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Yes, but then again, no. . . .


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If you don't get the reference, don't feel bad.  It's an obscure one, even for an avid TCMer.  It's from The Dark Horse (1932), a wickedly scathing satire of politics, starring Warren William, Bette Davis, and Guy Kibbee.  I use it now to describe my ambivalence, schizo-ism to the TCM Message Board censors--um, Moderators.  Now, now, now, now. . . .I'm not criticizing or praising the way the Message Boards are run, just expressing my psycho-emotional state in reference to them.

 

On the one hand, my experience with other fora not so regulated is that they degenerate quickly into mean, ugly, anger-filled arguments, laced with profanity, the main quality of which is not the offensiveness of the language, or the bitterness of the hatred, or the pettiness of the disputing, but the overwhelming boredom they inspire in me.  And this is for discussions not about movies, or god forbid, anything of moment, like refugee crises, or environmental degradation.  I'm talking about boards where fish ponds, or plastic piping are discussed.  Or any other mundane chat group that pops up on my search engine when I poke around the internet for information.  The only explanation I can come up with is the anonymity, and therefore, security, provided by the internet, removes one of the great factors in human society contributing to civility:  shame.  The inhibitions--and in this case, I mean the proper and valuable inhibitions--on human behavior we have in facetoface interactions no longer apply, and thus, what you would only expect to witness in a barroom at the end of a long night of heavy drinking (alcohol having the same effect on the lifting of inhibitions), you get on discussions of what's the best way to kill the algae choking your pond without hurting your fish.  Frankly, I'm happy to be spared that here.  The moderating has kept the heat and the glare of conflict down, so the discussion of movies and actors and such isn't obscured.

 

On the other hand. . . . I do feel patronized, and treated like a school child, when nanny comes in, finger wagging, keeping us from using Those Very Bad Words.  The only reason I can see for it is TCM expects little children (read: future TCM viewers) to read and participate.  Though from the posts, I see no evidence of that.  I feel a level of violation when someone besides me comes in and changes my post, changes my carefully considered, rationally constructed, uniquely insightful, post, without my awareness, or permission.  I know this is TCMs universe, and they can do what they want in it, and nobody forces me to live in it.  But, still.  I have spent a lot of years growing up, and having become an adult, maybe I feel I should be able to enjoy the free exercise of my estate.  I can understand warning when discussion gets too far afield, or heated, and I can understand the shutting down of threads.  But retroactively editing posts, bowdlerizing, and sanitizing them seems--well, there's a word for it, or there used to be, and it begins with a q, but I can't use it here.  It's odd.  Very odd.  It's an oddness that brings along with it a disquieting uneasiness.  It feels a little, no, a lot like the imaginary world the production code created in the movies.  Theoretical, idealized, but ultimately false, and unrepresentative of real life.  In fact, the altering of posts has that tinge of Big Brothery feeling to it created by the practice in 1984 of rewriting history.  That which is inappropriate is erased.  Almost makes me shudder.

 

So, I'm divided.

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I guess I'm not paying attention. I don't seem to realize that the moderators are so bad as that. What I see is the sanitizing thing, but are they really make substantive changes to posts? Is this really an issue here? I'm not aware of that happening on any of my posts and I am quite assured that they don't do that. Big Brother? 1984? Really?! I won't challenge but it might be nice to see actual examples of "editing," and "bowdlerizing." That's quite an accusation, actually. Do I need to go back and reread some of my past posts to see if they have been "retroactively" altered? I won't waste my time, but that's just me. 

 

If anyone really feels that SUBSTANTIVE changes are being made to our posts, then speak out. Maybe I'm naive. Maybe I'm clueless.

 

The moderators don't want rudeness, or profanity. I admit the auto censor is a bit much but it's nothing to shudder about. I think it's more on the amusing side. They want to keep the language clean. I think that's appropriate for a website like this. Nannies? Wagging the finger? Hardly. My advice is to forget about it, it's not personal.

 

Watch a movie. Write about it. Keep it clean. Big Deal. Don't worry about the censor. It's just software. Don't worry about the moderators. They are not out to get us.

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I believe that you may be taking the universe out of context.

 

I feel that all forums are moderated. Those which have no official moderators come under the control of the most virulent posters who overwhelm and intimidate all who do not follow their rules. Failure to heed 'established' beliefs and behaviour means your meaningful posts will be lost in morass of invective-filled beratements.

 

I do not find moderation within this forum onerous. I believe that all posts which are edited by Moderators carry notice at the bottom stating that it was edited. The notice will often contain information also as to why the editing was done. I feel this is significantly different from revisioning done in: 1984.

 

I do not agree with need for removal of some words which are regularly purged from this forum but I admit that there are many words which I feel are not appropriate for a forum and so it is merely a matter of choice and not a matter of censorship versus anarchy.

 

I feel that part of being adult is realizing when and where some things are not socially appropriate. The Code of Conduct establishes broad rules. The editing of posts refines the definition of what is not acceptable. I feel that a person who has had a post edited should take it as advisement that they strayed into socially inappropriate territory. I would take that to mean that I should mind my ways or go elsewhere.

 

I find that occasional need to rephrase a sentence so as to avoid using a banned word is a small price to pay for having access to a forum which is civil outside of political threads.

 

I must admit a certain perverse amusement with the dichotomy that the common word for fluid bodily waste is not considered appropriate here while a movie aired recently on TCM contained the d-word, s-word, f-word and c-word.

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slaytonf--You've seen the advertising for TCM the past month or two, right?  If TCM Is trying to reach a Younger audience (by which I mean under 12) the moderators , in my opinion, are free to modify what they see as offensive posts--because, assuming the advertising is successful, younger people--like maybe those under 10--may come across these boards, & Not by accident.  For the intent of finding out more about classic films.  More power to them.  So if we have to use more general words instead of an expletive once in a while, it's OK with me.  My limited experience with the moderators has all been positive.

 

BTW, slaytonf--great quote.  I need to see The Dark Horse (1932) again. 

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I guess I'm not paying attention. I don't seem to realize that the moderators are so bad as that. What I see is the sanitizing thing, but are they really make substantive changes to posts? Is this really an issue here? I'm not aware of that happening on any of my posts and I am quite assured that they don't do that. Big Brother? 1984? Really?! I won't challenge but it might be nice to see actual examples of "editing," and "bowdlerizing." That's quite an accusation, actually. Do I need to go back and reread some of my past posts to see if they have been "retroactively" altered? I won't waste my time, but that's just me. 

 

If anyone really feels that SUBSTANTIVE changes are being made to our posts, then speak out. Maybe I'm naive. Maybe I'm clueless.

 

The moderators don't want rudeness, or profanity. I admit the auto censor is a bit much but it's nothing to shudder about. I think it's more on the amusing side. They want to keep the language clean. I think that's appropriate for a website like this. Nannies? Wagging the finger? Hardly. My advice is to forget about it, it's not personal.

 

Watch a movie. Write about it. Keep it clean. Big Deal. Don't worry about the censor. It's just software. Don't worry about the moderators. They are not out to get us.

 

I feel the moderators do a good job.  They rarely edit post and every un-moderated site I have ever been at gets out of control really quick OR on other sites when there are moderators they just 'withhold' questionable post and tell you it is 'in review' (but this review never gets done and the post is never posted,  try CNN for example).  

 

The moderators created the chit-chat forum because some users really wished to discuss politics and were creating threads under 'general discussions'.   These tend to get 'heated' and some are now posting there 95% of the time and rarely at the movies site.    I feel it is fine for the moderator to remind folks that the primary purpose of this forum is MOVIES and not just a general chat room.

 

As for the need to edit words;  yes, that is somewhat silly but without it one or two users can really mess up a site by posting really foul sexual and racial stuff over and over again.  I have seen this also at other sites and it isn't something I wish to experience.  

 

So while it is a pain when discussing movies like Boston B-l-a-c-k-I-e,  I would rather have to do that than see trolls take over the site.

 

PS:  try 'view new content' today;   Most threads are in chit-chat mostly related to politics.  Unless Trump makes a movie I'm going to try hard to stay away from these threads. 

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Well, all I can say here is that words can't express the occasional dismay I find myself experiencing after I discover the moderator corps have later edited what I've stated in some post.

 

Well okay, there ARE a few words that MIGHT express this aforementioned "dismay" of mine, but if I'd type 'em out here they'd just end up bein' a bunch of asterisks anyway, ya know. And THEN if I'd attempt to circumvent THAT by use of a couple of dollar signs for ONE of those words and instead of usin' the Limey equivalent of it, "arse", once the moderator, who btw I've always envisioned lookin' somethin' like THIS...

5c87d9f676f85e06b18fae906855fe7c.jpg

...would just turn it back into all those asterisks again ANYWAY!

 

(...and so....hmmmm...now what was my point here again???...sorry, that face up there always makes me lose my train of thought somehow)

 

;)

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If you don't get the reference, don't feel bad.  It's an obscure one, even for an avid TCMer.  It's from The Dark Horse (1932), a wickedly scathing satire of politics, starring Warren William, Bette Davis, and Guy Kibbee.  I use it now to describe my ambivalence, schizo-ism to the TCM Message Board censors--um, Moderators.  Now, now, now, now. . . .I'm not criticizing or praising the way the Message Boards are run, just expressing my psycho-emotional state in reference to them.

 

On the one hand, my experience with other fora not so regulated is that they degenerate quickly into mean, ugly, anger-filled arguments, laced with profanity, the main quality of which is not the offensiveness of the language, or the bitterness of the hatred, or the pettiness of the disputing, but the overwhelming boredom they inspire in me.  And this is for discussions not about movies, or god forbid, anything of moment, like refugee crises, or environmental degradation.  I'm talking about boards where fish ponds, or plastic piping are discussed.  Or any other mundane chat group that pops up on my search engine when I poke around the internet for information.  The only explanation I can come up with is the anonymity, and therefore, security, provided by the internet, removes one of the great factors in human society contributing to civility:  shame.  The inhibitions--and in this case, I mean the proper and valuable inhibitions--on human behavior we have in facetoface interactions no longer apply, and thus, what you would only expect to witness in a barroom at the end of a long night of heavy drinking (alcohol having the same effect on the lifting of inhibitions), you get on discussions of what's the best way to kill the algae choking your pond without hurting your fish.  Frankly, I'm happy to be spared that here.  The moderating has kept the heat and the glare of conflict down, so the discussion of movies and actors and such isn't obscured.

 

On the other hand. . . . I do feel patronized, and treated like a school child, when nanny comes in, finger wagging, keeping us from using Those Very Bad Words.  The only reason I can see for it is TCM expects little children (read: future TCM viewers) to read and participate.  Though from the posts, I see no evidence of that.  I feel a level of violation when someone besides me comes in and changes my post, changes my carefully considered, rationally constructed, uniquely insightful, post, without my awareness, or permission.  I know this is TCMs universe, and they can do what they want in it, and nobody forces me to live in it.  But, still.  I have spent a lot of years growing up, and having become an adult, maybe I feel I should be able to enjoy the free exercise of my estate.  I can understand warning when discussion gets too far afield, or heated, and I can understand the shutting down of threads.  But retroactively editing posts, bowdlerizing, and sanitizing them seems--well, there's a word for it, or there used to be, and it begins with a q, but I can't use it here.  It's odd.  Very odd.  It's an oddness that brings along with it a disquieting uneasiness.  It feels a little, no, a lot like the imaginary world the production code created in the movies.  Theoretical, idealized, but ultimately false, and unrepresentative of real life.  In fact, the altering of posts has that tinge of Big Brothery feeling to it created by the practice in 1984 of rewriting history.  That which is inappropriate is erased.  Almost makes me shudder.

 

So, I'm divided.

 

slayton, thank you for this. You know what happened to the threadstarted about it .Let's hope this one lasts at least a little longer.

(There was no reason whatsoever to lock my thread.)

 

I'm not that big on doing the "like" thing, but if there were a way to "double like" your post here, I would.

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slaytonf--You've seen the advertising for TCM the past month or two, right?  If TCM Is trying to reach a Younger audience (by which I mean under 12) the moderators , in my opinion, are free to modify what they see as offensive posts--because, assuming the advertising is successful, younger people--like maybe those under 10--may come across these boards, & Not by accident.  For the intent of finding out more about classic films.  More power to them.  So if we have to use more general words instead of an expletive once in a while, it's OK with me.  My limited experience with the moderators has all been positive.....

 

 

film lover 293, with respect, I think it is highly unlikely that anyone under the age of 25 is interested in this website. And even if the odd kiddie does wander in here by accident, I hardly think anything they read here would corrupt or traumatize them, including the words posters use.

I think it was someone on the thread I started about this same matter (sorry, I forget who) pointed out the irony of this excessive moderation/editing of "bad words", when a number of films TCM airs contains all kinds of "bad language."

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I think the moderators here are extremely fair. One does not have to use foul language to express displeasure if one has a proper vocabulary.

 

Well, yeah...I suppose so. But, that sort'a thing is still a "work-in-progress" for me, ya know. ;)

 

(...btw, and speakin' of "progress" here, Fuster...how do YOU pronounce that word...like most of us good ol' Americans do, "PROG-ress", or like those Canucks and Limeys do, "PRO-gress"?...I dunno know...just call me inquisitive here)

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slaytonf--You've seen the advertising for TCM the past month or two, right?  If TCM Is trying to reach a Younger audience (by which I mean under 12) the moderators , in my opinion, are free to modify what they see as offensive posts--because, assuming the advertising is successful, younger people--like maybe those under 10--may come across these boards, & Not by accident.  For the intent of finding out more about classic films.  More power to them.  So if we have to use more general words instead of an expletive once in a while, it's OK with me.  My limited experience with the moderators has all been positive.

 

BTW, slaytonf--great quote.  I need to see The Dark Horse (1932) again. 

It all seems, with you, to be limited experience period!  

 

So, the moderators seem to feel "self righteous" enough to convince themselves they are doing some kind of benevolent service by deleting certain things from the posts that they feel might be "unsuitable" for children to read?   Considering they CAN.

 

Any "child" old enough to read probably regularily uses language of the type considered "inappropriate" in here while out amongst his friends  and quite freely.  When was the last time any of them say, sat on their porch while the kiddies were walking home from school?  AND overheard how they talk!  It's often enough to make a JOE PESCI character blush!   But, sometimes a moderator CAN go too far(and overstep).  In one post of mine, I actually, out of some consideration, SELF CENSORED myself by just typing the FIRST LETTER of the expletive, and "starring"(using asterisks) the rest except for the LAST letter, and the moderator, seemingly in a fit of pretention, cut it up even more, citing(and accusing me) of trying to "circumvent" the auto censor! 

 

Talk about a jerk.

 

So, I feel and often too, understand the OP's consternation.

 

 

Sepiatone

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I am not going to address the moderating of the political threads. I rarely participate in them, so can't really comment about that. (Although I suspect that there's an over-zealous wielding of moderator power there, too.)

 

My main concern with Moderator 1's moderating is with regard to language,specifically editing the posts of people who try to circumvent the AutoCensor.

 

Here is what Moderator 1 said on the earlier thread I started, now locked, about this:

 

"Words that try to bypass the word filter will be edited. The filter is there to keep certain language off the boards, it's that simple. If anyone is noticing more moderation, it's because there have been more instances of circumventing the filter, and/or more instances of behavior that is not appropriate for the TCM Classic Movies Message Boards. "

 

But what they did not address was why it's unacceptable even to use initials or say, the first and last letter of the "bad" word, with asterisks in between, or otherwise attempt to convey the word in question without actually using it.

This is not exactly a site full of foul-mouthed ignoramuses. When someone here does try to use one of the AutoCensored words, it's almost always in some kind of context, or they're just adding a bit of colour to their post. 

 

So I cannot agree with those here who are suggesting that people who use such words are incapable of writing a literate post, and therefore resort to "offensive language" to get across their point.

 

However, ok, fine, so be it. I'm not so fond of using foul language that I have a problem with its not being allowed on these boards.

What really surprises and annoys me is that apparently we can't even use substitutes or code or initials or in any way imply the "bad word". Even if we don't actually spell it out, we cannot even make any  kind of reference to it. We are not allowed to even think the word as we read the post. This, I'm pretty sure, was never the case before. Not that I can remember, anyway. 

 

What does it matter?, several people here are asking. In a way, not at all. 

But it is insulting that adults - and the vast majority of posters here are intelligent, reasonable, articulate adults - are being told what words they can and cannot use, and even what words they can and cannot think  (since, as I said, even if the actual word is not used, but just suggested by initials,that too is edited out.)

 

In one way it's a tempest in a teapot, but in another, it is important that we be treated as adults, and that includes being able to at least suggest the word we want to use,  so long as we don't actually use it.

Think of all  the newspaper and magazine articles you've probably read, where at least the first letter of an offending word is printed, thereby letting the readers know what the word is without actually using it. Why can we not do that here?

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Ya know MissW, the more I think about this, the more I maybe think those around here who said they personally don't have much of problem with the moderator corps editing out certain words that some of us occasionally place within our text to better express our true thoughts, might be right in a way.

 

Yep, perhaps it DOES all come down to somethin' more like .....

 

 

 

Cool-hand-luke-martin.jpg

 

"What we GOT here is FAILURE.....for some of you to expand your vocabulary!" 

 

So, whaddaya think?

 

(...well, besides the name "Strother" being a pretty odd one, anyway)

 

;)

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It is their job to regulate, and they deem what is appropriate or not to have based on the Terms of Use they have outlined for the site. That being said, if TCM allowed their Message Board members to have as much of a say in the maintenance of this website equal to a say in their programming, then, the world would be a better place. 

 

When I was at the Classic Film Union, we collectively tried to demand the site be changed to our technical and social needs in the form of a petition and what-not. Due to backstage drama started by a few members who were initially all for changes being made, changes were made but not to everyone's liking, including my own liking. Gone were the days where we could private message each other, gone are the days where we could chat and catch up with comments. Although the reason I had to leave the site was personal and I will not reiterate that personal reason, I felt that the technical needs would never be met not to anyone's liking, and maybe the new CFU works out better than the old site did for many now there, but we don't have a say in our TCM web programming as we do our television programming. 

 

I do believe we deserve a say, so long as there is consensus and we all agree upon the points we present to the company hired by TCM to run this site for us. But, when things come to pass, and things don't work out, chances are backstage drama will rear his ugly head into blame and someone will be made out a scapegoat. But, I do hope it doesn't come to that if my comment or anyone else's comments here spur any action of any kind. 

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slaytonf--You've seen the advertising for TCM the past month or two, right?  If TCM Is trying to reach a Younger audience (by which I mean under 12) the moderators , in my opinion, are free to modify what they see as offensive posts--because, assuming the advertising is successful, younger people--like maybe those under 10--may come across these boards, & Not by accident.

 

This place is a church compared to the rest of the internet. Just don't anger the auto-censor God and you go to heaven.

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This place is a church compared to the rest of the internet. Just don't anger the auto-censor God and you go to heaven.

 

You of course REALLY meant to say somethin' more like, "This place is a haven for intellect compared to the rest of the internet" now didn't ya, MM?!

 

(...I'm only tellin' ya this 'cause the last few times I've referenced the subject of "religion" in some thread around here, the moderator didn't like THAT sort'a thing EITHER, dude...and so I'd sure hate to see your otherwise insightful thought here gone the next time I visit this thread to add ANOTHER one of my smartas..errr..I mean smart-ALECKY little comments here, ya know) ;)

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I think it was someone on the thread I started about this same matter (sorry, I forget who) pointed out the irony of this excessive moderation/editing of "bad words", when a number of films TCM airs contains all kinds of "bad language."

 

 

I read your thread with interest. I made no comment therein because you were asking questions of Moderators.

 

I do not remember seeing that sentiment expressed in your thread and it is not there now. You may perhaps be referring to a sentence in my first post in this thread: "I must admit a certain perverse amusement with the dichotomy that the common word for fluid bodily waste is not considered appropriate here while a movie aired recently on TCM contained the d-word, s-word, f-word and c-word."

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I am very sorry to say that I simply do not understand this uproar. 

 

I believe that reasonable adults constantly adjust their word choices depending on social context.

 

I believe that I should perhaps circumlocute here because I do not know if the t-word is considered acceptable within this forum. I refer here to: 

The plumbing fixture which is the access portal to a sanitary sewer system

The 'porcelain throne'

The ***

The 'microphone' in use when talking to God on the big white telephone

 

How a reasonable adult expresses their need to use the device varies considerably depending on social situation: 

 

When in semi-formal setting among polite people:

"I must egest my dinner."

"I must visit the little girl's room / restroom / washroom."

"I must powder my nose."

 

When in informal setting among polite people:

"I must answer a call of nature."

"I must use the bathroom."

 

When with children:

"I am number one but I must number two."

"Old stinky time."

 

I will not attempt to post phrases which many might use when at free-for-all party after third bottle of vodka.

 

No phrases are used when in formal situations because such things simply are not referenced in any manner.

 

The social conventions for this forum have been established by The-Powers-That-Be. This includes which words are acceptable to either state or represent by alteration of a few letters. It is responsibility of Moderators to uphold those conventions.

 

"The English language has a total of 698,000 words. We ask you to avoid a hundredth of one percent of these..." - Angels in the Outfield (1951) 
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I read your thread with interest. I made no comment therein because you were asking questions of Moderators.

 

I do not remember seeing that sentiment expressed in your thread and it is not there now. You may perhaps be referring to a sentence in my first post in this thread: "I must admit a certain perverse amusement with the dichotomy that the common word for fluid bodily waste is not considered appropriate here while a movie aired recently on TCM contained the d-word, s-word, f-word and c-word."

 

You are correct, SansFin. I thought some such comment had been made on the thread I'd started on this subject, but right now I went back and read all the posts on it, and none of them make that observation. 

 

I am sorry, full credit to you for being the one to note the "perverse amusement with the dichotomy " etc.  It is a point well worth making. (By the way, I had fun trying to figure out all the naughty words you were discreetly alluding to in your post.)

 

Always nice to see your often witty, always insightful posts on the boards here, SansFin.  I know that you possess an extensive vocabulary in several languages.Maybe you could sneak in a few swear words in Ukrainian.  That'd throw the Moderator off-base, ( hopefully.)

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 I thought some such comment had been made on the thread I'd started on this subject, but right now I went back and read all the posts on it, and none of them make that observation. 

 

 

I would not wish to claim definitive credit because I know that some posts in your thread were deleted.

 

 

 

(By the way, I had fun trying to figure out all the naughty words you were discreetly alluding to in your post.)

 

I am sorry that I did not think to add one which might stump most people.

 

 

 

Maybe you could sneak in a few swear words in Ukrainian.  That'd throw the Moderator off-base, ( hopefully.)

 

I must wonder if Moderator would object to use of: чорт.

 

I did at one time use a blissfully precise word which would never be allowed in English. I took care to change one letter so that word could not be Googled. It remained obvious to any who read languages of my area. That was extreme circumstance.

 

I could be truly sneaky and use English words which are direct translations of idioms and so are not 'bad' in and of their own self but which represent very strong feelings.

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I must admit that I found the locking of misswonderly's thread troubling.  I certainly understand the moderator's desire to keep the political threads in Off-Topic civil. That's a separate issue from the fact that I couldn't type the name of a song in The Goldwyn Follies because it included an innocuous word that could also mean something else.

 

The angry, nasty threads that sometimes happen here generally do not use the words that are censored. Those words tend to be used, for the most part, in acceptable ways. As regards that holy grail that we all talk about -- a younger audience -- let me tell you this. You sanitize too much, and you can kiss any hopes of a younger audience goodbye. But I don't think that's the issue here.

 

What really bothered me, I guess, was that misswonderly's thread was locked. It was not offensive, or nasty. The locking of it merely seemed to say, you are not allowed to discuss this, even civilly. How can we discuss and criticize the Hays Code on the one hand, without being allowed to discuss and criticize the TCM Board's very own Hays Code?

 

But again -- we must separate the two issues. Political and other conversations that go too far and get really nasty, which very few of us want; and words that are heard regularly on television these days, which are now part of acceptable conversation, and which should be permitted here, in discussions about movies. 

 

Remember the poetry thread I started because the name Sappho and the island from which she came (Lesbos) were not permitted here?  At least those words are now permitted, but TCM/this Board still has a long way to go if they don't want to appear silly when they play language police.

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I'd recently had my entire post deleted when I'd said that the moderator censored words that even young people used.

 

We're not allowed to comment on what the moderator does - that's why your post was deleted. At least misswonderly's was only shut down - which is almost the same as being deleted, except it takes a couple of extra days for it to sink from sight, rather than being ripped out all at once.

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(...well, besides the name "Strother" being a pretty odd one, anyway)

 

Kinda surprised we're allowed to use it - I'd think the filter would've decided it was as bad a word as ****

 

That's "couth" with the "un" in front, in case you were wondering.

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