A lesbian called Gay has been reprimanded for using her name in work e-mails.

Gay Hamilton, from Nelson, New Zealand, was sent an automated e-mail from the broadband provider Telecom which read:

“[Your email] was identified by our content filtering processes as containing language that may be considered inappropriate for business-like communication.

“The content which caused this to happen was … ‘gay’ eight times, at two points each, for an expression score of 16 points.”

Hamilton was less shocked by the e-mail, and more worried that Telecom seem to think “gay” is an offensive word.

She told The New Zealand Herald: “If they do have to put content filters on… then maybe they should ensure it only gets genuinely abusive words.”

Lenska Papich, public relations manager for Telecom’s broadband and online division, told the Herald: “Our systems internally detect a number of words, including both the words ‘gay’ and ‘heterosexual,’ that could be deemed as inappropriate for use at work.”

Telecom also say that the reprimand was not intended for Hamilton, as its warning system which threatens “disciplinary action” is meant for its employees, not its customers.

Telecom has since apologised to Gay Hamilton, but will not disclose its full list of censured words.