Bad Words

PC language

I’m in danger of being banned from boards.ie for using bad words.

Isn’t that great?

They have this automatic filter thing that converts your comment if you use a word on their proscribed list of ultra-dangerous seriously-injurious vowel-consonant-sequences.

Should you utter a vowel-consonant-sequence that disturbs the boards.ie fuckometer, it will turn your vowel-consonant-sequence into asterisks automatically.

Furthermore, should you seek to circumvent their fuckometer by using alternative spellings, such as mutherphuqqer, or qoqsuqqer, you’ll find a moderator instructing you to moderate your language.

Now.

Here’s the thing.

While the fuckometer detects words like fuck, and shit, it has no problems with words such as copulate and defecate.

And this suggests to me that there’s a hidden agenda at work in the greater PC world, an agenda related to accessibility and educational background.

It suggests to me that the PC world is a comfort blanket for the condescending classes who would never dream of coming into contact with those who neither know nor care what copulate and defecate mean.

It suggests to me that the boards.ie fuckometer has nothing whatever to do with protecting anyone from ugly words and everything to do with protecting the comfortable classes from those they’d rather patronise.

This line of thinking is hundreds of years old and has its linguistic origins in the arrival of the Normans to Britain.  French, a language heavily influenced by the Latin  lexicon, was the language of the rulers, whereas Saxon was that of the underclass, and therefore over the centuries, Latinisms came to be regarded as superior to Anglo-Saxon linguistic forms in certain circles.

This was bollocks, of course, but unfortunately it has persisted to the present day, and has found its extremes in the United States, from where all on-line etiquette is dictated.

And thus we have the comments policy of boards.ie.

To the guys who run Boards.ie, I offer the following suggestion: lads, would you please think seriously about this silly policy?

We aren’t in America.

Yet.

_____________

Previously on Bock:

Mother*ucking *ocksuckers

48 thoughts on “Bad Words

  1. Quite a few of the boards.ie mods have differing opinions on the filter (and hands up, I’m a mod there myself).
    Thing is, I’m one of the people who thinks there’s a reason for having it.
    And it’s this – I like the words fuck and shit and the other four-letter peers of those words.
    I find their existence of great value to me, and when I need them, I find that nothing else even comes close to matching their expressiveness and functionality.

    However, when someone can’t finish a five-word sentence without two of those words being of the afore-mentioned lexicon, it dilutes the effect of those words. They cease to invoke the visceral reaction they currently maintain a fingernail’s purchase upon, and devolve through the status of meaningless filler and eventually pass through the colon of the english language into disuse. And then we have to invent whole new words. This is what happened to words like twat and damn and bugger. Originally potent, they now would require some form of linguistic viagra to rise even the mildest ire from the most conservative of minds.

    I don’t particularly care as to the educational or socio-economic background of the author when that occurs, no more than I would care about their education or background were he or she a driver who had just run me over. I merely care that they are damaging something I don’t want to see damaged because I require it to be in a usable condition. And frankly, I don’t believe that the language used by someone is tied to their income level as you suggest because many of those I have met who are least prone to overuse of this lexicon are from less-than-average to downright poor backgrounds themselves.

    And more immediately, these interjectives are not exactly detailed in their expressions; their power lies more in emphasising the inability of the speaker to summon a suitably expressive phrase to match the demands of the moment and the context of the interaction. On a message board like boards.ie, this simply never arises – if you reply now or tomorrow, your voice is equally audible. If you cannot express yourself adaquately now, you can simple step back and take as much time as you wish to compose a more elequent response; and indeed if ridicule of your conversation mate is what you seek, far more effective ridicule results from such a period of consideration.

    In other words, learn to question the intersection of a chap’s lineage with that of the local ruminant population in a more amusing manner, and leave the more direct interjections for those cases where their use is actually required instead of being merely driven by the force of habit.

    Or we’ll fucking ban you, right? :-D

  2. (For the record, no, that’s not me representing boards.ie saying we’re actually going to ban you, it’s me attempting to be funny… and now failing in that attempt…)

  3. Boards.ie (presummably named as an hommage to the imagination of it’s creators) is sh*t anyway. It’s full of PC f*cks, each trying to out do each other in showing how tolerant and linguisticly sensible they all are, and not an original thought between them, though they won’t hesitate to jump up and down if you say something they haven’t heard before (or indeed, something they have forgotten).

  4. Oh look! Akismet caught it and put it in the spam queue.

    Brilliant. I love it!!

    Now that I’m reading it, here’s a question for you. Where did you notice me saying anything about a person’s income level?

    By the way, I look forward to starting a thread on Scunthorpe United.

  5. Cheers Bock, I’d have been sad to lose that.
    The income thing came from this:

    And this suggests to me that there’s a hidden agenda at work in the greater PC world, an agenda related to accessibility and educational background.

    To me that said socio-economic background, because it’s harder to access education the poorer you are (information learnt the hard way).

  6. That’s not a logical connection and it isn’t something I suggested.

    People are excluded from education for all sorts of reasons, including, but not confined to, shortage of money.

    And the libraries are free.

  7. I don’t like diluting the language either, but the boards.ie policy goes beyond that. It strips out every instance of certain character strings and replaces them with asterisks. Which, in my opinion, is bull****.

    What are they afraid of? We all know what the asterisks mean anyway. Will the letters hurt us? That’s positively puritanical, and reminds me of the prissy attitude we have come to associate with American political correctness.

    It reminds me of RTE’s old policy of having an actor speak Gerry Adams’s words in case we’d be corrupted by the sound of his voice.

  8. To be honest, I liked that policy about Adams – not because of his politics, but because he’s got a monumentally annoying voice…

    And it’s hardly puritanical when you can express precisely what the “offending” word conveys in lucid detail without actually using the word – I could, for example, opine that in my opinion Brian Cowen is a morbidly obese and dishonest shiester who could not be trusted around sheep by those who were opposed to bestiality, nor around the family silver by anyone who enjoyed possession of that silver.

    And I didn’t have to call him a fat thieving fuck even once.

  9. I understand that. I’m asking what’s the difference between calling him a thieving fuck and calling him a thieving f***?

  10. One sets off the swear filter and one doesn’t.
    Both get discredited by Cowen as “mere vulgarity” (though ironically, it’s harder to sue for libel for mere vulgarity).
    Both dilute the impact of the interjective.
    And both, in a forum like boards.ie, are a step in the race to the bottom that most mods spend their time trying to prevent – anyone can publish a Sunday World, after all, but it takes effort to publish a Sunday Business Post.
    And I don’t mean that in a snobby way, but put it this way – which news source would you trust more if those were the sole available choices?

  11. I didn’t mean it in the context of boards.ie.

    I meant it in general. Since we know exactly what “bullsh*t” means, why is “bullshit” unacceptable? Is it the extra “i” that makes all the difference?

  12. It’s not sophistry, it’s context. If I say “Bullshit” on here, I’m saying it on the bocktherobber.com website, under it’s T&C’s and under the philosophy of those who run this site. If I say it on boards, it’s a different set of rules from a different set of people, with a different philosophy.

    If you’re talking about the swear filter on boards, that’s one discussion, about the way boards.ie does things.
    If you’re talking about the actual swearing itself, that’s a whole other discussion and it ranges a long way past the boards.ie website.

  13. And would c’est la craic be from politics.ie perchance?

    What do you mean from politics.ie? Is it a place, some devastatingly important philosophical point of view? Quite a nice attempt at making a straw man there, but I’m afraid I’m not from a rival forum I’m afraid. Now careful how you retort as I might take offence at your choice of words and accuse you of being intolerant, sexist, racist, fascist, misogyne, etc etc

    ********

  14. What do you mean from politics.ie?

    I mean that there’s been a lot of yelling on politics.ie of late that boards.ie is crap, run by mad, power-crazed nutjobs called moderators who are drunk on power and coke and hookers.

    Personally, I think it’s a major inferiority complex, but that’s just me.

    And you sound just like the worst of the politics.ie shouty crowd.


  15. I mean that there’s been a lot of yelling on politics.ie of late that boards.ie is crap, run by mad, power-crazed nutjobs called moderators who are drunk on power and coke and hookers.

    Personally, I think it’s a major inferiority complex, but that’s just me.

    And you sound just like the worst of the politics.ie shouty crowd.

    That would be a question for the guy who owns it then. What I wanted to know was what you by from. I’ve been on Boards.ie and Politics.ie and many others besides and I’d prefer to hear the opinions of a loud mouth with something to say than a bunch of pseudo-intellectuals slapping each other on the back for being so bohemian and open minded and blaming all criticism on jealous people with ‘major inferiority complexs’.

    I could say you sound like a pretentious Trinity fuck, but then I would be basing that on a few comment on bocks blog without any knowledge of who you are, which would be a very stupid and arrogant thing to do. Don’t you think?

  16. That would be a question for the guy who owns it then.

    Who has already disowned the opinions of the shouty crowd. The people who actually run both websites have no problem with each other – the problem is from a small group of politics.ie posters who’ve been banned from boards.ie because they thought that they were “special” and thus didn’t have to follow the same forum charters that everyone else follows.

    And I’d prefer to hear substance as well, but I’ve found in general that those who have something of substance to say don’t need to swear to get their point across, the substance speaks for itself.

  17. Mark, I think we’re at cross-purposes here.

    Do you reckon that people somehow pretend they don’t know what f**k means?

  18. Do you reckon that people somehow pretend they don’t know what f**k means?

    No, I don’t.
    I think that spam filters on email and nanny filters on internet connections being used by kids will block “fuck” and not “****”, which is one of the reasons it’s a good thing to have the swear filter on boards.ie – otherwise, the site would be blacklisted because the contents of new posts is sent by email to those subscribed to threads.
    There are other reasons why it’s in place, but that’s a pretty big one.

  19. But sometimes they feel like swearing! Sometimes people get a bit passionate and need to use words that exprime the FUCKING rage they feel when they see what the likes of toady FUCKING SCUMBAGS in Fianna Fail have done to this country.
    And then some people are just humourless drones who’s deepest wish is to have someone say ‘.. he reminds me of a young William F. Buckley’.

  20. Bock now that you have you “outed” to the “Man” I doubt this will work. Try F.U.C.K. or Bollicks rather then Bollix . I always thought that spelling should be pronounced “Bolouoo “ as in Gateaux as Geatuoo. Language can be fun. The Irish are apparently the only users of English that break words “Aw Refafuckenree” . That needs to be said aloud.

  21. But sometimes they feel like swearing!

    Don’t we all?
    But last I checked, they weren’t paying for the hosting of boards.ie and if they really want to swear, let them go to blogger.com or wordpress.com, get a free blog and post whatever they want, free from oversight.

    If they want to post on boards.ie, then they have to follow boards.ie’s rules. That’s all there is to it. And it’s a bit stupid to say that’s unfair.

  22. And last I checked, btw, even that “bastion” of “free expression”, politics.ie, will ban you if you try to get round their swear filter with accents or cunningly-placed periods.

  23. No one is claiming it’s unfair. It’s ridiculous.You’ve pointed some technological reasons regarding filters, but will the filter not interpret **** and fùck the same way? If it’s just a technical issue then f*ck will pose no problem. So why caution posters for writing in creative phonetics, aprt from appeasing the delicate sensibilities of the 2 inch deep brigade.

  24. It’s ridiculous.

    How so? They pay for the web hosting, you get a free account and get to post there, but they’ve got rules you agreed to follow when you signed up to post there. They have a perfect right to put those rules there, they’ve paid money to let you post there, that’s where the right originates from.
    If you don’t like it, go somewhere else, it’s not like you’re having your arm twisted! You’re getting something for free and then complaining because you don’t like a small part of it!

    will the filter not interpret **** and fùck the same way?

    Which is why politics.ie will ban you for writing “fùck” to get round their swear filter.

  25. And last I checked, btw, even that “bastion” of “free expression”, politics.ie, will ban you if you try to get round their swear filter with accents or cunningly-placed periods.

    Why are you constantly trying to associate me with politics.ie? I told you your straw man will not work.

    Also if you go to politics.ie as I have just done and pick any thread (I chose one on John O’Donoghue, gotta go where the fishng is good) you’ll find lots of examples of creative phonetics

    The scrounging b*stard should be made / pressured to resign and if no party / TD calls for his resignation, well it will only prove that they all have their snouts in the trough and have each, equally, something to hide!!

    F*ck off O’Donoghue.

    BUT WHERE THE F*CK IS ENDA KENNY, EAMON GILMORE, UNION LEADERS, WHERE ARE ALL THESE PEOPLE WHO CLAIM TO BE THE LAST CHANCE SALOON FOR THE COMMON GOOD OF IRELAND

    All from the first page of the thread. I don’t see any moderator comments or warnings there. I’m sure there’s plenty more example’s if you look. We know exactly what these posters mean and how they feel about. Perhpas you find that too common, but unfortunatly that is how the ‘great unwashed’ speak in reality.

  26. I don’t see any moderator comments or warnings there.

    Warning: re profanity

    David Cochrane
    Politics.ie Editor

    Folks, this is a final warning.

    If I read a thread (or if one is brought to my attention) and someone uses foreign characters to post profane words onto the site that would normally be blocked by the word censors, the user in question will be banned. Simple as.

    For those who have been banned recently (garland?) – am happy to review bannings if an acknowledgement/apology is forthcoming. My email address is david@politics.ie.

    Let this be a warning, we won’t stand for profanity on P.ie.

  27. How so? They pay for the web hosting, you get a free account and get to post there, but they’ve got rules you agreed to follow when you signed up to post there. They have a perfect right to put those rules there, they’ve paid money to let you post there, that’s where the right originates from.
    If you don’t like it, go somewhere else, it’s not like you’re having your arm twisted! You’re getting something for free and then complaining because you don’t like a small part of it!

    Actually I’m pointing out why it is shite and I don’t use it. Also it is undeniable ugly and cluttered but that’s irrevelent. Sure Boards or poitics.ie can make up their own rules, but they cannot stop criticism of said rules.

  28. When is that from? He might want to put that one up as a sticky as not many people seem to take any heed.

    Also I love the way David Cochrane calls himself the editor. He must write about two lines a week, it’s the users who generate all the content

  29. Actually I’m pointing out why it is shite

    Words like “ridiculous” don’t mean the same thing as “shite”.
    And I don’t see anyone threatening to shut Bock down for criticising boards.ie rules, anymore than anyone threatened David for people criticising boards.ie on politics.ie.

  30. When is that from?

    Click on the link.

    Also I love the way David Cochrane calls himself the editor. He must write about two lines a week, it’s the users who generate all the content

    May I suggest a dictionary? You don’t seem to understand what an editor is.

  31. I must defer to the Lord of the Internets . Mark Dehenney Controller General and Lord of all that is good and right. I most humbly apologise for any offence. May you live forever. May you and your ilk thrive and prosper.

  32. Words like “ridiculous” don’t mean the same thing as “shite”.

    In the same way that undercooked chicken isn’t food poisoning.

    And appart from the odd troll banning, what does he edit? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t know him and on the balance his site is superior to Boards.ie if only for the fact that he or his moderators don’t seem to follow their rules as pedanticly as you guys.

  33. Anyone who pays for their site is perfectly entitled to set any rules they want.

    I do it all the time.

    In fact, I have a rule that if somebody pisses me off, I can ban them without giving any reason, just because I feel like it. Fuck them.

    So I’m not saying Boards.ie are wrong to have any particular policy: that’s their business.

    In fact, Boards.ie aren’t even particularly relevant to this discussion. They were only the starting point.

    The real issue is this prissy, puritanical, superstitious fear of magic words that has become so widespread.

  34. The real issue is this prissy, puritanical, superstitious fear of magic words that has become so widespread.

    See, now that is a completely different kettle of fish.

  35. Well, if you glance at the title of the post you’ll see it’s called “Bad Words”, not “why Boards.ie should change their policies”, though I admit, I did ask them to reconsider their attitude.

    Have a look at this previous post:

    Mother*ucking *ocksuckers

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