Thought or not July 25, 2008 3:37 PM   Subscribe

Having taken some personal time out myself, and thus looking at things from a non-contributor perspective, is it possible that we can avoid terms like douchebag, asshole, dickwad, etc. These are violent words that make the reader take a step away. I am not saying they should be banned, but they really do have a proliferation within the site that is off putting to someone who might wish to contribute.
posted by Sparx to Etiquette/Policy at 3:37 PM (171 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Do you mean calling other people on the site these words? Or just using them at all? Because those are two very different requests.

Either way, this ought to be a potty-mouthed thread.
posted by Bookhouse at 3:44 PM on July 25, 2008


Sure thing. I'll avoid 'em from here on out.
posted by box at 3:45 PM on July 25, 2008


I think this is a bad request that hurts the site and I wish you had stayed away.

(See how it's not the words themselves that make it bad?)
posted by smackfu at 3:45 PM on July 25, 2008


Violent words aren't the only things that might make a person step away from here (it is very much a club and takes some reading to get into and has always been that way - this is also why it becomes as addictive as crack), but I tend to agree.
posted by dabitch at 3:46 PM on July 25, 2008


they really do have a proliferation within the site

No, actually, they don't. Unless you're a Sunday school teacher, MeFi is way cleaner than real life. So do you have any evidence of this "proliferation" of filth?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:50 PM on July 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


May I have a complete list of the contraband words? You know, for science. I promise I won't ever use them.
posted by loquacious at 3:51 PM on July 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Am I to assume that douchehole, assdick, and wadbag are okay?
posted by found missing at 3:54 PM on July 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


Acceptable: Douchenozzle, jerkface.
Unacceptable: Doucheface, jerknozzle.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:57 PM on July 25, 2008


Douche you have any other requests?

HAH HAH HAH

You guys, did you see? Did you see? Did you see? Did you see?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:58 PM on July 25, 2008 [6 favorites]


Are there any particular threads that sparked this callout? I hate missing a flameout when I've just bought marsmallows.
posted by dabitch at 3:59 PM on July 25, 2008


Douché, monsieur breakfàst.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:01 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


They'll have to pry "douchetruck" from my cold, dead hands.

Whether discourse here would be helped or not by us collectively using fewer cursewords is arguable. However, telling us not to use them won't do a lick of good. People don't respond very well to other people telling them not to curse.

Also, I think this site is cleaner than pretty much anywhere else comparable on the internet.
posted by Kattullus at 4:02 PM on July 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


They came for twat and I was silent, for I was an American.
posted by Artw at 4:02 PM on July 25, 2008 [8 favorites]


Can we start calling people Steve instead?
posted by netbros at 4:02 PM on July 25, 2008


I dunno. I ran some searches, and it seems that "asshole" is the only one of the words you listed that has any real frequency (about 11,000 uses across all subsites, compared to about 80 for "dickwad"). On a site with several million comments, that doesn't seem unreasonable.
posted by danb at 4:03 PM on July 25, 2008


RESISTING, RESISTING, RESISTING... OH SHIT FAIL CUNT BOOGERS FUCKING DOGLICK DOUCHENOZZLE ASSWAD CROTCHFRUIT DICKWEED CRAPFACED SHITHEAD NIPPLECHAFER BITCHASS WEASELTEATS MEATBAG FUCK BASTARD WHORESON FELCHER FUCKWIT DICKLICKER SHIT PISSWHORE BITEWANK SKINWASTE SMEGMAFUCKING ASSDRIP WASTREL LACKWIT SHITHERDER *EXPLODES*
posted by loquacious at 4:03 PM on July 25, 2008 [8 favorites]


You want clean? Nehmen Sie eine Dusche.
posted by found missing at 4:04 PM on July 25, 2008


You gotta be fuckin kidding me.
posted by puke & cry at 4:05 PM on July 25, 2008


I propose that instead of those words, a filter automatically detects them and plays a slide-whistle when it estimates that you would have reached them at normal reading speeds.

I assume that Plutor will happily cobble up a greasemonkey solution for this.
posted by klangklangston at 4:06 PM on July 25, 2008


Is this a real request? I read this as an excuse to see a bunch of creative insults being hurled around.

(I see loquacious already got there)
posted by rooftop secrets at 4:07 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


How about a swear jar? We could buy iPhones for people with the most favorites at the end of the year.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:07 PM on July 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


is it possible that we can avoid terms like douchebag, asshole, dickwad, etc.

Also, in case the above responses weren't clear... the answer is no.
posted by rooftop secrets at 4:08 PM on July 25, 2008


Loquacious has it all.

All I was asking was - do we really need to be obscene while we deal with everyday web stuff-

If the answer is yes, then I stand corrected.

If the answer is no...then lets be better
posted by Sparx at 4:09 PM on July 25, 2008


Filth Flarn Filth, perhaps we should autoreplace bad words with Filth Flarn Filth.
posted by cashman at 4:11 PM on July 25, 2008


If the answer is no...then lets be better
posted by Sparx at 4:09 PM on July 25


First of all, I hope you'll admit that your post history is full of swears, and second, I'd like to see some actual evidence that the blue in particular is some sort of cesspool. I believe cortex or vacapinta or someone makes the raw data available, so I'll be interested in your rigorous mathematical analysis. Please begin.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:12 PM on July 25, 2008


Very loquacious loquacious.
posted by netbros at 4:12 PM on July 25, 2008


I'd post a more erudite and reasoned response in regards to the issues of self-censorship and the fact that the offense of most offensive words is most often in the mind of the reader, not in the words themselvse, but I'm too busy trying to invent new ways to swear.

These goals are, really, one and the same.
posted by loquacious at 4:14 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, fark.

Is there anywhere one can go that is more polite? If making light weren't so inexcusably libertarian...
posted by Sparx at 4:15 PM on July 25, 2008


I believe cortex or vacapinta or someone makes the raw data available

please
posted by Sparx at 4:17 PM on July 25, 2008


Is there anywhere one can go that is more polite?

No, now go away or I shall taunt you a second time.
posted by mrbill at 4:17 PM on July 25, 2008


Is there anywhere one can go that is more polite?

I hear that LRB is punctual about tea breaks at 4 PM every day. Their digestives are a scrumptious delicacy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:20 PM on July 25, 2008


Is there anywhere one can go that is more polite?

Go forth into the wilderness. Explore.

Soon you'll realize that MetaFilter is a goddamned tea party, complete with some really elegant fucking crumpets.

Sorry, there's no vitrol behind my swearing. They're just words. They're not directed at you, Sparx.
posted by loquacious at 4:21 PM on July 25, 2008


/me looks at Blazecock before screaming "GET OUT OF MY MIND YOU FREAK"
posted by loquacious at 4:21 PM on July 25, 2008


When people start cussing out other members of the site we try to put a lid on it.

To the extent that people on this site use a lot of coarse language talking about other people and things elsewhere, that's less of an issue that I personally am concerned about.

I like some of the imaginative cussing that goes on here, but I do feel that sometimes people are just sort of doing it lazily and sloppily because they're bored and bored lazy talking is onerous no matter whether it's swearing or talking about messenger bags or Obama.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:22 PM on July 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


All I was asking was - do we really need to be obscene while we deal with everyday web stuff

If the answer is yes, then I stand corrected.


Then stand your sorry douchbag ass korrected, mothafucka!

Sorry, that may have been a little offsides...
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:29 PM on July 25, 2008


bored lazy talking is onerous no matter whether it's swearing or talking about messenger bags or Obama

I think I know what you are talking about.
posted by found missing at 4:31 PM on July 25, 2008


Is "shitcock bitchfucker" ok? I hope it is.

Fucking messenger bags.
posted by brundlefly at 4:32 PM on July 25, 2008


I hear the comments threads on Making light are very nice and polie.
posted by Artw at 4:33 PM on July 25, 2008




(Which is from this label, to which I link hoping to make up for the earlier uncouth hotlinkery.)
posted by klangklangston at 4:37 PM on July 25, 2008


"You had me at dicks fuck assholes."
posted by bardic at 4:44 PM on July 25, 2008


Can we start calling people Steve instead?

No.
posted by languagehat at 4:45 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Transvision Vamp says hi
posted by Sparx at 4:45 PM on July 25, 2008


is it possible that we can avoid terms like douchebag, asshole, dickwad, etc.

You're being a twat.

After all, context matters. Calling another user an asshole sounds bad on the surface, but what if it's a user who's calling a female a frigid bitch and you say "Could you please stop being an asshole?" or "That was a real asshole thing to do" or "Jesus Christ, you idiotic douchebag, why are you being such a fucking asshole?". Why one of these do you think is wrong and why?


Also, I'm curious as to how long you were gone and by gone, do you mean you avoided the site entirely or just certain parts? Did you avoid the internet also?

And does Metafilter really that bad after you've been away?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:49 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


...really SEEM that bad...
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:49 PM on July 25, 2008


Suck it up, bastards.


So any of you guys want to make a movie about psychics?
posted by Sparx at 4:49 PM on July 25, 2008


BB mefimail me
posted by Sparx at 4:52 PM on July 25, 2008


Sparx, if this is some sort of performance art piece you're perfecting, I suggest you take it to Projects.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:53 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


I thought projects had to be things that were done. Things that might happen, by meeting similar folk with simlilar ideas, that's not projects, that's just magic
posted by Sparx at 4:56 PM on July 25, 2008


Make a song about it too.
posted by puke & cry at 5:00 PM on July 25, 2008


You're... you're weird.
posted by katillathehun at 5:01 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


we could always start disemvowelling offensive comments...
posted by rmd1023 at 5:01 PM on July 25, 2008


ps: mods, please don't hurt me.
posted by rmd1023 at 5:02 PM on July 25, 2008


Drunk, but impressively typo-free, post?
posted by CKmtl at 5:02 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


that's just magic

fucking magic
posted by netbros at 5:02 PM on July 25, 2008


Here, sparx. I believe these people can help you.
posted by katillathehun at 5:07 PM on July 25, 2008


Oooh. Performance art. This is a rather lame attempt though, it definitely needs some cultivation. May I suggest shooting yourself in the shoulder? Or, if that fails to create the response you were looking for, the head?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:09 PM on July 25, 2008


As someone who is sometimes an asswad and a fuckhat herself, I think that namecalling can be useful. As a dog trainer, I constantly remind my clients that any behavior that gets reinforced will tend to occur more frequently. Any behavior that is punished, will tend to occur less frequently.

Some behaviors, when they are ignored, will also occur less frequently, but that's not the case with self-rewarding behaviors. Behaviors that are inherently fun, like barking, jumping on people, or pointless contrarianism/trolling on Mefi all fall into the category of self-rewarding behaviors, and they should be punished if we wish to diminish them. Put the dog in time-out, or attack the poster's position/call him out in MeTa.

Of course, some actions, while intended as punishment, become rewards. Par example, sometimes people complain that they've been squirting their dog with a water gun, and it's only made him worse. We live in steamy Central Texas, where many dogs find being squirted with water refreshing and delightful. The brain of a MeFi poster who's self-worth is based on being a victim, a lonely conservative oppressed by a liberal majority, might get a reinforcing spritz of seratonin when he's called a douchebag by someone he views as an oppressor.

If we are to refrain from stock insults, it shouldn't be because we're delicate flowers who don't like reading naughty words. It should be because we're squirting hot, thirsty dogs with cool jets of water.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 5:11 PM on July 25, 2008 [11 favorites]


loquacious is a mefite i like to favorite.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:13 PM on July 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


I agree with you, Sparx.

After we're done here, let's go down to the beach and tell the tide not to come in.
posted by jamjam at 5:17 PM on July 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Man, the stuff some people find the energy to care about. I salute you.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:23 PM on July 25, 2008


k - I know you guys got what is working. But what we have is the imagination based on what DR Who has left us
posted by Sparx at 5:26 PM on July 25, 2008


Sparx, it's generally a hilarious idea to occasionally do some light drugs and then participate on Metafilter. They know who they are, and I love them dearly.

But this is just fucking stupid.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 5:28 PM on July 25, 2008


That's why you're all 'tardis?
posted by klangklangston at 5:29 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


NOOOOO ZING RUITIMINGNED BY POOR
posted by klangklangston at 5:30 PM on July 25, 2008


BB mefimail me

Jss fckng chrst Sprx, nt frry, s dn't nd lnks t yr pcs!!!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:35 PM on July 25, 2008


it's generally a hilarious idea to occasionally do some light drugs and then participate on Metafilter. They know who they are, and I love them dearly.

Who knows who in the what now? The drugs?

I'm going to open a beer shortly, but rationally that's a hard drug. Still counts?
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:36 PM on July 25, 2008


Jss fckng chrst

I did NOT!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:36 PM on July 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


May I have a complete list of the contraband words? You know, for science. I promise I won't ever use them.

Here's a start.

Is there anywhere one can go that is more polite? If making light weren't so inexcusably libertarian...

Arguably, there's the rub. Not that polite = libertarian, but that small with strict discursive mores = reduced variation. You're going to have a hard time finding a vibrant, generalist, unerringly polite place—it's that old engineering joke about "pick two" again, in practice, and you're lucky when you get two.

I believe cortex or vacapinta or someone makes the raw data available

That'd be the Infodump, but it doesn't actually include raw text of comments and posts, just metadata (username, datestamp, favorites, etc). If you want to go searching for specific profanities, you're better off with the site search. That's how I put together the stavros fuck-dump above; it can be a little time consuming depending on what you're up to, but it works.

I did NOT!

He was talking about Whedon.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:54 PM on July 25, 2008


Actually, I think I'm lying; I did that stavros thing with some custom code before we had the nice site-search utility.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:56 PM on July 25, 2008


Unless you're a Sunday school teacher, MeFi is way cleaner than real life.

Speaking as a Sunday school teacher, I can confirm that MeFi is much, much more obscene than my real life.

I don't think that there is no place at all for profanity, but I would agree that it is overused. I personally advocate obscenity conservation, under the theory that if I never, ever, ever use profane words they'll still have lots of juice left when I really need one. Someday the situation will demand it, and I'll utter just the right carefully chosen words. The room will fall silent until someone whispers, "Wow. He is serious about this." And then they'll all bend to my iron will.

Or something like that. But if I sprinkle my conversation with profanities on a daily basis, I figure I'll have to resort to breaking windows or slapping babies to fully convey my displeasure in a crisis. And I would rather continue to do those things just as private recreation.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:58 PM on July 25, 2008 [18 favorites]


the stavros fuck-dump

New band name!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:08 PM on July 25, 2008


That's why you're all 'tardis?

No, we are all daleks.
posted by juv3nal at 6:08 PM on July 25, 2008


As a recently departed wise man said, there are no 'bad words.' Whether via religious puritianism or political vigilance or old fashioned prudishness, some people just can't handle it. But to them I say, go fuck yoursleves up your stupid asses you silly douchebag shitpuddles.
posted by jonmc at 6:12 PM on July 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


(and my workday ended watching a customer of mine standing on the sidewalk screaming obscenities when he was told that he might not get served because our buyer had to leave early. he tore books apart and threw them around scream "fuck you, motherfucker, I ain't fuckin' comin' back to this place no more. Fuck you all!" Break my fuckin' heart, why don't you.)
posted by jonmc at 6:19 PM on July 25, 2008


Yeah. Also, can people only post things that I personally am interested in? Thanks!
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:32 PM on July 25, 2008


My workday ended with a lecture from the boss on how there were now "self-replicating potatoes" that were created by errant food scientists working for Monsanto/ADM, and that they were going to replace all other sustainable agriculture because they were so resilient, but that this was going to lead to global famine because they would destroy all other crops.

(The idea that if they were that prolific we'd just eat them instead of other crops, did not seem to have occurred to him.)
posted by klangklangston at 6:40 PM on July 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


So, hey, you guys? You know how MeFi Navigator shows you all the comments from the original poster? And you know how it helps threads to make more sense? Well... I can see the all the posters comments. But I'll be ****ed if it makes any sense.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 6:41 PM on July 25, 2008


This is the perfect thread to mention my new theory about the "feh/meh" ratio. Being able to search within a user's activity now makes it easy to see how often each of uses the dismissive "feh" as well as it's more apathetic cousin "meh".

As you can see from the linked examples, I used (at least before I started writing this thing) "feh" four times and "meh" only once, for a 4/1 feh/meh ratio.

My own non-scientific analysis indicates that I may be doing it wrong (or I may have some problem more in-depth analysis would indicate), since it appears that most MeFites have an inverse ratio - in fact, most people I looked at have a 1/4 feh/meh ratio. This was the case for matt, cortex, jess, as well as quonsar, if I recall correctly (hey, I had just started my research, and didn't have everything written out yet - however, I did already note cortex's previous thoughts on the subject!)

Anyway, given the subject matter of this thread, it would help my research immeasurably if everyone could look up their own feh/meh ratio and post the results here.

Science thanks you in advance for your assistance!
posted by yhbc at 6:45 PM on July 25, 2008


Being able to search within a user's activity now makes it easy to see how often each of uses the dismissive "feh" as well as it's more apathetic cousin "meh".

If you use both, you are a fehmehnist.
posted by jonmc at 6:47 PM on July 25, 2008


This'll be a cunt of a rule to follow, but you have my unqualified support.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:47 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]




or I may have some problem more in-depth analysis would indicate

Tell me about your mother, and please don't touch yourself this time.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:50 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


who should he touch instead?
posted by jonmc at 6:55 PM on July 25, 2008


can you show me on the doll where the metafilter touched you?
posted by rmd1023 at 6:56 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: stavrosian fuckish hapex legomena.
posted by scrump at 7:00 PM on July 25, 2008


Damnit, I didn't link to my own "meh" search in the proper link, and used the "feh" one a second time.

Feh.

man, I'm building up an inverse negative ration quick at this rate
posted by yhbc at 7:01 PM on July 25, 2008


Yes, ban these words - i myself have been literally thrown across the living room by the force of these expletives and now only read metafilter with sgt.serenitys sereneshield (tm)
placed on top of my monitor.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:01 PM on July 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


how there were now "self-replicating potatoes"

As someone who may or may not self-replicate in the future, I just had to like, sit for a moment, and laugh, and laugh some more, and ponder the absurdity of calling these specific potatoes "self-replicating."

In related news, I have indeed opened my beer, motherfuckers. I am slightly saddened to report that I did not allow it sufficient time to cool to the proper temperature for its style, but as someone who has actually warmed beer because it was too cold, this is not a major problem. The next beer shall be properly frosty.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:01 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


What kind of syphallitic horse fellator mucus slurping, pustule popping, bunny raping, maggot infested feces bucket wouldn't be offended by words like "douchebag," "asshole," and "dickwad?"
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:02 PM on July 25, 2008


Tell me about your mother, and please don't touch yourself this time.

I know Mom loved me, I know it, I don't care what people say. Sure, she'd come home drunk, half dressed, missing a few teeth, reeking of cheap cigars, cheaper booze and the stale sweat of frustration. Sure, she's lash out in bitter anger, spittle forming on her lips as she screamed 'bout her asshole coworkers. But it's hard being an admin to a community website.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:05 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Rad. I'm a MILF.

I'd hit me.
posted by loquacious at 7:07 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


I can't get behind bans. You can say what ever insulting you want. Just know we might meet in real life one day and I might punch you in the nuts.
posted by tkchrist at 7:10 PM on July 25, 2008


Best of luck with that, Sparx.
posted by fixedgear at 7:21 PM on July 25, 2008


can you show me on the doll where the metafilter touched you?

The doll doesn't have those places.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:23 PM on July 25, 2008


What fun is that? I'd ask for your money back.
posted by jonmc at 7:28 PM on July 25, 2008


how there were now "self-replicating potatoes"

You say "self-replicating potato," I say "self-deprecating tom-ah-to."
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 7:46 PM on July 25, 2008


*calls the whole thing off*

hey, whole thing! you're off!
posted by jonmc at 7:47 PM on July 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


I personally advocate obscenity conservation, under the theory that if I never, ever, ever use profane words they'll still have lots of juice left when I really need one.

I used to hold that theory. Then there came a time, in an argument with my SO, where I knew I needed the power and force of a curse word, where finally the years of "dang" and "gosh" had paid off, because profanity from my lips would show how serious I was, how important the issue at hand really was. With all the might that I could muster, willing the thunder to strike and the ground the rumble, I let loose the f-word.

My SO stopped in his tracks. He looked at me. He raised his eyebrows. And then he burst out laughing. "You really shouldn't even try to curse," he said, "You're no good at it."

Sigh.
posted by Ms. Saint at 7:48 PM on July 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


Okay, fine; I'll do it myself:

jonmc: 9/11 (an aggressive "feh" user, but not completely inversed)
grapefruitmoon: 0/4
fixedgear: 0/6
tkchrist: 0/7
loquacious: 4/1 (ooh, another outlier!)
Brandon Blatcher: 0/8
It's Raining Florence Henderson: 1/5

Do you see what I'm going on about now!!!???!!!
posted by yhbc at 7:49 PM on July 25, 2008


fuzzy skinner and Ms. Saint: both 0/0. Get a real vocabulary, kids.
posted by yhbc at 7:51 PM on July 25, 2008


I'm hitting myself right now.
stop it, man.
posted by Dizzy at 7:55 PM on July 25, 2008


More!

TheOnlyCoolTim: 0/1
sgt.serenity: 0/0 (well, he's Scottish)
scrump: 0/0 (well, he's scrump)
rmd1023: 0/0 (okay, I'm getting tired of this, now...)
cortex: 6/60 (finally some meaningful statistics!!)
posted by yhbc at 7:59 PM on July 25, 2008


Do you see what I'm going on about now!!!???!!!

heh.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:02 PM on July 25, 2008


I'll thank you not to instruct me in what I can or cannot say.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:23 PM on July 25, 2008


PS: Also if you are not kidding with this post, then you've got to be kidding. If you are kidding then you get the gasface.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:25 PM on July 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


0/26. I don't know what that means other than the fact that I say meh sometimes.
posted by desuetude at 8:30 PM on July 25, 2008


Feh, I have ruined your data!
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 8:35 PM on July 25, 2008


Dude, if I wouldn't stop for my grandma, what chance do you have?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:37 PM on July 25, 2008


0/4
posted by madamjujujive at 8:41 PM on July 25, 2008


Peh.
posted by netbros at 8:46 PM on July 25, 2008


eh?
posted by eyeballkid at 9:01 PM on July 25, 2008


My workday ended with a lecture from the boss on how there were now "self-replicating potatoes" that were created by errant food scientists working for Monsanto/ADM, and that they were going to replace all other sustainable agriculture because they were so resilient, but that this was going to lead to global famine because they would destroy all other crops.

Uh oh.

Well, it is an Irish name, and it really sounds like he's projected the Potato Famine into some apocalyptic future without realizing what he's done.

Might be prudent to keep the resume current unless someone is 'assisting' with critical business decisions.
posted by jamjam at 9:14 PM on July 25, 2008


3:14, but I have used "bah" seven times.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:23 PM on July 25, 2008


I wish to retain "d-bag" and "d-nozzle" privileges, as well as the rights to use the word "dildo." These harmless words are an asset and a descriptive necessity to civil discourse at large.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:28 PM on July 25, 2008


Beginning at 6:30 EST Tonight: "The MetaTalk Thread That Started Out Strange, But Unexpectedly Took a Turn Toward the Unusual"


I really wanted to add something more than that, but it's all that's been running through my head since traversing this conversational quagmire. Oh, and:

"jonmc: 9/11 (an aggressive "feh" user, but not completely inversed)"
ZOMG CONSPIRACY!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 9:30 PM on July 25, 2008


All it takes is six hours, and you all go completely bitchcakes!
posted by kyleg at 9:42 PM on July 25, 2008


Oh how I wish we could flag Meta posts as noise.
posted by voltairemodern at 9:47 PM on July 25, 2008


Douchehole, dickbag, asswad.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:52 PM on July 25, 2008


fuzzy skinner and Ms. Saint: both 0/0. Get a real vocabulary, kids.

I'm proud of my score. It's all I have.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 10:09 PM on July 25, 2008


...they really do have a proliferation within the site that is off putting to someone who might wish to contribute.

I suggest profiteroles for all! Happy, happy , joy, joy!
posted by ericb at 10:17 PM on July 25, 2008


Oh, Meh!

(Did that sound too excited? Should I have left the exclamation mark off? It really didn't exude apathy appropriately, did it? Feh.)
posted by Ms. Saint at 10:25 PM on July 25, 2008


My only prior use of "feh" was here:

Doesn't the Feh reside somewhere between the Meh and the Fuck?

My "meh" usage is rather unimpressive - 7 comments before now.

That said, back to the original topic: if Sparx was in any way serious or earnest (or even Ernest) in his initial request, it appeared to be not as far as use of popular profanity in general, but specific terms to refer to persons of a toxic/offensive/destructive/noxious/I-could-go-on nature. It really is a difficult task to find the right words to describe the wrong people. (And those we refer to outside the MeFi community far outnumber those within who deserve such negative distinction)

I have been pondering this very issue myself, after determining that my invective of first choice, "asshat", is just too whimsical to apply to the true horrendousness of way too many important and famous people these days. The gender-specificity of any use of not just "cunt" and "twat" (discussed here previously) but also "dick" and "prick" just rules them out of use by any discerning MeFite. "Bastard" is more an insult of the parents of the one you wish to verbally demean. Most of the "ass"-based invectives fail to express the aggressive, often violent, aspects of what makes a person so abhorrant."Evil" is a sadly deprecated term, but even before it was, its "Good/Evil" dichotomy made it unusable in the case of two comparably atrocious parties in opposition to each other (a situation that is more common than ever today). Of course, I wish to avoid terminology tied to a specific religion (especially those linked to the concept of Hell, which suggests punishment for hideous behavior is not possible in this life - which is kinda sad). And the boogie-folk of common supernatural legend (monster/demon/ghoul/vampire) are all very much depreciated. (Especially after Angel the remorseful vampire and Hellboy the heroic demon) I'm not comfortable with the depiction of abominable people as anything specifically 'less than human', partly because of its long tradition in being used in racist rantings, but also because. to me, it absolves the person of the responsibility of a higher 'human' consciousness. And the concept of bestiality just don't have much punch in a community where a highly esteemed member was known as "fishfucker". All other identified synonyms ("scoundrel"?) are just too mild. And plase don't ask me to borrow from other languages (I had a Jewish ladyfriend years and years ago who pretty much "schmucked" me to death).

So what do we do for invective? What do we call the truly terrible/awful/despicable/dreadful/putrid/disgusting/sickening/sick/ghastly/unspeakable people in our midst? There are a lot of evocative adjectives available that are not offensively profane (I've used most of them), but the nouns, they fail us.

Maybe we need to invent a word that sounds ugly and profane but has no backstory, no meaning until we apply one to it. (Fantasy and sci-fi creative properties have had some success at that, you smeghead.)
posted by wendell at 10:41 PM on July 25, 2008 [6 favorites]


This is where I made some kind of witty George Carlin reference, right?
posted by Tomorrowful at 10:47 PM on July 25, 2008


Maybe we need to invent a word that sounds ugly and profane but has no backstory, no meaning until we apply one to it.

Suggest shouting benign and inane things in broken German learned from KOMPRESSOR songs, watching Das Boot, Hogan's Heroes, etc. "DER LANDSCHALTGESTALTUNG IST KAPUTT" is broken Babelfish-German for "THE LANDSCAPING ORGANIZATION IS DEFUNCT!" but it sounds pretty angry if you shout it.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:07 PM on July 25, 2008


SCHMETTERLING!! (butterfly)
posted by longsleeves at 11:33 PM on July 25, 2008


This is where I made some kind of witty George Carlin reference, right?

Nah, it would just boil down to this anyway:

Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, Cocksucker, Motherfucker and Tits.


There, consider it done.
posted by tkolar at 12:02 AM on July 26, 2008


Real mefites, the tough kind, use "beh". Cower before my beh.
posted by taz at 12:14 AM on July 26, 2008


Is there anywhere one can go that is more polite?
Heh, I just came from another forum where I hang out, having given people there a little insight into what passes for normal behaviour on the rest of the Internet (this was on a forum where any profanity is automagically replaced with "golly", you know, for the kids). It's a very polite place, but that's mostly because an awful lot of stuff goes unsaid, not because people are polite, but because they're scared of being banned for using any language not PG-13 rated at worst. If not offending people can only be achieved by throttling language, then I'd rather offend every living soul on the planet.

My feh:meh ratio is 13:1 - now, what does that tell me, again? Perhaps a better measure of a person would be a fellatio:cunnilingus ration? You know, to distinguish givers from takers.
posted by dg at 12:59 AM on July 26, 2008


mehfeh.com: the plastic.com its okay to not give a shit about.
posted by empath at 1:01 AM on July 26, 2008


Yeah, but no, but yeah.

a) Seriously, this is something that I noticed when I took a step back. If folks consider it before they casually/lazily abuse someone/something then my work here is done. I know I've been guilty of it and sure, it's a "get the hell off my lawn - OMG I am getting reactionary in my dotage" moment, but it might have resonated somewhat. Or not.

b) Note to self. Never post after midnight if alcohol is a factor - I have no idea what I was trying to communicate after that point (local time). Sorry about that. Performance art? If only I were that organised.

c) second note to self. Get organised. Make movie about psychics. Stop bothering metafilter as a procrastination-laden, diversionary tactic

Hugs,
posted by Sparx at 1:06 AM on July 26, 2008


Pfft. *snurgle* cocksnot menses!

And I mean that most sincerely.
posted by h00py at 1:07 AM on July 26, 2008


Um, that was before the follow up. Although I didn't actually direct it at anyone. Let's just call it a tic and leave it at that, shall we?
posted by h00py at 1:09 AM on July 26, 2008


I really really need a word right now to describe the loathsome jerk who recently told Dee Extrovert "You're so full of shit that it isn't even amusing on MetaFilter"
posted by wendell at 2:08 AM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


Jesus H. Christ the H. stands for Hooterfucking
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:35 AM on July 26, 2008


Call me old fashioned, but I wish people would get called bell-ends more often around here.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:06 AM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


gristle-stick
posted by Sys Rq at 7:13 AM on July 26, 2008


Tar the snollygosterous rapscallion.
posted by netbros at 7:57 AM on July 26, 2008


Maybe we need to invent a word that sounds ugly and profane but has no backstory, no meaning until we apply one to it. (Fantasy and sci-fi creative properties have had some success at that, you smeghead.)

I didn't invent it, but I would like to nominate VERMICIOUS CANID.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:30 AM on July 26, 2008


stavros fuck-dump

I would like to add my awe and appreciation for this phrase.

On the meh/feh front, my ratio is 20:7, but almost half of the meh's are part of instructions on the proper way to pronounce MeFi, so the statistics are tainted.
posted by languagehat at 8:37 AM on July 26, 2008


Self-replicating potatoes? Sounds like a great idea! Not so much for a cheesy horror movie (although that would admittedly be awesome, since The Potato That Ate Detroit would replicate and its offspring would go on to eat Cleveland and Cincinnati), but for a food crop that could be produced in a more normal way. (Hey, the whole goal of living organisms is to self-replicate, and only a few oddities produced by humans are incapable of reproducing by themselves.)

Most potatoes grown today are started from little tubers, not seeds. Producing the tiny tubers is a lot of work. Potatoes are quite susceptible to diseases, which is why this somewhat unnatural approach is required. A self-replicating potato would be a wonderful thing for farmers and potato eaters, and klang's boss should relax. (Until these über-potatoes start devouring midwestern cities, that is.)

This ends your Saturday morning educational broadcast. Carry on with the profanity.
posted by Quietgal at 9:26 AM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


more like poo-tatoes amirite
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:35 AM on July 26, 2008


I didn't invent it, but I would like to nominate VERMICIOUS CANID KNID.

ftfy.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:44 AM on July 26, 2008


I haven't seen "you're a fucking dry, rancid pussy and you obviously fuck yourself with pop cans fresh out of the fridge you slut for brains."
posted by juiceCake at 10:41 AM on July 26, 2008


You notice he waited for George Carlin to die before posting this. Coward.
posted by Bonzai at 12:04 PM on July 26, 2008


You want to see a vermicious canid? C'mere.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:09 PM on July 26, 2008


I can't wait to cuss in this thread!
posted by Balisong at 4:54 PM on July 26, 2008


b) Note to self. Never post after midnight if alcohol is a factor

Do I get a prize? Can it be cookies?
posted by CKmtl at 5:06 PM on July 26, 2008


Do I get a prize? Can it be cookies?

1. yes.

2. no.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:57 PM on July 26, 2008


3. ???
4. Profit!
posted by Balisong at 6:39 PM on July 26, 2008


But I need words like douchebag, asshole, and dickwad. For instance, today I was trying to make a dickwad, and the douchebag part got stuck in my asshole! Violent? Oh, no, I'd say very erotic.
posted by not_on_display at 11:19 PM on July 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wanted one of those new douchbags—you know, one with a single strap that would make me look great while I’m riding my fixie? Well, of all the luck, an asshole had developed in the street, I didn’t see it and ran right into it. I completely bent my front rim. Now I’ve got to blow my entire dickwad on a new rim. No new douchbag for me.
posted by found missing at 9:16 AM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


douchbag®
posted by found missing at 9:19 AM on July 27, 2008


The site is better when people are more thoughtful and use better writing skills to post. "Heh. Wot a doucheprick" is easy but seldom useful. Overuse of profanity dilutes its impact, so you have to call someone a *#)(%-ing !!$##\% $#@@*!!-er for it to even be noticeable. Want to make your point more emphatically? Learn to write well. Requesting civil discourse is a swell idea; I'm all for it.
posted by theora55 at 10:47 AM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


All I was asking was - do we really need to be obscene while we deal with everyday web stuff

The answer is no, but it turns out you can't really control human behavior. So, short of "banning" naughty words, either in policy so mathowie can add another full-time employee exclusively for wash-your-mouth-out bannings, or technologically, so we can all occasionally enjoy being called a d0ucheb@g, no, people will just continue to be shitty, sometimes.

Seriously, what is the point of all these "can't we all just blah blah blah" postings? Like another nice little discussion is going to have any impact on the way people act. It is what it is, a few people get paid to perpetually try to keep it from going off the rails entirely, and that is as good as it is going to get, ever.
posted by nanojath at 12:04 PM on July 27, 2008


I think a nice way to get across the point that we don't like what another person is saying is "Don't make me raise my voice at you!"
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:11 PM on July 27, 2008


What exact sequence of events causes someone to grow up to be an adult who actually believes certain words are worse than other words, to the point of wanting to stop others from using them?

It's that second part that really gets me. I've collected enough information to guess about the causes of the first part, but it's the second part that strays way too far into the batshitinsane category.
posted by odinsdream at 3:30 PM on July 27, 2008


I think a nice way to get across the point that we don't like what another person is saying is "Don't make me raise my voice at you!"

Or you could say what we said as kids, "tais toi!" which was a polite way to say "ferme la bush" or "va te faire foutre" or "mange la merde," but, eh, we come from the French, so we take it all in stride. I tell my neighbors "ah cochon!" on a regular basis, that's not a swear word in English, mes amis, but I guess puttana may be.

Think outside your box: words are only labels, made up of letters, which are symbols, but it's the thing you are talking about, the object, the joke, the concept, that makes the label a "swear word," monsieur. Words are just descriptors, not the offenders. I could be trying to load a webpage in my Firefox in Flash, and it's so slow, I say, "fuckity-fuck-fuck-fuck!" but that's not bad, eh? And I am not willing to put a censor on myself in a certain circumstance, just as I am not willing to put the same on my fellow MeFi here. Say what you will, under the law, and say it well, but do not, under any circumstance, censor yourself. And don't you. ever. tell. moi. to. censor. myself. ever. or. I. will. swear. just. to. piss. you. off. capiche?

Then I look at this post and I say, pht. No fuckity here, unfortunately le petit dard. Bon chance!
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:48 PM on July 27, 2008 [1 favorite]


"ferme la bush"
posted by Sys Rq at 9:34 PM on July 27, 2008


So what do we do for invective?

"Fuckhead". It's non-gender specific, not religious based, does nothing to suggest the person is subhuman, it's unabashedly aggressive, and kind of fun to say.

My meh/feh/bah ratio: 20/0/12, which is probably indicative of something.

And "mehfehbah" could be a great expression of indifferent outrage.
posted by quin at 8:03 AM on July 28, 2008


"Fuckhead". It's non-gender specific [...] does nothing to suggest the person is subhuman

That's debatable. Re: Gender, it could be argued that "fuckhead" might refer to the glans penis, i.e. the head that does the fucking. Re: Subhuman, it could also refer to purveyors of fellatio, and its use as invective would suggest a perceived moral superiority on behalf of the utterer; with this meaning it would be on par with cocksucker, equivalent to faggot for males and slut for females.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:47 AM on July 28, 2008


(I quite enjoy slinging the term GENITAL as a catch-all.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:51 AM on July 28, 2008


Seriously, what is the point of all these "can't we all just blah blah blah" postings?

I think the point is "this is all something I noticed". It's not about "Do this" it's more about "lets do this for this vague reason" and is totally hippy in its ability to be disagreed with.
posted by Sparx at 6:20 PM on July 28, 2008


this is stupid.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 12:22 PM on July 29, 2008


really sounds like he's projected the Potato Famine into some apocalyptic future without realizing what he's done.

Looks like I'm the one who's slipping:

The blight that wiped out Ireland's potato crop in the 1840s is becoming more virulent and is increasingly resistant to the fungicides used to control it. Without a new weapon against blight, we could be setting ourselves up for a replay of the famine wherever the disease strikes. And this time even more people could suffer.
posted by jamjam at 11:46 PM on July 30, 2008


And this time even more people could suffer.

The potato famine wasn't just a bad batch of potatoes; the Irish lost many other sources of nutrition, too--not to blight, but to Britain.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:19 AM on July 31, 2008


What exact sequence of events causes someone to grow up to be an adult who actually believes certain words are worse than other words, to the point of wanting to stop others from using them?

Odinsdream, for me, the first part comes from hearing people describe or allude to the words their attacker used while they were assaulted or raped, and knowing how loaded those terms are for them now. Then taking that knowledge and realizing that I'll never know the context and associations people will have for the words that I use, but I better be careful to use words associated with the hatred of a particular gender, sexual orientation or race. That doesn't mean I don't swear or use phrases like ass rape, but I am much more sensitive to how my words impact others emotionally.

The latter part I'm still deciding about. Basically any word that is used to enhance a person's basic point or enrich the aesthetic quality of their speech is good by me. On the other hand, when the exact same words are used in a way that seems to be symptomatic of a loss of control over reason it is just kind of lame. At that point I wish they'd self-censor and get control of themselves. That they would use their words to communicate and not as a way to reinforce an out of control emotional state. It would take an extraordinary circumstance for me to want to actually go up and ask someone to self-censor though. Usually a circumstance involving the acute, painful, and perhaps well-warranted discomfort someone I cared about was feeling due to the words used.

Personally, I sometimes swear or blaspheme deliberately for effect or because I'm really upset about something. I don't feel particularly embarrassed or remorseful about it, but after having a person flinch in front of me while obviously re-living something unpleasant, I can no longer do it with complete and unthinking innocence ever again. That has robbed swearing of some of its appeal.

As well, going beyond swearing, reading some of the very well written comments on Metafilter has made me much more aware that some words, used in some contexts are inherently better than their overloaded or imprecise synonyms used in the same context. It isn't much of a stretch to realize that if some words are better others are worse. So overused words like nice or fucker are not as useful or relevant for me as they used to be.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:41 AM on August 3, 2008


Sys Rq, I never did understand why cocksucker became an insult. I mean, what kind of defective doesn't like having their cock sucked. How could that not be positive?

Cock biter on the other hand...
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:44 AM on August 3, 2008


Addendum to my earlier long-winded comment. I worked with a guy, let's call him Dave. Great guy Dave, but he was 6'4" and 260 plus pounds of looming broad shouldered wall-man. He was generous and kind, but being born deaf had some fundamental communication difficulties. He had a very gruff, almost angry affect when he was determined about something. He got on well with the men in the office, but eventually I realized that the women to a great extent hated and feared him. This and volunteer work with sexual assault survivors are a big part of why I'm sensitized (perhaps overly so) to the impact that my words and demeanor have on those around me. I know given my own size (over six feet, but at least I smile most of the time), that a display of anger that a smaller person could get away with might result in permanently harming my relationships with people around me or worst case scenario get the cops called in to talk to me.
posted by BrotherCaine at 5:55 AM on August 3, 2008


Regarding retard
posted by Artw at 11:39 AM on August 12, 2008


Artw, I ♥ retards.
posted by BrotherCaine at 11:44 AM on August 12, 2008


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