Jive filter

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An encheferized Wikipedia article which discusses the Swedish chef

Jive, also known as the Jive Filter, is a novelty computer program that converts plain English to a comic dialect known as "jive", a parody of African American Vernacular English. Some versions of the filter were adapted to parody other forms of English speech, such as valspeak, cockney, geordie, Pig Latin, and even the Swedish Chef. The last form is sometimes known as the "Encheferator" or "Encheferizer". This family of programs became quite popular in the late 1980s.

The program is very simple and has been duplicated or translated many times on many different programming platforms and many different forms, for instance as a CGI application to run on a website to translate text typed by visitors into a comic dialect.

The program in its classic form is a simple filter that performs text substitution on its input stream to produce an output form. For instance "black" when preceded by a space is always translated to "brother" and "come" when surrounded by spaces is always translated to "mosey on down".

The original author of the jive filter (and its sister, the valspeak filter) is unknown. Its earliest known appearance was when it was submitted to the USENET group net.sources in September, 1986 by a contributor from JPL called Adams Douglas, who was not the author of the program. He resubmitted it to mod.sources.games in April 1987. This version is still downloadable from archives of that group and still compiles and runs on Unix and Linux. The program was discussed in net.sources in March, 1986 and was apparently quite well known.


At one stage of the Scientology internet wars of the mid-1990s, some opponents of the church's fight to pursue unauthorized publishing of some of its scriptures using copyright and trade secret law adopted the ruse of publishing copies that had first been garbled, "borked", or "borkified", by passing them through the Jive filter or the "encheferizer". The holder of the copyright on the church's scriptures, Religious Technology Center, sued in some cases, for instance in Scientology versus Zenon Panoussis (Stockholm, 1998). Samples of the scriptures translated in this way were submitted in evidence. The defendants claimed that this was parody; the plaintiffs, violation of copyright.


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