OPINION: On the same day as Apple's iPhone 5 was released, it seems the technology giant managed to out-PR itself with breaking news that its iTunes bookstore censored the title of Naomi Wolf's recent book Vagina: A New Biography.
The word appeared in the online bookstore as V****a.
I am loathe to rehash the old debate as to why we are not supposed to use the V word.
My neck is still sore from all the head shaking bewilderment following the recent furore over the Carefree commercial.
The advertising watchdog received a flurry of complaints back in July after the tampon and pad company dared to refer to the vagina as a vagina.
In what at the time seemed like a comedy sketch, the NSW president of Family First, Jason Cornelius said, "I understand it can be used in medical discussions but it's not appropriate in an ad when young ears are listening."
It was unclear why young ears needed to be protected from the term "vagina", especially since 50 per cent of the owners of said ears possess one.
But there's nothing particularly shocking about the regressive attitudes of the folk at Family First.
What is more remarkable is how the hip, funky, youthful, boundary-pushing technology monolith has turn into my nana.
Alternatively, I may have got it all wrong.
Perhaps Apple is revolutionising the English language in the same way they revolutionised the music and phone businesses. Maybe it's just Apple doing what Apple does best: making things that are complex simple and user-friendly.
Let's face it, the word we commonly use for - how shall we put this? - "women's docks", is pretty cumbersome.
It's filled with all sorts of unwieldy vowels and consonants that came in quick succession and sound aesthetically unpleasing.
With v****a, Apple has merely simplified the user experience, creating a more elegant, minimalist design.
It's just like the iPhone 5: a thinner, lighter design. As the ads for the iPhone 5 say "So much more than before. And so much less too."
And it's not as if Apple have a problem with Naomi Wolf or anything.
They've also given the same radical re-design to the audiobook of Eve Ensler's The V****a Monologues.
Going beyond books, the first episode of the hit TV show The Girls has been rechristened as V****a Panic.
Luckily blokes haven't been forgotten by those linguistic revolutionaries at Apple. The word that we use to refer to boys' user-interface has been overhauled so that it now looks like p****s.
Look up Jesse Bering in the audiobooks section of the iTunes store and you'll find Why is the p****s shaped like that? and Frank Bures' The P***s Thieves.
Even medical students benefit from Apple's re-design. In the iTunesU catalogue, you can study Dr Allan Forsman's Anatomy & Physiology course where you can listen to podcasts on P***is Cross Section and P***s Longitudinal Section.
(Oddly, though, there's a podcast on Penile Tissue, so the revolution isn't quite complete.)
On the other hand, maybe I'm giving Apple too much credit and all the star action on iTunes is nothing more than a giant f**k up.
- Daily Life
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