Swearing on FPPs November 27, 2001 8:56 PM   Subscribe

What's your opinion on using expletives on front page posts? I know they add flavor to posts, but wonder if children were to visit the site?

wait..... children reading mefi? that'll be the day.
posted by ewwgene to Etiquette/Policy at 8:56 PM (24 comments total)

I'm fine with them by the way.

Not a prudish bone in my body.
posted by ewwgene at 8:58 PM on November 27, 2001

I vote NO to any expletives on front page posts. Considering the long run, if you need to curse to make your point, the point is not a well constructed one.

As for the immediate future, I really don't want the first few expletive-added threads to generate 'why the expletives' comments, and MeTa threads for clarifications and then gradually die down as people a week or a month from now get used to seeing expletives routinely show up on front page posts. And, again in the long run, I don't think every other thread with an expletive can add anything more to the discussion or the point being made by the thread itself.
posted by tamim at 9:12 PM on November 27, 2001

You mean these posts are by adults?
posted by websavvy at 9:14 PM on November 27, 2001

But what about the grown ups!?!
posted by y2karl at 9:55 PM on November 27, 2001

I reserve the right to use the word 'fuck' when posting about the world being totally fucked, or when describing how one person fucked another person, or when I can't think of anything witty to say.

Honestly, I don't mind when people swear in the comment thread, and even though an example of someone swearing on an FPP doesn't jump immediately to mind (bad memory), I doubt it would bother me.

posted by Hildago at 9:55 PM on November 27, 2001

I have a 15, a 13, and a 9 year old that read MeFi at times. Sometimes on their own, others over my shoulder. However, it is my job to protect them, that goes without saying.

I don't mind the expletives too much myself in the body of the resulting discussion however, on the main page... nah. Doesn't fit a profile of quality. Pure and simple.

Emotion lends to demonstration within posts at times. That I can understand... if the person who first posted about the WTC/Pentagon attacks said "What the fuck is going on?" not many here would berate him for it.
posted by Dean_Paxton at 10:01 PM on November 27, 2001

The word in question is actually "McFuck," which isn't really profanity now, is it? It's not F*ck. It's McFuck.
posted by eyeballkid at 10:12 PM on November 27, 2001

how many of these threads would have the same impact with asterisks instead of the accursed U? Though I did agonize for a bit before posting this thread. I don't think it's kids so much we're worried about as the general MeFi vibe. As Rebecca has so eloquently said in past MeTa threads, if it was someone's first time to MeFi, would we be proud of that feature? And while I don't mind swearing much, I can also live without it. A hard and fast rule against it though? No.
posted by jessamyn at 10:25 PM on November 27, 2001

any kid using the internet without supervision has probably seen a lot worse than the odd sweary word

posted by sawks at 10:31 PM on November 27, 2001

I think the beauty of Metafilter is that there IS no rule against cussin' on the front page, yet 99% of the posts are expletive free. I bet if Matt came in here right now and said, "Say fuck all ya want on the front page," pretty much nothing would change. People around here are pretty cool. The few times expletives are used, I think they are used effectively, like "McFuck."
posted by Doug at 10:40 PM on November 27, 2001

If your kid goes to school, your kid knows (and probably uses) worse words than you do. You protect no one but yourself -- from unnecessary embarrassment -- by trying to keep their online world fuckcuntshit-free. You could even use the occurrence of such words when you are Web browsing together (ha) to explain why you don't like to see or hear them.

It's another thing if you are yourself offended by words of the fuckcuntshit variety. If you are, tell Matt. If there are enough of you -- nope, I doubt anything would change.
posted by pracowity at 10:58 PM on November 27, 2001

The Seven Deadly Words are the tobasco of the english language. A dash here or there gives flavor. Too much has people screaming and running out of the room looking for a toilet to stick their head into and flush.

Most people understand this. When it's needed, MeFi gets profanity. Occasionally when it wasn't really needed. My uncle Larry used to put ketchup on his eggs. We just smiled and nodded to ourselves, and I think that's what people do in MeFi when someone comes along and uses a bit too much.

If someone finds a nice new link that talks about The usage of the word 'fuck' but didn't actually say that in the front page link, I for one would be offended. I don't personally like being protected from things that don't hurt me anyway.

Then again, I'm also a fool who doesn't know to come in from the rain.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:44 AM on November 28, 2001

In general (i.e., not just in response to this thread), I'm tired of people using children as a weapon to prevent the dissemination of content they don't approve of. The problem is not that children might see poo-poo words, but that adults object to them seeing poo-poo words.

To which I can only say, "big floppy donkey dick".
posted by mcwetboy at 3:54 AM on November 28, 2001

Fuck the children.

No, seriously. If you can handle Chomsky debates, or even 9/11, you can handle "McFuck". I agree with pracowity 100%. Cuss words are a part of life. We all learn them very young, and we all learn not to use them in front of Grandma. In front of one's peers--and I consider all MeFites peers, no matter how old or young--we should be allowed to communicate freely.
posted by jpoulos at 6:20 AM on November 28, 2001

if you're tempted to say 'fuck' say 'funk' instead.

you feel really funkin' rad at the end of it.
posted by sugarfish at 9:41 AM on November 28, 2001

Anyone who claims to predict the quality of a post solely on the presence or absence of certain words should be damned to a lifetime writing miserable, underperforming AI code.

Leave people to choose the words they want and complain about bad posts, not bad words.
posted by andrew cooke at 9:43 AM on November 28, 2001

Forget MetaDiscuss, let's start the MeFiKidsClub!
posted by TacoConsumer at 1:42 PM on November 28, 2001

I hate when people take the verb out, such as sh*t or c*nt. It's annoying, we all know what the word is... one letter missing or not.

My two cents.
posted by geoff. at 2:23 PM on November 28, 2001

The Seven Deadly Words are the tobasco of the english language.

That, sir, is an insult to Tabasco.

Rather, I would say that so-called "dirty words" almost always represent lazy communication, whether spoken or written. Repeated exposure to any word or phrase, be it obscene, profane, or otherwise, makes it less vital and therefore less useful (how much attention do you pay to "a" or "the" lately? (yes, I know, they serve a role, but it is not a central one)).

More importantly, though, the mindset that feels compelled to arbitrarily segregate certain words into a verboten ghetto is highly suspect, IMO. I have been sufficiently exposed, I suppose, that they no longer affect me, except in provoking annoyance at the writer's limited vocabulary and expressiveness.
posted by rushmc at 5:19 PM on November 28, 2001

posted by worldsystema at 5:24 PM on November 28, 2001

I have been sufficiently exposed, I suppose, that they no longer affect me, except in provoking annoyance at the writer's limited vocabulary and expressiveness.

Who says he has a limited vocabulary? Or that he can't express himself? Fuck you!
posted by gleemax at 6:12 PM on November 28, 2001

"The obscenity fuck is a very old word and has been considered shocking from the first, though it is seen in print much more often now than in the past."

posted by Carol Anne at 4:32 AM on November 29, 2001

I absolutely refuse to refrain from swearing on the premise that children may read the words, let the nanny-ware sort out the profanities and the parents police the rest.
I do however object to the use of profanity as a substitute for reasoned and well thought out argument or to provoke a response. But swearing can be used very effectively as an expressive form and shouldn't be used as a measure of a person's intelligence.
posted by Markb at 7:29 AM on November 29, 2001

try and explain to the kids: 'dong-resin.'
posted by clavdivs at 7:54 AM on November 30, 2001

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