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Thread: Naughty words "over there"

  1. #1

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    Default Naughty words "over there"

    Much mention has recently be made concerning words you can and can't use on "the other side". This is something I tried to learn more about when I was a forum moderator there.

    GSP volunteers Moderators/reviewers and Lackeys have a private discussion forum and I asked there what words were and were not allowed. Apparently there is a list which the forum software automatically edits. This was set up in the early days of the forum and I don't think it has been updated recently. Despite repeated requests, this list was not made public even to forum moderators who had responsibility for the various forums. I never did understand this reluctance to share with us what was and was not acceptable.

    I also asked if forums devoted to other countries/languages had their own lists. It would appear not, so you are free to write what you like in French, German, Japanese or whatever and unless a local moderator (or roving Global mod with language skills) spots it you are OK. Our misfortune is to have a language with a number of words in common usage in English which nevertheless are on the "black" list which is set up in the American language.

  2. #2

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    Thanks for clarifying that. I seem to have learnt a lot about geocaching.com reviewing and moderating in the last few weeks, for some reason!

    There are a few examples of the reverse situation: words which are commonly used in the USA but are rather stronger in the UK. Read this cache description, for instance

    http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache...8-244376420498

    ...I just had to go and see what a "Fanny Bridge" was like! Actually that turned out to be my one and only US "LPC".

  3. #3

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    Most forum software comes with a default list of "bad words", which are usually based on American English. I've spent a while working on the bad words list for these forums to try to exclude words which really aren't "family friendly" in a British English forum, but to allow words which most British English speakers would be ok with.

    For (hopefully) obvious reasons I'm not going to post the list here...!

    Right, I'm off to look up "Fanny Bridge"...
    ​​Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light. (Dylan Thomas)​


  4. #4
    sTeamTraen Guest

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    I think the clue to understanding this is not to assume that the list of individual words which are auto-corrected/auto-censored is complete, exhaustive, or exclusively concerned with keeping things "clean". It's "just there". Nobody spends very much time tweaking it. The lackeys do not spend hours discussing marginally smutty language.

    For example, six of George Carlin's famous "Seven words you can't say on television" are auto-censored. I don't understand why the seventh (a common four-letter synonym for weak beer, I believe) isn't, but I'm pretty sure that there wasn't a vote on it among the moderators. You can probably say "I was <weak beer>ed [off] to find my cache had been stolen" - in fact, I've seen it - but you can't tell someone to "<weak beer> off". You can, of course, avoid any problems by counting slowly to 3 and finding a different word, in the first case, or offering your adversary a pat on the back in the second. I swear way too much when I'm speaking, but when typing I try to take a few seconds to think about what I'm saying.

    However, the corollary to the auto-correct list not being the be-all and end-all, is that if you use very obvious misspellings of words that would be clearly unacceptable, you can't look all innocent and say "but I was just discussing fashion chains and medieval monarchy". In the specific case where people were having a go at Eartha - who, as the name suggests, is of the female persuasion - don't forget that the well-dressed misspelt king in question is a common insult for a woman in US English.

    Similar considerations cover non-English languages, and words where the "severity" level varies from one English variant to another. Currently, the IPB software doesn't allow you to have a different auto-correct list per forum, so it seems reasonable to have a US-centric list and allow a little flexibility (either way) at a national level. That seems to be what Mandarin is putting in place, judging by recent posts.

    The key to having everything calm down will be having a single moderator on board applying her rules consistently. Much of the lack of consistency over the last few weeks has been because, for assorted logistical reasons, there's been a selection of moderators in the UK forum, each with (inevitably) slightly different standards. Of course, until we've perfected cloning of waterfowl, you'll need to tread carefully in other, US-moderated forums...
    Last edited by sTeamTraen; 13th August 2008 at 03:59 PM.

  5. #5
    Simply Paul Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by sTeamTraen View Post
    However, the corollary to the auto-correct list not being the be-all and end-all, is that if you use very obvious misspellings of words that would be clearly unacceptable, you can't look all innocent and say "but I was just discussing fashion chains and medieval monarchy". In the specific case where people were having a go at Eartha - who, as the name suggests, is of the female persuasion - don't forget that the well-dressed misspelt king in question is a common insult for a woman in US English.
    You've made it sound like I was calling Eartha a well dressed (have you shopped in FCUK? I can't let well dressed pass without comment!) misspelt king (Cnut isn't a misspelling. It was his name. Google it) when I didn't- That would have been unforgivably rude of me. Nor have I said I was 'discussing fashion chains and medievel monarchy' - That would be dumb at best. You've mistaken obvious misspelling of words which would clearly be unacceptable for words (or rather names) which you can see in books in school libraries and on many High Streets. They weren't misspelt; I really did mean to type [edited by admin]. The point I was actually making was some words might be rude if you move the letters around but damn is not an offensive word to anyone who doesn't actually want to be offended, and thus shouldn't be edited by the forum. If I'd have realised the message was going to be misunderstood I'd have made it clearer (Oh yes, I know lots of *really* rude words- and very innocent anagrams of them) in the first place. Anyway, I've bored myself with this whole carp business. We should be focussing on Peter. He deserves better treatment from the company he gave years of unpaid work to. They've seriously taken the sips. I bet he's kicking himself now...

    Just a quick reminder why I was banned, and my reply to Greg (Interesting to note he also edited out dam.n from my original post; I'd not noticed before. I assumed his focus was on 'other words' but since I got a further warning for using The D Word (!) perhaps I'd missunderstood the problem...:

    "In a message dated 09/08/2008 04:14:21 GMT Standard Time, noreply@geocaching.com writes:
    "Yes, you can't say dam.n here (a word that was fine in 1939's Gone With The Wind) but you can say Utter [edited by admin] Odd, isn't it?"

    [You failed to include the rest of my post in your email:
    Yes, you can't say [dadgum] here (a word that was fine in 1939's Gone With The Wind) but you can say Utter [um, no you cannot]. Odd, itsn't it?

    *To shop at French Connection UK
    **The modern spelling of the King who demanded the tide halt to prove he couldn't do everything.

    Sorry about this post. I'm feeling a little Civil Disobediency today...

    This post has been edited by mtn-man: Today, 03:19 AM]
    http://forums.groundspeak.com/GC/ind...post&p=3590593

    No, you cannot say that. The forum guidelines are pretty clear regarding profanity. The blatant, intentional violation of the guidelines forces a three day time out from the forums. Further violations of the guidelines could cause longer disabled posting or eventual removal from posting in the forums. Please do not intentionally violate the guidelines in this nature in the future.

    I draw your attention to: FCUK: FRENCH CONNECTION - Womenswear and Menswear - Style and Fashion and Canute (also known as Cnut) the Great - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. These words aren't profanities, they're anagrams of profanities. Many of the words used in English and on the forums are anagrams of profanities- it doesn't make them profane. Some place names, for example Scunthorpe, actually have the letters in the right order, yet they're not profane either. Please reconsider your three day ban or I shall be forced to take further action.

    Paul Smith (an anagram of A Sh*t Lump. The world's full of them if you look...)"
    Last edited by Tiger-Eyes; 14th August 2008 at 11:21 AM. Reason: I'm sorry Paul, I know we take a more relaxed approach in this forum but these anagrams when put together are going to far,

  6. #6

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    Frankly I'm amazed that you got away with only a 3 day ban after being so persistently provocative.

    If you genuinely think you weren't being persistently provocative, then you are indeed extraordinarily naive and insensitive.

    Rgds, Andy

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Simply Paul View Post
    damn is not an offensive word to anyone who doesn't actually want to be offended
    No word is offensive to anyone who doesn't want to be offended. People are often quick to take offense where none was intended.

    I'm sure some people could take offense at *anything* if they tried hard enough.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by minstrelcat View Post
    No word is offensive to anyone who doesn't want to be offended. People are often quick to take offense where none was intended.

    I'm sure some people could take offense at *anything* if they tried hard enough.


    I would never want to condone "bad" language - indeed one of the most difficult parts of my job has been to try to moderate the level of obscenity whilst dealing with disturbed young people in extreme emotional stress.

    However - much as many find it offensive (and possibly quite correctly too) - have you listened to the ordinary everyday language used by members of both sexes, often under a certain age - but not always, in the High Street and Supermarket?

    Often use of "bad" language is a habituation and has no particularly offensive context.

    Many years ago (1968 to be precise), between college and employment I worked on the foundary bed in the Iron Works where my dad had been Managing Director and was still a regular visitor.

    One day I was doing a particularly difficult piece of moulding and a lip of sand broke.

    "Bloody Hell!!" quoth I.

    The foreman turned on me immediately,

    "Here Dave, does tha' fayther know tha' f****** swears?!!"

    It was merely an observation, not an obscenity.

    Again it was, in it's own little way, a micro cultural difference - as we have in the current debate perhaps.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by dodgydaved View Post
    Again it was, in it's own little way, a micro cultural difference - as we have in the current debate perhaps.

    I'm sure there are those who find the word "micro" objectionable

  10. #10

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    As a mum with chidren who are home from school at the moment, I am finding it increasingly difficult to look at some forums posts whilst my children are about. My 5 yr old is learning to read and often looks over my shoulder to try and learn new words.
    I have a choice
    1 -stop coming into the forums until the children are back at school (I rarely get time to come on the PC in the evenings) and once they return to school I will hopefully be working during the day or
    2 - Hope that posters are sensible enough to realise it's not only adults that can read and stop posting profanities or anagrams of such.

    Interestingly enough there was an email I receive a while back which was written entirely in anagrams with only the first and last letter of the words in the correct place and most people could read it easily.

    I am personaly finding some of the words and anagrams used offensive without them being directed at anybody

    These are my personal views as a forum user

  11. #11
    Birdman-of-liskatraz Guest

    Default and not just over there...

    I have concerns about over here too - it's OK having a "hardly any moderation policy" but what if say a Non cacher, or a possible sponsor, was to wander into this forum.. and saw a thread entitled...

    Are caches at risk from attack

    Does that not look racist? or at best unprofessional... I'm sure it's all meant to be a bit of fun and taken in good humour but when it's displayed for all the world to see - it worries me.

    Just saying..

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Birdman-of-liskatraz View Post
    I have concerns about over here too - it's OK having a "hardly any moderation policy" but what if say a Non cacher, or a possible sponsor, was to wander into this forum.. and saw a thread entitled...

    Are caches at risk from a **** attack

    Does that not look racist? or at best unprofessional... I'm sure it's all meant to be a bit of fun and taken in good humour but when it's displayed for all the world to see - it worries me.

    Just saying..
    Whilst I appreciate that maybe we should have edited that thread when it first appeared we have never been a forum that examines every thread or post, combined with the fact that some members of admin were on Holiday when it appeared this one has obviously slipped through the net and I will go and edit it now.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiger-Eyes View Post
    As a mum with chidren who are home from school at the moment, I am finding it increasingly difficult to look at some forums posts whilst my children are about. My 5 yr old is learning to read and often looks over my shoulder to try and learn new words.
    I have a choice
    1 -stop coming into the forums until the children are back at school (I rarely get time to come on the PC in the evenings) and once they return to school I will hopefully be working during the day or
    2 - Hope that posters are sensible enough to realise it's not only adults that can read and stop posting profanities or anagrams of such.

    Interestingly enough there was an email I receive a while back which was written entirely in anagrams with only the first and last letter of the words in the correct place and most people could read it easily.

    I am personaly finding some of the words and anagrams used offensive without them being directed at anybody

    These are my personal views as a forum user
    Rather than type it out again I think this post of mine covers my feelings on this matter.

  14. #14
    Simply Paul Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by amberel View Post
    Frankly I'm amazed that you got away with only a 3 day ban after being so persistently provocative.

    If you genuinely think you weren't being persistently provocative, then you are indeed extraordinarily naive and insensitive.

    Rgds, Andy
    Persistent? This was a first offence, and unless you include the damn I was cautioned for, the only offence. Hardly persistent offending. Provocative on the other hand? Yes, I think so, a bit. These names (which I see have been edited out on this forum- I'm going to take that as a hint that they're not acceptable names here either and won't use them again. See how that's an effective solution for everyone? No need for a formal warning or ban) are perhaps contentious. They're not profane though, which is the reason I was given for the ban from 'the other place'.

    Persistently provocative? No. Therefor I must indeed be an extraordinarily naive and insensitive person. You'd think I'd get in more trouble than I do. Over 4000 posts 'elsewhere' and only one ban and a warning; I really must work harder at my naivety and insensitivity

  15. #15

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    An example should help put this whole thing in perspective.

    I'm a regular visitor to the UK Climbing forum (http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/). This is one of the biggest and most popular UK forums on the internet.

    Even without registering, you should still get a fair impression of the style of posts considered acceptable there. You don't have to know what they're talking about.

    There are plenty of forum guidelines too (http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/info/guidelines.html)

    But even so, most of the threads are not "family friendly" in the way geocaching.com likes it to be, due to the robust and opinionated style that many participants are used to.

    Try this one, for instance (the first I picked at random);
    http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=315894
    ...along with rude words and off-topic posts.
    There is a "chat room forum", where things get much more fruity, but that's off-limits unless you've spent two minutes registering.

    The point is that this is a totally acceptable forum (to the UK climbing community, which is probably bigger than the world geocaching community), yet if GC.COM were moderating it would be closed down completely within hours...

    I think that any attempt to make an internet forum totally "world wide family friendly" is bound to run onto the rocks fairly regularly, and that we're suffering from over-ambitious expectations in this area.

    That's why my view is that the best place for UK-related geocaching discussions is on a completely UK site with UK moderators, with whom we can discuss appropriate guidelines to suit UK sensibilities and culture*. Remember that the Groundspeak "UK Forum" is simply a US Geocaching Forum section, dedicated to talk about UK caching. Not a dedicated UK forum.

    (*Edit: "UK sensibilities and culture" is not really what I mean, as I'm aware that it's not just UK people that are able to deal with a little more "robust" debate, but I can't find a phrase that sums it up very well).
    Last edited by Happy Humphrey; 14th August 2008 at 03:28 PM.

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