June 2, 2010 -- What a difference a space makes.
If you're launching a travel website for Spain, of course it makes sense to name it Choose Spain. Until, that is, you register the URL and realize that you're the proud new owner of the apparently masochistic website "www.ChoosesPain.com."
The Internet is full of these well-intentioned yet often wildly unfortunate website names. And now they're featured together in a new book that lists more than 150 of the Web's most accidentally outrageous, amusing and potentially offensive Web addresses.
"The people who chose the URLs saw spaces in certain places, but everyone else is seeing them in different places," said Andy Geldman, author of "Slurls: They Called Their Website WHAT?!" "It's only when the words run together that your mind chops them up. When you look at the URL it's not necessarily the way they intended."
Innocent mistakes like that can lead to unfortunate results like "www.whorepresents.com," the website for the organization Who Represents, an online directory of publicists for entertainers and athletes.
During a workaday commute on London's underground Tube in 2006, Geldman, a British software developer, said he came across a newspaper story on funny Web addresses. So entertained by the story, he said that when he got to work, he coined the phrase "slurl" (for slur URL) and launched a blog of the same name.
Over the past few years he said slurl-collecting has become a favorite hobby.
"I thought I'd try and get it to a wider audience and that's how the book came about," he said. As for the owners of what the book calls the "world's worst Internet URLs," Geldman said he doesn't mean them any ill will.
"I don't think these people are stupid or anything. I think a lot of it is that they're engrossed in their own businesses and its completely logical to them," he said. "I can understand in most cases how it happened. These names are out there, I'm just pointing it out.
To see a list of 10 of the funniest Web addresses in Geldman's book, click on to the next page.
10 of the Internet's Funniest Web Addresses
www.effoff.com -- The website of the Cincinatti, Ohio-based Effective Office Environments.
www.expertsexchange.com -- Geldman said Experts Exchange, a site for information technology professionals to share advice, changed its website to www.experts-exchange.com.
www.childrenslaughter.com -- The website for The Children's Laughter Foundation in Dallas, Texas.
www.oh.no -- It makes perfect sense that the Norwegian holiday resort Osnes hyttepark would put its initials in its Web address. It's just unfortunate that ".no" is the Internet country code for Norway. "It's not really conjuring up the right impression," Geldman said.
www.google.co.ck -- The Google home page for the Cook Islands. Geldman said that the Cook Islands, which has the Internet country code co.ck, is a "source of slurls like no other." But Geldman said bawdier domain names involving "co.ck"suffix now get rejected.
www.penisland.nett -- Custom pen company Pen Island's website.
www.molestationnursery.com -- An early website for the Mole Station Native Nursery, an Australian garden products company. The company later changed the site to www.molerivernursery.com.
www.amigonefuneralhome.com -- The website for the family-owned Amigone Funeral Home Inc., a Western New York funeral services provider.
www.therapistfinder.com -- Geldman said that while some sites change their names after realizing how others may misread it, Therapist Finder, a searchable online directory of California therapists, has kept its registered name.
www.mp3shits.com -- A music download website.