This blog is apparently NC-17 rated according to the Mingle2 blog rating service. But the rating wasn’t given for my use of the ‘F bomb’, or the post I wrote about the ‘n word.’ Instead the rating was given on account of ten instances of the word “hell”, eight instances of the word “gay”, three instances of the word “shit”, and two instances of the word “dick.”

The rating was given as part of a clever gimmick by online dating service Mingle2. In inviting bloggers to show their blog rating the Mingle2 site vastly increases it’s search engine ranking due to the fact that bloggers around the globe are linking back to the online dating site.

I found the gimmick through my friend Anthony who saw his blog given an R rating for the use of the words “hell”, “death”, “dead”, “drugs”, and “fucking”. Obviously the rating isn’t serious, but I wondered if there might actually be people out there who would be offended by the use of some of those words.

Learning that “hell” was considered a dirty word reminded me of an incident that happened a couple of years back while I visiting friends in California. I was playing with their kids in the living room while it seemed that every dog within a 3 block radius was barking as loud as it could. I have no idea what could make every neighborhood dog bark, but they barked constantly for quite some time, so much so I eventually said “Wow, it’s like dog hell here.” The comment drew a quick disapproving “Hey” from my friend. Puzzled I wondered what the kids had done to deserve the warning shot, but very quickly I realized the shot was directed at me.

“We don’t use that word.” She explained. I was somewhat perplexed and believing that she must have misheard me I asked her what word she was referring to. “Hell.” She whispered back to me so as the children wouldn’t hear. I glanced over to the kids who were clearly wrapped up in their own little game, then leant in and quietly asked my friend “Is hell a dirty word?”

She made it clear that this was not the time or place to discuss such a dirty word as “hell.” But yes, in her opinion, where children were concerned, hell was indeed a dirty word.

Far be it for me to question the parenting methods of my friends, so I chose not to pursue the dirty word discussion any further. Instead I just sat back in my chair and though to myself “What the fuck?”

So when is a word a dirty word? If “hell” is a dirty word to some people then I suppose it’s entirely plausible that some folk might be upset at hearing the word “gay”. Indeed a 21 year old student was arrested in Oxford in 2005 for calling a police horse gay, though interestingly enough the British government have ceased using the term “homosexual” in all government documentation and instead use either “gay” or “lesbian” due to the fact they deem “homosexual” to be an offensive term.

Whatever happens I suppose that my continued use of the newly offensive words like “hell” and “gay” along with some “dick” and “bush”, mixed with the occasional appearance of the classics like “fuck” and “shit”, will ensure that my blog remains suitable only for the most hardcore liberal adult capable of surviving the trauma of encountering a little grammatical bump in the road now and then.

[Video] Woman debates her ‘Bollocks to Blair” banner with police
[Video] BBC documentary about free speech in the UK
Girl arrested over Bollocks to Blair shirt
‘Gay’ police horse case dropped
Should the N word be banned?
Anthony’s blog
What’s your blog rating?