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Fortune filter

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Software engineers told Fortune magazine in November that they are constructing a filter to eliminate stupid messages to online forums and bulletin boards. Lead researcher Gabriel Ortiz said his team had compiled a database of idiotic comments and that the new software would detect unintelligible remarks and either alert the writer to fix them or divert the message to the recipient's "junk mail." Easy dumb messages to filter: those with the tacky, immature repetition of a closing consonant, e.g., "That thing is amazinggggg!!!" More difficult: how to treat sarcasm and irony, in that smart writers sometimes deliberately use dumb statements to mock other writers.

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