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Well, I've always thought and always been brought up on the fact that the word "piss" is in fact swearing.

I took it out of this question, then asked the OP not to swear. He came back and insisted it wasn't swearing, after googling it seems this differs in different parts of the world.

What is the policy? Surely it's not great to use it on SO as the sites for all ages?

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    Maybe not swear word or offensive, but same way that "see this ubber ultimate extra beautiful answer" should be just "see this answer" so any irrelevant adjectives should be removed. – Shadow9 Jun 4 '13 at 15:25
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    Context is king. "Piss off" is offensive, especially when directed at someone. "Here is the piss poor coffeescript I am trying to write" not so much. That said, nothing of value was lost when the sentence was removed. – yannis Jun 4 '13 at 15:25
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    I'm offended that he didn't hyphenate "piss-poor". – ABANDON STACK -- Jeremy Banks Jun 4 '13 at 15:26
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    Some piss-poor hyphenation right there @JeremyBanks... – Bart Jun 4 '13 at 15:32
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    Looks like Meta is much more piss-tolerant than SO is. Not sure if it is as hyphenation-tolerant though. – Oded Jun 4 '13 at 15:53
  • @mattytommo - Continue as you normally do. I would just flag comments as "not constructive" when people argue if something they said wasn't offensive. Because thats exactly what the conversation would be. – Ramhound Jun 4 '13 at 17:57
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    Pretty sure this is all just taking the piss – random Jun 4 '13 at 20:11
  • I didn't realise there would be a MSE question about this or I wouldn't have flagged for a moderator, makes sense now why my flag was declined but still unjustly in my honest opinion. Still I don't think it should be used even on here in any form! – Lankymart Jan 30 '15 at 17:58
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Someone found the word to be offensive.

As such, the word is not conductive to the question - it really adds nothing.

Removing it makes the post better.

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    Exactly. Some people find "stupid" to be offensive. While it may not be swearing, it may still be edited out - along with things that aren't even offensive at all, but just don't add any meaning to the question. There's no need to settle whether it's offensive or not. It's an ok edit to remove it. – Kate Gregory Jun 4 '13 at 17:16
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I don't see the use of "piss poor", in a self-deprecating fashion, as even vulgar. Moreover, simply removing the "piss" part makes the sentence read strangely. It is a term, not just a string of words - if it is unsuitable, the full term should be removed.

Someone finding something offensive isn't in itself relevant. A substantial proportion of readers finding it offensive is, regardless of anyone's personal opinion.

Had it not been used self-deprecatingly, it would nevertheless have been unsuitable. Because it would then have been an offensive statement. Not because part of the term also describes a bodily function.

  • Yeah. And, as Yannis said, there's a very strong difference between piss-poor and piss off. – TRiG Jun 5 '13 at 11:04
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Interestingly, piss-poor is categorised as "vulgar" by the Dictionary.com dictionary (based on the Random House Dictionary), but not by Collins World English Dictionary, Dictionary.com's 21st Centuty Lexicon, or the Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions.

More definitions.

I wouldn't think of it as vulgar myself. Nor would I find it offensive. And it certainly isn't swearing. That's just not what the word swear means. At all.

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    I wouldn't say "piss" anything in a professional environment (Dear {Manager's name}, This client is really pissing me off. Can you do something? -jadarnel27). I would definitely consider it vulgar, though I'm sure there are many people that don't find it offensive (and just as many that do). – Josh Darnell Jun 4 '13 at 17:35
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    @ArtB Are you really invoking MS (or M$, as some prefer) as an authority on language use? That's just absurd to me. – Lord_Farin Jun 4 '13 at 19:44
  • I just got chastised from a user who told me children use the site and that some people (I'm assuming he meant himself) found it lacked professionalism. I thought the word was fine but I don't want to traumatize his children. – ray023 Jul 15 '15 at 15:20

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