Word Up

Blogger has apparently switched wholesale from its old style of word verification to a much uglier CAPTCHA format that I’ve seen elsewhere and which I’d always been glad I didn’t have to deal with on Blogger blogs.

CAPTCHA prompt with the word 'politics' and a word-like string that appears to read 'olidraft'

As my mother is fond of saying, “Oh well...”

The new format tends to pair one actual word with one wordlike thing — a piece of nonsense that usually follows the consonant and vowel constructions of actual words yet except by rare accident of random generation is not an actual word itself — in ragged black type, one printed straight and one warped as well as having some of its letters in negative relief. I find it ugly and onerous — more ugly and more onerous than the old style, which I understand some people found frustrating for reasons ranging from vision problems to simple lack of patience, but which I accepted as a generally necessary evil. Many of you reading this know that I’d turned the old word verification into a challenge; I often left definitions in comments for the wordlike things when I encountered them and began collecting them in posts here years ago, posts from which I’ve now culled over 300 entries on a dedicated page.

I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be doing that, because I find this other style such a turnoff. Such a such a turnoff do I find it, indeed, that I’m turning off word verification on my blog for now; I’ve switched to comment moderation on older posts and I’ll see how it goes on newer posts without any buffer. Whether I’ll go back to the CAPTCHA or turn on comment moderation for all posts if things get spammy I don’t yet know. CAPTCHA, by the way, is an acronym for “completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart” that’s obviously missing a couple more Ts in the middle; if you’re not familiar with Alan Turing or the concept of the Turing test, you
can easily find out about him/it/them elsewhere on the Interwebs.

Since Blam’s Blog will quite possibly be hopping platforms at or around the time my website The Comicologist launches, Blogger’s extant problems and relentless march towards creating new issues where they didn’t exist before are pretty much water off a duck’s back for me in terms of my own posting. I’ve made my peace with getting what you pay for here, this being a free service, from inexplicable glitches to poor security to lack of explanation or even announcement of changes like this to Blogger’s bloggers. Most of the other blogs I frequent are also hosted by Blogger, though, and I can only hope that others resist this change as well.


  1. Yeah, I HATE this new style. I have no issue with word verifications, but can we at least be able to READ the words?

    I too would like to migrate my blog off Blogger in the near future. In the meantime, I may turn off word verification as well. We'll see.


  2. I knew it wasn't just me. 8^)

    Just yesterday I saw a pair that consisted of some actual word, I forget what, then a two-character sequence that appeared to be an apostrophe and a tilde — I kid you not.

    I seem to be doing all right without the verification, for what it's worth. There's definitely been an increase in spam comments, but on the older posts they've gone to moderation (and been deleted by me) while on the newer posts they've been recognized as spam and held back by Blogger for me to review (and get deleted) rather then being posted, so although it's admittedly early going the system is working like it should.