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Dec 9, 2010 10:19 AM

The f-word.


I've seen the f-word pop up in several places on Chow today. Not happy about this. I'm sure the Ruth thing will be good for business, but Chow itself displaying swears like that will quickly make me rethink my use of this site.

Please consider using f--- in the article titles at least.

  1. Ever since it was founded the moderators have allowed the occasional well chosen swear word. The site seems to have survived and prospered in spite of that.

    I don't think they're going to change that policy.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bob Martinez

      In part of his decision overturning the Communications Decency Act of 1996 Federal Appeals Court Judge Stewart Dalzell wrote the following:

      "The Internet is a far more speech-enhancing medium than print, the village green, or the mails. Because it would necessarily affect the Internet itself, the CDA would necessarily reduce the speech available for adults on the medium. This is a constitutionally intolerable result. Some of the dialogue on the Internet surely tests the limits of conventional discourse. Speech on the Internet can be unfiltered, unpolished, and unconventional, even emotionally charged, sexually explicit, and vulgar – in a word, “indecent” in many communities. But we should expect such speech to occur in a medium in which citizens from all walks of life have a voice. We should also protect the autonomy that such a medium confers to ordinary people as well as media magnates."

      The Internet - it's a great F%*&ing freedom fest...

      1. re: Servorg

        Wow, in "dog years" that's a long, long time ago. I'm impressed.

        I do understand that CH may not be the site for everyone.

    2. Forest Gump once said "Stupid is as stupid does."
      The new RuBo of Twitter fame now column expert on CHOW, Bitchin Kitchen on Cooking Channel, FOX's Hells Kitchen...these folks have been beating up new freedoms in a viral, global frontier...and if that's what it takes to make a highly educated and tech no savvy audience happy...I'm not buying's all about packaging, shock and awe. Sound bites, bite.

      24 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        The important thing about freedom is the right to be publicly stupid (or outrageous or controversial or foul mouthed or contrarian) without fear of Government reprisal.

        1. re: Servorg

          And there's common decency and laws surrounding that too. FOX bleeps out f-bombs on Hells' Kitchen but in print Ramsey can say whatever he likes. Like a nasty train wreck the public watches all sorts of nonsense. And, getting rewarded for bad behavior is the life blood of 99% of reality tv...doesn't make us smarter or richer food lovers (imho). So it would appear the food realm is ready to jump into the pond of outrageous behaivor. Does that make for good CH'ing? Nah.

          1. re: HillJ

            "Does that make for good CH'ing?"

            please define "good ch'ing"

            1. re: Buffy Despres

              Buffy D, we just don't agree. I consider good chowhounding a pleasure. One that doesn't need the shock and awe of stinging language or that I and my dinner guests consider foul, unnecessary and mean spirited. To each their own.

            2. re: HillJ

              <it would appear the food realm is ready to jump into the pond of outrageous behaivor.>

              I may be misinterpreting you, but if using four letter words counts as outrageous behavior, where does that leave actual outrageous behavior? I have a hard time getting outraged about language. Unless it's spelled wrong or used incorrectly. That pisses me off.

              1. re: small h

                Not only that (all good points) but think of the countries that do heavily censor the Internet. Places like N Korea and China and Myanmar and Cuba and Iran and Saudi Arabia. Not the sort of role models that I want America to emulate when it comes to freedom of speech, that is for certain.

                1. re: Servorg

                  Well, hold on here.

                  This isn't about censoring the Internet. It's about censoring, which the mods at can do any way they please because First Amendment rights (and any corollary free speech rights) are not applicable a Chowhound poster vis-a-vis

                  1. re: ipsedixit

                    We all know that Chowhound is a moderated site. But not for language as a descriptive tool when applied to our dining adventures. We come here of our own free will and participate within the bounds of the moderation. Chow is a less moderated part of this little Foodiverse. All of this is conducted not as a "usenet" site where the free-for-all of the Internet takes place. But then again, when trying to participate in a conversation, chaos makes for lousy communication.

                2. re: small h

                  small h, for you I would be happy to try and clarify what I'm trying to express. I'm reacting to the use of a common word. In my world, the f-bomb is not used to describe joy. I recognize language is a choice. Words awful for some and no issue for others. Fine. But this simple word doesn't typically come from positive, it's usually as result or followed by a negative. It describes foul behavior..and for my tastes..all too often..opens the gates to more of the same..mockery, for one. In the context of CHOW and RuBo, I won't be revisiting the column. For all the knocks the former writer took for being drunk with stories about alcohol or ripped to shreds for being asleep at the job, RuBo is already being praised for throwing around language that's still considered rough for many eyes and ears. If the real AB was writing the column, perhaps my criticism would have a different connection...but some mystery writer .... well I'm just not keen on this tone. If that appeals to you, enjoy.

                  1. re: HillJ

                    the f-word describes foul behavior? perhaps you're not doing it right.....

                    1. re: HillJ

                      I think that the answer to "when is it okay to use the word 'fuck'?" is "it depends." I don't think it's okay when the Vice President uses it to express anger toward a fellow government employee. But I mostly use it for emphasis. I'm much more likely to call something fucking amazing than I am to tell someone to fuck off.

                      But it is a loud word, and it tends to drown out the rest of the sentence - all you hear is "fuck." For that reason, I think it should be used sparingly and thoughtfully, especially in writing. I feel the same way about a lot of words, including some frequently-invoked terms that, right here on this very board, have become devoid of impact or meaning through overuse: authentic, delicious, etc.

                      And obviously, if you drop a heavy item on your foot, you don't have to stop and carefully consider whether you're using the word to its best advantage.

                        1. re: small h

                          I agree it depends and depends who is making the decision to allow the use of a single but impactful word in a magazine designed to discuss food in an atmosphere of "wordsmiths" enjoying the continuous dialogue. I reacted to the decision, one CHOW has been open to for some time. That reaction wasn't necessarily met as the popular one, but clearly not the lone disappointment.

                          Beyond that, I'm working on a wonderful pear recipe right now and would rather focus on the results than go round and round on this.

                          Might JUST be a word but it bugged me.

                          1. re: HillJ

                            It's likely that many of us have trigger words that inspire a reaction, stemming from who knows what. It seems this is yours. I have my own set, and mostly I just swallow my distaste because hey, different strokes. For a time, I couldn't read the word "cozy" without wanting to smack someone. Fucking cozy.

                            I hope that your pear recipe will be a rousing success.

                            1. re: small h

                              feel better getting that out? bet you do

                          2. re: small h

                            "I have a hard time getting outraged about language. Unless it's spelled wrong or used incorrectly. That pisses me off."

                            True 'dat, small h. I'm not particularly impressed with resorting to heavy swearing to get one's point across when there are far more elegant ways to do so but they are just words (as long as used and spelled correctly).

                            1. re: grayelf

                              i frequently and consciously misspell the word "fook" when i use it in a chowhound post. it's a real word that frequently comes out of my real, non-virtual mouth in real, non-virtual life, so i use it as i would any element of my real speech. i misspell the particular word in case anyone thinks i'm trying to shock or be offensive arbitrarily. not out to do that. sometimes i am starkly aware that i am from a very different social class than the average chowhound poster, and speech patterns and vernacular will reflect the differences between people at times. i am also capable of "talking as purty" as anybody on the board, have a decent grasp of the use of the english language, and have a mind capable of abstract thought, thanks. . . but i do want to point out that (consciously or unconsciously) we could limit the audience of the site if everyone is talking about food such as hot dogs and pho in completely elevated, over-intellectualized, queen's english-type speech patterns. is that what we want to do or not?

                              now. . . let's not get too serious about the language issue, profanity has been around for a long time. not that i want folks who i consider to be very fine ladies and gentlemen, some of whom have weighed in on this thread, to start totally cutting loose w the f-bombs, yes, it's possible *i* would be shocked! ;-P

                          3. re: HillJ

                            well HillJ, I think the answers are loud and clear on here.
                            I too have responded to the offensive verbiage on this web site.
                            but, to no avail. I think some of my gripes have even been deleted.
                            but of course, the continued use of profanity or colorful [at best or worst] language remains in tact. go figure. it just goes to show that we are so opposite each other except maybe in the realm of food and the obvious adoration we all possess for it.
                            for me though, not being raised with profanity, not letting it be spoken in my home if anyone knows what's good for them, probably makes me sound a fool.
                            I couldn't care less.................let them think I'm a fool, also let them know I abstain from having to go there.............because often times there are children present and nothing angers me more.............except that occasional fool who couldn't care less about offending, where have manners gone?

                        2. re: HillJ

                          RuBo: a legend in its own lunchtime.

                          1. re: HillJ

                            Ever read Anthony Bourdain? I think there might be more profanity and cussing in Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw than in a pre-Beverly Hills Cop Eddie Murphy standup act.

                            1. re: ipsedixit

                              Sure. On the whole AB is very entertaining and smart. A healthy balance. A talented guy.

                            1. What do you find so offensive about you call the "f-word"?

                              Profanity of all types is common in well-known and well-regarded works of literature, e.g. Catcher in the Rye.

                              The f-word is part of our lexicon. If it is used simply as a way of expressing frustration, then I see no issue with it. However, if it is used to derogate another poster, or another poster's opinion, then it might be more of an issue.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                I last read Catcher in the Rye about 20 years ago -- but isn't Holden depressed when he sees it as graffiti and thinks his little sister has seen it, too? But of course there's also Lady Chatterley - we have fucked a flame into being. That's cool.

                              2. The word your talking about is "foodie", right?

                                1 Reply