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A Modest Proposal

Internet Access Captchas

Note: If the proposal is accepted, this will likely be my last post.

Posted on April 04, 2007 to Great Ideas


Best. Idea. Ever.

Also, I'm glad you made so many! I could play with this for hours.

Posted by: evier on April 4, 2007 10:39 AM

The multiplayer, online, stick-figure game Kingdom of Loathing (http://www.kingdomofloathing.com/) has a similar test that one must pass before being allowed to use their chat rooms.

I'm not sure if it helps.

Posted by: Chris on April 4, 2007 10:55 AM

Beautiful. Just beautiful.

Posted by: Megan on April 4, 2007 11:08 AM

"certain fuctions"? I thought this was a proposal *against* poor speelers. Or are you just being ironic?

Posted by: John on April 4, 2007 11:27 AM

Ha and ha!
Very, very necessary. Although you're giving them a 50/50 chance.

Posted by: Merrie on April 4, 2007 11:43 AM

Its ingenious!

Posted by: Jennifer on April 4, 2007 11:57 AM

You are awesome. I think we need some more plurals with apostrophes:

I just drank two


Posted by: juliloquy on April 4, 2007 11:58 AM

I just spit tea on my keyboard.
It's just that funny.

Posted by: el on April 4, 2007 12:19 PM

Hey tough guy, you've got a typo on your were going page. Last post, indeed.

Posted by: Monica on April 4, 2007 12:54 PM

Please add a ;) to that comment to represent playful teasing. I guess that means I'm out, too.

Posted by: Monica on April 4, 2007 12:57 PM

eBay needs a few as well:

"Spiderman Pez Dispenser, MINT, in [Origonal/Original] box! L@@k!!"

"The pioneers took a trail west that was [Origonal/Original]"


Posted by: John I on April 4, 2007 1:02 PM

LMAO. Thanks!

Posted by: maggie on April 4, 2007 1:05 PM

dy = 100% DV of teh funny

Posted by: robin on April 4, 2007 1:13 PM

If you can find a way to make this happen, they will build shrines to you.

Well, at least I will.

Posted by: czeltic girl on April 4, 2007 1:17 PM

Oh, please, please, can we implement this immediately?

Posted by: Amy on April 4, 2007 1:17 PM

I love it!

Posted by: chris r on April 4, 2007 1:27 PM

Oh ye gods and goddesses.

I think I love you. At the very least, I should send you chocolate.

Posted by: Sherri on April 4, 2007 2:09 PM

Outstandingly addictive, and a hilariously great idea to boot.

Only one criticism: you put too much work into it. The "wonky images" part of this CAPTCHA scheme is not going to be the hard part for people!

Posted by: Dan Wright on April 4, 2007 2:45 PM

This makes me sad because I know it will never happen.

Posted by: Greg Hines on April 4, 2007 3:19 PM

"I would rather be a Democrat (then/than) a Republican."

Technically, I think, this quizzeroo could function with either answer. Isn't it a common stereotype that people switch from Democrat to Republican as they age?

Either way, I fully support this endeavor. (Or "endeavour", if someone is reading this in the UK.)

Posted by: Matt O. on April 4, 2007 3:21 PM


you're getting crazy traffic for this one

Posted by: artwells on April 4, 2007 3:31 PM

I meant "your getting crazy traffic", no wait

Posted by: artwells on April 4, 2007 3:32 PM

Great idea.

I had to keep at it to see if you had the lose/loose confusion. You did. Strangely enough though, in the context you offer, one could almost make a case for the admissibility of "loosing one's temper" (as in letting it loose on those bozos in the chat group).

What a looser!

Posted by: DU on April 4, 2007 4:08 PM

My favorite films is...???

Posted by: Chris on April 4, 2007 4:57 PM

Could we also have some kind of network monitor that immediately cuts off access to anyone who types "your" as "UR"?

Posted by: cam c. on April 4, 2007 5:12 PM

i couldn't help myself -- i just HAD to type in the wrong word! a most excellent idea.

Posted by: hipparchia on April 4, 2007 5:26 PM

Chris - a fellow KOL-er!!!

As you approach the Altar of Literacy, you see the faint outline of a human figure standing in front of it.

"Hello," says the figure. "I'm the ghost of the English language."

"At this time, you are not allowed to enter the chat. This feature is reserved for those who are members of the Order of the Literate"

"If you wish to gain access to the chat, you must perform a series of tasks in order to prove that you can be trusted with the privileges and responsibilities of the Order."

"First, read the Policies of Loathing".

"Now, type the following sentence into the text box below. Capitalization and punctuation count!"

I have read the Policies of Loathing, and I promise to abide by them.

"Next, you must complete the following sentences..."

When they get [there|their|they're], [there|their|they're] going to put on [there|their|they're] mittens.

[Your|You're] nuts if you think I'm going to polish [your|you're] armor for free.

"Finally, you must answer this fiendishly difficult trivia question: What color was George Washington's favorite black horse?"

Posted by: CMB on April 4, 2007 5:48 PM

supperb! This ranks up their with you'r WaMu ATM post. Kee pup the god wok,

Posted by: Rabid Child on April 4, 2007 6:28 PM

I, too, have had to sacrifice at the Altar of Literacy. And, I, too, wish the entire Internet had a similar altar.

Posted by: Carny Asada on April 4, 2007 6:44 PM

"First let's go to the store, then let's eat burritos"

Excuse me sir, but that comma should obviously be a semicolon. I move that you be expelled from the Internet.

Posted by: Adamta on April 4, 2007 6:57 PM

Did you ever know that you're my hero?

Posted by: Kathryn on April 4, 2007 8:45 PM

Wiktionary says: Do not confuse affect with effect. The former is used to convey the influence over existing ideas, emotions and entities; the latter indicates the manifestation of new or original ideas or entities.

I think in this case, you want "effect". Though frankly I can't use them correctly either.

Posted by: Sarah on April 4, 2007 8:48 PM

Needs 'a' and 'an'.

"An apple a day."

Posted by: Adam S. on April 4, 2007 9:37 PM


Posted by: blurb on April 4, 2007 9:53 PM


And let's not forget the whole who/whom, less/fewer than mix-ups...

Posted by: lora on April 5, 2007 12:38 AM

oh that is just two two two much!

Posted by: Robes on April 5, 2007 6:25 AM

We need something like this in the voting booth.

Posted by: Lee on April 5, 2007 7:23 AM


Posted by: geeky on April 5, 2007 7:27 AM

You maid my whole day happy.

Posted by: lindsey on April 5, 2007 8:08 AM

You maid my whole day happy.

Posted by: lindsey on April 5, 2007 8:08 AM

Is that the one truth logo on the got-it-wrong page? Just saying.

Posted by: Benjamin on April 5, 2007 8:22 AM

This is brilliant. You're a real trouper/trooper.

(Please do that one.)

Posted by: Denise on April 5, 2007 9:39 AM

This made me happy.

Posted by: Becca on April 5, 2007 10:10 AM

your brilliant

Posted by: mathew on April 5, 2007 12:01 PM

easily defeated by the back button

Posted by: Anonymous on April 5, 2007 12:20 PM

Too easy to beat (without correctly guessing). I just viewed source and found the image name "/iacaptchas/[right answer].gif" I could write a script (thus defeating captcha) that would solve this for me.

Posted by: Brombomb on April 5, 2007 1:22 PM

hmmm... this is a great way to improve and test someone's english unfortunately... half of the world use english as a second langauge and not to mention most of them understand and speak english but have trouble writing it :) ... but its a creative idea... must give you a credit for that... keep trying...

Posted by: Sheetal on April 5, 2007 1:44 PM

Agree that the statment "I'd rather be a Democrat then a Republican" may not gramatically incorrect if its referring to the fact that many individuals are Democratic in their youth, and Republican in their later years.

Posted by: Mike on April 5, 2007 4:10 PM


we have that power, right?

Posted by: Tracy on April 5, 2007 6:32 PM

the punctuation police are here to bust you for this hideous misuse of the colon:

You know, like: logging onto the Internet.

Posted by: Anonymous on April 5, 2007 11:50 PM

You=my hero.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' on April 6, 2007 7:45 AM

I object. It may keep up the spammers, but it will also keep out the idiots of the world. How am I supposed to make a buck off of selling meaningless consumerist crap if I cannot get my target audience in?

Posted by: buddy on April 6, 2007 12:18 PM

er, that would be keep _out_the spammers.
Wait, how woudl I get into my own onlien applications! And and on bad day (hungover etc. I might not be able to get in)
Sad but true

Posted by: buddy on April 6, 2007 12:19 PM

Your to funny! Love you're joke's!

Posted by: Jen on April 6, 2007 7:56 PM

As the sentence is written, "than" is the only correct response. Had he written "I would rather be a Democrat[COMMA] (then/than) a Republican," "then" would be the correct answer. Or, even better, he would have written "I would rather be a Democrat, and (then/than) a Republican." But that would just be a silly, nonsensical sentence completely.


Posted by: Betsy on April 7, 2007 5:19 AM

thats to funy

Posted by: Diesel on April 7, 2007 10:09 AM

Hay eye made it threw, woohoo!!! I gues I gessed wright!!!!!!!

Posted by: WJones4 on April 8, 2007 11:09 AM

hello. i love you.

Posted by: Arboreality on April 9, 2007 8:25 AM

Hello. I, too, am in love with you.

Posted by: Katai on April 9, 2007 11:16 AM


Posted by: greyfox on April 9, 2007 11:22 AM

Does the fact that I get the Swift allusion grant me access to some spiffier version of the internet?

Posted by: Jim on April 9, 2007 12:35 PM

Funny, but why would I want to remember YOUR password? You need a choice for "MINE". I typed this in in case this was a trick question, but it said I was banned. :P

Posted by: chimaera on April 10, 2007 5:55 AM

That is amazing. Just so you know, I am allowed to use the internet over and over!! :)

Posted by: Jen on April 12, 2007 3:20 PM

You are The Best!!!

Posted by: Terabanitoss on May 4, 2007 9:06 PM