Podcast Language

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Sargon

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I am a long-time Giant Bomb subscriber and podcast listener, beginning at a time when I had no kids, until today when I have two young kids at home. I am sure many others are in a similar situation, as I believe the Giant Bomb age demographic skews a little higher than the "typical" video game website.

With that out of the way, one thing that occasionally bothers me about the podcasts is the excessive use of profanity. It isn't that I am offended by it in any way, but limits my opportunities to listen when my kids are around. While I'm not worried about a word being dropped in here or there, the language on the podcast at times just seems excessive and unnecessary. I won't single anyone out, but there are times when F*** and its many variations gets used several times within less than a minute. That doesn't add anything to the conversation, and my kids don't need to hear someone saying it 6 times in a 30 second period.

It would be nice if the GB crew would consider this and try to tone the language down a bit. I'm not asking for a clean podcast by any means, but would just like to see it turned down a notch.

Some of you may be reading this and thinking I'm crazy and that nothing should change. If that is the case, and I am in the minority, then I guess it is my problem to deal with. One solution is to not listen to the podcast when my kids around, but that is difficult to accomplish as they are around ALL THE TIME! Another solution is to stop listening entirely, which I certainly don't want to do.

Whatever the case, I still love the site and will continue to subscribe for the foreseeable future. I would just ask that the hosts step back and think about their sometimes frequent use of profanity and consider what value it is adding to the podcast. I am interested to hear whether others share (or don't share) my opinion.

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Cheesebob

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#2 Cheesebob  Online

I think you're in the minority here. I can't think of anything worse than the podcast censoring themselves.

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Efesell

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If it were vulgar or offensive language I'd say you might have a point but no I don't think there's any call to have them police profanity.

This strikes me as a very specific problem with a number of specific solutions anyone could use. Earbuds, perhaps.

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Sargon

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That is the thing. It isn't vulgar or offensive, but it is also completely superfluous. It is almost no different than someone saying "like" all the time when they speak. There is no value added by saying F*** three times in a single sentence, and I have never had an adult conversation where that occurred. Maybe they don't even realize they are doing it. Again, this isn't a huge issue and I'll deal with it whatever happens, but it just seems like an opportunity for improvement. I don't really see that as censorship.

@efesell said:

If it were vulgar or offensive language I'd say you might have a point but no I don't think there's any call to have them police profanity.

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AlexW00d

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I feel you're deffo in the minority here, and if your kids are around ALL the time, why not listen with headphones? Problem solved.

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Stephen_Von_Cloud

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please don't censor the podcasts, ever.

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Squadaloo

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They're adults talking casually, profanity is to be expected. I mean, this is a site that streamed BMX XXX. It's definitely not a family site.

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Efesell

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@sargon: I also would not necessarily consider it censorship if they were to see this and be like you know what you're right. That's fine.

But I would say that one of the appeals of podcasts, and especially Giant bomb, is the feel of the conversation. People swear in casual conversation, in authentic conversation. I don't know that I see very much benefit in moderating this when it also would gain them very little.

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cikame

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I would never stop Jeff from saying his trademark "what the fucking fuck", and i'm not a stickler for swearing at all, but there have been times in the past where the amount of swearing has gotten quite lazy, i have to point to Ryckert as being quite a rampant swearer but that's not an issue any more, i think the next culprit is Alex whenever he goes on a rant :P.
I'm with the OP, swearing is best used for comedic impact or putting emphasis on opinions, when it's every other sentence it's too much.

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csl316

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#10  Edited By csl316

Jeff addressed this a few times in the past. When they got bought by CBS, he stood his ground on it.

I found the clip at 25:31. "We cover M-rated games."

Loading Video...

I think they have made efforts to swear a bit less, but I wouldn't expect it to stop completely. And they really shouldn't, the site is what it is. There are other places that lean to be more family friendly.

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mikewhy

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Let's see what happens when Jeff's kid gets older and he starts moderating his own language around them. Calling it censorship is a huge stretch. It's mostly filler words because they couldn't come up with anything better. If I use a thesaurus to find a better word I'm not censoring anything lmao.

I stopped listening to the Bombcast a while ago cause it got so boring, but I feel the Beastcast, where two regulars have children, the language is much better.

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Horia

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Biggest non-issue about the podcasts on this website

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Mac4877

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I agree with the language issue. I think it was Drew who tried self editing his own use of language because he thought it made him more thoughtful when he couldn't fall back on the easy use of profanity as a descriptor. I know what I am in for listening to the Bombcast, but I still appreciate and don't see any problems with shows like Minn Max who do edit the podcast. I think we could all use a little more thought in the use and impact of our words.

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sfp

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While I think that the content could suffer if The Crew™ tried to police their language, potentially impacting the magic that happens during their fast banter, I do want to thank OP for how thoughtfully they presented the issue.

Headphones/earbuds seem like a pretty good solution. I can't listen to the podcast around my wife because she thinks it's stupid, and she's around all the time. Sometimes I'll use one earbud so I can enjoy the episode but also be present for whatever is going on around the house.

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terminallychill

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I get what you're saying and don't think it would be "censorship" for them to swear less. I'm not unsympathetic to your situation and I'm sorry if you aren't able to wear headphones because your kids are young and you need to keep an eye on them or something. Personally though I would be bummed out if they went clean because there have been many times when a well-timed f-bomb has made me laugh and given comedic emphasis to a cast member's sentiment. There's also quite a bit of suggestive humor that isn't necessarily cussing but I would miss if it was gone, and it comes from them being able to let loose and riff off each other.

That said, I also only listen to the podcast wearing headphones or in the car because my girlfriend, while she's into some video games, isn't into them enough for me to play a 2-3 hour podcast about them in the house. If you're able to do this I would suggest it, or buy an aux cord and listen in the car, etc. I also often listen while doing chores and yard work, tasks you might be doing by yourself to begin with.

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someoneproud

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Nah, nothing wrong with it, they should use whatever language they're comfortable with.

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Lego_My_Eggo

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I think the last podcast was just fine. Jeff really needs to get a haircut though.

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But honestly i think its fine personally. i would suggest as others have to just use headphones if possible.

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xanadu

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Profanity is the last refuge of an inarticulate mother fucker.

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hnke

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#19  Edited By hnke

Parenting is your task alone and not something for you to inflict upon others. Get a pair of headphones or something.

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doctordonkey

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As someone who is similar to Drew or Rich Gallup in that I consciously choose not to curse, I think you're alone on this one. This is only all of a sudden a problem to you because you have kids, which comes off as a little absurd. It's like that person at a comedy show that is laughing the entire time but the second the jokes lean towards their neck of the woods and the things they care about are being made light of, all of a sudden they deem it unacceptable.

If I could make a suggestion: Bone Conduction Headphones. Look 'em up.

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htr10

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I don’t care about cursing on the podcast. But also, some of the replies in this thread are condescending as fuck.

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frytup

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Loading Video...

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scrollcourier

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Headphones.

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Stephen_Von_Cloud

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@htr10 said:

I don’t care about cursing on the podcast. But also, some of the replies in this thread are condescending as fuck.

He asked for everyones opinion. Sorry man.

I think people with kids are really focused on them which is great but those of us who don't are not interested in shaping our experiences around kids we don't have. I've been going out of my way to not have kids for the last 17 years and I'm going to keep that up.

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mellotronrules

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i'm sympathetic- but i think that's a truly terrible suggestion. language confers tone, attitude, and personality- and the profanity is an inexorable component of the podcasts. if they were to alter their behaviour they would lose a key part of why people listen in the first place- it feels like you're getting authentic conversation.

the podcasts aren't for kids- i'm confident you you can find a way to keep yours from hearing them.

to quote the late great mr. davis when someone asked, "where you guys at on swearing?"

"we're fucking great."

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htr10

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yyninja

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#27  Edited By yyninja

I completely agree on the swearing part. I think swearing has a time and place and should be used to emphasize an emotion or a feeling. I don't think the person in question is doing it intentionally though, I think he is doing it because of habit.

However, I don't think the podcasts should be censored in any way. They are meant to be for adults only.

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RobertForster

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That sounds like some bullshit to me.

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Zripwud

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I'm on board with everyone's opinion, but man... you should look up what "CENSORSHIP" really is.

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mike

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Maybe he has some kind of medical condition that prevents the use of any type of headphones or earbuds whatsoever. Come on guys, don't judge. This is a completely reasonable and well thought out post, not lacking in self awareness at all.

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Onemanarmyy

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#32  Edited By Onemanarmyy

If they manage to tone it down a notch, great. But at this point in time, it's part of their usual speech so it will pop up here and there and i think that's totally fine. Things like this changing have to come from an intrinsic desire to minimize profanity because it's so ingrained in every conversation that you have. Like personally i refrain from saying 'goddamn' because that was the one word that my religious parents were against. But i have no qualms with fuck, shit or damn, and that stuff does pop up regularly. I could try to not say it, but that also means that you're not getting the full Onemanarmyy experience for a bit :D And the podcast's appeal is pretty much that you're getting these people that you know decently well to be themselves as much as possible as they shoot the shit.

If it becomes a 'oh im on the podcast so i should talk in a different way than usual' thing, it will come across as very insincere and forced because people are not able to talk in the way that they would normally do. It takes time and an intrinsic desire to change it. Kids growing up does tend to be a huge reason why people would turn it down a few notches, so perhaps we'll see that play out.

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The_Nubster

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@mike said:

Maybe he has some kind of medical condition that prevents the use of any type of headphones or earbuds whatsoever. Come on guys, don't judge. This is a completely reasonable and well thought out post, not lacking in self awareness at all.

This seems uneccessarily condescending coming from a moderator. A lot of the posts in here are being pretty rude in ways that aren't actually conducive to the conversation just because it's easier to make fun of someone than it is to attempt to sympathize with them.

I swear often when I speak as well, and I choose to do it consciously as punctuation or for comedy. I also don't do it in public places and respect when I'm somewhere private where swearing is an issue. The podcast, however, is structured as a bunch of friends just talking and that language will come out how it may. There's certainly nothing wrong with voicing an opinion on the podcast, and calling out the poster for only having an issue with it after having kids is... I mean, yeah? Having kids changes a lot about a person's life and likely draws attention to things which would otherwise be innocuous. If headphones or other things aren't an option, then they might be out of luck, but I'd be hard-pressed to imagine that anyone would notice if they took stock of their vocabulary and decided to cut back on it. Ultimately I don't think cutting down on the swearing if they chose to would affect anything if they still chose to use it as a good zing (like Brad's godFUCK), but I don't have a problem at all with where it is now.

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Pezen

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This just doesn’t feel like a GB-podcast issue so much as it feels like a you issue in regards to how you consume media in your home. Also, stop arguing against swearing by saying it doesn’t add anything or is unneccesary. We all do/consume things in our lives that are unnecessary in some way but still adds spice to it in another. Swearing adds emotion and energy in a way other words with the same implication simply doesn’t by their very nature. But I suppose that is my subjective take, as I’m an adult that swears in plenty conversations with other adults.

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icoangel

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Sounds like your problem to me, it is an adult site with adult content so they should continue to talk normally as they already do.

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mike

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@mike said:

Maybe he has some kind of medical condition that prevents the use of any type of headphones or earbuds whatsoever. Come on guys, don't judge. This is a completely reasonable and well thought out post, not lacking in self awareness at all.

This seems uneccessarily condescending coming from a moderator.

I'm sure you'll get over it, or maybe you can start a completely reasonable and well thought out forum thread of your own to address this.

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depecheload

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please don't censor the podcasts, ever.

Providing polite criticism about the tone of language used in the podcast is not "censorship." Even if they decided to tone down their language based on feedback, that wouldn't be "censorship" that would be them responding to criticism. You don't talk like you do in front of your friends like you do in front of your parents. Your parents aren't censoring you, you're acting appropriate for the situation.

Geez.

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Sargon

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Responding to a few points:

1) Wearing headphones is a reasonable suggestion, but not an appropriate solution. When I'm listening to the podcasts, it is typically in the car (sometimes with my kids) or around the house or in the backyard while watching or playing with my kids. In either case, I'm going to be involved with them and not disconnected behind a pair of headphones/earbuds. I take it that many of the people responding to this thread don't have kids themselves, which is fine, but most of the time it isn't as simple as just popping in a set of earbuds.

2) I never asked for the GB crew to censor themselves, or even to stop swearing. I completely agree that there are times when profanity is meaningful, funny, etc. Even the occasional profane rant is fine. I don't ever expect this to be a "family friendly" podcast. I was referring more to how profanity it is often dropped in casual statements with no purpose. It would probably help if I had a specific example, which I don't right now, but it would be something along the lines of "I f***in don't f***in know what the f*** they are talking about". That isn't offensive, but two of those f***'s are really just throw-away words. "I don't know what the f*** they are talking about" would get the exact same point across. It wouldn't change the content or tone of the podcast at all. I mentioned it before, but it can be compared to someone saying "I like, don't like, know what I'm doing." I think we would all agree that those "like"s aren't necessary, and neither are the f***s.

I expected a largely opposing response to this, and that is what I am seeing, but let's not turn this into a "you and your kids are trying to take away my freedom" type argument. With or without kids, my suggestion would be the same. It's just that having kids around has made me more aware of certain interactions that I might not have noticed before.

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Efesell

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I think this is a little beyond what you actually mean so I apologize but it just brought it to mind.. but I really dislike the general idea of chiding people over "unnecessary" language. Filler words, vocal fry, verbal tics, and all that.

To the other point.. I dunno you're right that I don't have kids but I guess I still don't really understand why earbuds is not a practical solution. I listen to podcasts exclusively at work which is constantly splitting my attention between various things.

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petesix0

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I think you're in the minority here. I can't think of anything worse than the podcast censoring themselves.

Cosign. Also, I am infatuated with the idea that if this podcast had less swears that it will mean those kids won't learn swears.

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Humanity

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@sargon: people talking about censorship or any sort of “rights” being infringed on is just the internet. That said I’m sure when you made the choice to have children you were aware that you would need to change your life to accommodate them. Much like with R rated movies or any other sort of adult behavior, wait till your children are put to bed or are out at a friends house and then use that personal alone time to indulge your adult hobbies. Can the guys tone down the swearing? Probably. Will they? Who knows?? If you go back and listen to old content Vinny is already a lot more tamer than he was before having children so maybe inadvertently they will all change a little in due time.

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stise

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@sargon said:

Responding to a few points:

1) Wearing headphones is a reasonable suggestion, but not an appropriate solution. When I'm listening to the podcasts, it is typically in the car (sometimes with my kids) or around the house or in the backyard while watching or playing with my kids. In either case, I'm going to be involved with them and not disconnected behind a pair of headphones/earbuds. I take it that many of the people responding to this thread don't have kids themselves, which is fine, but most of the time it isn't as simple as just popping in a set of earbuds.

2) I never asked for the GB crew to censor themselves, or even to stop swearing. I completely agree that there are times when profanity is meaningful, funny, etc. Even the occasional profane rant is fine. I don't ever expect this to be a "family friendly" podcast. I was referring more to how profanity it is often dropped in casual statements with no purpose. It would probably help if I had a specific example, which I don't right now, but it would be something along the lines of "I f***in don't f***in know what the f*** they are talking about". That isn't offensive, but two of those f***'s are really just throw-away words. "I don't know what the f*** they are talking about" would get the exact same point across. It wouldn't change the content or tone of the podcast at all. I mentioned it before, but it can be compared to someone saying "I like, don't like, know what I'm doing." I think we would all agree that those "like"s aren't necessary, and neither are the f***s.

I expected a largely opposing response to this, and that is what I am seeing, but let's not turn this into a "you and your kids are trying to take away my freedom" type argument. With or without kids, my suggestion would be the same. It's just that having kids around has made me more aware of certain interactions that I might not have noticed before.

Nothing wrong at all with respectfully explaining why the contexts in which you can listen to the podcast are limited, and offering suggestions about what the staff can do to expand those limitations. That said, I'd advise you not to pursue the line of reasoning you lay out in point #2, because it muddles a valid request for consideration with arbitrary prescriptions about the function of language. Just about any utterance in running speech is complex and multifaceted; nothing is simply "pointless." Just because a swear adds little to the semantic content of a phrase when read back by a third party doesn't mean it had no function in the communicative context in which it was used. Maybe the user (consciously or not) chooses "fuck" over a different filler word like "um" because they want to make sure the emotional energy of the phrase is sustained through a brief dysfluency. Maybe it's simply the filler word or descriptor they most often use, and to use a different one would inaccurately mark the subject as strange or different. There's a bunch of possible explanations, but to assume it's pathological is both absurd and extremely unlikely to elicit any actual change in someone's speech. If you (or me, or anyone) posted 3 hours of extemporaneous conversation, it would be very easy to come up with a hundred critiques about how your word choice or mannerisms are superfluous/inefficient. And you would probably ignore all of them, rightfully so.

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mellotronrules

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#45  Edited By mellotronrules

@sargon said:

It's just that having kids around has made me more aware of certain interactions that I might not have noticed before.

that's fair- but asking a content producer to react to your personal life circumstance change is where it get's close to unreasonable.

i like zombie movies, and a very young kid probably shouldn't be watching zombie movies. so if i have a kid, i should probably lay off the zombie movies in their presence.

seems pretty open-and-shut to me. it would be one thing if their language was bigoted or hurtful- but it seems like you're just going after the perceived crassness- which is a matter of taste more than anything.

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Nodima

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#46  Edited By Nodima

@sargon said:

There is no value added by saying F*** three times in a single sentence

Loading Video...

Edit: I guess I should point out since this is a thread about NSFW/parenting issues, there are nudity, language and graphic violence warnings for this scene.

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Stephen_Von_Cloud

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@depecheload: I didn't mean to say censorship and leave that meaning the same as political censorship man. It's still a light version of censorship though, even exactly in your example its a light form of censorship. Around your parents it won't be if they won't discipline you, but in school for me it absolutely was. Anyways, I get how it could come off that way but it wasn't meant to be so serious.

Now that a mod came in a bullied the OP though I feel a little worse about it so there's that.

I get the question but it also gets asked of podcasts a lot and I think is unreasonable. My 2 cents.

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splodge

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#48  Edited By splodge

It's an adult podcast for adults. You would not watch pornography with your children in the room, or watch an excessively violent film. If there is r-rated language on the podcast, treat it the same as that. Also, some times the subject matter is r-rated, even without swearing. What do you do when they talk about drugs? Or sex? Or violence in general? Swearing should be the least of your concerns.

I don't think children should be listening to the podcast at all.

Also, some have said that swearing adds nothing. That's their opinion, which is fine. But my opinion is that it 100 percent adds something of value, and I quite enjoy a well timed swear. It's a part of life and is how people talk. The cadence of language can be expertly punctuated with well timed swear words. I dont have kids, so why should I be deprived of that natural flow because someone else does? Removing swearing would, in my opinion, take something away from my experience.

Edit - I understand that removing swears completely isn't what the OP is asking for, but any stifling of their natural cadence would have a similar effect. Can you imagine Jeff trying to reduce his FUCKS? It would be insincere and terrible.

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Onemanarmyy

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#49  Edited By Onemanarmyy

I'm sorry but asking people to be more efficient with their language is one of these requests that makes some sense if you're communicating through email with collegues, but makes no sense in casual speech. People talk the way they do and especially in casual speech, efficiency is not the number 1 priority of the brain.

Like if Bakalar kept bringing up that he gets turned on by murdering insects with his magnifying glass out of the blue and the viewership is like uhh.. could Bakalar just not keep bringing up that story every episode it's kinda weird, i bet he's able to self-censor (or 'show tact') for a bit and not bring up that story.But changing the entire way you speak is something that takes a lot of effort and must be an intrinsic decision that the person makes themselves for it to really stick. Someone else saying that they should probably change 'What the fucking fuck fuck', into 'What the fuck', will come across pretty much the same way as 'Can't you just change the way your voice sounds?'

I always try to be tactful at birthday parties when lil kids are around, but if i'm fully engaged in a conversation and someone tells me something incredulous or awful a 'fuck' or 'damn' slips out before i can catch it. If you catch me in a conversation where i use those kind of words, you probably get the best picture of who i am. And that's kinda the vibe that the bombcast wants to have too. That the people in the room are actually being themselves.

Apologies to Jeff B for making him the example here :P

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icoangel

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@humanity said:

@sargon: people talking about censorship or any sort of “rights” being infringed on is just the internet. That said I’m sure when you made the choice to have children you were aware that you would need to change your life to accommodate them. Much like with R rated movies or any other sort of adult behavior, wait till your children are put to bed or are out at a friends house and then use that personal alone time to indulge your adult hobbies. Can the guys tone down the swearing? Probably. Will they? Who knows?? If you go back and listen to old content Vinny is already a lot more tamer than he was before having children so maybe inadvertently they will all change a little in due time.

So true, people might forget but Vinny used to swear hardcore on the early podcasts.