Friday, September 16, 2005

The Rule of Engagement

CBS's foray into the blogosphere, The Public Eye, has a neat little sidebar called The Rules of Engagement. It's so neat, I'd like to take it home and adopt it for my own:

Public Eye is going to have some pretty strict rules of public etiquette. People who want to post comments on Public Eye and join in our debates and conversations are going to have to follow our rules. We know that not all Web logs are like that, but this one is. If it's any comfort, the Public Eye team promises to follow the same rules. And we'll try our best to be clear about what the rules are. When they change -- and they will -- we'll let you know.

There’s legal language nearby. Here's the plain English: no libel, slander, no lying, no fabricating, no swearing at all, no words that teenagers use a lot that some people think aren't swearing but we do, no insulting groups or individuals, no ethnic slurs and/or epithets, no religious bigotry, no threats of any kind, no bathroom humor, no comparing anyone to Hitler, Stalin or Pol Pot. We expect heated, robust debate, but comments should be polite and civil. We consider Public Eye to be public space so behave and write accordingly.

Yes, what is not allowable is subjective. Public Eye and absolutely reserve the right to remove posts we think break any of the rules or the spirit of the rules and we reserve the right to ban individuals from commenting. We will use language filtering programs to block certain words and we will use human editing too.

Comments should be limited to the topic of the original Public Eye posting and should always be discussions about news, journalism, public affairs, and politics -- public things. This blog is not the place for private conversations, no matter how innocent.
" words that teenagers use a lot that some people think aren't swearing but we do..."

I wonder if that includes "bitchin," a term that, in my teen years would get my mouth washed out, but of which I still don't know the meaning.


Taleena said...

Context: talking in a pejorative manner about a subject.


cool, neat, hip, with-it, keen, right on, rad, def, phat, trendy, popular

WhidbeyIslander said...

I know (and knew then) what I meant when I said (out of parental earshot) "bitchin." My friend's car was "bitchin." The Beach Boy's new album was "bitchin." I know what my friends meant when they described the surf that day at the beach as "bitchin."

But what's the derivation of the word? What’s its first cite?

If "bitchin" is a shortening of the gerund form "bitching," how does the transformation from "to bitch" and "bitching" to a contraction of the word morph the meaning from negative to positive.

Phat. Nobody says phat.

In fact, the whole list is ridiculous. “Cool” was cool to say when “neat” and “keen” became giveaways that you weren’t really cool. Right on was mocked almost as soon as it appeared in common currency. You can even have it in a movie title today without it being used ironically.

Outside of “cool” the only words on the whole list that aren’t embarrassing are “trendy” and “popular.” Which words are neither.

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