Obscenity democracy

Discuss anything interesting but not remotely Countdown-related here.

Moderator: Jon O'Neill

How do you feel about swearing on the forum?

Poll ended at Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:15 pm

It should be actively encouraged.
8
11%
It should be up to individuals to decide how to express themselves.
55
74%
It should be removed by an automatic filter.
4
5%
It should be actively discouraged by warning or banning those responsible.
7
9%
 
Total votes: 74

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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Gavin Chipper » Wed Dec 16, 2020 6:56 pm

Joseph Bolas wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:21 pm
Charlie Reams wrote:
Matt Morrison wrote: a filter should exist, but definitely optional and off as standard.
It appears that PHPBB won't let you do this, so (unless someone can find a suitable plug-in), it's all-or-nothing.
If you type in Jo-Bo (without the hyphen) it changes to Joseph. I'm not quite sure how this is done, but couldn't this same technique be used on the swear words?
Joseph.

Edit - Interesting. It doesn't change it in what I can see when I edit the post by the way. Let's try this:

JoBo.

Edit 2 - Yes, destroyed it.

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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Graeme Cole » Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:13 pm

I mean I can't quite believe it but L'oisleatch McGraw just reanimated an eleven year old thread and wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:06 pm
There is NO WORD in the English language (including the dreaded N-word) that is so taboo that in cannot be used in any context. There are countless examples online... If you wanna do a cursory search for the n-word, you will find hundreds of thousands of articles, forum posts, etc. that contain the word. Many of these search results will be from highly reputable publications... I found recent articles form The Irish Times, The Mirror UK, The Guardian UK (to name but a few) that use that word. Mostly in a neutral or academic context... but in some cases, quoting racist taunts (which I found to be a veering close to an inappropriate use of the word). Almost none of the online references are as bland or neutral as the contexts in which that word has been used on C4C... i.e. as simply a word that is valid in the dictionary.
You can write what you like, on your own website or publication. If you write something on a forum owned by someone else, you don't make the rules. Expect the moderators to intervene if you write something they think shouldn't be there.

And yes, I'm sure you or someone else could think of some context in which mentioning the N-word might be justifiable. But in your case the moderator felt this wasn't one of those contexts. You could have referred to it by its first letter, as other people were doing, and it wouldn't have caused any confusion or detracted from the argument you were making.
L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:06 pm
There is one more thing that bothered me about Jack's choice to censor ONE word from my post... He failed to censor other potentially offensive words in the same post (i.e. FAGGOTS, POOF and PAKI). Why is that? Let's for a moment imagine that these words actually ARE innately offensive to the minority groups involved, regardless of context. Why pick and choose which minority it's ok to offend? There are plenty of gay people in the Countdown community, and a few of Asian ethnicity... but hardly any black people. Is this a case of Jack subconsciously othering black people, because that is what it looks like.
"When I mention a series of discriminatory slurs in my post and a moderator replaces one of them with 'N******', it's othering black people" is a late but strong entry for the Hottest Take of 2020.

Perhaps the moderators censored only your N-word because that was the word they'd received the complaint about?
L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:06 pm
typical SJWs and members of the wokerati
:lol: Just going to leave this here because I think it says more about you than I ever could.
L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:06 pm
TL;DR - I would like to overrule a decision made by one of the mods last week, by going into one of my posts and editing it to undo the censorship.
Is this ok with TPTB of the forum?
Why? Is there any ambiguity about what word is being referred to? Does the word's removal materially change your post and its meaning? What positives are there in having the word spelt out in full in your post? Some abstract, theoretical idea of free speech, which you feel is under threat somehow?

Over the ten years I've been a member of this forum I've found it to be very permissive in allowing the free and frank exchange of ideas with hardly any restrictions on how they are expressed. I don't think this is incompatible with one of the most offensive racial slurs in the language (perhaps considered the most offensive?) getting replaced with its initial and some asterisks in a way that doesn't affect the meaning of the post.

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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Adam Gillard » Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:59 pm

Ian Volante wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 5:34 pm
What's this plastic Elvises thing? Sounds like a way to discriminate against a bunch of people to me.
I agree with Ian here. Plus some other terms that sounded divisive in that same post that I haven't heard before. I also very much dislike the fact that the person who filed the report and the person who applied the moderation have been publicly outed and their motives questioned. Are we trying to scare people out of filing reports and moderating the forum?
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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:03 am

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:06 pm
She concluded " I think that was the Plastic Elvises being dicks because they just lost an argument." ...and I tend to agree with that fine analysis.
OK, but her opinion was formed after hearing one side of the story in which the people who disagreed with you were referred to as "Plastic Elvises". How can we be sure that she got an unbiased report?

I mean, you know that I've used the N-word on this forum (or mentioned it at least) as I'm on your list and maybe some of the people here disagree with my stance. If I was a moderator, I wouldn't censor it.

However, there are ways of going about things, and regardless of whether your use of certain words should be criticised or censored, I do agree with what a lot of the other posters have criticised about your reaction to the censoring. As an example - the post immediately above this one.

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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:10 am

Alright, I read the recent replies that came in... and it is mostly hot air and bluster. Graeme taking a cheap shot about my character? Come on man, you are better than that. And Adam just here for the pile-on, lol, without properly engaging with what's been written. fyi Fiona outed herself, and the Mod in question could only have been Jack or Lesley (who hasn't been active since 2015), so yeah... Jack. And anyone who knows what the Plastic Elvis thing is, knows how ridiculous it is that people are getting hung up on that term, as though it were a slur or an insult.

I think that the complaint was made in bad faith. I do not believe that anyone actually does find that word offensive in the context that myself, Gevin, Matt, Charlie etc have used it in. Furthermore, I used the same word (in EXACTLY the same context as previously) twice in my first post on this thread. Should those now also be replaced by asterisks?
Ian Volante wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 5:34 pm
As for the N word or otherwise, I'd like to think that generally, people wouldn't use it at all, but that there are probably contexts in which is has validity. And going back to the general tenor of the thread, we as intelligent adults should be able to trust each other to understand where that line is.
This, I agree with.
I have been in the CD community since 2010, and joined this forum in 2015. I don't like to use offensive language too often, unless I am in the company of people who I know are gonna be ok with whatever the swear word is, and even then, I am not massively into it. My first time using the N-word in this community was on the PACKIES thread last week, as it was appropriate to that conversation in that context.

The reason I am not happy to simply let this go, is that it is a point of principle.

Forget all the bluster, hot air, and white people pretending to be offended by things they are not offended by... this boils down to one simple question for me: If I go back into that post from last week, and remove Jack's asterisks to reinstate the N-word there, will I be banned from C4C?
If the answer to that question is "No", then I'm doing it.
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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Fiona T » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:38 am

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:10 am
I think that the complaint was made in bad faith. I do not believe that anyone actually does find that word offensive in the context that myself, Gevin, Matt, Charlie etc have used it in. Furthermore, I used the same word (in EXACTLY the same context as previously) twice in my first post on this thread. Should those now also be replaced by asterisks?
I am offended by it - there's zero pretence - growing up in 80's Medway and having an Indian best friend, I was called a P*** lover and have had threats to have "my cunt kicked in" because of it.

I've witnessed gangs of skinheads singing "ain't no black in the union jack" and "when the lights are flashing, we'll go P*** bashing"

Frankly it was terrifying - so Christ knows what it was like for my friend.

Maybe in rural Ireland you didn't have such experiences, and I'm genuinely glad for you.

But don't dare pretend any offence I take from your "principled" use of the word isn't real.

Frankly I think you need to take a hard look at yourself and make sure your gratuitous use of racist language doesn't alienate anyone who might stumble across this forum.

Edit: FTOAD I don't remember the exact wording of my complaint and I can't find it anywhere on my profile, but the gist of it was use of offensive racist terms - I did not pick out a particular word to the best of my recall.
Last edited by Fiona T on Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Graeme Cole » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:40 am

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:10 am
The reason I am not happy to simply let this go, is that it is a point of principle.

Forget all the bluster, hot air, and white people pretending to be offended by things they are not offended by... this boils down to one simple question for me: If I go back into that post from last week, and remove Jack's asterisks to reinstate the N-word there, will I be banned from C4C?
If the answer to that question is "No", then I'm doing it.
I don't think you'll get banned from C4C for it. Worst case, a moderator might re-edit it and lock the thread. However, everyone on C4C would be free to make their own judgement about what sort of person would go so far out of their way to ensure this widely-loathed word appears in full where the initial would suffice, in the name of some ill-defined "point of principle".

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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Marc Meakin » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:50 am

A more balanced solution would be to edit all previous posts that have used the N word so that nobody can think they are being singled out
Or maybe cancel all posters that have used that word 😉
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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by L'oisleatch McGraw » Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:46 am

Fiona T wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:38 am
But don't dare pretend any offence I take from your "principled" use of the word isn't real.
I have edited out the emotive and anecdotal material*, as it is not relevant to the context in question. I am not pretending anything, and my original use of the word wasn't out of any principle at the time. It was just the correct word for the sentence. Simple. Search for the word, the N-word -on Google, and see how it is used on fora and in the print media. I am not making this up. It gets used -in full- in certain contexts all the time. Most of us are grown-ups here, and understand how and when to use such words. If you really are sticking to your guns, and insisting that you genuinely believe listing the word as something that is valid in Countdown, counts as somehow a hateful or inflammatory use of the word, then I would in all seriousness recommend seeking counselling.

Yeah, there is a cultural aspect here. N*****, P*** etc do not resonate so much with Irish people, as we don't have the history that America (and to a lesser extent the UK) has. Our major prejudices have been against the British, and the travelling community.

However, I have seen hatred, similar to what you described in your post above... when I was at school especially, and against gay people. Awful slurs, taunts and threats of violence. I have been pretty lucky in that respect as I was only on the receiving end of homophobic shit on two occasions... However, given that, I know that listing the word 'faggot**' as something that is valid in the game Countdown is a zillion miles from the word 'faggot' when used as a weapon. Do you genuinely not get the difference?


*btw Fiona, putting aside this debate for a moment... those are awful things you and your friend had to go through. Sorry to hear it.

**From my experience growing up in Ireland in the 80s and 90s, 'faggot' has very little resonance, as that was an American term that was rarely used. 'Bender', and 'Queer' have far more resonance as the weapons of choice of the bullies of that world.
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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Callum Todd » Thu Dec 17, 2020 7:18 am

Ian Volante wrote:
Wed Dec 16, 2020 5:34 pm
What's this p****** E***** [asterisks mine] thing? Sounds like a way to discriminate against a bunch of people to me.
I find the PE-word to be an offensive slur and think it should be automatically filtered out.
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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Ian Volante » Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:16 am

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:10 am
And anyone who knows what the Plastic Elvis thing is, knows how ridiculous it is that people are getting hung up on that term, as though it were a slur or an insult.
I asked because I don't know what it is, and you use it like a stick to beat people with. It seems to cheapen debate. I'm interested to know its etymology.

I was making a point as well, but I'm still asking the question.
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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Gavin Chipper » Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:41 am

Ian Volante wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:16 am
L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:10 am
And anyone who knows what the Plastic Elvis thing is, knows how ridiculous it is that people are getting hung up on that term, as though it were a slur or an insult.
I asked because I don't know what it is, and you use it like a stick to beat people with. It seems to cheapen debate. I'm interested to know its etymology.

I was making a point as well, but I'm still asking the question.
Isn't it just a Tim Vine character? Quite how that became an insult in Eoin's world, I have no idea.

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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Phil H » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:14 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:41 am
Ian Volante wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:16 am
L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:10 am
And anyone who knows what the Plastic Elvis thing is, knows how ridiculous it is that people are getting hung up on that term, as though it were a slur or an insult.
I asked because I don't know what it is, and you use it like a stick to beat people with. It seems to cheapen debate. I'm interested to know its etymology.

I was making a point as well, but I'm still asking the question.
Isn't it just a Tim Vine character? Quite how that became an insult in Eoin's world, I have no idea.
I'm not familiar with the Vine character, but in the absence of any further information, I took Eoin to be implying something along the lines of "the ZoomDown team are about as close to being the real thing as a typical Elvis impersonator is".

If so, I don't think anyone's calling for the term to be disallowed any more than "dick", but like "dick", it would indicate a certain dismissiveness.

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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Fiona T » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:16 pm

Gavin Chipper wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:41 am
Ian Volante wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:16 am
L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:10 am
And anyone who knows what the Plastic Elvis thing is, knows how ridiculous it is that people are getting hung up on that term, as though it were a slur or an insult.
I asked because I don't know what it is, and you use it like a stick to beat people with. It seems to cheapen debate. I'm interested to know its etymology.

I was making a point as well, but I'm still asking the question.
Isn't it just a Tim Vine character? Quite how that became an insult in Eoin's world, I have no idea.
Plastic Elvis was a Tim Vine character DC guest when Luke's heats were filming, which was also round the S81 finals.

A group of us that attended the recordings created a group chat which was called "plastic elvis hype machine". The chat is still going strong, albeit some people chat regularly, some rarely/never and a couple have left the group. It was from this chat that ZoomDown was born, and Paul has from time to time referred to "the Elvises" when talking about people who've helped make it a success.

Eoin appears to think it's a clique. If a group chat == a clique then I suppose it is. But it's a clique that is doing its best to build the community and include people, so I'm reluctant to think of it as a bad thing.
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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:17 pm

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:46 am
listing the word 'faggot**' as something that is valid in the game Countdown is a zillion miles from the word 'faggot' when used as a weapon.
I mean, this is your point, really, in a nutshell. You could have just said this.
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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Ian Volante » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:28 pm

Fiona T wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:16 pm
Gavin Chipper wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:41 am
Ian Volante wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 11:16 am


I asked because I don't know what it is, and you use it like a stick to beat people with. It seems to cheapen debate. I'm interested to know its etymology.

I was making a point as well, but I'm still asking the question.
Isn't it just a Tim Vine character? Quite how that became an insult in Eoin's world, I have no idea.
Plastic Elvis was a Tim Vine character DC guest when Luke's heats were filming, which was also round the S81 finals.

A group of us that attended the recordings created a group chat which was called "plastic elvis hype machine". The chat is still going strong, albeit some people chat regularly, some rarely/never and a couple have left the group. It was from this chat that ZoomDown was born, and Paul has from time to time referred to "the Elvises" when talking about people who've helped make it a success.

Eoin appears to think it's a clique. If a group chat == a clique then I suppose it is. But it's a clique that is doing its best to build the community and include people, so I'm reluctant to think of it as a bad thing.
Thanks, makes more sense now. The way it's been used has given this discussion, at least from my perspective, an unnecessary negative slant. This is a valid discussion, but there's a lack of neutrality in how the points are being made, and this just detracts from any validity in those points.
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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Fiona T » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:42 pm

Ian Volante wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:28 pm
Thanks, makes more sense now. The way it's been used has given this discussion, at least from my perspective, an unnecessary negative slant. This is a valid discussion, but there's a lack of neutrality in how the points are being made, and this just detracts from any validity in those points.
Well Eoin seems to have thought that there was some orchestrated campaign to get his post censored, so it's understandable he views it negatively. There was not - I'm not aware of anyone else from the chat group (or indeed elsewhere) reporting his post.
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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Peter Mabey » Thu Dec 17, 2020 3:09 pm

I had the 1947 edition of the Oxford Companion to Music as a birthday present, which has a section on 'Nicknamed Compositions'. It unashamedly includes Dvorak's "Nigger quartet", so the word's unprintability is pretty recent. :o

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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Rhys Benjamin » Thu Dec 17, 2020 3:56 pm

Peter Mabey wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 3:09 pm
I had the 1947 edition of the Oxford Companion to Music as a birthday present, which has a section on 'Nicknamed Compositions'. It unashamedly includes Dvorak's "Nigger quartet", so the word's unprintability is pretty recent. :o
Yes - around the 1970s, I believe. The original version of "Henry's Sneeze" in the Rev W Awdry stories (early-mid 1950s) features the line "as black as n..."
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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Phil H » Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:22 pm

Peter Mabey wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 3:09 pm
I had the 1947 edition of the Oxford Companion to Music as a birthday present... pretty recent. :o
Next you'll be telling me most people don't use wind-up gramophone players any more!
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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Phil H » Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:32 pm

[double post]

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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Marc Meakin » Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:43 pm

My old mum used to knit a lot back in the day and she assured me that there was a shade of Brown using the N word
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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Adam Gillard » Thu Dec 17, 2020 7:05 pm

L'oisleatch McGraw wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:10 am
Alright, I read the recent replies that came in... and it is mostly hot air and bluster. Graeme taking a cheap shot about my character? Come on man, you are better than that. And Adam just here for the pile-on, lol, without properly engaging with what's been written. fyi Fiona outed herself, and the Mod in question could only have been Jack or Lesley (who hasn't been active since 2015), so yeah... Jack. And anyone who knows what the Plastic Elvis thing is, knows how ridiculous it is that people are getting hung up on that term, as though it were a slur or an insult.
Thanks for taking the time to insult / demonise everyone who disagrees with you. Are you one of these internet trolls or are you just venting about this particular issue? I don't recall that I've ever taken note of your posts in this forum before but you're coming across as very rude and confrontational in this thread and I don't like it. Feel free to lambast me further for sharing my opinion.
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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Fred Mumford » Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:50 pm

Rhys Benjamin wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 3:56 pm
Yes - around the 1970s, I believe. The original version of "Henry's Sneeze" in the Rev W Awdry stories (early-mid 1950s) features the line "as black as n..."
That's exactly where I first became aware of the word, the 1974 edition of the Henry book. I remember asking my dad what it meant, and the somewhat awkward answer, with a warning that it's not a word we should ever really use.

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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Ian Fitzpatrick » Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:47 am

Marc Meakin wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:43 pm
My old mum used to knit a lot back in the day and she assured me that there was a shade of Brown using the N word
As indeed there was a Cherry Blossom shoe polish, no one thought anything about it at the time......
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Re: Obscenity democracy

Post by Marc Meakin » Fri Dec 18, 2020 1:15 pm

Ian Fitzpatrick wrote:
Fri Dec 18, 2020 10:47 am
Marc Meakin wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 6:43 pm
My old mum used to knit a lot back in the day and she assured me that there was a shade of Brown using the N word
As indeed there was a Cherry Blossom shoe polish, no one thought anything about it at the time......
I think the playground song that starts eeny meeny miny mo was sung in all innocence in the playground at my nursery school circa 1967.
Also I had a copy of the original title of the Agatha Christie Novel And Then There Were None.
( They changed the title twice since) I think it was first published in the 1930s
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