Recently I posted a question which got closed as not constructive. The reason, as a user has pointed out, being

but your link to that acceptability of touristic question isn't really relevant to what we're talking about here. In general, I think questions of the form "How offensive is [some term which is know to be at least potentially offensive]" are Not Constructive. Everyone has an opinion, but none of them can be "right" or "wrong".

Which I do not deny partly. I got two requests here:

  1. Travel.SE might be a site where these type of questions may be asked (as I get to see some of the examples). So maybe this question should be migrated there. I request so because it has got 1 delete vote already here.

  2. If I am unable to quote these terms (used in the question and marked as offensive as several users), how can I come to know usage of these terms in some cases (This question might not be the last to force me to use them)?

1 Answer 1


I do not believe Travel.SE would be an appropriate location for this question. Accordingly, I do not intend to migrate the question unless a Travel.SE mod indicates to the contrary.

As to your second question, existing site policy is that offensive words may be used if those words are the subject of discussion. As far as I can tell, the question has not been flagged as offensive, so I'm not sure where you got that idea from.

  • Actually several comments from different users, an answer also a delete vote made me to think so!
    – Mistu4u
    Jan 3, 2013 at 6:58
  • @Mistu4u: If you didn't consider your example words at least potentially offensive, why "sanitise" them with asterisks in the first place? I don't see any comments suggesting that anyone took offence at the fact of you alluding to profanities (some of which which several people just wrote out in full anyway). There's one answer saying your usage was offensive - but that's mainly attracted downvotes, and in any case the poster makes it quite clear in his second paragraph that he's being ironic rather than condemnatory. The down/closevotes aren't relevant to "offensiveness". Jan 3, 2013 at 17:32
  • @FumbleFingers, Actually the down-voted answer was the 1st answer to the question, so I thought maybe the community would consider it offensive. So I put asterisk. If you advise, I can rollback. But I apprehend few users may still find them offensive!
    – Mistu4u
    Jan 3, 2013 at 17:42
  • @Mistu4u: I don't understand your position at all. No-one except you seems concerned about the fact that in order to discuss offensive words, we sometimes need to actually write them. Even ipso's semi-facetious answer was downvoted by people who don't want there to be any suggestion that we here at ELU might be "shockable". I downvoted the question because I thought it was tiresome, not because it was offensive. The only unexplained downvote is one for Bill Franke's answer, for reasons I cannot even guess at. Jan 3, 2013 at 17:56
  • @FumbleFingers, Okay thanks for clearing the confusion! I am relieved now!
    – Mistu4u
    Jan 3, 2013 at 17:57
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    @Mistu4u: I'll probably get more flak for calling your question "tiresome" than you will for asking it. But - as I'm sure you realise - "acceptability" on ELU is very different to what would be considered reasonable in other contexts (the workplace, college, or just public space in general). Jan 3, 2013 at 18:13

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