Offensive Words

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Marc Meakin
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Offensive Words

Post by Marc Meakin » Wed Jul 08, 2020 11:36 pm

This could be posted in several categories but I thought a new topic would keep it simple
The American federation of Scrabble NASPA has recently proposed that all slur words should be expunged from the Scrabble dictionary.
Usually when America sneezes the UK gets a cold so it is quite likely around a hundred or so words will be banned.
Now I think this is ridiculous , the words in Scrabble are just joined up letters to make a play.
I mean would you want this to happen in Countdown too.
No other Scrabble federations from Africa and the Far East have backed this proposal.
I think a school Scrabble lexicon should maybe adopt the changes but this is a very bad knee jerk reaction.
I usually apologise if I play an offensive word out of politeness but if slur words were removed.
New slur words will be created.
I wonder what the Countdown community think of this ?
The article is here
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-53339659
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Callum Todd » Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:47 am

I suppose if it was just the N word that wouldn't make much difference for Countdown as it has well known anagrams. I'd like to hope that if someone had that word they would also have spotted its anagrams and would choose to declare one of them instead. Obviously in scrabble it may be necessary to play it due to where the letters would fall on the board.

If all racial/homophobic(/sexist/transphobic/heightist/sizist/agist - where does it stop?) then no, that'd be silly. It'd wreck the game, be hard to enforce (what do you do with a word like FAGGOT? One definition is a totally innocuous word. Another is, imo, one of the most offensive slurs in the dictionary), and erasing all record of words used for bigoted purposes isn't a good way to fight bigotry. Understanding and education on the history of bigotry, including the language of it, is an important part of fighting it. Plus, bigots would either use these slurs even more in response or, as you said, just make new slurs.
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Jon O'Neill » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:23 am

It would be absolutely ridiculous if this passed.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Marc Meakin » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:41 am

Jon O'Neill wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:23 am
It would be absolutely ridiculous if this passed.
These are strange times though , with virtue signalling and cancel culture gathering pace.
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Jon O'Neill » Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:44 am

Marc Meakin wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:41 am
Jon O'Neill wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:23 am
It would be absolutely ridiculous if this passed.
These are strange times though , with virtue signalling and cancel culture gathering pace.
There's a big difference between opposing sexual predators from running riot and opposing words being used in a board game.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Ian Volante » Thu Jul 09, 2020 12:15 pm

Quite apart from being stupid, it's pointless. There are a large number of words that fall in a grey area, or have more than one definition, one of which may be offensive.

"What a lovely pair of tits." Is that offensive?
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:03 pm

Yes, it would be ridiculous to remove words on the grounds of offensiveness. You also have to consider the use-mention distinction. Mentioning the word "nigger" is not the same as calling someone a nigger, for example.

Also, people should not be offended by words in isolation - the context and the way it's being used is very important. A white woman was invited onto the stage by Kendrick Lamar to sing one of his songs, but got booed because she used the N-word (which was in the song obviously - she didn't just start shouting it out like she had Tourette's). I think it shows quite an immature attitude really to think that racism is about a word rather than anything to do with meaning and context. But look at most discussions about racism (online or wherever), and they tend to lack any nuance.

I know this is all a bit off-topic but I think it's relevant.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Ben Wilson » Thu Jul 09, 2020 6:59 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:23 am
It would be absolutely ridiculous if this passed.
^This.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Mark James » Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:35 pm

If they're gonna remove words they should remove some of those nonsense two letter words that no one uses in real life and that you only ever encounter in a game of scrabble.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Johnny Canuck » Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:13 pm

Mark James wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:35 pm
If they're gonna remove words they should remove some of those nonsense two letter words that no one uses in real life and that you only ever encounter in a game of scrabble.
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Matty Artell » Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:25 pm

They should play it safe and remove all the words in advance just in case they become offensive in the future

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Callum Todd » Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:35 pm

Matty Artell wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:25 pm
**** ***** **** ** **** *** ****** *** *** ***** ** ******* **** ** **** **** ****** ********* ** *** ****
Wash your mouth out Matty!
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Jul 09, 2020 8:43 pm

To take out these words, presumably they'd have to make some sort of list first. This would be a pretty offensive list.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Graeme Cole » Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:08 pm

There is a list. They've presented it here in a clever way that prevents them actually having to write the words out. To answer the question further up, FAGGOT isn't in this list because it has a non-offensive sense.

I don't think it's all-or-nothing. They could remove the most offensive racial slurs and leave in the milder general-purpose swear words. I suppose that's why they're asking for input, to decide which words if any should be removed.

Personally I don't see any great problem with removing highly offensive language like the N word, and I'm struggling to understand why anyone particularly wants it kept in. The effect on gameplay of its removal would be negligible. Nobody's suggesting it should be removed from dictionaries, just from the list of allowable words in Scrabble. A dictionary's job is to describe the words in a language without fear or favour, but the word list's job is just to provide an authoritative reference of which words are and aren't acceptable in the game. Is there really a good reason why it should stay?

There's some further discussion of the issue by John Chew here.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Jon O'Neill » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:31 pm

The main reason is that it's utterly utterly pointless.

The onus should not be on me (or people who agree with me) to convince you (or people who agree with you) that the wordlist should correspond to a dictionary or set of dictionaries. Otherwise we might as well just start again with a set of random strings of letters which make for the most interesting gameplay. Why even have 26 letters when 40 might make it a better game, or 3?

Now that we've agreed the onus is on you - if you are able to provide one good reason for this motion to pass then I will give it some consideration. The list in the link is very weak.. "Some targeted individuals are offended by slurs.".. ok, but it's not an attack to play a word in a word game. About the worst case scenario I can think of is if a white person was playing a black person, and played NI__ER in their first turn, before explaining that the two blanks were both Gs. That would be horrendous but it still wouldn't be against the rules... you'd just lose your turn and probably bingo next time. So if anything, doing this is rewarding the worst people in society.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Conor » Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:40 pm

It also makes the game more inaccessible, since you'd need to know exactly which words (many of which are in common usage) have been removed.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Callum Todd » Fri Jul 10, 2020 5:25 am

Graeme Cole wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 9:08 pm
There is a list. They've presented it here in a clever way that prevents them actually having to write the words out.
That was a fun list of conundrums. Some of the words on it do have other meanings that are totally innocuous though. And some of them are just mild swearwords; it'd be ridiculously prudish to ban them.
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Ben Wilson » Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:44 am


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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Marc Meakin » Fri Jul 10, 2020 9:52 am

Ben Wilson wrote:
Fri Jul 10, 2020 6:44 am
It's also worth pointing out that this isn't the first time people have talked about this.
This is in line with what I posted in one of the Scrabble groups I am a member of.
The only justification in removing slur words and profanities is because the likes of ESPN want to televise Scrabble tournaments.
But the reasons for removing slur words are ridiculous.
I mean it would be like The Dixie Chicks changing their name as it may be offensive to certain communities 😀
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:48 am

This has been my soap opera for the day. Watching this debate escalate in the Scrabble facebook groups has been fascinating (the discussions here in particular). It is so contentious that some groups have limited chat to just one thread, and one of the biggest groups has imposed a blanket ban on any discussion of the topic at all!

-----------------------------

The main points seem to be as follows:-
1. The American association (NASPA) seems to be fronted by a power-hungry lunatic (John Chew) who is prepared to override the wishes of the membership and of the management committee to push trough these changes at any cost. People are outraged by his actions mostly.

2. Hasbro is the company that owns the game in America. Their opinion on all this may trump the wishes of any other stakeholder, and John Chew has been lobbying them strongly.

3. WESPA (the organisation in charge of Scrabble in the rest of the world, aside from North America) are now looking into what action -if any- they need to take.

4. Once again, if the company that controls the game (Mattell in this case) decide they want to bring in the changes, there may not be much that the Scrabbling world can do about it.

5. The lion's share of WESPA people seem to oppose the proposed expurgation, including the major players and top brass. (If you read through the debate. you'll notice that almost all the most strident voices in favour of the removals hail from Canada or the USA)

-----------------------------

The conclusion I am coming to, is that it is high time that the rest of the world stopped taking their lead from the USA. It is disappointing, but ultimately not dangerous that most non US people would list American TV shows, American films, and American songs among their favourites... but when this love affair is expanded to include a tendency to take on their baggage as well (particularly as regards their awful record on race relations, and the toxicity of 'teen' culture), it is definitely time to suggest we see other people...

-----------------------------

(and if you are not in the mood for anagrams, this is a more readable list of bold words.)
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Marc Meakin » Sat Jul 11, 2020 8:07 am

I have now learned a loaf of new slur words now from the NASPA list including PAPIST and POMMIE both of which I don't think are offensive.
When it comes to slur words , surely it is about intent.
I remember the late great Dave Allen said it best when he said that when people see an old friend they might say ' how you doing you old bastard '.
Also if someone upsets you , you are just as likely to say , ' Now Listen pal '
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Marc Meakin » Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:29 am

How often does Countdown have to edit due to offensive words.....and is the scoring contrived so the person playing said word is not penalised.
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Paul Worsley » Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:07 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:29 am
How often does Countdown have to edit due to offensive words.....and is the scoring contrived so the person playing said word is not penalised.
Once I was in the audience and a contestant offered PISSES, which was valid, but they reshot it, and he offered PASSES, which was also available. I'm not sure how often this happens.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Graeme Cole » Sat Jul 11, 2020 2:40 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:31 pm
About the worst case scenario I can think of is if a white person was playing a black person, and played NI__ER in their first turn, before explaining that the two blanks were both Gs. That would be horrendous but it still wouldn't be against the rules... you'd just lose your turn and probably bingo next time. So if anything, doing this is rewarding the worst people in society.
I'm not sure I understand this. How would banning slurs reward the player who puts NI__ER on the board? If someone wants to be a horrible person there are many ways they can do so without playing an invalid and offensive word in a board game. Anyway, if all they were trying to achieve was to be a dick, said horrible person could currently just spell the word out in full in the corner of the board and have it challenged off for being in the wrong place. Or they could currently play it in the right place and have it stay there. How is that worse than it getting challenged off?

I think the most compelling argument for removing the slurs is that games get streamed online and photos of boards get shared around and seen by people who aren't necessarily "in the community". We've all become accustomed to the idea that word game enthusiasts play words without any consideration for their meaning, but casual players outside this bubble, and the general public who only read about Scrabble when some incident or other puts it into the mainstream news, might not see it that way.

So if a board with the N-word on it were to get shared around, perhaps from a high-profile tournament game, don't you think the general public's reaction would be closer to "wtf, Scrabblers still use that word?" than "it's okay, words are played without any consideration for their meaning and there's nothing to see here"? It looks to me like they're weighing up on the one hand keeping the word in, running the very small risk that something like this will happen and seriously damage the global reputation of the game, and on the other hand taking the word out, avoiding that risk but taking on the very small risk that someone might get a slightly lower score in a game than would otherwise be the case. You can see why they'd prefer the latter to the former.

The only forceful argument I can see for the other side is the subjectivity argument. We can all agree that there's a scale of offensive words with the most derogatory slurs at one end and the gosh-darn-its at the other, but there's a huge middle ground where people's opinions would reasonably differ and someone will have to make a decision to keep or bin each one.

As an example, I'd have assumed the words POM, POMMY and POMMIE were inoffensive, affectionate terms (like Aussie or Kiwi), but Lexico lists them as derogatory (it's unclear whether the "derogatory" label refers only to Australia and New Zealand). For an example the other way, I regularly watch YouTube videos by an Australian electronics expert in which he tears down old devices and components. He happily refers to transistors on a circuit board as "trannies", perhaps unaware that in other parts of the world we don't call them that any more because the word is more associated with its derogatory sense.

However, to me this just means they have to have a consultation period where they invite everyone's opinions on the various words, then at the end of it use the results to make informed case-by-case decisions. Isn't that what they're doing?

In summary, I'd fully expect there to be differences of opinion over which words stay in and which come out, but what I don't understand is this hard-line absolutist position, apparently quite well subscribed to, that it shouldn't even be up for debate - that nothing that's in the dictionary may be removed from the Scrabble word list no matter what.
Conor wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:40 pm
It also makes the game more inaccessible, since you'd need to know exactly which words (many of which are in common usage) have been removed.
If you're a casual player whose knowledge of the Scrabble dictionary comes mostly from natural knowledge of the English language and that "slurs are banned", then you'll know what the most offensive slurs are and you'll know not to play them. If you play a borderline case that you're not sure is on the list of slurs, then you know you're taking a risk, the same as if you play any other plausible-sounding word which you're not sure is in the dictionary.

On the other hand, if you're a serious player who studies word lists, it's not asking too much to unlearn a tiny percentage of the lexicon, which you'd have to do anyway whenever there's a dictionary update.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Graeme Cole » Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:14 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:29 am
How often does Countdown have to edit due to offensive words.....and is the scoring contrived so the person playing said word is not penalised.
Round 7 of this game. From the selection CTDAEIFSH, Jack Hurst offered SHITFACE. (To avoid the inevitable comments: SHITFACED^ is hyphenated and CATFISHED wasn't valid then.) They decided they couldn't broadcast that but there wasn't another 8, so they reshot the round, changing the C to a R, and had him offer HARDIEST instead.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Marc Meakin » Sun Jul 12, 2020 10:45 am

I am coming round to the idea , but not the reasoning , of the removal of slurs and rude words not suitable for broadcast.
Maybe the profile of the game of Scrabble will be elevated and a version may make it on TV
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Thomas Carey » Sun Jul 12, 2020 12:17 pm

Graeme Cole wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:14 pm
Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:29 am
How often does Countdown have to edit due to offensive words.....and is the scoring contrived so the person playing said word is not penalised.
Round 7 of this game. From the selection CTDAEIFSH, Jack Hurst offered SHITFACE. (To avoid the inevitable comments: SHITFACED^ is hyphenated and CATFISHED wasn't valid then.) They decided they couldn't broadcast that but there wasn't another 8, so they reshot the round, changing the C to a R, and had him offer HARDIEST instead.
Weirdly enough, a year later DC offered it (it wasn't even said by a contestant) and they only bleeped half the word. Here's a discussion from then
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:53 pm

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:48 am

(and if you are not in the mood for anagrams, this is a more readable list of bold words.)
It talks about the OSPD, which on the Wikipedia says:
Although OSPD bears the name Official Scrabble Players Dictionary no countries list their "official" dictionary as the OSPD, whereas the Official Tournament and Club Word List is the official word source of tournament Scrabble in the United States, Canada, Thailand and Israel.
So this is the official one, which is the NASPA mentioned in the opening post (formerly Official Tournament and Club Word List according to the Wikipedia), whereas in the UK we use Collins Scrabble Words. I had no idea about any of this. I assumed there was a standard English-language version, considering there are world championships. Anyway, that's all off topic.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Jul 12, 2020 6:57 pm

Jon O'Neill wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 10:31 pm
About the worst case scenario I can think of is if a white person was playing a black person, and played NI__ER in their first turn, before explaining that the two blanks were both Gs. That would be horrendous but it still wouldn't be against the rules... you'd just lose your turn and probably bingo next time. So if anything, doing this is rewarding the worst people in society.
As Graeme says, this makes no sense whatsoever. It's not even clear you're talking about a scenario where offensive words have been banned until you get to this bit:
you'd just lose your turn
So it's just a bit confusing really. Someone could do that with or without the rule change, but would presumably be more likely to do it with such words allowed I would have thought.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Jon O'Neill » Sun Jul 12, 2020 7:21 pm

Haha, I think the drifting of my post from serious to flippant wasn't obvious enough. It happened because the more I thought about it, the more ridiculous it seemed to have to be justifying my point. As I said earlier, the word list for a word game should correspond to some dictionary or set of dictionaries.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Adam Gillard » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:18 pm

Paul Worsley wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 12:07 pm
Marc Meakin wrote:
Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:29 am
How often does Countdown have to edit due to offensive words.....and is the scoring contrived so the person playing said word is not penalised.
Once I was in the audience and a contestant offered PISSES, which was valid, but they reshot it, and he offered PASSES, which was also available. I'm not sure how often this happens.
I offered PISSES and they broadcast it (bleeped).
Mike Brown: "Round 12: T N R S A E I G U

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C2: SEATING (7)
Score: 108–16 (max 113)

Another niner for Adam and yet another century. Well done, that man."

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Noel Mc » Wed Jul 15, 2020 10:02 am

I had FAPS broadcast. Albeit they had to cut out Susie and Rachel's laughing. All that remained was Nick's bewilderment.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:37 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:03 pm
Yes, it would be ridiculous to remove words on the grounds of offensiveness. You also have to consider the use-mention distinction. Mentioning the word "nigger" is not the same as calling someone a nigger, for example.
The BBC used the naughty word!

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Tom S » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:09 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:37 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:03 pm
Yes, it would be ridiculous to remove words on the grounds of offensiveness. You also have to consider the use-mention distinction. Mentioning the word "nigger" is not the same as calling someone a nigger, for example.
The BBC used the naughty word!
Don't really see as to why it was necessary for them to say that word explicitly, instead of just saying the "N-word" which 99% of its viewers' would have understood.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Tom S » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:09 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:37 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:03 pm
Yes, it would be ridiculous to remove words on the grounds of offensiveness. You also have to consider the use-mention distinction. Mentioning the word "nigger" is not the same as calling someone a nigger, for example.
The BBC used the naughty word!
Don't really see as to why it was necessary for them to say that word explicitly, instead of just saying the "N-word" which 99% of its viewers' would have understood.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Marc Meakin » Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:05 pm

Tom S wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:09 am
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:37 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:03 pm
Yes, it would be ridiculous to remove words on the grounds of offensiveness. You also have to consider the use-mention distinction. Mentioning the word "nigger" is not the same as calling someone a nigger, for example.
The BBC used the naughty word!
Don't really see as to why it was necessary for them to say that word explicitly, instead of just saying the "N-word" which 99% of its viewers' would have understood.
It truly is the most offensive word at the moment.
I have seen programs where the c word has been used but the n word has been bleeped
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:52 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:05 pm
Tom S wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:09 am
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Tue Aug 04, 2020 10:37 pm


The BBC used the naughty word!
Don't really see as to why it was necessary for them to say that word explicitly, instead of just saying the "N-word" which 99% of its viewers' would have understood.
It truly is the most offensive word at the moment.
I have seen programs where the c word has been used but the n word has been bleeped
I think people need to grow up really though and shouldn't be so offended by the mere mention of a word.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Marc Meakin » Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:13 am

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:52 pm
Marc Meakin wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:05 pm
Tom S wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:09 am


Don't really see as to why it was necessary for them to say that word explicitly, instead of just saying the "N-word" which 99% of its viewers' would have understood.
It truly is the most offensive word at the moment.
I have seen programs where the c word has been used but the n word has been bleeped
I think people need to grow up really though and shouldn't be so offended by the mere mention of a word.
I know you are not racist but society is not or will ever adopt a ' sticks and stones' policy when it comes to public behaviour.
So asking people to grow up is truly offensive to people of colour let alone society in general.
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Aug 06, 2020 7:19 am

Marc Meakin wrote:
Thu Aug 06, 2020 4:13 am
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:52 pm
Marc Meakin wrote:
Wed Aug 05, 2020 4:05 pm


It truly is the most offensive word at the moment.
I have seen programs where the c word has been used but the n word has been bleeped
I think people need to grow up really though and shouldn't be so offended by the mere mention of a word.
I know you are not racist but society is not or will ever adopt a ' sticks and stones' policy when it comes to public behaviour.
So asking people to grow up is truly offensive to people of colour let alone society in general.
I think you're missing the point though. I'm not saying people should just accept racist behaviour. I was talking specifically about the BBC mentioning the word, not someone using the word in order to be offensive. As I said in my first post in this topic:
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Thu Jul 09, 2020 5:03 pm
Yes, it would be ridiculous to remove words on the grounds of offensiveness. You also have to consider the use-mention distinction.
I went on to mention the word myself. Was my post offensive?

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Marc Meakin » Thu Aug 06, 2020 3:44 pm

I think I took exception to the use of people rather than the BBC
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Adam Gillard » Thu Aug 06, 2020 10:09 pm

I agree with Marc. That post will come back to haunt you when you run for Prime Minister, Gevin.
Mike Brown: "Round 12: T N R S A E I G U

C1: SIGNATURE (18) ["9; not written down"]
C2: SEATING (7)
Score: 108–16 (max 113)

Another niner for Adam and yet another century. Well done, that man."

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sat Aug 08, 2020 8:26 pm

Well, a DJ called Sideman has quit the BBC over their use of the N-word. Make of that what you will.

Edit - a couple of YouTube videos of it being said. Just looking at some of the comments...

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Sam Cappleman-Lynes » Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:43 pm

Regardless of your position about the offensiveness of a word taken out of context or used in a quotation, there is still a double standard here. Strong swear words are expressly forbidden before the watershed in any context but this word is not. Whatever process deemed the F-word unsuitable for broadcast at 10:30 AM but the N-word A-okay has some flaws no?

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Conor » Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:02 pm

Sam Cappleman-Lynes wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:43 pm
Regardless of your position about the offensiveness of a word taken out of context or used in a quotation, there is still a double standard here. Strong swear words are expressly forbidden before the watershed in any context but this word is not. Whatever process deemed the F-word unsuitable for broadcast at 10:30 AM but the N-word A-okay has some flaws no?
I sort of see the watershed as existing for a different reason: if you didn't have it you'd have more and more (gratuitous) swearing at earlier times, and this is probably not where you want to go as a society. Whereas deeming the N-word suitable for broadcast in the morning probably isn't going to lead to a rush of broadcasters also wanting to air racial slurs.

Also, don't they sometimes air unbleeped expletives if it's relating to a news story (e.g. from a home video) with some sort of warning about offensive language even before the watershed? Or maybe I've imagined that.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Aug 09, 2020 7:16 am

If the F-word is forbidden in any context then it would be double standards but it would be surprising if they couldn't use it in the same context that they used the N-word. As I think Conor alluded to.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Marc Meakin » Sun Aug 09, 2020 8:06 am

Conor wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:02 pm
Sam Cappleman-Lynes wrote:
Sat Aug 08, 2020 9:43 pm
Regardless of your position about the offensiveness of a word taken out of context or used in a quotation, there is still a double standard here. Strong swear words are expressly forbidden before the watershed in any context but this word is not. Whatever process deemed the F-word unsuitable for broadcast at 10:30 AM but the N-word A-okay has some flaws no?
I sort of see the watershed as existing for a different reason: if you didn't have it you'd have more and more (gratuitous) swearing at earlier times, and this is probably not where you want to go as a society. Whereas deeming the N-word suitable for broadcast in the morning probably isn't going to lead to a rush of broadcasters also wanting to air racial slurs.

Also, don't they sometimes air unbleeped expletives if it's relating to a news story (e.g. from a home video) with some sort of warning about offensive language even before the watershed? Or maybe I've imagined that.
I can't recall ever seeing this on the mainstream BBC , I have heard warnings about hate speech or language some people will find upsetting but not profanity
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Gavin Chipper » Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:52 pm

And the BBC have backed down. I see it as taking the easy way out.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Marc Meakin » Sun Aug 09, 2020 4:21 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:52 pm
And the BBC have backed down. I see it as taking the easy way out.
I don't think the BBC want to make any enemies of the government as the BBC is ripe for privatisation
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Gavin Chipper » Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:16 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Sun Aug 09, 2020 3:52 pm
And the BBC have backed down. I see it as taking the easy way out.
The more I think about this, the more bizarre it becomes. Someone actually resigned their job because they thought it was unacceptable that the BBC used this word, and then the BBC apologised about it.

It's like people have no idea what racism is. This is what would happen if you made a poor attempt at programming a computer to be anti-racist. Chuck away all the nuance, and just have a word you can't say. It's actually completely insane. I'm even considering going Facebook on this, depsite all the risks that this entails.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:06 am

Homophobia is a word that is over used.
For example I made a joke that wouldn't look out of place in a carry on film using the word knob as an inuendo.
My college who wasn't offended said it could be deemed a homophobic comment.
I am guilt of casual sexism on occasions but I'm not a misogenist .
So , although clunky I would rather my comment be considered homo-sexist rather than homophobic.
I would be interested to hear from others on this.
I am willing to divulge the innuendo if it helps with context
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Fiona T » Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:38 am

Marc Meakin wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:06 am
Homophobia is a word that is over used.
For example I made a joke that wouldn't look out of place in a carry on film using the word knob as an inuendo.
My college who wasn't offended said it could be deemed a homophobic comment.
I am guilt of casual sexism on occasions but I'm not a misogenist .
So , although clunky I would rather my comment be considered homo-sexist rather than homophobic.
I would be interested to hear from others on this.
I am willing to divulge the innuendo if it helps with context
Overused by whom?

The problem here, Mark isn't the "label" you give to the thing, it's the way stuff like this is so ingrained as the norm that people don't even consider that it might be sexist/homophobic. While people who use such comments probably don't "hate" women/gay people, it all contributes to a culture being a straight white male is the default and anything else is "other". If you really consider everyone to be equal, why would you (probably) be less pleased if someone called your son girly than if someone called your daughter a tomboy?

Did you consider your comment to be homophobic before you made it?
Did you agree with your colleague's analysis?
Would you think before making the comment again?
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:39 pm

Fiona T wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 8:38 am
Marc Meakin wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:06 am
Homophobia is a word that is over used.
For example I made a joke that wouldn't look out of place in a carry on film using the word knob as an inuendo.
My college who wasn't offended said it could be deemed a homophobic comment.
I am guilt of casual sexism on occasions but I'm not a misogenist .
So , although clunky I would rather my comment be considered homo-sexist rather than homophobic.
I would be interested to hear from others on this.
I am willing to divulge the innuendo if it helps with context
Overused by whom?

The problem here, Mark isn't the "label" you give to the thing, it's the way stuff like this is so ingrained as the norm that people don't even consider that it might be sexist/homophobic. While people who use such comments probably don't "hate" women/gay people, it all contributes to a culture being a straight white male is the default and anything else is "other". If you really consider everyone to be equal, why would you (probably) be less pleased if someone called your son girly than if someone called your daughter a tomboy?

Did you consider your comment to be homophobic before you made it?
Did you agree with your colleague's analysis?
Would you think before making the comment again?
Maybe not overused , but definitely used incorrectly.
No they were not homophobic .
No my colleagues analysis was wrong.
He is gay and laughed at the comment but pointed out that others may find it so.
I do not regret making the comment as it was a joke and all my colleagues laughed , it was banter and nobody was offended.
I am a bit of a clown at work and usually make jokes ,
normally self-deprecating.
I guess the bottom line with comedy to me is funny is funny but I generally know my audience as I have been working with my colleagues for 4 years.
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Fiona T » Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:45 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:39 pm

Maybe not overused , but definitely used incorrectly.
No they were not homophobic .
No my colleagues analysis was wrong.
He is gay and laughed at the comment but pointed out that others may find it so.
I do not regret making the comment as it was a joke and all my colleagues laughed , it was banter and nobody was offended.
I am a bit of a clown at work and usually make jokes ,
normally self-deprecating.
I guess the bottom line with comedy to me is funny is funny but I generally know my audience as I have been working with my colleagues for 4 years.
Well if a gay colleague told me that something I'd said could be deemed offensive to gay people, I'd feel inclined to give some weight to their opinion. Aside from being concerned about whether anyone might take offence at your humour, you don't want to be justifying your position to HR.
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Gavin Chipper » Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:37 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:06 am
I am willing to divulge the innuendo if it helps with context
You might as well.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:11 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:37 pm
Marc Meakin wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:06 am
I am willing to divulge the innuendo if it helps with context
You might as well.
We was trying to move a large item of furniture into a tight space and Richie my colleague said careful I don't want ton end up with a door up my arse , and I added or a knob.....then I quickly added, I meant door knob.

I guess you had to be there to have found it funny
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Marc Meakin » Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:17 pm

Fiona T wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 2:45 pm
Marc Meakin wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 1:39 pm

Maybe not overused , but definitely used incorrectly.
No they were not homophobic .
No my colleagues analysis was wrong.
He is gay and laughed at the comment but pointed out that others may find it so.
I do not regret making the comment as it was a joke and all my colleagues laughed , it was banter and nobody was offended.
I am a bit of a clown at work and usually make jokes ,
normally self-deprecating.
I guess the bottom line with comedy to me is funny is funny but I generally know my audience as I have been working with my colleagues for 4 years.
Well if a gay colleague told me that something I'd said could be deemed offensive to gay people, I'd feel inclined to give some weight to their opinion. Aside from being concerned about whether anyone might take offence at your humour, you don't want to be justifying your position to HR.
Considering he was laughing at my remark it wouldn't have carried any weight with HR.
I should stress he never said HE found it homophobic only that SOMEONE who is sensitive may have found it homophobic.
Hope that makes things clearer.
So I kind of wanted to canvass people here.
Especially those that would find it offensive ( now I have posted the joke )
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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:25 pm

Marc Meakin wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:11 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:37 pm
Marc Meakin wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:06 am
I am willing to divulge the innuendo if it helps with context
You might as well.
We was trying to move a large item of furniture into a tight space and Richie my colleague said careful I don't want ton end up with a door up my arse , and I added or a knob.....then I quickly added, I meant door knob.

I guess you had to be there to have found it funny
A bit of a non-event I'd say. The sort of thing that no-one in real life would be offended by, but somehow there are people who exist on Twitter who have no physical form.

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Re: Offensive Words

Post by Marc Meakin » Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:00 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Wed Aug 12, 2020 6:25 pm
Marc Meakin wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 7:11 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Tue Aug 11, 2020 4:37 pm

You might as well.
We was trying to move a large item of furniture into a tight space and Richie my colleague said careful I don't want ton end up with a door up my arse , and I added or a knob.....then I quickly added, I meant door knob.

I guess you had to be there to have found it funny
A bit of a non-event I'd say. The sort of thing that no-one in real life would be offended by, but somehow there are people who exist on Twitter who have no physical form.
The irony of it is that me thinking Richie was serious about the homophobia comment was probably more dubious
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