Saying 'titsup' is fine, Reg readers cry

Use it in a sentence today

Letters A pretty lighthearted letters bag this week, with plenty of odd musings on various subjects. We'll begin, however, with a thought about Redmond's finest's new subscription email service:

I trust this will fool no one. MS is not offering Office by subscription to poor, under-equipped Hotmail users. This is the first official step to put all of MS' codebase under a subscription model.

Bill G is testing what the public reaction will be. No doubt that, in a few months, we'll have a glowing review from the Alexis de Tocqueville Institute that will graphically emphasize that the traditional venues for software are now extinct, and the future is for online application subscriptions.

This report will further the matter by broadly hinting that major players are already preparing heavyweight application servers in order to sustain this new economic model. An Intel representative will be quoted as saying that the upcoming line of multi-core servers will be able to host hundreds of concurrent sessions with no lag at all.

An unknown economist will be consulted, and will extol the virtues of having centralized banks of specialized processors doing the heavyweight work, while ultra-thin client processors content themselves with giving orders wirelessly over terabit Bluetooth connections. As a direct consequence of this report, Sun stock will briefly soar to pre-dotcom heights, until investors realize that most Internet users are, and will always remain, individuals, and that individuals will not agree to pay a monthly tax on some new version of the same thing they have already paid for and been using for years without any issues.

Then this new bubble will burst, and reports will be published showing that less than ten per cent of Hotmail users have maintained their subscription to this "service", mainly the ones that have had a PC crash and were not capable of reinstalling their Office disk themselves. Then we will have peace. Until MS finds another way to invade our privacy.


Next, still feeling very email-tastic we shall consider the impact of our article on FamilyMail, the email service for the easily confused:

I can only see this falling flat on its back, 'tits-up' if you will... "The biggest problem encountered while trying to design a system that was completely foolproof, was, that people tended to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." (Douglas Adams)

I think the only way they could actually achieve some semblance of security with a program like this is to make the "YES" button greyed out on those dialogs that say "ARE YOU SURE YOU WANT TO RUN THIS TROJAN?", or just disallow HTML email and attachments altogether.


Crikey, how many "old person" stereotypes could you get into the article ? I guess you left out "incontinence" ...

Regards, Mike

Oversight on our part, Mike. We'll try harder in future.

re : YOU'VE GOT MAIL, DEAR So how does the action of automatically connecting differ from most other email programs and browsers that have options to dial the default Internet connection, do what they need to, then hang up ?


Next up, imperilled penguins:

WARNING!!! WARNING!!! Global warming. Sea levels rising. Ice-caps melting. Death! Destruction! Famine! Pestilence!

One presumes this evidence will be conveniently ignored.


El Reg will be going into the inflatable life raft business very shortly...

A good story - but light on a critical piece of information. As a Brit who gave up geography at school 30 years ago and has little interest in travelling, I have absolutely no idea how big Long Island is. Is it big? Is it small? Perhaps a dimension or two (length x breadth) might have added something?

I appreciate the steps that The Register is taking to be more inclusive (or pander - no, not the animal) to our some transatlantic cousins (ie. removing most of the irony and putting big "this is a joke" flags on some comments) but blast it, madam, this is going too far! Have you forgotten that you still have a "" at the end of your URL?

Kindest regards and thanks (to all at The Reg) for your fine work

Graham O'Brien

Well, the original story did say that the iceberg is 80 miles long, but for those who need a more graphic demonstration, there is a little animation that NASA has put together that you might find useful. If you point your browser here you will see that the iceberg is very much the same size, and shape, as Long Island. It is a bit shorter, granted.

Alternatively, you could consider it to be approximately 19 per cent of the size of Wales. Thanks to Dave for this link. While you are there, incidentally, you can find out if you will get a ticket for heaven. If not, see you in the hot place.

More on the unutterably stupid nature of warning labels, following the shocking news that pork chops contain raw meat:

Hi Lucy,

Just to follow up on the raw meat in Tesco scandal.

I notice that they are now selling "Cooking Mushrooms" in the fresh produce section.

I cannot find the other sort anywhere.

Cheers, DT

In the same letters bag, we featured a complaint from a chap called Simon, who thought our use of the word "titsup" was in some way laddish, crude and/or loutish. He also made suggestions about our level of beardedness, which I found very upsetting...

With regards to Simon's attempted flame "BT Broadband going tits up."

Having worked with computers in a technical capacity for a number of years now and also being gay seemed to put me in the perfect position for me to point out that the phrase 'to go tits up' has nothing to do with breasts and everything to do with things being 'fcuked'.

Of course it's worth bearing in mind that the term 'fcuked' (eg. if you were referring to a server) does not mean it needs a cigarette and a wipe down but does in fact mean its buggered.

And 'buggered' in this letter is not referring to what I get up to in bed of an evening but means its broken.

If you've worked in the IT industry (the intended audience for this site (unless I'm wrong)) you'll notice how the language subtly changes and becomes slightly cruder and The Register does a fantastic job of writing informative articles in real language that sound as though they have been written by real people. That's why we keep coming back here day after day.

So in closing, shut up and stop complaining you w*nker. (And that was meant in its original context. And you know its true!)

The Midnight Toker

PS. Other people in the office have asked me to give a mention to some of the other wonderfully descriptive words that get used in every day office life. "Gone all Microsoft", "borked", "screwed" and "Micro$hafted" seem to be firm favorites with "fsck'ed" in there too. But personally i think it takes the tone of the letter down.

Simon writes complaining about the term "titsup" (Letters, 18 Jan). His assertion that it is a reference to female mammalian anatomy is mistaken. It is an American term, derived from "catsup" ("tomato sauce" in English). A lighter, sweeter variant was developed for use on desserts, and named "titsup" after the small bird (a favourite snack for cats.) Americans use titsup much like the English use custard, hence the phrase "went titsup" is the American equivalent of the English phrase "it all went to custard."


Regarding the reader Simon complaining about the use of the term "tits" and saying "Stop acting like a dick, start acting like a journalist."

Near where I work, there's a restaurant that serves excellent barbeque. It's so good that sometimes the line is very long. Among the many signs near the line is one that says "We ain't McDonald's and we don't intend to be. McDonald's is 1.4 miles up the road."

That's The Register to me. If some fool doesn't like what you have, they should get lost in a hurry.

For the record, I support the judicious use in The Register of the terms titsup, T.U., Tango Uniform, tits, and tit. (As in, "Simon is a tit.")


why did simon get in such a tizz over the word titsup, and refer to it as an opportunity to say the word tits, as far as ive experienced i dont think tits going up is really some form of malfunction (probably the opposite), and therefor just an expression, strange the things that make people angry; this morning a comment i made about a horse licking his own eyeball (dont ask) made my colleague say (quite aggravated) that horses cant do that??? anyway i digress its great that an informative news service knows how to use grown up words in a comedy way but still get the point across, keep up the good work!

with regards and spending the rest of my day trying to lick my own eyeball


We're not sure what you are smoking, Jamie, but if you could have some sent round, we'd love to find out...

And just to prove that we really can do nothing right, we offer the following:

Microland goes bust? Surely you meant tits up.

I expect that Simon ( will be moaning about your mammary fixation: first tits, and now bust. Shame on you!


Indeed. ®

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