The Z Word

Yes, that's right-- there's a new cuss word in town... Oh, I know. You folks think you're so worldly, so knowing, so sure you've seen all the colorful language life has to offer.

You go down to the docks at night, just to brush up on the salty sea language the grizzly fisherman use when bringing in the next load of tuna...

You'd bust a cap to sample the rap that goes on between the fly homies on the mean 'hoods of your city...

You listen to what the cool kids are saying on Facebook and MySpace, just to make sure you aren't the kind of tool who's accidentally left any good curses slip through the cracks.

Yeah, I know how you guys roll.

But I bet you don't know about the "Z word."

See, for fun, I ran Of Cabbages and Kings through a site rater that ranks web sites like movies. G... PG... R.... what have you.

Now I like to keep things fairly G/PG around here. Not because I don't curse in real-life (you should see me in a commute situation). But simply because I think it not only suits my material, but it forces me to be more creative with language. I figure anything that gives the ol' gray cells a workout can't be too bad.

So when the program was done, you can imagine my surprise when a screen popped up which read as follows:

The rating of your blog was determined
based on the presence of the following words:
  • zombie (9x)
  • death (3x)
  • kill (2x)
  • b*tch(1x)

"Zombie"?! "Zombie" is a word not appropriate for gentle ears these days?

Now the "b*tch" listed above I understand and can explain. That is our buddy Sandy. I mean, not Sandy per se-- I like Sandy. But as the b-word is part of the name of her web site, well... I'm sorry Ratings People. Sandy and her blog are both extremely funny; I'm afraid the b*tch stays.

But "zombie"?

Also, the word "death" is apparently not acceptable anymore for anyone under 13. Are ya kidding me? So Gramma dies and little Timmy is told... what, Gramma has gone to run free on a farm in the country?

And okay, I can see where "kill" might be said to be an Active Verb of Violence...

But how about, "I just saw the movie To Kill A Mockingbird?"

Or "I'd kill for a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich"?

Are we going to pan the lovely and talented Gregory Peck? Are we going to start up a "Stop the Violence Against Grilled Cheese Society" (SVAGCS- they'll probably have to work on the aconym) to take up the cause? I rather think not.

So context, my friends. It's all in the context.

Me... since I'm apparently such an on-the-edge Verbal Rebel, I think I'll spend my day testing how "zombie" works in an inflammatory cursing context. Somebody cuts me off in traffic on my drive in?

"Well, zombie you, mister!" (May have to be shortened to "zom you"-- has a ragey-er sound to it, don't you think?)

Someone says something mystifying on a forum?... "What the zombie!" (WTZ)

And if a request at work comes in that is totally irrational? "Well, zombie that!"

So perhaps the web ratings were right. "Zombie" could very well be the next most offensive term out there. Try employing it in a sentence and see how you feel.

And, er... Peace out, mutha zombies!



JD at I Do Things said...

The word zombie is NEVER inapparopriate!

I just ran my site thru the ratings machine. I wrote a WHOLE POST about zombies, and this gadget didn't find a single "zombie." I got a PG rating for 2 "hell's" and 2 "bitch's."

I call shenanigans!

JD at I Do Things

Shirley said...

I'm G don't know how. I should be PG especially since I went off on how my neighbors called their daughter the "N" word. In the world of Shirley though death is "passed away", that b word is a bee with an itch, I have no clue how to get around kill, Zombie is going way too far. Halloween is coming Maybe you should have tossed in an ax murderer or two. :)

Jenn Thorson said...

JD- See, my feelings about zombies, exactly! Always in style!

And yet there seems to be a certain zombie prejudice solely associated with MY blog then, eh? Hurmmmm....

Was your zombie post on your home page? Because maybe THAT's it, maybe it only goes through the posts on the main URL...

Shirley- So the "n" word is all right? I think this app might need to sort out its priorities. I might just have to add a few ax murderers and a few Jack the Rippers to be truly daring.

Anonymous said...

Haha ! I came to know about this rater after you tweeted about it !

Almost all blogs I read (or atleast you and I know in common) are rated PG13 to are rated R and one NC17.
Good old me is sitting at a G.

It's funny though that there are some words that we in our conversation that are not for the under 13

- breast - Can't educate young ones about breast cancer either ?!
- suck - How else would babies feed
- shoot
- hell - I guess no Sunday school for junior
- drugs
- knife - So the whole kitchen is off limits to junior now ?
- pain - What !
- hurt - What is junior now supposed to say when his tummy hurts ?
- sex - junior won't be filling out any forms now !
- torture
- dead - Ok you covered that !
- stab
- steal - I guess even the pastor needs to be censored - Thou shalt not (bleep)
- poop & turd - I think this are very tame words compared to shit !
- gun - Junior can't even play with a toy one ?

I blame it on those uber-protective parents.

Jenn Thorson said...

Jaffer- Amusingly, I HAD been "G" or "PG" a few months ago when I first tried this. But the zombies pushed it over the edge. :)

Obviously, this is just one rater for fun, so I'm not taking the whole thing terribly seriously. But it is interesting what words we use all the time could be considered inflammatory or inappropriate for younger readers.

Of course, growing up also we never had to ride in car seats, or had bike helmets or anything. I mean, we could have eaten lead paint by the bucketful. So I think times have changed a bit.

Da Old Man said...

That stupid meter thing is uber crazy. My blog is rate R?

Know what words I used?

OK, close your eyes, because I don't want to offend you-- hell (1x) and porn (2x)

I, like you, try to limit the vulgarity when writing. Not so much for the mental exercise, but just because I always though that if anyone wanted to show the claptrap I write to their grandma, I didn't want to be responsible if granny had a seizure. In RL, if it weren't for cussing, I'd be a mime most days.
BTW, I've run my blog through other rating sites and got the G or PG rating my almost Disney-like blog deserves.

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- An R? Really? I think it saw all the photos of Richard Simmons on your blog and then just got scared, went no further, and made UP a rating. :)

Or maybe it's allergic to zucchini.

Jenn Thorson said...

HAAAAA! Okay folks-- now, that I ran my site through the checker after this last post???

I am rated R! Yes, indeed! I am unfit for anyone to read up until adulthood! Because of my 11 instances of the word "zombie", my additional mention of To Kill a Mockingbird and, well, still Sandy's blog. :)

Gosh, I feel so DIRTY!! :)

Anonymous said...

And now I feel dirty too!

Here...(hands over a bar of soap), let's just hope it doesn't cause blindness.

And don't worry, it's not Palmolive.

Jenn Thorson said...

QuirkyLoon- Thank you for helping me clean up my act. :)

Juggling Frogs said...

I think the tool is a bit overzealous.

Today, Jaffer pointed out that my blog got a PG13 rating because of two mentions of the word "dead" and one "knife."

(The first "dead" came from this phrase, in the rules of my Gratitude Carnival, in describing the object of thanks: "The person can be living or dead."

The second "dead" came from part of the word "deadline".

"Knife" was probably mentioned in a post about modifying my knife block.)

Back in July, I missed a "G" rating because I referred to Dick van Dyke tripping over the ottoman. (The tool interpreted individual parts of his name very literally.)

Context is everything.

Jenn Thorson said...

Juggling Frogs- I think you're right-- the tool gets a bit over-enthusiastic about making us safe from ourselves. :)

Poor Dick van Dyke, wreaking havoc wherever he goes.

And I never knew deadlines were so dangerous.

Da Old Man said...

It's bad enough I can't read my blog, now I have to read your blog with my eyes closed, too.
Or could you at least delete the dirty words?
Perhaps change zombies to "Living challenged."

Jenn Thorson said...

Da Old Man- Yup, Joe, we are corrupting the minds and morals of youth. Who'd've thunk it?

While I like "living challenged" very much, I think I will just embrace my rated "R" status for now. At least until I add some new posts next week which will push the zombies off the home page and into the archives.

I can always email you when it's safe to visit. :)

Chat Blanc said...

Well I'll be zombied! I've been missing out on the use of this curse word all these years? I feel cheated!

BTW, I'm soooo sorry I've spoiled your G/PG rating! I do have a bad habit of corrupting the good and pure in this world. But! Thanks for the linky luv! :) You rock.

Jenn Thorson said...

Chat Blanc- Aw, it's okay, Sandy!-- It's well worth it. Anyway, methinks the rater has a lot more issues to deal with than just the name of your blog. :)

chyna said...

Well I'll be zombied! Killed in the prime of my b*tchy life. Now we can see if htat pushes you into uber-R. Like maybe X!!!

Jenn Thorson said...

Chyna- Ah, isn't that just like our Chyna-- always helping out when needed? :) It brings a tear to my eye. (sniff) :)

Babs (Beetle) said...

Well mine was rated G but I got - hurt 2x death 1x. My guess is it's the B*tch word that did it ha ha!

I just ran my cat blog through and got the word 'Breast' WTZ!

Jenn Thorson said...

Babs- I still think it might just be the zombies, because when I ran it through the second time, with this newer post in it, I had more zombies but the same number of b*tch. We'll see next week, when the zombies go, I guess.

PS- Extra points to you for properly using "WTZ!" :)

Jenn Thorson said...

HA- Wikipedia's Zombie page is NC-17!

Anonymous said...

The reference to Dick Van Dyke reminds me of that Family Guy Episode where the FCC decides to censor even mildly objectionable content !

The part when Peter decides to watch the "(bleep) Van (bleep)" show cracks me up every time !

It just came to my mind that a couple of us will differ in pronouncing WTZ - What the Zed ?

BTW, Melinda's blog is one that is NC-17 !

Anonymous said...

PG-13. Okay, I'll keep you reading then. You hit R, though, and I'm out of here.

Mine: suprisingly, a G, even though I had one b*tch in it.

And I think I'll just start using WTZ from now on, thanks to you.

Jenn Thorson said...

Jaffer- I always liked the "Zed"-- it has a good finished sound to it. You know you're at the end when there's a Zed involved.

Unfinished- Good to know I haven't yet offended your moral sensibilities. :)

See how long you can use WTZ before people start asking you what you're doing.... hahahahah

ReformingGeek said...

The poor zombies are getting a bad rep here. So "to kill a zombie" (if that is even possible) will become "The poor creature with the dark eyes and the vacant look kicked the bucket?" Or is "kicked" bad?

I'm in big trouble. I used a** in today's post. OMG!

Jamie said...

Geez Jen..I had to close my virgin eyes when I read your blog. You need to tone your language down or the you will be on the FBI's list. I for one was rate NC-17 about 6 months back..I should check to see again.

Marvel Goose said...

so we have come to this have we? Forced to use creative typography.

For those who like HTML Ascii charaters we have Żombie, Źombie, Žombie.

The form would be &# then a number followed by a semi-colon. Subtitute 377-381 for the number to get the variations.

As for B*tch. we have Ḃitch. I think the dot on top of the B adds a little class that the * just can't reach. The number on this one is 7682. Another fun one is Bĩtch or we can just go whole hog with Ḃĩŧçĥ. That's kind of arty-looking!

Drowsey Monkey said...

These bubble-wrapped kids today.

You know, Canadian's pronounce that letter "zed" not "zee". Just a bit of canadian triva.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

Well, if I weren't so zombie-danged zombied. I'd zombie right over to those zombied zombies and zombie the crap out of them.

But that's just me.

Jenn Thorson said...

Reforming Geek- I imagine "kicked" has, yes, also indicates a high level of violence and would up the ol' rating. We don't want to offend anyone, now do we? :)

Marvel- Why, I had no idea that you were king of the ASCII code! Artistic, nifty and somewhat exotic, all in one! I will have to try it on my next pro-zombie endeavor.

Drowsey- I enjoy some good Canadian trivia. And I love the sound of "zed." It's got a lot more character than our "Zee" I think.

Nanny Goats- Ah, always adapting so easily to whatever life throws at you! Kickin' zombie wherever you go.... Hail to the goat lady!

Jenn Thorson said...

Jamie- Let us know where you fall on the meter... And if the FBI or FCC comes looking for you, I've never heard of you and don't know where you are. :)

Jay said...

Ahahahaha!! You're so busted! LOL!

I hate to think what they'd say about my site! Good grief ... not only the 'f' word on occasion (hey - I can still conjugate a non-profane verb!), but 'b*tch' (because I have one of the canine variety, and yes that IS the correct term and I'm gonna carry on using it), and almost certainly 'death', 'kill', 'injure', 'maim' etc as needed. Maybe even 'drugs'! *Shock!* *Horror!*

So, what I want to know is this: if they're so touchy about ordinary words like 'death', why don't they demonise words like 'bully'?

Jenn Thorson said...

Jay- I was thinking of your dog-related talk and how that would end up rating on one of these readers. And as for actual LOGIC behind the choices of these things? I simply don't know. Perhaps they're not rules but more like guidelines. :)

Dave said...

Pshaw - PG-13 - might as well have your blog marketed by Hallmark - too warm and fuzzy - I say more posts on killing dead zombie bitchs or even stories about the extreme greenland sodomy facebook group..

Jenn Thorson said...

Dave- Heh, thanks for the topic suggestions. Having seen Tiggyblog's recent post on Greenland, however, I think I will be passing on vacationing there as part of any future blog post research endeavors. :)

PS- Don't you think Hallmark could use a nice "Sorry You've Been Zombified" greeting card line? Because, y'know, I think I might be able to help them there.

Melanie said...

Zombie!! If I'd known this sight was so zombi-ing inappropriate, I'd never have passed it along to my kids! Oh zombie, how I must have corrupted their minds! I mean they're only in their early 20's, they've probably never heard language like this before. I raised the darlings on Disney movies and then expose them to this??

You and your zombies have me laughing out loud at work now and not wanting to explain why to the boss. A co-worker went out in the dark for a cigarette last night and I'm inside snickering to myself thinking that was a good way to get attacked by the zombies. The boss wondered what was so funny. What do you say at a time like that? Zombie!

Olga, the Traveling Bra said...

Holy Zombie!!!

Nah, sorry - that just doesn't sound right.

Holy Crap!!! My blog is rated PG-13 too....for the words crap & breasts. How'd they miss penis & absobloodyfuckinglutely?!?

I hope you will be Smooshing Your Boobies?!?? It's very very fun....and for a GOOD CAUSE! :)

DeadRooster said...

The word "dead" is bad too. And, I happen to have that word on EVERY page of my blog. D'oh!

Jenn Thorson said...

Melanie- Kids these days learn words like "zombie" much earlier than you and I did. I think that's just something we have to accept. Zombies are in the media. They're on prime-time. They're everywhere. We can't protect our kids forever.

PS- when the zombie plague hits, just think how prepared YOU will be, while your naive coworkers will be oblivious and become munchies.

Olga- Because "breasts" is considered inappropriate I was thinking Anne's cooking blog must be X rated. She makes a lot of chicken dishes.

PS- While I definitely respect you and your cause, I think you will have to do without me smooshing anything this go-round. I don't even like to have photos of me all clothed, let alone done into boob-art. Trust me, it would not be art. It would be... what's the mirror image opposite of art?..


DeadRooster- And why exactly is "dead" considered inappropriate? I mean, seriously! How tender are our sensibilities these days?

Chaotically Calm said...

WTZ...LOL,of course I have to steal this but I will def give you all the credit. And now I am off to run my blog through the rating system. I have a potty mouth so I am sure a R is in my future.

Jenn Thorson said...

Chaotically Calm- Heh, I can see WTZ is really catching on-- cool. I don't think compared to many you have a big potty mouth on your blog...

That said, I suspect there are a lot of folks hitting that R rating because of some bizarre things.

So I'd be interested to hear what yours are, if you try the rating tool. :)