I had the purest of intentions when I e-mailed an article from the New York Times to a friend of mine who works at Weichert Financial. The article, published April 12th, 2004, was titled "A Justice's Sense of Privilege", by Bob Herbert, and was about Chief Justice Scalia's refusal to allow reporters to turn on tape recorders when he is speaking. The article referred to a young female AP reporter whose digital tape recorder was confiscated by a U.S. Marshall during Justice Scalia's speech. The article said in part, "When agents acting on behalf of a Supreme Court justice can just snatch and destroy information collected by reporters, we haven't just thumbed our nose at the Constitution, we've taken a very dangerous step in a very ugly direction."

This email was blocked by the eSafe mail scanner at Weichert Financial because they claimed it contained hostile content. Their mail server sent me the following message:

    "Hostile content in this email was detected by our anti-virus system. This notification is
     being returned to advise you that the intended recipient ***DID NOT*** receive your
     message. Your email must be corrected, then resent.

    Thank You
    Mail Administrator

    Details:  Body contains the following forbidden word(s): snatch

Similar to the reporter's digital recorder, my E-mail was snatched before it could be delivered to the recipient. This motivated me to experiment with Weicher's eSafe system by sending a few short emails to them. "Cock fighting is illegal in 48 states," was rejected as hostile. "Cockfighting is illegal in 48 states," went through unnoticed. I guess they won't accept any cock and bull stories. It's a good thing they are in the finance business and not the livestock business. I'll have to try sending these to Frank Purdue Chicken folks and see what happens.

I remember when "snatch" use to be a nice word. It was a very popular expression in my youth when I played baseball, and it was quite common to grab, catch or snatch a fly ball.  You don't hear sports announcers saying "Nice snatch" anymore. 

If you are into the sport of weight lifting, you know that the snatch is a type of lift performed in most competitions. It is performed in all Olympic weightlifting competitions. You get three trys and are awarded points for your best snatch and your best clean-and-jerk. (I know what you are thinking now. Don't even go there.)

It doesn't seem that long ago that I went to see the movie Snatch, directed by Guy Ritchie and starring Brad Pitt. I believe it was released in 2000. It was about a lot of unscrupulous and violent people trying to track down a priceless stolen diamond. You can order the Snatch soundtrack from Amazon.Com.

Even the bible uses the word snatch in Thessalonians 4:13-18, where it encourages the grieving Christians that, at the "great snatch," they will be reunited with those who have died in Christ before them. Possibly this is a more modern biblical interpretation.

I typed the word "snatch" in Google and it came up with 1,720,000 references to it, which is a lot of snatches. And it did it in 0.19 seconds. I browsed through the first couple of pages and saw no hostile or sexual context associated with the word.

The 2004 edition of Merriam-Webster's dictionary says "snatch" is a verb that means to snap, seize, to take or grasp abruptly, as in "snatch a kiss," rather than vice versa, as the folks at Weichert Financial seem to expect. Don't try to email a dictionary to Weichert, or to anyone who screens their e-mail with eSafe, because eSafe would find lots of hostile content. It wouldn't surprise me if dictionaries, and possibly bibles, will soon be banned at Wichert Financial.

I want to email the person responsible for eSafe and tell him that he (or she) is an "ignoranus" -- a fabricated word meaning a person who's both stupid AND an asshole. I'm pretty sure that word isn't in their eSafe dictionary.

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