back to article Facebook fans fuel faggots firestorm

Britain's humble and frankly disgusting offal-based meatball – the faggot – led to one man being temporarily chucked off Facebook, after Americans became outraged by what they believed to be blatant gay-hating behaviour on the free content ad network. The sorry tale started, according to the Sun newspaper, when 54-year-old …

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  1. DAN*tastik
    FAIL

    I would be interested to see if their censorship guidelines can be found online

    I am not on Facebook, but the screenshots of it that appear on Lamebook show that the word "nigger" is widely and often used, together with all its variations. Isn't that more offensive?

    Worse than that, they allow comments which contains grammar decapitations like "would of gone", "all go when you go", "the place your going to", "we our going on holiday", "their going away".

    1. PaulR79
      Unhappy

      Re: I would be interested to see if their censorship guidelines can be found online

      That was so painful to read.... do they still teach English at schools? English was my best subject at school but I find myself being dragged down through a combination of exposure and osmosis. I try to fight but there are so many....

      1. DAN*tastik
        Headmaster

        Re: I would be interested to see if their censorship guidelines can be found online

        It was also painful to type, PaulR79. Very painful. I don't know what they teach in English speaking countries' schools because ( luckily? ) English is my second language.

        The first time I came across "all" instead of "I'll" and "our" instead of "are", it took me a bit to realise what it really was. It makes you wonder wear we're at ;)

        1. MJI Silver badge

          Re: I would be interested to see if their censorship guidelines can be found online

          Thankyou for supporting our language.

          I see plenty of really bad English and about half the time I cannot even understand it. So what chance do second language speakers have?

          I get sub human grunts as emails for Ebay sales, sometimes I ingnore them, often I deliberately misread them until they get it into their tiny brains that they need to write in English and not the written form of grunting.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I would be interested to see if their censorship guidelines can be found online

            >I get sub human grunts as emails for Ebay sales, sometimes I ingnore them, often I deliberately misread them until they get it into their tiny brains that they need to write in English and not the written form of grunting.

            Quick. You have 3 minutes to fix the typo and the two comma splices :-)

            1. Michael Strorm

              Muphry's Law strikes again!

              "You have 3 minutes to fix the typo"

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muphry%27s_law

            2. MJI Silver badge

              Re: I would be interested to see if their censorship guidelines can be found online

              ingnore aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

              But at least you could read it!

              No cuz u or similar grunt

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I would be interested to see if their censorship guidelines can be found online

            "the written form of grunting. "

            WFG?

            Oh that works for me.

            "Your post was WFG, feel free to return when you have mastered syllables"

            1. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

              Re: WFG

              I would suggest WFoG or WFOG, as it is semi-pronounceable, and the FOG component chimes nicely with the mental fog that often accompanies WFoG posts

              1. MJI Silver badge
                Facepalm

                Re: WFG

                Oh no I have invented something here.

        2. big_D Silver badge

          Re: I would be interested to see if their censorship guidelines can be found online

          DAN, yep, living here in Germany, I idly change those phrased into German in my head and see what comes out, it is often incredibly funny.

          One thing I've learnt about Germans, Grammar is one of the most important parts of the language, which means that they speak and write better English than many native speakers I know. The pronunciation may leave a little to be desired and their vocabularly more limited, but at least you can understand them! (And yes, my other half is German and takes the proverbial out of my German, but I only started learning 10 years ago.)

          When I was at school in the UK, it wasn't important if things were correctly spelt or if the grammar was correct, other than in English. In chemistry or physics etc. it was only important that you could get your point across, you weren't deducted points for spelling or grammar mistakes. Here in Germany writing in any subject is strictly marked and grammar or spelling mistakes mean points deducted. I think the UK equivalent would be 2 grammatical or spelling mistakes on a side of A4 paper would be enough to drop you from an A to a B+, assuming the actual content of the paper was 100% accurate.

      2. BillG Silver badge
        Holmes

        Re: I would be interested to see if their censorship guidelines can be found online

        Please remember that England is the patent holder for the English language.

        Americans are only licensees.

        1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: I would be interested to see if their censorship guidelines can be found online

          Please remember that the best bit about English is that it doesn't *have* a patent holder. You'd suck the lifeblood out of El Reg if you denied them their mobes (sorry, still sounds too much like pubes) or their commentards' WFoG.

          Also, both modern American and modern British are derivative and would be laughed out of any 17th century American or British coffee shop. Have a listen to some really old films (pre WW2) and listen to the cut glass accents of both British and American actors compared to the modern vernacular of either.

      3. Euripides Pants Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: do they still teach English at schools?

        English is optional. The only mandatory subject is Conformity.

    2. Jedit

      "Worse than that, they allow comments ... like "would of gone""

      Well, of course they do. That's what happens when your ban on all Nazis extends to the grammar Nazis. The internet needs the SS [1] if it's going to stay readable.

      [1] Sentence Structure.

      1. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

        Re: "Worse than that, they allow comments ... like "would of gone""

        @jedit

        ... or even Satz Schutz

        (mein gebrochene Deutsch).

    3. Bod

      Re: I would be interested to see if their censorship guidelines can be found online

      Far worse for bad grammar is Stackoverflow, though to be fair a large number of developers on there have broken English, not to mention no clue about software development. I'd suggest a typical location they come from too but I'd be accused of being racist. Well, those and students looking for the answer to an exam question, and candidates for jobs likewise for interview questions.

    4. Haku
      Trollface

      @DAN*tastik

      I could care less.

      1. DAN*tastik

        @Haku

        "I could care less."

        Great, it's important that we all care a lot. If humans regress to the point that only WFoG are used, knowledge will only end up being what we see and hear in churches, synagogues, mosques and temples... Good bye to IT and the Internet. And the best weapon against diseases will be prayers.

  2. Richard Jones 1
    WTF?

    Two Nations Divided By a Common Language

    So Mexican Drug Terrorists demonstrating their discipline habits OK, but perfectly legal 'ethnic' food is not OK. Now please tell me, is 13 the minimum age or the maximum (mental or developmental) age for Clotbook?

    As a sociological experiment Clotbook does suggest that crowd sourcing answers is not a good way to obtain accurate results after all.

  3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    Two countries divided by a common language

    Attr George Bernard Shaw

    Long may it continue.

    As for Faggots? Lovely especially the ones I got last year at a market in Lanchashire.

    I used to tease my American friends by describing them in all their gory detail.

    Try serving 'Stuffed Hearts' at a dinner party in the US. Great way to get rid of people you don't really like as friends.

    Oh what a Gay Day! (attr Larry Grayson)

    Another word that has had its original meaning hijacked.

    Icon, what I'd like to do to the thought police everywhere in thr world.

    1. Cliff

      Re: Two countries divided by a common language

      >>>Oh what a Gay Day! (attr Larry Grayson)

      Another word that has had its original meaning hijacked.<<<

      In fairness I'm pretty sure Grayson knew exactly what he was saying ;)

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Two countries divided by a common language

        Aye, since 'e were bent as a nine-bob note.

    2. Psyx

      Re: Two countries divided by a common language

      "Wilkes insisted he was innocent, however. 'It may have a different meaning in America but I used it in a food context,'"

      I believe I speak for all of us when I say "Chinny reck-on."

  4. Admiral Grace Hopper

    'Twas ever thus

    The oppobrium caused by my expressing a deeply felt desire for a cigarette - "Christ! I could murder a fag!" - while in Williamsburg rather caught me by surprise.

    1. Cliff

      Re: 'Twas ever thus

      Yep, 'smoking a fag' is apparently also a euphemism for performing oral sex on a homosexual man's phallus. Cue red faces all round.

      Another culture shock I hit once was crossing the road at a junction before the pedestrian lights turned. I made it to the island and was waiting for the red light to mean I could cross the last bit when the traffic stopped. People were screeching to a halt dramatically tens of yards away and shaking fists etc. I wasn't familiar with this idea of jay walking. In a country where it's legal for people to carry concealed handguns you're not allowed to cross the road on your own... Bizarre!

      I can't agree with jay walking laws, why does the automobile get precedence just for its size? I mean before cars it was horses, and just plain pedestrian walking before that. When did the right of way get stolen from environmental self-propulsion and monopolised? It seems a far bigger interference in personal freedoms than the NSA have ever done.

      1. kain preacher Silver badge

        Re: 'Twas ever thus

        In the when there is a ped signal that controls when you can walk not the light. So if you are walking northbound and the light is green for north bound cars but the hand is red that's jay walking. Now in my state as long as the ped is not jay walking they have the right away. That is not true in all states.

      2. Chris Miller

        Re: 'Twas ever thus

        See Felipe Fernandez-Armesto (famous historian) on his arrest in Atlanta for jaywalking.

      3. This post has been deleted by its author

      4. john devoy

        Re: 'Twas ever thus

        I think the car gets priority because when you hit a car at 30-40mph it's not really the car that's going to suffer most.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 'Twas ever thus

          however as far as i remember it, the rule on water is power gives way to sail, gives way to rowers, gives way to swimmers.

          1. LHGFLICOD

            Re: 'Twas ever thus

            You remember incorrectly, rowers give way to sail as there are directions of travel a sail can not take you in, however its polite to take into account the fact that an 8 man boat may have a bit of a turning circle issue an being in the right doesn't help fix the holes or mend bones.

            1. Otto is a bear.

              Re: 'Twas ever thus

              Just a handy reminder to everyone who think cars have priority in the UK, they don't pedestrians always do, except on urban clearways and motorways. Run a pedestrian over and it's your fault unless you can prove otherwise.

              BTW You can also have lots of fun with the word Rubber, in the US it's a condom, in the UK it's an eraser.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: 'Twas ever thus

                Just a handy reminder to everyone who think cars have priority in the UK, they don't pedestrians always do, except on urban clearways and motorways.

                This is not true. Urban clearways are to do with parking / stopping restrictions and nothing to do with pedestrian rights of way.

                It is only pedestrian crossings / signal controlled crossings where the pedestrian has the right of way.

          2. MJI Silver badge

            Re: 'Twas ever thus

            Unless you are in command of a supertanker

          3. Psyx

            Re: 'Twas ever thus

            "power gives way to sail, gives way to rowers, gives way to swimmers."

            Not always:

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-24670515

      5. Neil Lewis

        Re: 'Twas ever thus

        It's not about 'right of way', it's about preserving your safety in an intrinsically dangerous situation. You may have noticed that cars (a) can't stop as quickly as pedestrians (b) can't change direction as quickly as pedestrians (c) tend to be moving a lot faster than pedestrians. Vehicles contain people, too, and they have just as much right to get to where they're going as you do as a pedestrian. That's why we all have to take it in turns to have 'right of way'. If you, as a pedestrian, are too impatient to wait to take your turn, than sooner or later you'll get hurt, and it will be your own fault.

        Having said that, pedestrian crossings are just another type of traffic light, and all traffic lights are horribly inefficient at managing traffic of all types.

        1. Chris Miller

          Re: 'Twas ever thus

          Rights of way are a legal concept, not a safety one:

          Here lies the body of Joshua Gray

          Who died defending his right of way.

          He was right as could be as he sped along,

          But he's just as dead as if he'd been wrong.

          PS In India, I was told that the rules go: pedestrians give way to cycles; cycles give way to rickshaws; rickshaws give way to motorbikes; motorbikes give way to tuk-tuks; tuk-tuks give way to cars; cars give way to buses; buses give way to lorries and lorries give way to elephants. (And everything gives way to cows.)

      6. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: 'Twas ever thus

        Yep, 'smoking a fag' is apparently also a euphemism for performing oral sex on a homosexual man's phallus. Cue red faces all round.

        And yet talk about people's fannies is totally socially acceptable over there...

        1. veeguy

          Re: 'Twas ever thus

          Not only socially acceptable, we even have a candy company named "Fanny May" Combine this companies name with Frito Lay's Potato Chips (crisps) jingle and you get "Fanny May - Nobody can eat just one"

    2. Ian Yates
      Thumb Up

      Re: 'Twas ever thus

      I was with someone who had run out and (innocently) asked an American colleague if he could "bum a fag"... the look he got was absolutely priceless, and it too us Brits a fair few seconds to even recognise the oddity of the phrase.

  5. Tascam Holiday
    Coat

    Could've Been Worse

    Just think of the hullabaloo if he'd said he eats faggots!

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Could've Been Worse

      Worse than that, if he says he's about to roast faggots...

      Or do you boil them? I've never been tempted by them. Despite that advert, "Brain's Faggots. So good, you'll wish you tried them years ago." It took me a while to work out that Brain's was the trade-name, rather than the ingredient... And while we're at it, you can keep your mushy peas as well!

      I want proper, honest, food like toad-in-the-hole...

      1. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Brains Faggots

        The name is enough to stop a lot of people from eating them.

        I hate liver and do not like faggots, I hate peas too.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Could've Been Worse

        "I want proper, honest, food like toad-in-the-hole..."

        Reminds me of the bit in King Ralph.

        "Spotted dick? Dick of *what*?!"

      3. David Given

        Re: Could've Been Worse

        I actually just spotted 'em at the supermarket (Tesco's deli counter, 35p each; not Brains', either). I'm actually quite tempted, if I can figure out what to do with them. A lot of the weird old British traditional food can be rather good cooked well.

  6. Pete 2 Silver badge

    #IAMNOTAMERICAN

    Time for a new hashtag, methinks.

    Maybe when this starts to appear on the FB blabberings of the "other 95%" of the population's social media excretions, it might just "click" with some some of our parochial cousins that not everyone on the planet identifies with their vocabulary, ideologies, values hangups or even spellings.

    OTOH, maybe they should be the ones flagging their posts, instead.

    1. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

      Re: #IAMNOTAMERICAN

      "They" are more powerful than "We". 'Twas ever so.

  7. frank ly Silver badge
    Facepalm

    This is disturbing

    From the online Oxford English dictionary - http://www.oxforddictionaries.com

    1 (usually faggots) British a ball or roll of seasoned chopped liver, baked or fried.

    2 (US fagot) a bundle of sticks bound together as fuel, a bundle of iron rods bound together for reheating, welding, and hammering into bars.

    The entry in http://www.oed.com does not include 1. above.

    I believe this is an example of an 'editor' making a personal and culturally biased judgement. Faggots were low grade wood used by poor people or low grade meat, mixed with herbs and spices to disguise it's nature, again used by poor people. The overall implication is something lowly, not worthy of consideration, so it's easy to understand how the word can be used as an insult term.

    It's a long time since I bought, and enjoyed, a carton of 'Mr Brain's Faggots' from the freezer section of my local supermarket. I must go shopping soon :)

    Note for visiting Americans: You must not use the word 'pardon' when in England. To do so implies that the person you are speaking to is a serious criminal who has been released from prison on a technicality. It is regarded as very offensive and can cause a violent reaction in most social settings.

    1. Cliff

      Re: This is disturbing

      >>>Note for visiting Americans: You must not use the word 'pardon' when in England. <<<

      And every Friday Night is singalong night at the Opera Houses.

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