Purgatorial Namecalling

Given the current crackdown on referring to public figures by derogatory names currently being enforced in Purgatory, I'd like to ask the limits of this policy. Are we only allowed to refer to public figures by their given names or commonly-acknowledged nicknames? Is there no leeway for snark?

More specifically, is there any difference between using an insulting nickname to make a point and simply using an insulting nickname as a matter of course? For example, referring to Donald Trump as "President Pussygrabber" on every occasion seems different than calling him "President Pussygrabber" in a post about why Trump polls so poorly with women. Are both of these forbidden? And if the latter is permissible, what's the standard that should be followed?
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Comments

  • The purpose of Purgatory is serious debate (yes, really!). The Trump thread on the old Ship had frequently had posts that resulted in a lot of heat and little (if any) light. The guidance the hosts gave in the OP of the new thread is born out of that experience
    If the only response you can manage is to rant, name-call, swear and throw things then post in Hell, find a local political rally, anything except post that on this thread.
    Posts which are just heat, and give no light, do not contribute to serious debate. You can post those in Hell, we even started a thread there on Trump to make it easy. Or, find another outlet for the heat. Just make sure your posts in Purgatory contribute to the discussion there. The same "not adding to the discussion" applies to simply posting a link to a news story without indicating what you find interesting and discuss-able, a link with a point to discuss adds to the thread even if the link isn't accessible to all.

    We encourage robust debate, and at times that could include appropriate name-calling or creative invective. The extent to which the hosts will appreciate that reflects how much it adds to the discussion - a post that contributes to the discussion is less likely to attract the unwanted attention of hosts, even if it contains some name calling. A post that adds very little to the discussion on the other hand ...

  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    Let's not pretend that there is a clear, bright demarcation between using someone's correct name and trolling using a derogatory appellation. There are realms of descriptive nuance of all gradients between them.

    What you need to hear from the Purgatory Hosts is that the current shade of description being used is too tinted with offense for their liking. The instruction is to tend towards being less offensive. Occasional excursions into expressing derision have a place, but they stain the conversation with dismissive bias if they cease being merely occasional. The place for that kind of discussion is Hell.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    The distinction between ranting (in Hell) and serious discussion (in Purg) is well established and normally easy to police. Trump discussions are a special case. Firstly because there is a lot to discuss. Secondly because he provokes very strong feelings. Thirdly, because he has many many derogatory nicknames! (And that's just one online collection.)

    There is no general intention to extend the Commandment 3 restriction on name -calling of Shipmates. It just so happens that derogatory name-calling had become a very common feature of Trump Purg posting. So we decided to draw the line that Alan Cresswell referred to, to keep that distinction between ranting and serious criticism re Trump discussions. It doesn't reflect any general change in policy.

    I'm sorry if we haven't always applied that consistently. We have been rather busy over the past few days. But I still think the specific guideline for Trump threads is worth keeping.
  • Doc TorDoc Tor Hell Host
    Essentially, what they said.

    We've specifically opened a Hell thread to try and keep a Purgatory thread on-topic. This is pretty much the first time we've done this, and like many of our decisions, is done on an experimental and ad-hoc basis.

    If it works, we'll consider doing it again, as the need arises. If it doesn't, we'll bin it.
  • Looks to me that describing a person’s reprehensible behaviour in derogatory terms is *usually* OK but using nicknames based on such behaviour is probably not. Outside Hell that is.
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    Woo, just wandered back and noticed that I crossposted with Alan, and led a pack for a Crewly dogpile. Seems like we have strong feelings about this.
  • To add my €0.02:

    There was also a flareup on the thread on the legacy board which in my estimation escalated because the tone of too many posts at that time was Hellish rather than Purgatorial, leading another poster into a false sense of security in posting inflammatory stuff with a slightly different target - a post that was instantly shot down in flames.

    Also in my view, persistent name-calling adds nothing to the debate and sours its tone. This is true on any thread but is obviously going to be a problem when the subject of the thread is the target of so much opprobrium, even if most of us feel it's justly deserved.

    There are no shortage of Trump discussion threads out there which quickly descend into little more than trench warfare using invective as ammunition. I'd like to think we can all do better than that here.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited March 2018
    I have been considering sionisais' very point!

    Rossweisse's post from the Purg Trump thread.

    Which includes this
    There's the "grab 'em by the pussy" thing, and all the years of other vile comments and credible allegations of sexual assault.

    In my book, that's perfectly legitimate critical comment in Purg. But I can understand why people say "well if that's alright why is calling Donald Trump President Pussygrabber wrong?"

    It's a fine line, but sometimes you get them in this job. I'd say Rossweisse's comment is a legitimate recalling of something Trump actually said; whereas using the name-call isn't. YMMV!

    There's an element of judgment call always when you are looking at these fine distinctions. I guess that's why the Ship has Hosts and Hosts get their time in the Styx.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    I have been considering sionisais' very point!

    (Sorry for the partial duplicate post - can't delete!)
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    edited March 2018
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    Sorry for the partial duplicate post - can't delete!

    Interesting quirk. More edit time, but no delete.
  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    (Indeed. Not sure it's easily fixable though. When you delete all the text from the post you try to edit, the software thinks you are trying to post a blank post and won't let you do it! )
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Just leave a full stop?
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    .
  • RossweisseRossweisse Shipmate, Hell Host
    Barnabas62 wrote: »
    ... It's a fine line, but sometimes you get them in this job. I'd say Rossweisse's comment is a legitimate recalling of something Trump actually said; whereas using the name-call isn't. YMMV! ...

    I was concerned about that, so I'm relieved to read this. He is certainly a polarizing figure.



  • ƒuddƒudd Shipmate
    .
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    [color=white].[/color]
    

    Yes, making text invisible is hilarious. Please don't abuse it in serious discussions.
  • So, to clarify. Since he is a self described p.g. It is ok to use his own term for him?
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    No. He said he would "grab them by the pussy" -- he did not call himself "President Pussygrabber."
  • So grabber, ok.
  • I think the advice has been pretty clear. If you are talking about Trump's attitude to women, it is entirely in order to reference his "grab them by the pussy" line. In my opinion, it would still be in order to refer to him as "President Pussygrabber" in the context of a longer discussion of his attitude to women, if you need a quick way to reference that issue. But these should be specific uses to make a point, rather than your normal way of referring to him.

    But the incessant parade of names is just a little bit school playground, don't you think?

    If you can't bring yourself to use his name, perhaps "current president" would work?
  • No I would prefer simply Nameless, unless Unnamed is more euphonious. To use a title he so richly does not merit demeans all the other holders of the office.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    So grabber, ok.

    No. This is still name-calling.
  • I suppose one could simply refer to him as POTUS, in Purgatory, for that is what he is (for better or for worse).

    Hell does indeed provide the opportunity of more creative name-calling. Which is not only fun, but also cathartic.

    IJ
  • RooKRooK Admin Emeritus
    No

    You are welcome to not refer to him at all.
  • JacobsenJacobsen Shipmate
    POTUS I like. Better than Protean Potentate
  • Difficult to never refer to him in a topic about him. No, I think it simplest to use my limited eyesight more prudently.
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    Ummmmmmm, you know, it is possible to just call him "Trump." That does not demean previous office holders and, frankly, it is becoming the most disgusting term that you could call any person.
  • For me, initials work. I usually just call him "T". I'd rather not say/type his name.
  • Gee DGee D Shipmate
    The threat Trump poses is far too great to use many of the names given him. Just use his surname or the initial.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    I call him trump without the capital. I can’t give him the respect of a capital letter.
  • I have always thought it polite to call people by their given names.
  • The Rogue wrote: »
    I have always thought it polite to call people by their given names.
    It is. Which is exactly why many people do not wish to use his.
    Unless that is the point you are more subtly making.
  • The Rogue wrote: »
    I have always thought it polite to call people by their given names.
    That's culture-specific. I was taught it’s rude to call someone by their given name unless (1) they are family, friends* or colleagues, (2) they are children, or (3) they have invited you to call them by their given name. That does seem to be changing here (not that I like it one little bit). Still, it would be considered very rude for the average person to call the president by his first name. Which may make it quite appropriate in this instance. (If one wished to be more formal, one could always go with “The Donald.”)

    * A sub-class of this was the practice of calling older women with whom one was friends “Miss Given-Name.” That has pretty much died out. “Miss,” incidently, bore no relation to marital status.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    lilbuddha wrote: »
    The Rogue wrote: »
    I have always thought it polite to call people by their given names.
    It is. Which is exactly why many people do not wish to use his.
    Unless that is the point you are more subtly making.

    I find it hard to be polite about trump in any way.

  • Barnabas62Barnabas62 Purgatory Host, Epiphanies Host
    edited March 2018
    That's the rub about Trump discussions. If you find it hard to be polite about Trump, maybe that's because he pisses you off? And Hell is for the pissed off. That's why rants go there. Name-calling is a kind of acid test on just how pissed off you are.

    There is middle ground between polite (which you don't have to feel to post in Purg) and pissed off (when you should post in Hell.) That's fine. I suppose we are trying to moderate the pissed off border. Something we've always had to do.
  • To me this is a simple extension of the principle of "attack the issue not the person".
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    To me this is a simple extension of the principle of "attack the issue not the person".

    And when the issue is the person?

  • The issue isn't the person. If you want to say Trump is a narcissitic sociopath there's no problem with doing so. If you want to say he's a serial liar you can too. But he as an individual is still more than the sum of his misdeeds. As I've said before, to deny someone's humanity is to deny one's own.

    I've just got back from a nice cup of coffee and delicious chocolate served me by a guy who brutally killed three people. That doesn't stop me from calling him by his name. He is more than what he did.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    But the current occupant of the White House is not the only person whom, over the years, I have found to be so despicable that I prevented myself from using his name.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    Eutychus wrote: »
    The issue isn't the person. If you want to say Trump is a narcissitic sociopath there's no problem with doing so. If you want to say he's a serial liar you can too. But he as an individual is still more than the sum of his misdeeds. As I've said before, to deny someone's humanity is to deny one's own.

    I've just got back from a nice cup of coffee and delicious chocolate served me by a guy who brutally killed three people. That doesn't stop me from calling him by his name. He is more than what he did.

    I think this is worthy of a thread of its own.

    I would also drink coffee and listen to your prisoner. But trump is in another league entirely - he is the issue for the US. When such a person is in a position of power I see no reason whatever to be polite about their name.

  • But the current occupant of the White House is not the only person whom, over the years, I have found to be so despicable that I prevented myself from using his name.
    I think Boogie's right that this is a thread of its own.

    As far as the Purg guideline goes, though, it seems to me to be a required minimum for serious discussion that one is capable of referring dispassionately to the subject. If you (generic you) can't, then I think it's going to be difficult to engage in serious discussion. There are other ways of engaging, but serious discussion isn't one of them.

    There are subjects I probably wouldn't engage with because I'd be incapable of doing so without foaming at the mouth; indeed, I think it's public knowledge that hosts can recuse themselves from hosting threads they'd find too difficult for any reason. That's not a value judgement, it's just applied common sense.
  • BoogieBoogie Shipmate
    edited March 2018
    Fair enough.

    I think calling him ‘the current US president’ would fit the bill.
  • Refer to him as "POTUS" and every time you type it, think in your mind, "Pussygrabber Of The US".
  • I think [ ] might be possible. You may then mentally insert what you like.
  • Amanda B ReckondwythAmanda B Reckondwyth Mystery Worship Editor
    mousethief wrote: »
    Refer to him as "POTUS" and every time you type it, think in your mind, "Pussygrabber Of The US".

    US meaning Uncouth Sort, of course.
  • Are there couth pussygrabbers?
  • I think [ ] might be possible. You may then mentally insert what you like.
    You really don't get this, do you?

    You've been offered a range of options to refer to Trump which are neither derogatory nor flattering, they're simply statements of fact. It's been clarified that you are free to refer to his behaviour, defend your analysis of it, and report his statements freely (within the usual limits of the 10Cs, eg libel, etc).

    Instead of trying to work with that, you keep coming on this thread and... well, I'm not sure what you're trying to do. Either you're yanking our chains by seeing if you can get away with repeat offending on another board, or you're trying to negotiate. Either way you're doing it wrong. This isn't a euphemism contest.

    Do you really think it would help matters if everyone else decided to repeatedly refer to Hillary Clinton as The Loser, or Killary, or Illary, or Crooked Hillary, or Madam Libtard, or whatever? Would that incite you to calling into question your position? Would you see that as nurturing serious discussion?


  • I thought she was just entering into the humor of the route that Boogie and I were talking about, you know, playfully and not seriously. FFS. Chillax.
  • mousethief wrote: »
    I thought she was just entering into the humor of the route that Boogie and I were talking about, you know, playfully and not seriously. FFS. Chillax.

    Chill appears to be in short supply at the moment. Perhaps it has not yet been ported over to the new ship.
  • We imported a lot of work helping people to cross over to the new Ship and find their feet. It could be suggested that this is a particularly poor time to play a game of "how close to the line can I get?", not that there's ever really a good time to push the hosts playing that particular game.
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