Our Web site features the highest standard of encryption available. With this state-of-the-art security, your personal data is scrambled before it's transmitted through the Internet.

--flyer from MBNA, received 11 February 2006

I suppose that this isn't exactly a malaprop, because technically the statement is true--your data is "scrambled" when it's encrypted. But the connotations I have for "scrambled" make this amusing to me.

On the other hand, I suppose the term "scrambled" is in common use for this kind of thing in some contexts. Spies in movies use "scramblers" to talk secretly on the phone, for example. So maybe there's nothing really wrong with this.

Still, I was amused by it.

One Response to “scrambled”

  1. jacob

    Hee hee! As opposed to the old-fashioned way, where we had to wait to scramble your data until we had it and you actually wanted us to do something useful with it.

    For what it’s worth, even though phone “scramblers” are well known, I create SSL-protected websites and would never use “scrambled” to a user to describe the transmission. “Encrypted” or “secured”. Or maybe “protected”.


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