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What The Font

Posted on May 14, 2020

Clever: Scunthorpe Sans is a font that uses ligatures to censor four-letter words.

Modern fonts can combine letters into a single ligature, usually for things like fi or fl, but you can pick anything, so we’ve done it for swears.

Out of curiosity, I googled duckduckgoed the font’s name, Scunthorpe:

The problem was named after an incident in 1996 in which AOL's profanity filter prevented residents of the town of Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, England, from creating accounts with AOL, because the town's name contains the substring "cunt". Years later, Google's opt-in SafeSearch filters apparently made the same mistake, preventing people from searching for local businesses that included Scunthorpe in their names.

Fascinating.