in Tongues on the World Wide Web
By Jim Bray
Are you bored by the same, tired old Websites?
Wanna add a little spice to the sites you surf?
Well, friends, do I have a site for you!
Rinkworks, at www.rinkworks.com, is a a privately owned entertainment
web site based in New Hampshire that not only lets you wreak virtual havoc
on Web pages, but which is also a virtual cornucopia of other offbeat
and interesting stuff.
Rinkworks offerings runs the gamut from humorous stories about
computer users, to irreverent movie reviews and advice on how to be funny
or romantic - as if theyre mutually exclusive!
It was The Dialectizer that really grabbed my attention,
however. Its so unusual and funny that it kept my family and I entertained
for hours one Sunday morning when we had nothing else to do.
It also made us wonder at the kind of minds that spent what were undoubtedly
untold hundreds of hours thinking it up and making it work.
When you visit The Dialectizer page, youre invited to choose a
Web page to adapt, and a dialect to inflict upon it. You can
choose from Redneck, Elmer Fudd, Jive,
Cockney, Moron, Pig Latin, or Hacker,
and as you can tell by the selections available it is nothing if not politically
To illustrate the havoc The Dialectizer can wreak, without getting myself
sued, heres a brief sample of what it did to an article on my own
www.technofile.com home page after I told it to make my lifes work
appear as if it had been created by Elmer Fudd.
BeforeFuddification: Times are good and, other than
high taxes and a severe loss of personal freedom, the fruits of the economy
leave many of us with a nice wad of cash burning a hole in our pockets.
What better time to think about a set of wheels that will give maximum
driving pleasure and last a goodly number of years to boot?
After: Times awe good and, othew than high taxes and a sevewe woss
of pewsonaw fweedom, the fwuits of the economy weave many of us wif a
nice wad of cash buwning a howe in ouw pockets. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit!
What bettew time to think about a set of wheews that wiww give maximum
dwiving pweasuwe and wast a goodwy numbew of yeaws to boot?
You get the idea.
The Dialectizer doesnt merely enhance the
Web page to which you initially direct it, either; it often works over
the pages below it on the site as well.
You can also type, or copy, a block of text into The Dialectizer
and give it the same treatment. My brother, who works for a government
department, was struck with sudden inspiration to use it to give official
government documents the Redneck treatment, so he could release
them that way when receiving official Freedom of Information
This could bring society to a standstill!
We even tried Dialectizing a previously Dialectized page, adding Redneck
on top of Elmer Fudd. The result was virtually unintelligible,
however, so the service is best used one assault at a time.
The Dialectizer isnt perfect, thank God. There were
some pages it didnt work well on at all, though it delighted in
messing up mine.
For those with no sense of humor whatsoever, the creators of this public
service also include instructions on how to prevent the Dialectizer from
working on your site.
Once youve exhausted the aimless thrills of The Dialectizer,
the minds behind Rinkworks have plenty more pseudo-intellectual
fodder for your non-cerebral moments. Theres a section of really
bad jokes, and an area that gives you an online version of those
old fashioned text adventure games from the early days of personal computing.
Theres also a place that serves up a wide selection of mindless
gaffes culled from accident reports, courtroom quotations, etc. You may
have seen stuff like this in e-mails circulated by friends and co-workers,
but Rinkworks gives you a one stop shopping source for this
kind of, well, crud so YOU can be the one who originates the e-mails
and thereby become an object of wonder in your workplace.
It would take days to exhaust all the stuff offered by the folks at Rinkworks.com,
and its all free!
Im still wondering why theyd do it, though.
Jim Bray's technology columns are distributed by the TechnoFILE and Mochila Syndicates. Copyright Jim Bray.