Automatic word substitution in e-mails?

Here’s an odd thing.

Yesterday, my mom sent an e-mail to my Yahoo account. In it was the following sentence:

Now, my family has three pets, all dogs–Kibbles, Max, and Mocha. No Espresso. I thought my mom was just having fun with Mocha’s name, so I dashed off a short e-mail saying simply, “Espresso?” with a smiley face after it. Y’know…acknowledging the wordplay.

My mom just wrote back. Here’s what she said:

(I should mention that Mocha’s sister recently had puppies, and my aunt–whose dogs they are–hasn’t named them yet.)

I hit ‘reply’ to ask my mom what the heck she was talking about, and why she was acting confused when she’d been the one to bring up the name “espresso” in the first place. And here’s the thing: When the text of her e-mail got automatically quoted in the reply I was composing, the sentence above actually looked like this:

It seems, then, that she’d said “Mocha” all along…and somehow it got changed to “espresso” (note the shift in case) in both e-mails. So I guess my General Question is…howzat happen? Any explanations? Does Yahoo! have some kinda automatic word substitution which switches “espresso” for “mocha”? Why?

(My family’s account, by the way, is on a local ISP. Anyone want to test my account out by sending me an e-mail with the word “Mocha” in it?)

Looks like Yahoo is using some kind of a filter to remove (potentially dangerous) JavaScript from formatted HTML e-mails.

Here is a thread on Google Groups about it. Hope the link works - if not search Google Groups (not regular Google!) for “yahoo mail word substitution” and choose the first hit.

“Mocha” happens to be the name of a Java decompiler, so perhaps it made it onto Yahoo’s hit list of “naughty” keywords?

This is all speculation on my part of course, except for the Usenet post mentioned above.

…and before anyone says it - I know Java (the programming language) and JavaScript (the scripting language) are totally different…but who knows how Yahoo might have set up their filters, if that really is the explanation.

Very interesting, Darren; thanks. That looks like a definite possibility. And like you said, your link indicates that the substitution is only triggered by HTML text, which might be why a plaintext “Mocha” sent to me by Skogcat got through unscathed.

The whole thing’s still kind of odd, however–were they just hoping that by changing mocha to espresso, nobody’d notice the difference? :slight_smile:

I sent you the requested email. It’ll be interesting to see what you get.

If this is not a Yahoo filtering thing, then I’d have to start paying attention to the as yet subtle quiverings of my virus antennae.

Well, I’m late to the game, but still don’t know what’s going on.

Anyone else know anything?

I sent a message in Yahoo Groups once that had the word “evil” in it three times, and when I posted it, the "evil"s were replaced by blanks! Jeez, is “evil” considered a curse word now? :rolleyes:

<Tin-foil hat on>Maybe Yahoo has a corporate agreement with Starbucks, and this month they’re promoting expresso rather than mocha<Tin-foil hat off>