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Jeremiah65

I have a question and it is just curiosity

30 posts in this topic

Where do the language filters come from? I know that a lot of intellectual people like to feel they are superior because there are words they choose not to use....that is fine...they are welcome to that delusion.

I know very intelligent people where no word or manner of expression is cast aside...sometimes a four letter word is the best choice to express emotion.

So where do your rules originate? Is it cultural? Is it religious? Who says this cultures use of words is better than that cultures? If I choose to curse in Spanish or German is that acceptable?

I am simply asking for the origins....and maybe a why....I don't expect to get a why. I know why other sites have the filter....they are afraid google will not include them and they crush the free speech of everyone to pander to googles filters. is that the case? Is it really morality or is it financial/search engine based?

I am asking purely as a point of curiosity because I personally do not find any words offensive...they are words, implements of expression....and I mean that....you could call me all the nastiest words you can think of and I simply do not care and would not be offended.....so please dont take this as a jab....I am sincerely curious as to the foundations of your language filters.

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Is it really morality or is it financial/search engine based?

It's both - people tend to distance themselves from forums filled with abusive language and so do the search engines.

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Many cuss words come from Latin. They just mean what they meant, in ancient times so...

So.... Best guess :

People are prudes now, so cuss words make forums look cheap and tawdry, thus the filters, to keep UM PG rated.

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I know very intelligent people where no word or manner of expression is cast aside...sometimes a four letter word is the best choice to express emotion.

We have language filters here exactly because people feel that using profanity is an acceptable way to convey a thought.

Let me put it this way, if a person cannot think of a way to express themselves and insists on using profanities to do so then I have no desire to have a discussion.

I honestly do not see how using "four letter words" adds to or enriches a discussion.

So if people on a forum, for example, cannot respect and show common courtesy and if they repeatedly demonstrate that they cannot control their own mouths or what words they choose to publish then someone has to do it for them.

Words have meaning otherwise they wouldn't exist. They are used to communicate but are also used to attack and hurt. How you wish to communicate shows what sort of person you are.

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I have an aditional point. We all understand the naked swears, but what about the euthemisms. Most, if not all, know exactly what the euthemism means, so it is hardly different to the swear it replaces. If somebody says "Oh sugar!" we all know what that means. If I wrote "pancake!", I am talking about a pancake?. If I wrote "horseradish", am I talking about a horseradish?. Well, no. I used them as they are not English euphemisms, just to keep this thread clean. But is my point seen that at what point does the euphemism become the swear?. I guess at least it causes people to think about the language, and to become clever in it's use.

I agree with the OP that the real words mean nothing, they are so over used that they have no shock value as an expression or insult. What I find insulting is not swears, but the more sneaky type of insult, for instance the type that suggests, in the most insulting way, that a poster is not well educated for instance, as this shows, to me, a slimy dishonest personality.

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We have language filters here exactly because people feel that using profanity is an acceptable way to convey a thought.

Let me put it this way, if a person cannot think of a way to express themselves and insists on using profanities to do so then I have no desire to have a discussion.

I honestly do not see how using "four letter words" adds to or enriches a discussion.

So if people on a forum, for example, cannot respect and show common courtesy and if they repeatedly demonstrate that they cannot control their own mouths or what words they choose to publish then someone has to do it for them.

Words have meaning otherwise they wouldn't exist. They are used to communicate but are also used to attack and hurt. How you wish to communicate shows what sort of person you are.

Being offended by profanities is to me a form of superstition and silliness. Words are words and cannot harm you.

Now, I generally but not always avoid profanities, because they often are inappropriate, but sometimes the inclusion of one is useful to get attention and to make a point strongly.

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Many cuss words come from Latin. They just mean what they meant, in ancient times so...

So.... Best guess :

People are prudes now, so cuss words make forums look cheap and tawdry, thus the filters, to keep UM PG rated.

Prudishness has decreased a lot over my lifetime. I think the main purpose of a profanity filter is so that the web site doesn't fall afoul of the various "child protection" programs that some parents impose on their children's computers. That such filters exist is an unfortunate fact of life for a site operator.

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I'm curious as to how the words themselves are selected for filtering. For example, the "British English Anglo-Saxon word for the buttocks" is banned while the same word commonly used in US/Canadian English (as well as elsewhere), is not banned.

I find the former far less offensive. Just a thought.

Edit for clarity: Both start with the letter 'a'. The former is 4 letters, the latter is 3 letters.

Edited by Likely Guy

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Prudishness has decreased a lot over my lifetime. I think the main purpose of a profanity filter is so that the web site doesn't fall afoul of the various "child protection" programs that some parents impose on their children's computers. That such filters exist is an unfortunate fact of life for a site operator.

All I actually think UM does it to keep sponsors happy, but whatever works.

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To me it's not so much the profane words by themselves, but in the way it's used and the tone behind it that's really offensive to me and to at least a few others here on UM. Especially when one goes to describe other people in general that don't think like you or agree with you.

All that profanity used in a hateful emotional tone is really unnecessary. A good debater keeps his/her profane word usage to a bare minimum, at least.

Using profanity in debates like that is something you would expect to hear out on the streets, not see in a public forum.

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It might be a good time to also mention that the rules allow members from the age of 13 onwards. Cultural norms would include that most parents would not appreciate their young teenage children being taught by complete strangers on the internet to use profanities to make their points.

Personally (JMO) I happen to think that respect is not obsolete and people in society today generally prefer to be treated with courtesy. Not knowing how a respondent feels about profanities, it makes more sense to not use them rather than offend another for no better reason than that you just don't care if they might be offended.

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Some use profanities simply to show off to others. It seems the more vulgar they can be, the more 'cool' they think they are. If you look at a site where 'anything goes', the profanities take over any chances of a decent discussion.

What they don't realise or care about is not everyone appreciates reading that kind of stuff, nor are they impressed by it. What language they use in private is their business, but when you're posting on an online forum it's only manners and common courtesy to be polite, and that includes not using language which others might find offensive or a complete turn-off.

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I'm curious as to how the words themselves are selected for filtering. For example, the "British English Anglo-Saxon word for the buttocks" is banned while the same word commonly used in US/Canadian English (as well as elsewhere), is not banned.

I find the former far less offensive. Just a thought.

Edit for clarity: Both start with the letter 'a'. The former is 4 letters, the latter is 3 letters.

I too had wondered about this anomaly. Though perhaps is because there is the phrase, "He made an ass of himself", were this refers to being a donkey. There's a differnece in pronounciation, but not in how it is written, like America tomato and British tomato, it doesn't translate into the written word. Well yes, tomayto and tomarto, but we don't write that, yet..

Edited by Kaa-Tzik
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I too had wondered about this anomaly. Though perhaps is because there is the phrase, "He made an ass of himself", were this refers to being a donkey. There's a differnece in pronounciation, but not in how it is written, like America tomato and British tomato, it doesn't translate into the written word. Well yes, tomayto and tomarto, but we don't write that, yet..

Not to linger on the subject, but I didn't realise that there were two ways to pronouce it (that which is spelled the same).

That and I thought that in the UK it was pronounced 'tomawto'.

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It is true that without a regulation of the use of profanities you get guys who use it to the point of tiresomeness: this is in fact the only time I have ever used the "ignore" facility many sites provide.

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Not to linger on the subject, but I didn't realise that there were two ways to pronouce it (that which is spelled the same).

That and I thought that in the UK it was pronounced 'tomawto'.

I think only the Queen would pronounce it like that, or Dik Van Dyke :)

Edited by Kaa-Tzik
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I remember the old days, when (the settings were sometimes a little over-enthusiastic, and (for example) a U.S. Air force base in England near to Woodbridge would have the middle part of its name asterisked out.

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Being offended by profanities is to me a form of superstition and silliness. Words are words and cannot harm you.

Now, I generally but not always avoid profanities, because they often are inappropriate, but sometimes the inclusion of one is useful to get attention and to make a point strongly.

Words harm people more than most things.

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Our society (U.S.) has grown more profane and vulgar over the years, due to, I think, the media's effort to "push the envelope." Just because someone decided that "edgy" is cool, we are now bombarded with the same five or six words over and over. They have become garbage words, words with no meaning that just take up space.

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It might be a good time to also mention that the rules allow members from the age of 13 onwards. Cultural norms would include that most parents would not appreciate their young teenage children being taught by complete strangers on the internet to use profanities to make their points.

Personally (JMO) I happen to think that respect is not obsolete and people in society today generally prefer to be treated with courtesy. Not knowing how a respondent feels about profanities, it makes more sense to not use them rather than offend another for no better reason than that you just don't care if they might be offended.

This is highly true. I joined at a younger age and progressed with the site. Partially why I did, I believe, is because of the atmosphere. It doesn't encourage profane language. I view potty language as detrimental to the eloquence of the English-language. When you don't rely on curse words to convey frustration - but actually do use them rarely instead of actively - the effect is tremendously different. Of course, I can have a huge sailor's mouth in person at times. I just find that picking and choosing when to use said words is the mark of a well-disciplined mind. This website, having filters for the more risque words, actually encourages reliance on compiling your emotion through other paths of other words and other emotions usually drowned out by redundant obscenities.

Edited by Hatake Kakashi
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Words harm people more than most things.

That depends on you.

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Our society (U.S.) has grown more profane and vulgar over the years, due to, I think, the media's effort to "push the envelope." Just because someone decided that "edgy" is cool, we are now bombarded with the same five or six words over and over. They have become garbage words, words with no meaning that just take up space.

Being edgy is cool and in much demand. Plenty of people can write Mozart stuff but only the original is of interest to us.

There is good writing and there is bad writing. Bad writing does not have to contain obscenities to be bad.

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This is highly true. I joined at a younger age and progressed with the site. Partially why I did, I believe, is because of the atmosphere. It doesn't encourage profane language. I view potty language as detrimental to the eloquence of the English-language. When you don't rely on curse words to convey frustration - but actually do use them rarely instead of actively - the effect is tremendously different. Of course, I can have a huge sailor's mouth in person at times. I just find that picking and choosing when to use said words is the mark of a well-disciplined mind. This website, having filters for the more risque words, actually encourages reliance on compiling your emotion through other paths of other words and other emotions usually drowned out by redundant obscenities.

I've been on sites that demand good grammar and spelling and proper punctuation and capitalization. I think that is just stupidity out its ear. A web site is a sort of business, and its first need is customers. Make the rules too strict and the monitoring too ticklish and people are either thrown away or leave. Not good. Of course a balance is needed, since sometimes the behavior of one "customer" can drive away dozens of others.

In my view this site has it about right (of course that may be because I have gotten away with losing it a few times without hassle -- and I have wondered afterward why I didn't get it).

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I've been on sites that demand good grammar and spelling and proper punctuation and capitalization. I think that is just stupidity out its ear. A web site is a sort of business, and its first need is customers. Make the rules too strict and the monitoring too ticklish and people are either thrown away or leave. Not good. Of course a balance is needed, since sometimes the behavior of one "customer" can drive away dozens of others.

In my view this site has it about right (of course that may be because I have gotten away with losing it a few times without hassle -- and I have wondered afterward why I didn't get it).

I can agree with you.

I can also assert, however, that the balanced atmosphere can also promote learning at times.

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That depends on you.

We shouldn't act like words aren't harmful, that is irresponsible. Humans are not machines, we were born with emotions and feelings which are linked to our psyche and are very much influenced by what we hear. Sure we can have tough skin etc. but no one, not one person has the full capacity to shut that off. We react to words good or bad so we should be mindful about what comes out of our mouths.

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