I've Never Been So Insulted . . . or Have I?

Qualcomm's Eudora has added a new feature, MoodWatch, aimed at saving e-mailers from themselves. MoodWatch gives each message a hot-pepper rating -- as many as three peppers, which indicate a message's potential for causing offense -- before you can hit Send. I tested MoodWatch by plumbing the depths of the 20th century -- and my own in-box -- for phrases ranging from insulting to outright defamatory. But MoodWatch is no match for an older, more reliable tool: common sense.

"I loathe you. You revolt me stewing in your consumption . . . you are a loathsome reptile I hope you die." --D. H. Lawrence, author

MoodWatch pepper rating: 0

"Don't be so humble, you're not that great." --Golda Meir, Israeli prime minister

MoodWatch pepper rating: 0

"What other problems do you have besides being unemployed, a moron, and a dork?" --John McEnroe, tennis player

MoodWatch pepper rating: 0

"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it shall be behind me." --Max Reger, composer

MoodWatch pepper rating: 0

"I got laid off after three months . . . you met my boyfriend (almost hubby), who is still slaving on his Ph.D. at UCSF." --A friend of the author

MoodWatch pepper rating: 3

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