CaptCha CulTURe


I’m really interested in this notion of how CAPTCHA might be used to tell a very odd story or string together a crazy poem that turns out to be profound.

Most of you would have seen CAPTCHA  phrases – in layman’s terms, it’s those weird words that turn up on the internet sometimes after you try to post a link, or subscribe to an e-newsletter. The system wants to check if you’re human (as opposed to a budgie signing up) so it generates a word or phrase for your human eyeballs to see and your human fingers to type in.

Often, the words make no sense, but now and then they seem to come together in some karmic sense.

It reminds me of those fridge magnets you can buy – fridge poetry – with a great selection of colourful, powerful words printed on them. While you’re cooking dinner for your guests and having a glass of wine, your pals can meander over to the fridge and rearrange the words into something amusing or ridiculous. Or leave you a naughty message to find the next morning.

Captcha image
Captcha image

I did  a quick web search, and found a fantastic Facebook group called Captcha Phrases Make Awesome Band Names.  There were only 22 members though. Clearly, this is a niche preoccupation. (Well, 23 members now).

There’s also a slightly more popular I Love Random Captcha Phrases  (84 members). This group kindly supplies a few examples; let’s view it as poetry, shall we?

Coffee RuSH
Giraffe Stripe Gold
Pennant Fruit
other robust monk
Hot vaccine, office slouch.

Mmm. Stirring stuff.

It’s also worth Googling ‘funny captcha’. (Truly, it is).

Is there merit in a short story being generated entirely by CAPTCHA content? Obviously this might be a project for someone more 1) artistic 2) insane and 3) less busy than me. I’m just putting it out there …

Can you remember any funny CAPTCHA phrases you’ve had to retype?

3 Comments Add yours

  1. locspoc says:

    i’ve always thought that if a site gets enough hits then it may be worthwhile to use the captcha as advertising, imagine the branding and recall associated with having to type the name of a product into the captcha form? just a thought 😉

    1. Prakky says:

      What an innovative idea! Thanks Loc. The only thing is, Captcha would still have to focus on safety – ie, not having the ‘branded’ Captcha text become so intuitive that bots can get in again!

  2. rhoz says:

    Funny to find this article because I have been thinking of the same thing lately (here it is 3 years later)… and have been saving my latest Catcha phrases in case I can make a poem!

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