Television programs here in Singapore are censored for (amongst other things) rude words. Swear words are fairly consistently muted out, even in late night shows.

This can make for very strange viewing – the rap tune on a ad became a surreal experience in stuttering for example. I also have since discovered my brain’s previously untapped ability to immediately insert the most extreme swear word when ever I encounter a muted moment! I don't think this is what the censorship scheme is intended to achieve. But no matter.

The really interesting observation is that such censorship seemingly applies only to the soundtrack – every muted-out swear word is faithfully translated into the ever-present Mandarin subtitles!

So, should I be offended that some third-party has decided that I cannot possibly cope with hearing words like “arse” and “bastard” - and therefore my viewing pleasure has been sacrificed for my own good? Or should I be offended by having to read swear words words in the Mandarin subtitles, which I cannot turn off?

So which is more offensive? Arse or ? Bastard or ?

Regardless of the rights and wrongs of censorship, is this inconsistency absurd or what?