Friday, May 21, 2010

Watch It Bub, I Got The Earwax Out

The English language.

In the hands of someone with minimal brain cells, makes sense twenty-five percent of the time and makes one scratch their head the other seventy-five percent of the time.

In the hands of someone with lots of brain cells, makes sense one hundred percent of the time and allows the person to insert entire leg into mouth in ways too numerous to mention, but we're sure gonna try.

For those of you who had read my profile all those many, many, many, many months ago, one of the things that I brag about is this: I also have, what has been often referred to by both my friends and enemies, "a sharpness of tongue." Which basically means that I can dish it out on a very personal level if need be.

Which really means that I can offend people with my mouth without thinking thrice about it.

Case in point. I have a habit of using seriously offensive terms to stereotype people from time to time, and I make no bones about it, because for the most part, I am not politically correct (although the only concession I've made to that point is the term "developmentally disabled"). I do try, however, to be conscious of my surroundings, and so censor myself when the situation calls for it.

On more than one occasion, I've had to apologize for my poor choice of words because a particular someone whom I respected took offense to it. Sometimes the apology is accepted and nothing more is thought about it, and sometimes, the apology is accepted but the damage done can't quite be undone. But it hasn't stopped me from using it though. On the contrary, I now confine those particular phrases in question to either my short stories, or the occasional humorous stories between co-workers (whose real life experiences have shown me that there are people who are actually like that in the world today).

But for the most part, I try not to use them in my blog posts, because although I do have a mouth that oozes witty sarcasm to the nth degree, sometimes using a thesaurus is better than using those phrases.


On the times that I felt the need to get my point across by using those particular phrases as opposed to using a thesaurus, I had to come up with a way of letting my readers know that the post they were going to read was chock full of offensive language.

Thus, the disclaimer (click here for an example). Early on, I used a disclaimer for some of the more volatile posts that have made it from my brain to the computer screen, because while I normally don't use that kind of language while blogging, there was the need to give people the option of opting out from reading the post.

After a while, I stopped using the disclaimer, simply because I stopped using that kind of foul language in my blog posts (except in my short story blog, where I stuck one of those funky pages in that you have to answer yes to, in order to access it). But sometimes, it's good to resurrect the disclaimer, because although I do enjoy making people think, I don't want them to think about what I write for the wrong reasons. I rather have them think about the content, as opposed to a particular word or phrase.

How about you? Do you practice the art of self censorship to any kind of degree on your blog? Or do you say, "This is how I am, take it or leave it"?


  1. I have to be careful in my posts as I tend to use multicultural characters in my cartoons. The meaning (or someone's interpretation) can change in a way that I don't want it to if I use a female or someone that isn't white. So in that way I try to determine all the ways it can be interpreted before I choose what the character will look like.

  2. I don't censor myself; on my blog, the way I write is pretty much how I express myself in "the real world" in almost all circumstances. I use a little profanity here and there, but not a lot.

    Unless I'm at band practice, where things are a little more raw. But that's as much a product of the environment as anything else.

  3. I don't really censor what I write on my own blog but I do censor comments I make on other peoples blogs. I try to be respectful. For example I have a tough time getting into poetry, mostly because I don't understand it, my brain isn't wired that way, so I try to find something within that poem I do like rather than dismissing it as boring or whatever.

    I do love the poetry in rap music though. :)

  4. I definitely censor myself. I wouldnt' say I change so much that I'm not being me, but that the "me" has a range and I tend to express one primary end of that range in public.

  5. How about you? Do you practice the art of self censorship to any kind of degree on your blog? Or do you say, "This is how I am, take it or leave it"?

    Nope. I'm basically the real deal, on my blog. I do watch how many details I put out there about my extended family. I don't have a foul mouth, there are enough words in the English language to use to get my point across. Most of the time. If I am really blown away by something, excited, really upset, something might slip by. I have recently read acticles about how you should set up your blog and maintain it to keep your readers happy. Too much work, for me. If you don't like what you are reading you know where the delete key is, use it. :)Bea

  6. General observation: Everyone here left insightful and well thought out comments, and I will try my best to answer in the same way.

    I found that for most part, while I enjoy the freedom that blogging gives me, there are times when I do have to reign myself in.

    I have a general tendency to severely shoot from the lip, and that has gotten me into a world of trouble from time to time, which is why I sometimes check the real me at the door.

    Now, onto the answer portion of our show.

    Bearman: I've never really gave the color or gender issue much thought when I read your blog, simply because I have a tendency to be colorblind about the issues of the day.

    But you're right in the supposition that two people can take the same cartoon (or pic) and read it in ways that go above and beyond the original intent.

    Chris: When I first started two years ago, I had a field day dropping f-bombs and what not in my posts, simply because I came from a websit that censored every little thing under the sun.

    For the most part, what you see here is what you get. I now save the f-bombs for my stories, because I'm basically a walking dictionary/thesaurus and (usually) have no need for that type of language. But when I do, I try to be considerate of those who don't like that type of language.

    Joe: I think from day one, I've tried to either be respectful of another's blog, or make my comment in the same vien of the blog, or combination of the two.

    I try to treat another person's blog as an extension of that particlar person, and I try to treat them the same way I want to be treated.

    I'm with you about poetry though. Not a huge fan, but I try to find something worthwhile in every poem I come across.

    Charles: I have a multitude of "me's" for public consumption, which vary do to whatever situation I'm in. Sucks, but its the nature of my work and non-work environment.

    Blogging is about the closest that anyone can get to the real me in public without being an e-mail buddy.

    Bea: While I have so far shared about 95% of me on the blog, the remaining 5% is hidden in the background and will never see the light of day on the blog.

    Like you, I'm careful on how I identify my family on the blog. I think I've used their names once or twice in the past two years of blogging.

    But basically, I'm like everyone else here. I am what I am, and that's all what I am. I will try to accomodate everyone who happens to stop by, but ulitmately, its my choice on how thorough I need to accomodate everyone.

  7. That is a very interesting question...the only thing I won't do is be excessively negative on a personal level about anyone in my inner circle. No matter how upset I am, it's rare and I know I will get over it. But as you may have noticed, I don't hold back from saying the words I'm thinking!

  8. I try to come up with interesting questions from time to time. I have this thing about censorship simply because of where I used to play prior to blogging.

    Too much aggravation and selective enforcement of the rules and regs at the chat rooms have caused me to really become wickedly open-minded about censorship on every level save the level of one's personal tolerance.

    Anyways, you hold back from stating your opinion? I would've never guessed it in a million years.

    I'm much the same way with my close circle as well. I try not to take some of the things that may get thrown in my direction in the heat of the moment negatively. I give them space for a few days or week and then send out feelers (or eavesdrop on FB to get a read that way) to see how they're doing.

  9. I don't censor myself in real life and on my blog it's not really an issue being as I focus on nature so much...though I've probably insulted a flower or two without meaning to. I have learned, the older I get, that taking a moment to think before I speak has saved a lot of unnecessary pain :) (and I try to remember the old adage - "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say a word"

  10. For the most part I try to follow that adage as well, although if you'd ever heard me at work yelling at my computer screen while composing a e-mail response or looking something up for one of my dorky employees, you would think I'd lost what little sanity I had left.

    People have long memories, so I sometimes try to watch what I say on my blogs because I never know who might be reading them.

  11. I'm going to censor my answer and not really say what I think ;)

    Seriously, on my blog, I am what I am. But keep in mind too that my blog has a very clear focus, and it's pretty hard to go off track with the topic of living our choice lives. So though it's me on the blog, I also don't veer off into topics that are controversial or might stir up anyone's ire. I think sometimes it's the topic more than the voice that sparks emotions, too.

  12. I agree with your sentiment that quite often the topic of choice determines the tenor and tone of a blog.

    If your blog is focused on things like what you have (writing, living one's life, photography), then it's virtually impossible to have problems with provocative comments and the like.

    If your blog is focused on things like politics or any kind of hot button issues, then yes, you're probably gonna have problems with opposing viewpoints.

    I think there's a fine line between lively debate and outright crassness, and sometimes, it can be a major adventure in trying to straddle that fine line to begin with.

  13. I don't censor my thoughts. I let the Moderators do that for me. Ha ha. How are you these days?

  14. Truth: And I'm sure that the Moderators do an outstanding job of enforcing the rules.

    I'm doing fine. Don't really have the get up and go for the chat rooms any more. Thought I would by making one last hurrah on an old thread I used to be on some three years ago, but it's not even worth expending the energy.

    So I now keep my activities mostly confined to the blogs and Facebook and offline.

    How about you?

  15. I generally don't swear unless pretty upset, cause I had a strict mother. Now I have grandkids I don't want to teach!
    Blogging, I'm not censoring my normal language, really- but have a list of non-revealage personal details due to the fear of being tracked down by crazy folks!
    I stay off my more depressing issues n try to be more positive in subject matter, even if ranting on something.
    I tend to reveal more stuff in others comments, not on my blog tho.

  16. Can sympthasize with non-revealage. Did so much of that in the that chat rooms that up until this year was still paying a heavy price for it.

    Which is why when people try to troll me, any info about me out there is at least two years old. I basically rehash stuff about me on the blog, and only give tidbits in certain comment sections on certain blogs.

    Which is also why I moderate comments. I've had people follow me from the chat rooms to here and leave nasty and digusting comments on my blog when I first started blogging, so now I moderate.

  17. Hey George, I'm doing fine. Getting ready for that raod trip I mentioned last year. Still looking into grad programs. Going to Little League Softball games. I just put the AC in since the heat is rolling our way.

    I guess you're unaware then that a thread was started for you on the Hartford forum. One of your trolls got uppity I guess. JAT thinks some guy from Farmington is you. I was surprised to see something like that since you've been absent so long and that forum is basically dead.

    I like your photo thread.


  18. Nice. Glad to hear that things are going well for you.

    Also nice to hear that I can still have a presence in the chat rooms without being there.

    Kathy (JAT) thinks that anyone from Connecticut who is greyed is automatically me.

    My trolls have no balls, and the only one I can think of that would do that is probably the one from Berlin/Meriden, who's been trolling me since 2008 when I came out with my first book.

    Spud thinks I give his computers viruses as well.

    Oh well, such is the price of fame.

  19. I admit I censor myself and this is my excuse - I advertise my work in venues where folks I work with can read it and I use my real name. I love to curse (child of the late 60s and 70s) and so also censor myself in my private life.

    But now you've made me ask myself a question: If I didn't have my work excuse, what would be different? I need to think about that.

  20. Pamela: I can curse up a storm that would put most people to shame. Right now, I choose to basically keep it off this blog and keep it on my short story blog.

    I choose to censor myself to a small degree here, simply because after two years of blogging, I've told enough people about my blogs that I have no idea who might be reading them. Because of that, some of the juicier work stories that I may have shared in the past, stay hidden. Even though I can re-write stuff to emphasize just me in the situations, I would rather not take that chance anymore.

    I might revisited certain things again, but for the most part, I'll probably confine myself to public generalities about work.

  21. Ha ha! You got something there George. You're not even there and you've got a thread made for you and you're getting the blame for posts you don't make. A job well-done.

  22. Do I have talent, or do I have talent?

    I'm telling ya, it simply blows my mind.

    I will say this though, I found out what one of the other nasty posters in Offbeat looks like.

    Almost made me toss my cookies.

  23. Yes, very interesting.

    I echo Talon's sentiments, and endeavor always to be nice -- I never know what someone is going through. And words can cut so deeply, lastingly and sometimes beyond repair.

    I curse MUCH less in blogging, than IRL with my IRL buddies, I find cussing in writing comes across very harsh sometimes, even when meant lightly.


  24. I think cursing in writing always comes across harsh to varying degrees, which is why I try to keep confined to my short stories/novels.

    But again, if I need to use it while blogging, I make sure that I give enough warning so that a person can make an informed decision on whether or not to continue reading the post.

    I don't think I use it much around family and friends, simply because there really isn't any need to use it (unless involuntary self-inflicted pain is involved).

    I guess what it boils down to is that I always try to be aware of my surroundings before I choose to open my mouth.

  25. I always try to be sensitive to other people, but mostly my blog is about positivity anyway, so it's mostly a non-issue for me.

  26. True.

    I've read your blog for the past year and a half (has it been that long?), and I've never read anything but upbeat and positive posts in it.

    Even when you wrote about your dad passing away, it was a incredibly warm, loving tribute to him.

  27. Thanks for being such a loyal reader - you and Jannie hung in there with me. :)

  28. Lynn, you are more than welcome. I really do enjoy reading your blog and yours was one of the first that I found through someone else's (I think).

    I enjoy finding out about other parts of the country from a non-touristy viewpoint. Thanks for making your neck of the woods feel like a great place to live.

  29. Well I do sensor myself - I never talk about personal relationships in a serious manner. I've read a few blogs where people have and I generally find it distasteful that personal greviances should be aired pubically - some things should always remain private.

    I don't swear - much:) I will use the occcasional mild expletive and if's very naughty I'll use asterisks - somehow that makes me feel better:)) And I only use expletives if it's in a humorous context - I would never use them in an offensive manner.(I hope!)

    I also steer away from subjects where people get uptight like religon and politics; I occasionally mention British politics as I feel that's my preogrative but I don't usually mention foriegn politics unless its in relation to George Bush, when of course, it's perfectly acceptable:))))

    Other than that what you find is actually me:) - Almost a nun I feel...:)

  30. Jane: Most of what I talk about personally has been out there already for the past three years, and usually I talk in the most general of terms, and with the focus on me.

    As for swearing, I usually keep that for my stories (and FSG). When I do need to on here, I usually throw a disclaimer up and not try to overdo it.

    I don't mind talking about religion and as for politics, I usually concentrate on the local and state level, as oppose to the national level. If I want national politics I have a few blogs that I read that challenges me to levels that I never thought possible (most of the time).

    But as you say, what you see is usually what you get.


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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All the content that you see here, except for the posting of links that refer to other off-blog stories, is (c) 2008-17 by G.B. Miller. Nothing in whole or in part may be used without the express written permission of myself. If you wish to use any part of what you see here, please contact me at