Over on English Language & Usage, the policy is that questions about offensive language are of course on topic, but that such language should be excised from question titles, on the basis that titles appear right across the Stack Exchange network, including on many work-related sites. They even censored the fairly innocuous words tits and boobs out of a question title.

Given that, should something be done about the Lloyd George question, the title of which contains a far more offensive word?

  • Looking forward to seeing people's views. I would add my own question to the list to be considered; in hindsight, I question whether we should have crude and mildly sexist language as part of the core FAQ.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 1:08
  • Here's a precedent of bowdlerising images.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 1:11
  • You've linked to Lloyd Geoge question from tits and boobs
    – Jamiec Mod
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 7:45
  • Also related, is this meta question
    – SIMEL
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 13:24
  • Thanks, @Jamiec. Corrected.
    – TRiG
    Commented Aug 4, 2014 at 20:21

3 Answers 3


We should remove any unnecessary offensive language, but I don't think we should make our titles worse to remove such language. Mangling the words like n***gers or so doesn't make it less offensive in my opinion, and I would oppose any such edits. If that word belongs in the title, it should be there. If it doesn't, it should be removed entirely.

The titles are the most important part to allow users on the site and using search engines to find the question they are looking for. Changing the titles this way would make it harder to find the question.

This specific title is also clearly recognizable as a quote, which removes most of the offensive character in my opinion.

  • 2
    I think the use-mention distinction is very important; we should be clear that in this decision are talking about people quoting the words, not choosing to use them themselves.
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 5:02
  • I hadn't even considered mangling the words as a reasonable option. I had considered that the title might change to "Did Lloyd George say he reserved the right to bomb civilian members of the British Empire?" or "Did Lloyd George use a racial epithet?"
    – Oddthinking Mod
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 5:05

If the language is an essential part of the claim, and part of what would make a title useful, then it should not be treated differently than any other word. If it is superfluous, sure, leave it for the question body.


Especially grating words, such as trigger words (e.g. "rape"), automatically exclude questions from the hot network list.

The rest is actually tolerated (of course, if it's not brutally gratuitous!)

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