It's "The Guardian". (Again) April 9, 2021 3:19 PM   Subscribe

Six years ago a post was made here asking that people stop using "Grauniad" when referring to the UK newspaper The Guardian.

1971. That is when Private Eye coined the term.

50 years ago.

Please stop using this derogatory, out-dated term. It's not trendy or amusing or cute.

Move on.

Thank you
posted by I shot a fox in Skyrim and it made me sad to Etiquette/Policy at 3:19 PM (240 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

It's not trendy or amusing or cute.

To you. I would not say it's trendy, but it still brings a slightly wry and wistful smile to my face as it represents (to me) something far more akin to an old silly joke among friends than something derogatory. I adore my Grauniad, typos and all and really prefer to imagine that others with a similar view will understand the reference.

You are entitled to feel otherwise, but don't demand we all follow your suit.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 3:37 PM on April 9 [59 favorites]


Counterproposal: given the current state of copyediting, maybe we should add the New York Tmies, The Washington Pots, the Botson Glob, and the All Street Juornal to the list.

(no but seriously I thought Grauniad was a nostalgic term of affection, not a criticism, after this many years)
posted by ook at 3:37 PM on April 9 [31 favorites]


Aw I was hoping it was exactly six years ago and that we just like making newspaper jokes exactly every six years.

Also, no.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 3:38 PM on April 9 [4 favorites]


New York Tmies

They're good news, that's fit to pront.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 3:40 PM on April 9 [33 favorites]


"Grauniad" always makes me think of the Ankh-Morpork Times.
"The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret"
"The Truth Shall Make Ye Fred"
It still cracks me up every time.
posted by Omnomnom at 3:59 PM on April 9 [33 favorites]


I really like The Guardian, it's one of my favorite news sources. I don't see "The Grauniad" as especially derogatory. It's not particularly funny to me but humor is subjective, and if other people get a giggle or a smile from writing/seeing it, great. And if other people get annoyed by it, this really seems like one of those things that we just have to learn to accept will annoy us sometimes.
posted by biogeo at 3:59 PM on April 9 [12 favorites]


I've always found it kind of charming.
posted by thivaia at 4:01 PM on April 9 [7 favorites]




I mean, I still fly into a white-hot rage every time I see a list of three or more items without an Oxford comma, but I've learned to accept that's really my problem, and other people have a right to serialize things like barbarians if they want to.
posted by biogeo at 4:05 PM on April 9 [55 favorites]


I love wordplay and puns, but "Grauniad" is tiresome and not funny, if it ever was funny. Find better jokes please.
posted by oulipian at 4:05 PM on April 9 [10 favorites]


Another rash of Grauniadering?

re-read the thread. I miss quite a few of those folks.
thanks for the old link.
posted by clavdivs at 4:08 PM on April 9 [11 favorites]


As a subscriber, it's a term of endearment, to me. You don't have to use it, if you don't want to.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:09 PM on April 9 [9 favorites]


I found it annoying six years ago and it hadn't gotten less so since then.
posted by octothorpe at 4:11 PM on April 9 [12 favorites]


My recollection of the old thread was that people were actually mostly okay with the name. Calling it “derogatory” seems a bit harsh - it’s potentially derogatorary, I suppose, but I can’t recall ever seeing it used in a way to imply that the Guardian is terrible -just that it had typos. (I also only see the term used here on MetaFilter, so perhaps there’s a broader usage that’s harsher of which I’m unaware. I don’t think so, though…)
posted by Going To Maine at 4:14 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


"The Grauniad" is eyerolley, like people are trying to sound part of the in group but are 50 years out of date. But no more so than "same as in town" or "in Soviet Russia" or that goddamn poem about the fucking plums.

Do we really want a grey post about every annoying meme? Can't we save our energies for fighting comments that are racist, sexist, ableist, ageist and the myriad of other things people post that actually harm other people?

I'm just not seeing why The Guardian needs protecting.
posted by Omnomnom at 4:17 PM on April 9 [39 favorites]


Metafilter: a grey post about every annoying meme
posted by biogeo at 4:20 PM on April 9 [20 favorites]


I have eaten
the fonts
that were in
the newsbox

and which
you were probably
saving
for 6 years

Forgive me
they were mundane
so sweet
and so old
posted by clavdivs at 4:32 PM on April 9 [52 favorites]


Are there any other words you don't find to be trendy, amusing or cute and which need to be expelled from Metafilter? Do you want to start a list?
posted by biffa at 4:34 PM on April 9 [14 favorites]


oh my god i'm so on board with this. it makes me go GRR every time i see it and it seems weirdly in-jokey or something. i know you don't care that i don't like it, and that's cool. i don't care that you like it. i support the OP in this (probably futile) campaign.
posted by capnsue at 4:43 PM on April 9 [4 favorites]


[It's okay for the community to discuss things like this and okay to have varying opinions on this!]
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 4:46 PM on April 9 [7 favorites]




I'd be interested to know what happened to frequency of use after the last callout. Anyway to get some numbers?
posted by biffa at 4:52 PM on April 9


I don't think a ban is necessary, but I do find it helpful to smack the side of my phone, affectionately but urgently whisper BE MORE CLEVER to the universe in general, and shrug and move on.
posted by mochapickle at 4:59 PM on April 9 [16 favorites]


Sometimes in MeTa we do have to have talks about words that do indeed end up being cause for moderation, though I believe after some discussion it was agreed that a public-facing actual list of those was not going to be workable. Many of those words were defended with the same attitude here today, sometimes more than once, before being retired.

It is appropriate to bring those discussions to MeTa. Discouraging people from bringing them here is not great, even if you personally don't agree.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:15 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]


Rehashing an argument over a non-offensive term? Hardly in the same ballpark. And pointing out the absence of meaningful case is well within being a reasonable response.
posted by biffa at 5:25 PM on April 9 [6 favorites]


I will say that this joke is actively alienating to people who don’t already know what you’re talking about. For a long time I thought the Granuiad was an actual publication because people make this reference all the goddamn time here without bothering to explain it. Then I figured it out and just felt irritated.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:55 PM on April 9 [19 favorites]


While it's certainly not derogatory, it is indeed old, stale, and time for the bin.
posted by Ahmad Khani at 6:04 PM on April 9 [3 favorites]


It's a mildly 'in' joke that has probably run its course. A post about it 6 years ago didn't stop people from using it. Of behaviors on *.metafilter that rile me, it is not even close to the top 10. While some find it irritating, some find it stale, some find it endearing, I wouldn't recommend enforcement of a ban on the term or really any site staff effort at all. A post about it 6 years from now has the opportunity for some wholesome snark.
posted by theora55 at 6:29 PM on April 9 [3 favorites]


I find it interesting someone would call it derogatory. Of all the insults and injuries that journalists have suffered at the Grauniad, I'd have thought the legal actions leveled against them by dangerous elites at Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, banks related to Panama Papers, companies that dump chemical waste and oil, government officials affiliated with spy agencies in the US and UK, etc. would all rate much, much higher on the scale. Frankly.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 6:42 PM on April 9 [11 favorites]


I remember when Private Eye coined the term. I was and still am a big fan of Private Eye. I also likes my Grauniad even though it has slipped a bit sideways since Rusbridger handed over to Viner.
posted by adamvasco at 6:55 PM on April 9 [5 favorites]


"After eight years, I moved on again — this time to sunny Florida and the staff of the St. Petersburg Pravda.
Most newspapers have another identity, usually a pejorative one, in addition to the one gracing the front page nameplate.
Sometimes they’re an inside joke, the play on words providing an escape valve for staff frustration.
But in my experience, the source of a nasty nickname is more than likely customer-based — disaffected readers and viewers who christen their local news organs with monikers selected to highlight perceived journalistic failings."
posted by clavdivs at 6:56 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]


the Botson Glob

That was my favorite horror B-movie.
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:11 PM on April 9 [13 favorites]


The venerable British tabloid The Sun this morning reported that they were, "advised of the death of Prince Philip by an announcement from the palace, and the palace flag being flown at half past."

True journalistic excellence from Teh Snu.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 7:19 PM on April 9 [15 favorites]


....shyeah, I assumed "Grauniad" was some other Guardian-ish website and never thought about it one way or the other.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:20 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


I kind of think it’s cute. I seem to remember the rag in my college town had a similarly in-jokey nickname, the Brain Peeler, and I liked that too (though Google is not backing me up with citations here; perhaps it was a fever dream). I am admittedly a middlebrow sort of person and I was in fact the kind of college freshman that would recite stupid Monty Python skits.

I dunno. I won’t say it now (I probably wouldn’t have before tbh) but I’ll probably think it.
posted by eirias at 7:26 PM on April 9 [4 favorites]


I was in fact the kind of college freshman that would recite stupid Monty Python skits.

Honestly I'm still the kind of college freshman that recites stupid Monty Python sketches. I've just been a college freshman for 26 years.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 7:30 PM on April 9 [17 favorites]


i always thought it was an epic poem about when graunias led the survivors of the siege of royt away to found the city of emor.
posted by 20 year lurk at 7:35 PM on April 9 [27 favorites]


I thought the Granuiad was an actual publication because people make this reference all the goddamn time here without bothering to explain it.

I don't think I use it (?) but I will note that the more common one is grauniad (not granuiad) and grauniad.com does actually redirect to the guardian's actual site.
posted by juv3nal at 7:59 PM on April 9 [9 favorites]


Tired in-jokes might not be high humor but there's nothing wrong with them. The day I stop smiling when I read the phrase "We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese" and hear it in my head with that voice is the day I've lost a part of my soul.
posted by biogeo at 7:59 PM on April 9 [20 favorites]


Honestly I'm still the kind of college freshman that recites stupid Monty Python sketches. I've just been a college freshman for 26 years.

I wasn't expecting that.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:05 PM on April 9 [11 favorites]


I think the only reason to stop doing that joke is if people with language parsing disabilities (dyslexia and the like) find it mocking.
posted by FritoKAL at 8:06 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


Life sucks, then you die. The Guardian can get over itself.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:20 PM on April 9


1971. That is when Private Eye coined the term.
50 years ago.


I'm not sure you really grasp the sheer persistence of the British sense of humour. At one time I was a member of a club which had been recycling some of its in-jokes for over 200 years.
posted by automatronic at 8:32 PM on April 9 [18 favorites]


It's not trendy or amusing or cute.

me either ( . _ .)
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 8:39 PM on April 9 [34 favorites]


"Rarely is the question asked: Is our copyeditors learning?"
posted by lalochezia at 8:56 PM on April 9 [12 favorites]


All of these nicknames are stupid and useless. And I’m pissed off at the world today. Still the nicknames are dumb.
posted by bendy at 9:41 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


Every time is see 'Grauniad' I find myself thinking how it's really not funny all, and then I start rolling it around in my head trying to come up with something better. And I never do.

I'm sure I've spent well over an hour in that loop of frustrating futility. That's why I don't like it.
posted by jamjam at 9:51 PM on April 9 [1 favorite]


See everyone again in six years!
posted by Going To Maine at 9:59 PM on April 9 [53 favorites]


There was an FPP on jargon yesterday where comments mostly skewed in favor of using plain English as a sign of good writing. Here there's more enthusiasm for the inside baseball term just for the heck of it, I guess. It strikes me like calling the NYT "the Gray Lady." It seems fairly precious and outdated.
posted by mark k at 11:42 PM on April 9 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: that goddamn poem about the fucking plums.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:00 AM on April 10 [35 favorites]


I love wordplay and puns, but "Grauniad" is tiresome and not funny

Maybe because the first time I came across it was in the context of "yeah the Guardian has been famous for its lack of proofreading forever, to the point where people call it the Grauniad, the thing [someone was] annoyed about is nothing new", I don't really see this as a ha-ha joke aiming for laughs, so evaluating it as such doesn't feel relevant. I like it because it reminds me that not everything is the fault of today's the-internet-is-killing-journalism and spellcheck-means-proofreaders-are-obsolete cost-cutting measures -- that some of the things I get annoyed by today were also annoying long before I was born, and aren't always a sign that things are actively getting worse.

(Overuse of hyphens is also a finely-aged phenomenon)

Signed, a fan of the Guardian and also of paying for proofreaders
posted by trig at 12:38 AM on April 10 [7 favorites]


Needs more cowbell...
posted by AugustWest at 12:55 AM on April 10 [5 favorites]


Honestly, I, too thought it was an actual publication, and when I found out the story behind it, I chuckled, and thought, huh, that’s funny. Then again, I still like the plum poem, and am the kind of person that, if someone (without intending to) says something that matches lyrics of a song I know, I’ll internally finish the rest of the verse in my head, which, weirdly, happens most of often with Linkin Park songs these days.

(Obviously, I am also old, and have betrayed my dubious musical taste from 20 years ago)
posted by Ghidorah at 1:15 AM on April 10 [11 favorites]


I thought people would be more careful in citing their news sources in these days of "FaKe NeWs".

I guess not.

Also, misnaming things on purpose irks me.
posted by Pendragon at 4:30 AM on April 10 [1 favorite]


I got up this morning in one of the suburbs of the founding home Manchester Guardian, formed in the response to The Peterloo Massacre (an early policing event which murdered striking factory workers) and the weakness of the Atlantic Gulf Stream means snowflakes and not the usual rain is falling, so I figure that four-seasons-in-one-season season has begun and we can rehash Grauniad.

It's a UK in-joke, more often fans of The Guardian using it than people decrying the paper's impact (see also the UK in-joke said by Sir Humphrey about the newspapers read by those who think they should run the country, think they do run the country and who actually do run the country in BBC's Yes Minister satire). I'm a subscriber and happy to call it what I like.

As I finish up this comment, the snowflakes have swapped for blue skies and I hope you're not disturbed that your version of English-speaking culture lacks the universality you imagine it has. (We say "UK and USA, two cultures separated by the same language.")

For the in-joke, we can replace it with a different one, and my offering is "my new favourite search engine lmgtfy.com" -- so we could clear up all this confusion with a quick web search, say http://lmgtfy.app/?q=the+grauniad+guardian.
posted by k3ninho at 5:01 AM on April 10 [14 favorites]


Or how about 'Guardian McGrauniadface' for a compromise?
posted by Ashenmote at 5:16 AM on April 10 [17 favorites]


Metafilter: that goddamn poem about the fucking plums.

I did an off-the-cuff version with some friends IRL recently (well, we were hanging out via zoom) and it didn't go well, and I realized that not only are there people who aren't familiar with the fun of writing parodies of that poem, there are people who aren't familiar with the poem. All the fun they're missing. It made me sad.
posted by Orlop at 5:17 AM on April 10 [15 favorites]


The Grauniad joke dates from the period when they had a terrifying system involving setting half the paper in Manchester, half in London, then the result being combined by Teletypesetter - hot metal typesetting operated over phone lines. From Changing Faces, a history of the Guardian (via an old languagehat post comment):
The cardinal weakness of the method was that it magnified electronically the errors which normally arise in keyboard operation, and since the proofreaders’ corrections took half an hour to reach one end from the other the paper was full of misprints, or literals as newspaper people like to call them. Thus was the long-standing title of Grauniad born in the pages of Private Eye. Moreover since compositors were paid for making corrections to other compositors’ work the inducement towards accuracy in the original setting was less emphatic than it might have been. The Guardian stuck with this system for 15 years.”
Here's a picture of the literal coffin that marked the demise of hot type at the Guardian, in 1987. It's been 34 years since then, and the Guardian is now no worse or better than any other poor beleaguered paper. I like to think that folks still using the joke are actually UK time travellers from the 1980s, and we should be glad that they found a way to escape from Maggie.
posted by zamboni at 5:18 AM on April 10 [28 favorites]


Metafilter: it magnified electronically the errors which normally arise in keyboard operation
posted by zamboni at 7:42 AM on April 10 [15 favorites]


I have no issue with Guardian-Grauniad puns; like someone above, I also thought Grauniad was a legit publication that people were using as source material for links until I finally figured it out. However, when it comes to This Is Just To Say, I hate it with the fire of a thousand suns because someone I worked with had it painted on his classroom wall, as if it were some profound bit that his (high school) students could learn from and be inspired by, and he was such an unmitigated jerk and every time I had to go into his classroom I saw it and it will always make me think of him so that dumb poem and William Carlos Williams can go jump in a lake.
posted by Lynsey at 7:44 AM on April 10 [10 favorites]


I have never heard of or seen this joke, and I have no memory of the previous post. It intrigues me that I can read this website almost daily for 20+ years and never notice a thing that is evidently so widespread that it's irritating the hell out of many others. Weird.

Now, the William Carlos Williams thing, I think I've seen every iteration, and I love them.
posted by JanetLand at 8:25 AM on April 10 [11 favorites]


Also, 1971 was not that long ago. IT WAS NOT.

[*cries*]
posted by JanetLand at 8:26 AM on April 10 [34 favorites]


METAFILTER: You are entitled to feel otherwise, but don't demand we all follow your suit.
posted by philip-random at 8:28 AM on April 10 [3 favorites]


MetaTalk: While it's certainly not derogatory, it is indeed old, stale, and time for the bin.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:22 AM on April 10 [13 favorites]


If you're loöking for a publication to make fun of, The New Yorker's ridiculous and pretentious use of diaereses is right there, waiting for you to mö̈ck it.
posted by schmod at 9:23 AM on April 10 [26 favorites]


I still like it and beseech you all to keep using it.

In fact I like in-jokes in general. It’s a form of intimacy, and who couldn’t use more of that?
posted by HotToddy at 9:31 AM on April 10 [17 favorites]


In fact I like in-jokes in general. It’s a form of intimacy, and who couldn’t use more of that?

This perspective is interesting to me because it doesn’t feel that way to me. In-jokes between friends are definitely a form of intimacy, but the sort of thing we’re talking about here has always struck me as all about signaling that the poster is part of the in-group, in a “look at me” kind of way. I know that not everyone means it that way or sees it that way, but I always have to remind myself of that when I see it, because my initial reaction is usually “ok, we get it, you’ve been here a while.”
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:39 AM on April 10 [10 favorites]


Yeah I am one of those people--speaking just as a user and not sometimes-mod--who finds this kind of funny. It's also possible to make a Greasemoney script that will just change every instance of Grauniad to Guardian which I know has some drawbacks but if it was driving me that bugfuck I might do that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:54 AM on April 10 [12 favorites]


Here's a better idea – the people who love this meme so much can install a Greasemonkey script that will change every instance of "Guardian" to "Grauniad".

Also, why is anyone comparing this to variations on the plum poem or the metro poem? Those require wit and effort. If people were just pasting the original poems into a thread, it would be every bit as unfunny and bland (and confusing) as "Grauniad". It's not the same thing at all.
posted by oulipian at 10:38 AM on April 10 [7 favorites]


dear mods pony request for accounts

default account setting: converts grauniad to guardian seamlessly

checkbox "IS THE MESSIAH A VERY NAUGHTY BOY?":
default unchecked.
checked by user?

doesn't convert any use of grauniad

also puts the words "shurely shome" before any use of the words "mistake" and replaces "mistake" with "mishtake".
posted by lalochezia at 10:42 AM on April 10 [8 favorites]


Here's a better idea – the people who love this meme so much can install a Greasemonkey script that will change every instance of "Guardian" to "Grauniad".

I'm aware that saying "Hey you can make Greasemonkey fix a thing that aggravates you" is likely seen as an unsatisfactory approach to a thing that is seen/felt to be a sitewide issue. At the same time, we already know what small fraction of the site reads MetaTalk, we also know that solutions to "Please everyone stop doing the thing that bothers me" situations are hard enough to make work when it's a social justice/civil rights issue (where we can put mod weight behind it), it's basically impossible when it's a "Some people think this is funny and some do not" situation.

So if by better you mean "more likely to work" I will push back on that. If by better you mean, actually addresses the root of the problem (the behavior) as opposed to the result (the irritation/aggravation) then yeah we're in agreement.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:01 AM on April 10 [6 favorites]


This is just to say

I have requested
a moratorium
on the joke
that you love

and which you
were probably
so proud of.

Forgive me;
it is so juvenile
and I dislike this joke
like I dislike myself.
posted by carsonb at 11:03 AM on April 10 [39 favorites]


the sort of thing we’re talking about here has always struck me as all about signaling that the poster is part of the in-group, in a “look at me” kind of way.

Please just picture that in italics—my phone updated and now I find selecting text to be almost impossible. Anyway. I haven’t been here since Day 1 so in-jokes existed before my arrival and I just assumed you all were friends who had naturally developed some recurring jokes among you and it would take me a while to figure them out. I’m happy to be part of a group with funny-to-me running jokes.
posted by HotToddy at 11:18 AM on April 10 [11 favorites]


Grauniad/ Illiad. Heh. Everytime. Worth the price of admission. Never thought it was trendy, clever or cute - but something about the way its written gives me just the smidgen of amusement I need to not find it annoying.

Now the thing where...
No, I don't really give a poopy - if whatever in-joke (mentions cats in scanners) is not totally jejeune or malicious, I'm cool with it.

I kinda think most important is the active work towards compassionate, mindful discussion on the site over-all. That's where Metafilter is a Viking
posted by From Bklyn at 11:23 AM on April 10 [9 favorites]


Yep as another 2nd-gen Typical Guardian Reader, there's no way it's derogatory, more like preciousy-ingroupy, that mix of smug and self-deprecating that all the UK smells of. A swift googling should establish easily whether it's a real paper or not, like I have to check when summat like "The Fayetteville Observer" or the "Star Tribune" is cited.

Personally, I canNOT stand the euphemisms for tearing up: "is it dusty in here", "someone's been chopping onions" - they are cutesy, cringey but also arguably sprinkled with the remains of toxic masculinity, and I hereby demand an hour in the village stocks for each offender, thanks.
posted by runincircles at 11:31 AM on April 10 [22 favorites]


Seeing "Grauniad" reminds me of a joke about the Guardian in The Young Ones, and that makes me happy for a moment.
posted by doctornemo at 12:03 PM on April 10 [5 favorites]


Gnu not aradix, then?
posted by BobTheScientist at 12:03 PM on April 10 [1 favorite]


I don't think I have ever typed the joke in question once, but I have plenty of others. Four years of wordplay on the name of the US President sometimes felt tiresome, for example. But eh, sometimes I was in the mood, and sometimes others' jokes made me smile.

No matter what silly whimsical joke you can make, someone will find it not funny and irritating. If your reaction to that is please, stop making jokes, then well, I'd rather live in my world than yours. So, no.
posted by ctmf at 12:14 PM on April 10 [13 favorites]


Which is not to say this is a dumb MeTa; It's not. If a lot of people hate a thing I'm doing, then I'd rather know than not know. (Doesn't automatically mean I'll stop, but I will think about it and choose.)
posted by ctmf at 12:18 PM on April 10 [5 favorites]


I think the only reason to stop doing that joke is if people with language parsing disabilities (dyslexia and the like) find it mocking.

Yeah, I've (almost certainly) got dysgraphia and (definitely) brain fog from long haul Covid. It does suck that being bad at a thing that I'm just wired to be bad at is considered something to make fun of. I mean, I get it, the people at the paper are\were professionals and I'm not. It's not something I'm going to bring up, but since someone asked, when I think of it, it kind of just makes my day a little less pleasant.

It's nothing I can't deal with, and honestly I usually don't even notice, because boy howdy, weird snobbery about words is kind of just a thing here.
posted by Gygesringtone at 12:22 PM on April 10 [7 favorites]


I care about this issue exactly 0% but this thread is fulla some fine snark. thanks for the laughs!
posted by supermedusa at 12:26 PM on April 10


checkbox "IS THE MESSIAH A VERY NAUGHTY BOY?":

He's not the messiah.
He is a very naughty boy.
posted by Grangousier at 1:10 PM on April 10


Where is poffin boffin anyway?
posted by HotToddy at 1:13 PM on April 10 [12 favorites]


a Greasemonkey script that will change every instance of "Guardian" to "Grauniad".

but only if it outputs "Grauniads of the Gaxaly" too.
posted by scruss at 1:14 PM on April 10 [14 favorites]


Hair up a gnat's assfilter.
posted by y2karl at 1:53 PM on April 10 [3 favorites]


I was very proud of my very slightly funny, quite snarky, possibly mean, incredibly silly response. But, it turns out it's actually a real paper.

I've been a subscriber to the paper for years and an admirer since childhood and don't see it as a slight. But, it's interesting to learn that others do and I'm happy to see it talked about. (I agree that it's not a terribly good joke. Few jokes are. Including most of mine.)
posted by eotvos at 2:21 PM on April 10


It's an inside joke that's part of the fabric of the UK.

I love inside jokes. I’d love to be a part of one someday.

*downs shot of Midori*
posted by essexjan at 2:23 PM on April 10 [3 favorites]


I skim right over this or any other specific inside jokes so it has never caught my attention. I also don't think it's a thing I would (personally) expect other people to stop doing. However..

I will say I think inside jokes are cliquey and "exclusive feeling" in certain contexts.

Like as a thing done in public spaces where not everyone is in on the joke. In order for a joke to be an "inside joke" it's obviously excluding people.

It almost seems like the thing that makes an inside joke funny to people is that exact dynamic. Maybe I just don't get the joke.
posted by RobinofFrocksley at 3:22 PM on April 10 [3 favorites]


Where is poffin boffin anyway?
posted by HotToddy at 1:13 PM on April 10 [1 favorite +] [!]


speaking of, and how about Ethereal Bligh (who later was _russian name I always glossed over_)...

I miss both of them
posted by From Bklyn at 3:29 PM on April 10 [2 favorites]


True journalistic excellence from Teh Snu.

Now this is funny.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:39 PM on April 10 [2 favorites]


"your dumb jokes suck and I think you're annoying" sure is some type of energy to put into the world proclaiming for all to see.

(Honestly, if you're wondering why some of the names from 6 years ago aren't around as much, that sort of declarative negativity on things that, in the big picture, don't really matter is also a reason in some cases.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:42 PM on April 10 [43 favorites]


I said it was mostly an affectionate nickname last time we had this discussion and I'll pop up to say it again next time we have this discussion.

However, if we're going to start prohibiting words merely because they are annoying, I think it would be better to start with smol, wholesome, and doggo.
posted by betweenthebars at 3:51 PM on April 10 [18 favorites]


I kind of like it, makes me think of an epic like The Iliad. The story of Graun.
posted by rodlymight at 4:26 PM on April 10 [10 favorites]


rodlymight, exactly. I always just think of it as some epic tale of unending struggle over something utterly mundane. Our hero, doomed by the fates to an office cubicle, fighting to keep from being overwhelmed by TPS reports, journeying out to seek wisdom and help from the cursed IT dept., being sent on quests to find the golden toner refills.

This, I'm saying, is what passes for humor in my brain, and therefore, I appreciate Grauniad whenever I see it.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:37 PM on April 10 [7 favorites]


However, if we're going to start prohibiting words merely because they are annoying, I think it would be better to start with smol, wholesome, and doggo.

No wai. You can take wholesome but smol and doggo are staying.
posted by Glinn at 4:43 PM on April 10 [5 favorites]


Do people generally think that for profit entities deserve respect? "I'm tired of seeing this" & "I take this as personally insulting" are understandable but "Don't be disrespectful of a company?" Companies need respect?
posted by bleep at 4:52 PM on April 10 [5 favorites]


Ok I don't know if the guardian is for profit or not but that doesn't change the fact that companies don't *deserve* respect profit or not. They're not people.
posted by bleep at 4:54 PM on April 10 [1 favorite]


I’m 1000% fine with wholesome! Wholesome is a go!
posted by mochapickle at 4:56 PM on April 10 [3 favorites]


I definitely recognize the word Grauniad, but it didn't even occur to me till I saw this thread that it was a joke and not just some publication I was unfamiliar with. I have no horse in this race and nothing constructive to add to the conversation but huh, you learn something new every day.
posted by jameaterblues at 5:12 PM on April 10 [2 favorites]


However, if we're going to start prohibiting words merely because they are annoying, I think it would be better to start with smol, wholesome, and doggo.

I would also like to nominate "birb" and "veggies".

neither one of them is actually a word for god's sake
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:25 PM on April 10 [8 favorites]



I kind of like it, makes me think of an epic like The Iliad. The story of Graun


It could be great for the “What Should I Name My Pet?” fest on AskMe.

I can picture a St. Bernard or Bernese mountain dog named Grauniad.
posted by jgirl at 6:49 PM on April 10 [4 favorites]


I think it's dumb and pointless. insert shrug emoji here
posted by erebora at 7:28 PM on April 10 [1 favorite]


I have no opinion on this, but if you give me $5, I will invent one on the spot.
posted by briank at 7:52 PM on April 10 [12 favorites]


No no no; it's $20, same as in town.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:00 PM on April 10 [25 favorites]


I rarely refer to them here, and I don't think I've ever referred to them as "Grauniad" but until they learn how to properly apologize for gigantic factual fuckups I'm gonna keep my options open, and the more people demand we change the more likely it is I'm gonna switch to Grauniad.

...now if only I had a similar name for the cowardly bastards at Bloomberg. Doomberg? Nah, that was stupid. I need something better.
posted by aramaic at 8:02 PM on April 10


Where is poffin boffin anyway?

Seriously--I hope they're okay.
posted by praemunire at 8:55 PM on April 10 [7 favorites]


I get it’s hilair to the community to do the grauniad thing, and I do an eye roll as Showbiz Liz does and move on. But to see it in the OP on the front page as though it’s legit, I’m in the can you just not camp.
posted by honey-barbara at 9:28 PM on April 10 [2 favorites]


Absolutely delighted to learn that whatever filter is now in place for MeTas isn't keeping ludicrously entitled acts of hubris as entertaining as this one from us
posted by ominous_paws at 11:20 PM on April 10 [26 favorites]


Not treating institutions as a sacred cow that we can't make extremely mild and tired jokes about seems like a really weird thing to be worried about, tbh. Seconding that a for-profit company doesn't need your respect and likely doesn't care about you in the slightest anyway.

Also, have you forgotten that the people that write the blurbs on MeFi are not paid to do that or to care about what you think about what is or isn't funny? Save the outrage for things that cause actual harm to actual human beings.
posted by Aleyn at 1:25 AM on April 11 [11 favorites]


I have nothing to say except that this whole thread feels comfortably familiar and delightfully normal and I love all of you nerds who have so many opinions about it and the energy to argue about it.
posted by loquacious at 3:21 AM on April 11 [27 favorites]


.....I was also thinking the same as ominous_paws and loquacious and I'm glad you guys said something.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:23 AM on April 11 [4 favorites]


While it's certainly not derogatory, it is indeed old, stale, and time for the bin.

Somewhere out there 10K someones are seeing this for the very first time.
posted by Mitheral at 5:40 AM on April 11 [3 favorites]


Here’s my favorite weird fact about The Guardian. Apparently, if you’re a subscriber living in Cornwall, you get a slightly different version of the newspaper from everyone else. Because of the way the distribution network is set up, the issues destined for doorsteps in Cornwall have to be printed before the paper is fully complete.

This is mostly just fine, because most articles are written, edited and copy edited with plenty of time to spare. But you can’t do that with developing news stories or sporting events. Now, journalists are usually fairly adept at writing good copy, so most of the time this is fine, but every once in a while, when a late breaking news story has a later breaking twist, or a late-in-the-day sporting event has dramatic changes in fortune at the very end, the journalist has to rewrite the whole thing on the fly and send it straight to be printed.

The result is often, if not word salad, paragraph salad, where the beginning of the report has little to do with the middle, and the end is literally just tacked on. I once listened to an interview with a Guardian sports journalist wondering what subscribers in Cornwall think about his writing skills.

Every once in a while you can catch these paragraph salad reports on the Guardian’s website, but they’ve usually been tidied up within fifteen minutes, but they live on in Cornwall.
posted by Kattullus at 7:09 AM on April 11 [17 favorites]


I’d never heard the term before seeing it here. I googled it, found out what it meant, and haven’t thought about it again since.
posted by kevinbelt at 7:41 AM on April 11 [2 favorites]


veggies [not] actually a word

Yeah, nah.
posted by zamboni at 8:04 AM on April 11 [5 favorites]


I like veggies and plums but not snowflakes and my clever eye reads Grauniad as Guardian anyway (just like long foreign names in a novel become that guy whose name starts with V). But it doesn't matter because we don't have a style guide or an editor and all posts remain copyright of their posters so this is a less big deal to me than when I prepare a multi-author book for publication, especially when the publisher has a house style for references instead of sticking to APA or whatever. I did not spell check or grammar check this, not because it's 1:26am and I can't get to sleep, but just because I don't care enough. Now all you people who like hugs, share them around :) I'll watch from over here.
posted by b33j at 8:28 AM on April 11 [6 favorites]


Katullus, as someone who has been reading the Cornwall version of the Guardian for >16 years I have to say that it is not super noticeable, there are sometimes random bits left in, I hadn't realised it was only us getting them.

I think other papers do sell their first editions down here and it does mean we occasionally get the headlines where someone has screwed up their take and said something that then gets picked up as likely to offend public taste or goes too far with an argument and which gets amended in later copies.
posted by biffa at 9:09 AM on April 11 [1 favorite]


So I’ve learned from this thread that a lot of the jokes I find annoying bring pleasure to some people, so I’ll try to remember that while continuing to roll my eyes.

The word I’d eliminate if I could is gubmint, but I think I saw it way more on a voluntary simplicity site I was involved with long ago.
posted by FencingGal at 9:35 AM on April 11 [1 favorite]


I would also like to nominate "birb" and "veggies".
neither one of them is actually a word for god's sake


"Veggies" is in both Merriam-Webster and dictionary.com. Etymonline says "veggie (n.) slang shortening of vegetable (n.), 1976; earlier vegie (1955). Related: Veggies." The OED goes back a bit farther:
colloquial (chiefly North American, Australian, and New Zealand).
A vegetable; a plant grown for or used as food. Usually in plural. Cf. veg n.1
1907 Punch 20 Mar. 199/2 You ask about vegies. I look with a hearty Approval on crops of Jerusalem arti.
1955 ‘C. Brown’ Lost Girls xii. 132 I did get a job for myself, selling vegies at a stall in the market.
1976 New Yorker 8 Mar. 28/3 They wash and chop veggies and hand them out at the right time to the right people.
1992 Canad. Gardening May 45/2 Radishes: the fastest (21 to 28 days) and easiest veggie to grow.
2003 L. F. Winner Mudhouse Sabbath ii. 18 At non-kosher restaurants, you're stuck drinking water and possibly munching on raw veggies.
"birb", thankfully, hasn't quite established itself yet.
posted by trig at 9:48 AM on April 11 [5 favorites]


I subscribed to Private Eye for a bit recently bc I thought I should support their fine investigative journalism, and was slightly startled to find that all the jokes were basically 100% the same as when I was last regularly reading it about 35 years ago. Anyway. This meta seems weird to me. I don’t use ‘grauniad’ myself, I wouldn’t miss it if it was gone, but I also don’t see why that particular jokey usage deserves singling out among all the other overused jokey, slangy, informal usages on MF.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 10:44 AM on April 11 [3 favorites]


Of course the word birb exists. I saw a couple of real, live birbs just yesterday.

They were juvenile forest finches that were so fat, round, tiny and otherwise cute they might as well be living cartoon characters.
posted by loquacious at 11:34 AM on April 11 [12 favorites]




That one on the right is a borb
posted by Going To Maine at 11:42 AM on April 11 [8 favorites]


Agreed.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:00 PM on April 11 [1 favorite]


birb, birb, birb, birb is a word.
posted by clavdivs at 1:05 PM on April 11 [12 favorites]


I mean, technically
birb, n.
Forms: 1600s birb, 1600s birbe.
Origin: Perhaps a variant or alteration of another lexical item. Etymon: barb n.1
Etymology: Perhaps a variant or alteration of barb n.1
Obsolete rare—1.
A minute barb or beard.
1694 R. Franck Northern Mem. 155 Their..Birbs as stiff and as strunt as Bristles.
(strunt=stumpy)
posted by trig at 1:18 PM on April 11 [2 favorites]


I never use the term but I think "The Graun" has a ring to it. Drop the -iad!
posted by michaelh at 1:35 PM on April 11 [1 favorite]


The Ill and the Odd
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:22 PM on April 11 [5 favorites]


Of course the word birb exists. I saw a couple of real, live birbs just yesterday.

I think you mean you saw "birDs."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:47 PM on April 11


weird to just capitalize a letter in the middle of birbs like that.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:28 PM on April 11 [35 favorites]


Every happy family has those dumb in-jokes that were mildly amusing 10 years ago but now just cause eye-rolling and groans, especially from the young ones, but you keep making them because that's what families do.
Metafilter is a family.
Q.E.D.M.F.
Also, birb.
posted by signal at 6:43 PM on April 11 [5 favorites]


The Grauniad sounds like a 17th C. Smugglar based in Marsailles.
posted by clavdivs at 7:33 PM on April 11 [4 favorites]

1971. That is when Private Eye coined the term.

50 years ago.
So, pretty well established nom-de-journ and easily understood by half-a-centuries worth of us before even googling it then?
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 7:50 PM on April 11 [6 favorites]


... and I will always refer to the Austin paper as The Austin Amerikkkan Snakesperson as well. Rock on Grauniad!
posted by a humble nudibranch at 8:25 PM on April 11


As is well known, it's "The Manchester Guardian" so, since the joke relies on replacing a word with a messed up version of itself, might I suggest "The Leeds Grauniad?"
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:49 PM on April 11


> Where is poffin boffin anyway? Seriously--I hope they're okay.

I think they're fine. I don't know them personally but follow them on a different website -- I won't share their username there -- and they post regularly. They might be here still but under a new username. It's nice of you to be concerned but it's probably best to let this drop.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:52 PM on April 11 [6 favorites]


Liverpool Grauniad would be more ire-inducing.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:06 AM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Right - let's get into this.

"Birb" fans - please explain to me the origin of that word. (I have read one such origin/explanation, I'd like to see if you know of it or can explain it a different way.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:53 AM on April 12


It's also possible to make a Greasemoney script that will just change every instance of Grauniad to Guardian

I installed this weeks ago.

This thread has been a very confusing read.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:02 AM on April 12 [9 favorites]


I thought we already well established that the only word that deserves banishment is "methinks"
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:08 AM on April 12 [4 favorites]


Well that is a fine start, but the ONLY one?
posted by thelonius at 5:45 AM on April 12


* Grauns inwardly *
posted by Chairboy at 6:32 AM on April 12 [8 favorites]


I think you mean you saw "birDs."

Well, no, I saw some birds too but I'm talking about the birbs.
posted by loquacious at 6:56 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]


Well, no, I saw some birds too but I'm talking about the birbs.

The difference being?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:06 AM on April 12


(And yes, I know I am being petty about the birbs thing but this is the low-stakes hill I have apparently chosen to die on today and I am comfortable with that, so there)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:07 AM on April 12 [6 favorites]


Gonna blame @ProBirdRights, me. A birb is a bird that is excessively ridiculous and/or smol and/or cute.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:18 AM on April 12 [5 favorites]


And yes, I know I am being petty about the birbs thing

Years ago, I was in a long term relationship, and my roommate (and older woman) said to me one day "when you are on the phone with them, your voice changes." And I asked why that was bad, and she said "you are headed down the road to baby talk. First it will be ironic, then it will be a habit, then you will wake up one day and realize that you have made a life with a 5-year-old. Stop now." Good advice for all cutesy impulses.

As for misspelling Guardian, it's childish and dumb, and, when you do it, I take your points less seriously, but whatever.

The plums poem can die in a fire. Really, pick a new poem every few years. (Plus, I was doing William Carlos Williams parodies back when you weren't even Hershey's bars in your parent's back pockets; you know, back when it was cool.)

birb and doggo are childish and cutesy, but so a birds and dogs, so...? (when they aren't actually eating your face, of course).

My personal cross is people using the technical term "performative" to use something like "ostentatious and insincere." Each violation should carry the punishment of listening to Gender trouble as an audio book then summarizing Butler's ideas about performativity.

It's probably best I don't wield supreme power.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:26 AM on April 12 [5 favorites]



It's probably best I don't wield supreme power.


awww wat a cutesy-woottsie likkle reluctant dictator! yes you are! yes you are!
posted by lalochezia at 8:54 AM on April 12 [13 favorites]


See, the thing I heard about the origins of "birb" is something like, people felt the consonant "d" at the end sounded too "harsh" for something cute. The consonant "b" was somehow "softer". So it was adopted as the cutesy nickname.

And that drives me nuts, because a) I literally can't hear any difference in "harshness" between "birD" and "birB", and b) Seriously, the cutesy nickname "birdie" was perfectly good and already exists, dammit.

And in conclusion, get off my lawn, kids, you're scaring away the birDs.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:00 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


I know, I hate childish and cutesy stuff relating to cute birds and dogs, who are known to be serious and business-like.
posted by bleep at 9:01 AM on April 12 [15 favorites]


A birdie might be small and cute but it isn’t an idiot, while a birb is probably kinda dumb.
posted by Going To Maine at 9:04 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]


"Birb" looks rounder than "bird" because of the second b sticking out at the end. That is why the first birbs were round ones and also why you probably wouldn't refer to a vulture as a birb except with a certain irony.

I talk about birbs to my cat all the time - "ooh, we want to eat the birbs!! Kill those bad birbs, look at those bad birbs just sitting on the window ledge!!!!" (My cat is an indoor cat. She has indeed killed a couple of birbs over the years but only because they came down the chimney while I was at work and I could not rescue them.)
posted by Frowner at 9:16 AM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Also "birb" sort of implies a speaker in the way that "birdie" doesn't. "Birb" is cute because it's a mispronunciation and derives, I think, from lolcat. Originally the imagined speaker would not be a very clever and multi-degreed mefite driving fellow web users up the wall but a cat, say, looking out the window angrily at the birbs. And it's funny because we postulate that the cat's grasp on standard English is both weak and rooted in self-interest. "Birb" is funny because of cats, is what I'm saying, and I will never not find cats funny.
posted by Frowner at 9:19 AM on April 12 [5 favorites]


Why would we call birbs "birds"?
It might confuse them.
posted by signal at 9:37 AM on April 12 [4 favorites]


I used to get mad about doggo speak and "birb" and the like, but then I realised that no one thought it was cute or funny of me to forever wet-blanket the terms other people find fun to say, and most of all, I got tired of feeling annoyed on each occasion I saw these things.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 9:40 AM on April 12 [17 favorites]


Oh, this is tongue-in-cheek performative annoyance on my part, fret not.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:41 AM on April 12 [4 favorites]


I, for one, prefer a policy of mutually-assured linguistic quirk destruction. If we're all having fun here, we're all having fun. But if you want to assert that your equally-arbitrary* preferences/gripes should be preferenced, then nothing is safe.


* (naturally there's an escape-hatch for "hey, this thing you find cute is hurtful, etc.". It's all good until it's too-real, and all)
posted by CrystalDave at 9:45 AM on April 12


Oh, this is tongue-in-cheek performative annoyance on my part, fret not.

Do I have to get out the Judith Butler?
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:05 AM on April 12 [8 favorites]


Do I have to get out the Judith Butler?

Only if she's anti-birb and pro-Oxford comma.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:08 AM on April 12 [3 favorites]


Some of youse have clearly never worked in an office full of middle-aged people who talk unironically about
  • having to go "potty"
  • getting a "boo-boo"/"owie" that might require a worker's comp claim
  • eating a Michelina's microwave entree that's "yummy" in the moment but gives them a "tummy-ache" later
Try it sometime. You'll be just longing for someone sophisticated enough to tell you about how doggo protec/attac/snac.
posted by armeowda at 10:23 AM on April 12 [18 favorites]


abjure abjure abjure
posted by Going To Maine at 10:33 AM on April 12 [4 favorites]


"your dumb jokes suck and I think you're annoying" sure is some type of energy to put into the world proclaiming for all to see.

How about "the profusion of in-jokes is confusing and alienating to those who are not 'in' and may have an exclusionary effect on new visitors to the site?"

I mean, I think "The Grauniad" is sorta funny, too, but I've been reading Metafilter on a daily basis for more than 20 years and thus I am pretty sure to get the joke. I'm not sure there's any benefit gained in repeating the joke for the umpteenth time (if it brightens someone's day I guess that's an argument in the pro column) and it does risk making whatever post it appears in that much more opaque to a subset of the site's visitors.

I know this is part of "site culture" and that the culture here is an important part of the appeal but I do feel dialing it back a little bit in general might help make the place friendlier to new users who might not be as familiar or comfortable with this kind of linguistic play.
posted by Mothlight at 10:43 AM on April 12 [4 favorites]


"Oh, this is tongue-in-cheek performative annoyance on my part, fret not."

I'm here for it, though. I encourage it. Take no prisoners, EC. Escalate!
posted by kevinbelt at 10:56 AM on April 12


I know this is part of "site culture" and that the culture here is an important part of the appeal but I do feel dialing it back a little bit in general might help make the place friendlier to new users who might not be as familiar or comfortable with this kind of linguistic play.

Doesn't nearly every online community have their own set of in-jokes and site-specific wordplay though? I'm not sure much could be done to dial this back, nor do I think much ought to be done. I thought it was kind of a Rule of the Internet that you lurk until you get the vibe of a place, and/or ask questions if you're confused by an in-group term.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 11:47 AM on April 12 [15 favorites]


I think a question that may be relevant here is, what happens when someone doesn't get an in-joke, and asks about it?

Because it's one thing if a site has a culture full of in-jokes, and if people ask about them the response is "fuck off noob" or "lurk moar", which certainly happens in a bunch of places.

But it's another thing if a site has a culture full of in-jokes, but the site has a wiki documenting the in-jokes and their history, and people take the time to gather up references in a thread when asked, and get dozens of favorites for doing so.

And maybe it's not quite fair to conflate the two just because they both involve in-jokes?
posted by automatronic at 12:04 PM on April 12 [24 favorites]


Few of these spelling tics are actually MeFi specific. I see birbs and doggos all over the internets (I mean interwubs). Casual communication is going to involve these weird evolutions and dumb memes that some people hate. I find some of them tiresome myself. But it always sounds even dumber to complain about them than to just sigh and remember you are an old. Because reasons.
posted by rikschell at 12:10 PM on April 12 [6 favorites]


BIRB
posted by supermedusa at 12:11 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


it's the Auduban Society final word.
posted by supermedusa at 12:12 PM on April 12 [6 favorites]


it's the Auduban Society final word.

I love that the very first comment on that article is someone riffing on the William Carlos Williams poem
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 12:18 PM on April 12 [6 favorites]


Aya it's very...Meta isn't it? lol
posted by supermedusa at 12:24 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


🎶 Like a birb, on a wire … 🎶
posted by Ahmad Khani at 12:48 PM on April 12 [4 favorites]


I would bet $20 (same as in town) that if you asked a bunch of people who visited Metafilter & decided not to engage what their reasoning was "I didn't know what Grauniad meant" wouldn't make the list. But we don't have that list so who knows.
posted by bleep at 1:00 PM on April 12 [8 favorites]


lists tell one alot about those who make them. Yeah, I had no idea 7 years ago and the 6 year meta gave me the background.
that's what metas are for. I really get the staleness. Don't think Id use it, seems cheeky for an American to use.

really, are we metaphorically burning poems now. I get that you enjoyed it in the day, GenjiandProust...but really.

don't make me get out the Judith Baxter:)
posted by clavdivs at 1:54 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


it does risk making whatever post it appears in that much more opaque to a subset of the site's visitors.

While that is of concern for injokes generally in this case every single mention of the Grauniad is, at least on the front page, associated with a link to the Guardian. As obfuscated injokes go it is pretty transparent.
posted by Mitheral at 2:14 PM on April 12 [10 favorites]


The $20 same as in town "gag" seems like punching down at sex workers and I would love to see that one disappear. Maybe someone could explain why that one is funny?
posted by rikschell at 3:28 PM on April 12


That's actually one we've been working on Team Mod to stop using for exactly those reasons. I don't think having the funniness explained would help much, since people's sensibilities around these types of things differ and I don't think me explaining why I used to think it was amusing has much overlap with why I still don't think it's a good thing to make jokes about on the public internet.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:37 PM on April 12


I just threw it in to annoy people who hate injokes because I was cranky.
posted by bleep at 3:46 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


Which I recognize does not improve the discourse so my apologies.
posted by bleep at 3:53 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


It's a stretch to say that $20 SAIT joke is "punching down at sex workers." The brunt of the joke is the Mother Superior. The only thing the sex workers are depicted doing in the joke is propositioning a potential client on the street, which is an actual thing that some sex workers do.

The reason it is funny is that the last person you'd expect to be selling sexual favors is a nun, and most humor is based on an unexpected twist.
posted by Larry David Syndrome at 4:40 PM on April 12 [4 favorites]


I thought we already well established that the only word that deserves banishment is "methinks"

A popup saying "Are you sure you want to use that word? Like, really really sure you know what you're doing?" Same list as m'lady.
posted by ctmf at 4:44 PM on April 12 [1 favorite]


The reason it is funny is that the last person you'd expect to be selling sexual favors is a nun,

Agh, I've successfully never heard the actual joke, don't spoil it now!
posted by ctmf at 4:56 PM on April 12 [5 favorites]


here's one I never got...need to pull the pin...
posted by clavdivs at 4:59 PM on April 12


ZIPPITY BOP!
posted by clavdivs at 5:00 PM on April 12 [8 favorites]

How about "the profusion of in-jokes is confusing and alienating to those who are not 'in' and may have an exclusionary effect on new visitors to the site?"
This is 100% a legit sentiment and when I was more active here I would have had more to say, but I am in definite accordance w/the idea of always aiming to advance ease of communication. It is so much one of my hobby-horses, IRL and online! "Only connect" and all that.
I mean, I think "The Grauniad" is sorta funny, too, but I've been reading Metafilter on a daily basis for more than 20 years and thus I am pretty sure to get the joke. I'm not sure there's any benefit gained in repeating the joke for the umpteenth time (if it brightens someone's day I guess that's an argument in the pro column) and it does risk making whatever post it appears in that much more opaque to a subset of the site's visitors.
Arguing against, it's not a MeFi in-joke, it's a belaboured/grandfathered/affectionate UK one going back 50 years as per the OP. It has the weight of a minimum of 20 yrs of Guardian online availibiilty and international passing reference to it online too. So long as no-one posts "Grauniad...Grauniad...Grauniad" it's fine. Dropping the expression in is fine. I mean, equally I'm not a fan of The Sun, but if someone decides to post about how the "The Snu snuspaper has snis to snay" I'm gonna give it some side-eye ... (snide-eye?)
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 5:59 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


Does anyone still use “Micro$oft”?
posted by TedW at 6:36 PM on April 12 [2 favorites]


unambiguous but effective.
K, the greatest in-joke, used by many millions daily.

o.k.
posted by clavdivs at 10:23 PM on April 12


Good to know that humorous nomenclature is OK and I can return to using USAnian and UKanian.
posted by Thella at 1:37 AM on April 13


The difference being?

One word is more fun to say.

Also the birds I saw were very stately pair blue herons being pestered by a bald eagle. They were very serious birds doing serious bird things.

The birbs I'm talking about were so cute it actually hurt a little to see them being so ridiculous and round and otherwise sickeningly cute that I made weird noises about it.

No, I don't want to grow up. It's totally overrated and you can't make me.

Now then, can someone please tell us a joke that involves butts? Butts are funny.
posted by loquacious at 1:48 AM on April 13 [8 favorites]


I think of it as very old-school but not derogatory.
posted by peepofgold at 2:18 AM on April 13 [2 favorites]


nthing that I was under the impression that the Grauniad was a separate publication. Specifically, I thought it was one of those online, slightly erudite sports focused sites, and thus never clicked on "Grauniad" links because sportsball isn't so much in my area of interest.
posted by eviemath at 5:32 AM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Just to add to the perhaps amusing list of what people thought it was, I was certain The Grauniad was an Irish newspaper.
posted by PussKillian at 5:51 AM on April 13 [5 favorites]


Ugh. Re USian: Please call people what they want to be called. I thought that was an important thing around here.
posted by emelenjr at 7:24 AM on April 13 [6 favorites]


I'm a USian who uses USian, have never even thought twice about using it until now...

But to be relevant: I also hate the Grauniad because I thought it was a separate newspaper and was annoyed when I found out it was a lame joke instead. Does this mean you can't tell lame jokes? Of course not! You'd have to rip the WCW plum riffs out of my cold, dead hands.
posted by Behemoth, in no. 302-bis, with the Browning at 9:20 AM on April 13 [1 favorite]


Don't you mean sweet, cold hands?
posted by praemunire at 2:35 PM on April 13 [15 favorites]


very stately pair blue herons being pestered by a bald eagle.

oh my yes. Have them in Michigan and those eagles. Blue Heron was the name of the zine I published my second and third poem. rather then recite, I'll tell ya a Covid eagle story.
so, this dude around by the dam is ' birdman' who we shall call birb.
birb is drubk, goes to ATM, it eats his card, he defaces ATM, feds show up with a bill for 2000$ and court date. Birb, the day before, had an eagle come in, he needed some heal time as it was caught. So he's talking to the feds, they hear rustling in the Ga-rage.
"That's binky, my parrot".Feds leave. Birb was facing little for defacing a bank machine but up to 20 years for the eagle.
Word gets out and an intricate smuggling plan was devised, involving a Chevy, 5'x5' box, three road flares, a super soaker and a half pack of pall malls.
posted by clavdivs at 5:32 PM on April 13 [4 favorites]


Reds I assume. Job like that would need a pack, maybe a pack and a half of oranges. Maybe two packs.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 5:45 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


birb likes studs.
posted by clavdivs at 7:35 PM on April 13 [2 favorites]


The reason it is funny is that the last person you'd expect to be selling sexual favors is a nun,

I always thought the funny part was her assuming that he wanted a discount.
posted by Mchelly at 9:30 AM on April 14 [4 favorites]


TedW: Does anyone still use “Micro$oft”?

Speaking as a moderator on a Linux forum:
Yes. Yes they do.
*sigh*
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:50 AM on April 14 [7 favorites]


My guardian angel, 'Grauniad.'

And I think I heard the joke differently, a remarkably filthy ('Aristocrats'- level filthy) joke involving a stable behind a bar in gold-rush era Alaska and a slightly less-than-willing... maybe I have that wrong though... May be that the punchline was - uh, nevermind... I will be googling the nun joke though (Ans it's not that they "haven't come this way before..." is it...)

(You have to read this out to someone, see if they 'get' it - it's a bit of a puzzle as well as a joke)
Two Penguins are in a canoe in the desert. They've been paddling for days now and one finally stops, takes a look at the shole situation, the canoe, the desert, their prospects. After a long moment, starts paddling again. His partner, in the front, notices and glances over his shoulder, as interrogative "?" Aft penguin says "Wears your paddle" to which the bow penguin answers, "Sure does..."
posted by From Bklyn at 11:28 AM on April 14


1980s. My parents read the Independent, grandparents the Guardian. All refer to this as the "Grauniad". Because of the very left-leaning politics of my family, I just presumed my grandparents subscribed to a Soviet newspaper (it sounded Russian to me), and was slightly disappointed when I learned the truth.

I'd use the proper name if it was the first mention, but I'm sure I've Grauniaded before and will Grauniad again, because I literally learned this at my grandmother's knee.
posted by Vortisaur at 11:53 AM on April 14 [6 favorites]


I am an American man, born after 1971, and I have never found the term "Grauniad" to be anything other than vexing and bothersome. Like many others, it took me a while to parse "Grauniad = Guardian" and now every time I see the name I am reminded of that lapse of time and my mood is fractionally lowered.

I will, however, admit that "Grauniad" may well be a more apt name for the paper as none of my research has ever revealed what exactly The Guardian is supposed to be guarding.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 12:54 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


Grauniad is fine, on a site where people post "Xian" (usually in the middle of a rant).
posted by wenestvedt at 1:13 PM on April 14 [2 favorites]


To give folks another thing to get het up about, I've divided the MeFi wiki in-joke list into separate current and dated lists, based on whether I remember seeing them recently. If you feel strongly about these lists being wrong, it's a wiki!

[NOT PAPHNUTY-IST]
posted by zamboni at 1:44 PM on April 14 [4 favorites]


Has anyone told Ian Hislop about this? I think he'd be ... somewhere between perplexed and amused.
posted by Grangousier at 3:52 PM on April 14


If you hate cutesy words let me tell you about the baby care class I recently attended where the teacher described babies exclusively using the words "kiddos" or "little babes".

If she ends up being my nurse when I'm giving birth there's gonna be a bad moment for one of us.
posted by Emmy Rae at 7:13 PM on April 14 [2 favorites]


Ugh ugh ugh ugh, Emily Rae, you've hit on the cutesy words that make me want to retch ... I am a fan of birbs and doggos, and cheerfully call my own dog "pupper" to her sweet little pupper face, but kids "kiddoes" - or even worse, referring to a baby as if "Baby" were their name - just makes me all hope in humanity.

Pretty sure it has to do with what creatures I find precious and adorable (though I LIKE kids! Really!), but to each their own I suppose.
posted by DingoMutt at 7:45 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


I read the Graun daily, and they earn their reputation for typos.
They’re practically universally known as the Graun or the Grauniad by readers and non-readers in their home market.
Not getting a joke right away doesn’t make it derogatory or outdated.
posted by Kreiger at 8:39 PM on April 14 [13 favorites]


..I'm sorry, but I've never read that term before, and I just laughed out loud in my bathtub like a child.

I'm still laughing a little bit.

It seems to bring joy, maybe it can still be done.
posted by firstdaffodils at 9:51 PM on April 14 [3 favorites]


It sounds like something John C Reilly would say, while in the role of a newscaster.

"Bill Grates invented Michaelsoft." "Today on the Graun.. today on the Graunia-.. Today on the Grauniad-" so dumb.
posted by firstdaffodils at 9:55 PM on April 14 [1 favorite]


birb.
posted by loquacious at 1:29 AM on April 16 [1 favorite]


lokayshus.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 3:59 AM on April 16 [7 favorites]


It sounds like something John C Reilly would say, while in the role of a newscaster.

That's Dr. Steve Brule to you...
posted by hydra77 at 9:55 AM on April 16


I feel the Atlantic divide here sits somewhere adjacent to that which defines what constitutes a challenging crossword. I guess I could get angsty about my mother calling curtains ricnuts or bacon sandwiches canob dimswitches, but that would feel rather like turning my back on one of the few aspects of cultural heritage which this ex-UK-Britishian feels able to hold dear without post-imperial guilt kicking in. YKmageMV.
posted by protorp at 2:14 PM on April 16 [2 favorites]


I favour ‘Grundian’.
posted by Phanx at 7:28 AM on April 17 [1 favorite]


I favour ‘Grundian’

Pretty good.

How about 'Gnurdian'?
posted by jamjam at 2:51 PM on April 17 [3 favorites]


Stands for "Gnurdian's nurd, Ian!"
posted by biogeo at 3:03 PM on April 17 [4 favorites]


I guess I could get angsty about my mother calling curtains ricnuts or bacon sandwiches canob dimswitches

Does she? Because then I demand to be introduced.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:50 PM on April 17 [9 favorites]


The Grauniad on the subject of Being The Grauniad.
posted by Chairboy at 1:51 PM on April 18 [2 favorites]


I agree.

It should be "the Tory enabling and outrageously transphobic Grauniad".
posted by MartinWisse at 11:24 AM on April 19 [2 favorites]


Over the years I've been witness to dozens of long, contentious arguments on metatalk about language and vocabulary, arguments where there were actually meaningful stakes at play, because the language being discussed was actually hurtful and harmful to some of the people participating in the discussion. And it was only barely possible to resolve those arguments in a manner that could lead to actual changes in the site's culture, and I'm 100% sure that there is still a lot of dissatisfaction about the amount of change that has occurred. So, reading a metatalk thread about a word that has, as far as I can tell, no social significance, no cost to its usage in terms of whether or not people feel recognized as human beings here? A word that somebody wants everyone else to stop using purely and only because they are personally annoyed by it? That seems like a wildly optimistic proposition to put forward. And not a good one.
posted by Ipsifendus at 3:55 PM on April 19 [12 favorites]


'Sportsball' is the worst one of these but at least it serves as useful information about the person using it
posted by Space Coyote at 8:21 AM on April 20 [1 favorite]


"Good advice for all cutesy impulses."

I must put forth an impassioned defense of people being cute and playful as equal and not inferior. Enjoying warmth and playful intimacy and enjoying adorable animals/people/things tend to be qualities that work well in caregiving- historically carried about by women therefore considered a set of traits that are inferior.

It doesn't have to be everyone's thing, but I don't like implications that we need to socially pressure and deem people who like these things as less worthy. There is no comparable level of socially agreed on pressure to shame/change traits that code male like seriousness and being analytical. Anyone can have or not have any of the traits, and it's all good. To anyone who needs to hear it, I support your love of cute and adorable activities, behaviors, and traits!

To those who preserve the joy of childhood, silliness, and laughter, you do a good thing in the world!
posted by xarnop at 10:23 AM on April 20 [14 favorites]

'Sportsball' is the worst one of these but at least it serves as useful information about the person using it
I've been guilty of this in the past. I'm trying to avoid it, 'cause needlessly making people angry is never a good choice and distracts from the discussion. But, also, sports fans aren't a persecuted group in any country on the planet and never have been. They already control the media, the government, and a lot of social life everywhere I've ever been. "Sportsball" may be boring, but it's definitely punching up.
posted by eotvos at 10:27 AM on April 20 [5 favorites]


“Sportsball” may be boring, but it's definitely punching up.

I’m not sure the “punching” metaphor for humor really applies to “sportsball”. At best, it feels situational. Do you feel alienated by people surrounding you being obsessed over sports and deriding you for it? Probably punching up, I guess. Do you not have to deal with anything related to sports, so while you don’t care about it it also doesn’t intersect your life except for when somebody invites you to a Super Bowl party, march madness bracket, or similar? Probably punching down. But really, this seems like an example of how “punching” just isn’t universally applicable.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:31 AM on April 20 [5 favorites]


As a compromise, it may be an option to use both forms of the proper noun. For example:

There is an article in today's Grauniad / Guardian which considers MetaFilter and contains responses from Josh Millard.
posted by Wordshore at 2:47 AM on April 21 [7 favorites]


Great find, Wordshore!
posted by mochapickle at 9:07 AM on April 21


Yeah! McNeil reached out to me a week or so back (like the article says, you can actually just...email someone at MetaFilter, wild idea) and we had a nice conversation. There's the classic difficulty there of column inches vs. phone time; we talked for about twenty minutes about a lot of stuff related to corporate social media ethics, scale, long-term planning, web history and archives etc, and I really enjoyed wading through some web stories contemporary and historical with her, but most of it's never gonna make it into a short piece out of sheer necessity. I'm glad she was looking at it in terms of care of users and archives, and being able to talk about the idea of having an ethical responsibility to think about a site beyond the threshold of its profitability was good.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:18 AM on April 21 [8 favorites]


Joanne is the coolest and her book Lurking is a must-read for anyone interested in the Old Web. She's doing this event next week in case people want to hear more about what she's up to.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:47 AM on April 21 [3 favorites]


Millard told me the staff and community regularly discuss end of life care for Metafilter.

A common topic these days.
posted by y2karl at 5:49 PM on April 21


If by these days you mean at least as far back as when Matt used to shut the site down for vacation then ya.
posted by Mitheral at 6:10 AM on April 22


I meant that end of life care was a common topic for reasons far above and beyond this parochial backwater because -- albeit, like it or not, individually and alone for the most part -- we are truly all in this together.
posted by y2karl at 9:10 AM on April 22


Grenade under the chin.
posted by biffa at 4:58 PM on April 22


If I'm not allowed to use Monty Python quotes, cliches, parodies, or puns, then I think I will be unable to express emotion in writing. This makes me sad.

And no-one will believe that I am serious about it making me sad because I have described my emotional state in an unemotional way. This makes me even more sad.
posted by heatherlogan at 6:17 PM on April 22 [6 favorites]


We speak it, the words of the valiant Knight. In Knightcar, skit went over well until the brakes grind, avalanche waves. The automated hook grabs the bovine sample, a new laptop and 6 cases of axle grease for new
Stackable pastures

On swordsneezer, 1001 Montes long.
posted by clavdivs at 7:48 PM on April 22 [2 favorites]


Shaka, when the walls fell.
posted by automatronic at 8:51 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Darmok and Jalad at zombo.com
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:18 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


You can do anything at Tanagra.
posted by ook at 11:36 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


Mr. Trololo enters, singing jauntily
posted by Going To Maine at 11:57 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


These pips do come in disarray.
posted by clavdivs at 5:53 PM on April 23


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