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The whole thing's clearly a confusion, with the author being a nonce as he doesn't realize it's to do with line break hyphenates and Amazon customer service being nonces because they don't realize those hyphens aren't line break artefacts and they're just cut/pasting a standard response.

i didn't think a human being could be a 'nonce', or is this some new usage i don't know about?

From wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonce_%28slang%29

>> In the United Kingdom, nonce is a slang word for a sex offender or child sexual abuser.

Nonce means mild idiot in my social circles. I wasn't implying they were a social offender. I wasn't even aware of its implications. Learn something every day.

I'd delete the comment but HN has got ridiculously militant about that now and I can't.

In colloquial UK usage it means 'paedophile', and is generally considered offensive.

Unless they're really making claims about the person's sexuality, I'd guess the intended word was dunce, or something similar?

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