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Profanity in the monastery

by bladx (Chaplain)
on Mar 12, 2001 at 02:32 UTC ( #63675=monkdiscuss: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Hi everyone!!

Disclaimer: With this discussion post, I may be treading on thin water... please read this and consider what I am saying first before directly replying please ^_^.

Well I haven't been around the monastery for a LOT of time... but from what I have seen so far, and so on, I have noticed that in many questions here in the monastery, there is the occasional profanity that is really distastefull in my humble opinion. It really isn't a bad problem or anything yet, but I think that since there are young kids here, as well as older people, I believe that there should at least be some type of filter to blank out those 'distasteful' words. It really wouldn't be too difficult to create a search/filter item for the site to block these words out, and it could have a feature for the user to turn those words off or on. Mainly my reasons for this idea is due to the variety of age groups on here, and we should try our best not to offend people if possible. Also, all of that 'distasteful' language is already out there in the media, why do we need to bring it in here as well?? Thanks for your time, and please tell me what you think on this topic if you are for, or against this idea submission. ^_^

bladx ~ ¡muchas veces tengo preguntas!

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Profanity in the monastery
by dws (Chancellor) on Mar 12, 2001 at 02:48 UTC
    If there are words that you find so distasteful that you'd rather not see them, your best best may be to invest time in writing your own filtering proxy server (or extend one of the many that are available. Maybe this one would do). Then you would have full control over whether to merely blot offensive words out, or replaced with a YOUR EYES PROTECTED BY BLADX image.

    To implement a general facility, you would either have to get general agreement on what, exactly, constitutes "distasteful" language (good luck), or you'd need to convince vroom to add a per-user list as part of user settings. You might consider getting your hands on the Everything source, and adding the feature yourself.

    Or you could trust in the judgement of the editors, and peer pressure.

Re: Profanity in the monastery
by footpad (Monsignor) on Mar 12, 2001 at 03:15 UTC

    While I agree with your sentiment, I'm not sure this is entirely desireable or practical.

    One recent discussion suggested that most monks prefer a light touch with regard to censorship in the Monestary.

    Also, who defines what's acceptable and what isn't? What you may find offensive may be casual conversation in my house. Different people have different ideas about profanity and obscenity, which is one reason why the U.S. Supreme Court has had to debate the issue so often.

    This thread illustrates the difficulty in detecting potentially profane words and phrases. Your filter would need to detect the proper spellings as well as the most common variations. Even then, you'd be continually maintaining your "naughty" list after someone figures out yet another easy variation around your filter. Put another way, you'd always be playing catch up.

    Besides, we already have the best filter available: the Editors. As recently illustrated, they're well up to the task of making sure that posts don't get too carried away.

    In the end, it's up to us to consider those reading our posts and hope that, by example, we can encourage others to avoid offensive or inappropiate language.


Re: Profanity in the monastery
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Mar 12, 2001 at 05:42 UTC
    I agree with dws. This would be a good quest for you to write your own, or edit an existing, proxy.

    It's not difficult to do. merlyn sent me some hairy-but-functional code that even handles SSL, and it wasn't more than a couple of hundred lines. With IO::Socket and HTTP::Request, you could put something together in a couple of weeks of light work.

    Consider it a quest and a dare, from me to you. You'll learn a lot.

    (And, as with most things in the monastery, I think we're better off with behavioral solutions for behavioral issues. Don't write anything you wouldn't want my mother to read, unless you have a really good reason.)

(kudra: recently discussed) Re: Profanity in the monastery
by kudra (Vicar) on Mar 12, 2001 at 03:25 UTC
(redmist) Re: Profanity in the monastery
by redmist (Deacon) on Mar 12, 2001 at 05:53 UTC

    I think this idea is ludicrous. This "feature" would only waste vrooms time, and contribute further to the asinine idea that others must protect your own eyes. If you live one earth, expect to be offended. I am offended daily, but I don't care...that's life. Such is the cost of Free Speech (arguments of Prior Restraint aside).

    It is the duty of the individual to deal with whatever may trouble them. If you don't like it, look the other way.

    Silicon Cowboy
      Fully agree,

      even if a check for profanity might seem simple whilst comparing entered text with a list of "profanity" you won't be able to maintain the list to catch up all profanity and some does occure only in relation (e.g. "bloody" might be profanity or not). And what about "4ss"? You won't catch that. So better don't feel offended.

      Have a nice day
      All decision is left to your taste
Re: Profanity in the monastery
by Elgon (Curate) on Mar 12, 2001 at 05:04 UTC
    When I ++'ed this, I was surprised to see that it had a -6 rating: bladx made his point sensibly and without rant nor rancor. Personally I don't have a problem with 'bad' words, mainly because words have no power unless you let them, but mostly because there is no such things a bad language: merely the poor use of good language. I am also against censorship generally, but I do like the idea that people can decide whether what they see should be censored or not provided it is a personal choice.

    Censors: Use your power carefully and remember that people's mileage may vary.


      Discussion posts are held to a different standard than posts in other areas. voting guidelines lists reasons to downvote discussion posts:
      • it would be a waste of time for vroom.
      • it would make the site less enjoyable.
      Given the responses the post has generated, there seem to be a number of people who dislike the idea (and perhaps are afraid it will be implemented if they show support for it). Therefore the -- votes might well have nothing to do with the way the thought was presented.

      Note: I spent a while trying to decide whether I should just msg on this or whether it might be worth posting as a reminder. After finding the only link to guidelines--which I knew existed--in the FAQ, having failed to find them in voting/experience system, site how to, and guide to the monastery, I thought perhaps a reminder wouldn't be uncalled for.

Re: Profanity in the monastery
by Blue (Hermit) on Mar 12, 2001 at 19:04 UTC
    I'm not ++ing or --ing. Here's my thought. We should be couteous and avoid posting profanity. However, I am against censorship, and even profanity is a communication. I would prefer not to have to worry that what i say is filtered, or what I read from others is not what they really want to say because it is filtered.

    =Blue might be eaten by a grue...

(crazyinsomniac) Re: Profanity in the monastery
by crazyinsomniac (Prior) on Mar 12, 2001 at 08:16 UTC
    Heh. I haven't seen this amount of carp in a long time.

    As probably the profanest monk at the monastery(I beleive I am), I find it unnatural not to be profane, and I generally exibit that restraint around here, even though when I speak my every other word is fukcing,carp,dikc,siht...

    I would like, along with the adivice already given by everybody, to add some good advice I previously gave at ((crazyinsomniac) !@#$%^&*()!@#$%^&&*!@#$%^&*):

    Hi all y'all,

    Now lokee her'.
    All y'all peoples gettin' offended, don't!
    Grow som' brains and grow som' brass.

    When speakin' expect to be spoken to, even if you' gettin yelled at!!
    Suck it up.

    And finally, fix that short fuse, relax and be nice, you'll live longer.

    Can you guess the 7 dirty words?

    Disclaimer: Don't blame. It came from inside the void

    perl -e "$q=$_;map({chr unpack qq;H*;,$_}split(q;;,q*H*));print;$q/$q;"

Re: Profanity in the monastery
by petral (Curate) on Mar 13, 2001 at 02:10 UTC
    "since there are young kids here, as well as older people,"
    I just want to thank you for giving a thought to the sensibilities of us older people. You young ones tend to be so thoughtless!

    BTW, I was sorry you apologized for "treading on thin water", I thought it a nice turn of phrase and appropriate considering where you were daring to tread. Anyway, ++ for effort and others have made good practical suggestions.

Re: Profanity in the monastery
by gregor42 (Parson) on Mar 14, 2001 at 00:55 UTC
    <IMHO> The only language that I would call "distasteful" is that which fails to properly convey the intended meaning. Languages with deep context (such as PERL for example) which employ multiple means to convey a single concept, often do so for two innate reasons:
    1. To make it easier to learn to express yourself
    2. To enable the expression of subtle nuances in meaning
    Anything beyond judging language as a communication medium involves not the language itself, but politics.
    My point is that I would no more be offended by the use of the word "merde" than I would the use of "goto" or "shit" or "/dev/null". It is better to judge the validity of the idea being expressed, I believe.
    Oneself should strive to be judged by the merits of your ideas, rather than the brevity or sweetness of your code. (Maintainability vs. Optimization?)

    Wait!... This isn't a parachute, this is a backpack!
Re: Profanity in the monastery
by malaga (Pilgrim) on Mar 15, 2001 at 08:21 UTC
    i didn't like it when one of the monks called me the b word on the msg board. but we can't control other people, and we do have to live with them. i can get over it, but the problem is that it's close to impossible to protect our children from tv and the internet. we do need a solution to that and we need it yesterday, but censorship is not the answer. the answer will probably come from the home, not from the internet. if i had had a programmable box that filtered out bad stuff on tv and internet when my kids were growing up, i would have used it. the solution needs to be simple, cheap, and easy to use.
Re: Profanity in the monastery
by bladx (Chaplain) on Mar 12, 2001 at 02:41 UTC
    Ok, sorry for the totally messed up english i used in my disclaimer :( i just have been speaking español too often lately ^_^. In the disclaimer, it shouldn't say 'treading on thin water,' it should say: 'treading on thin ice.' sorry for the inconvenience... I know I shouldn't use comments for this purpose, but I'm not really able to edit my post....

    bladx ~ ¡muchas veces tengo preguntas!

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