free ebooks for my Kindle. Taking Project Guttenberg's ASCII text and converting into the files necessary to make a Mobipocket file requires a lot of search and replace. I use sed for some of it. (Mostly making smart quotes.) IMO, most of the skill is writing a search pattern that matches exactly what you want. Not more, and not less. (Less is easier to identify, and so doesn't necessarily come up as often.)

  12. AlexB said,

    June 13, 2012 @ 6:50 am

    Miami Deputy doesn't have the same ring to it, somehow.

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