All The Tropes:Strong Language Usage Rules

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This page is part of the Style Guide, which is not quite policy, but simply recommendations for what makes the best wiki page.

What sort of language is appropriate in an article? Can you swear to your heart's content? Or should there be a level of decorum on this wiki? We have recognized these problems and come up with a set of unambiguous, hard, and long rules to help you with these questions.

The Rules[edit | hide | hide all]

Keep it sorta PG-13.

If you're an American you know what that means; if you're not, the gist of it is: "ass", "arse", and "wanker" are probably fine, "fuck" and "cunt" are typically not (especially in multiple), "shit" could probably go either way.

Racist and sexist terms should usually be avoided, as they stand a good chance of ruining someone else's fun. Of course, they're always allowed in the context of troping how they are used within a work.

Don't butcher a quote just to take out a dirty word or two. Whether you really need the quote from the movie Narc with 9 uses of the word "fuck" out of a total of 11 words is a matter left up to the discussion page of that article about kittens you put it on.

Funny is allowed. Let's be fair, you would have gone to Wikipedia if you wanted something serious. This site isn't just about documenting entertainment, it's also about providing it; so if your article uses "fuck" 71 times, "cunt" 41 times, "faggot" 14 times, and "nigger" 452 times and it makes it funny, go nuts. It usually doesn't, but try telling Encyclopedia Dramatica that.

Don't c-ns-r w*rds w*th d!sh!s, $ste#r&sk, %r @ny th^ng m()r() ¿¶⇔‡ø√ℵ¤. Face it, you're not fooling anyone, and it's just annoying. Unless it's funny, of course, which can be, rarely. If you're quoting a print source that had the dashes in it originally, whatever. But you may want to make that clear [sic].

Don't just spoiler out a swear word. It's even more annoying. If a particular swear word is actually a spoiler, we'll see it when we believe it. In fact, don't censor swear words at all. They should be on the page or they shouldn't; having them there but neutered doesn't work either way.

Don't be a Bluenose Bowdlerizer. Serial Bowdlerizers will get themselves banned (see All The Tropes:Policy for Wiki Staff). If you're a younger Troper stuck behind some sort of net nanny software, be careful: there are cases where it's really messed up articles by replacing bad words. You can still be banned for this even if you didn't do it on purpose; we have to ban the net nanny software to protect the wiki from it, but you get caught in the fallout.

Remember... even the language used on the most obscene page of this wiki probably compares favorably to fifteen minutes in any Junior High Lunchroom. MST3K Mantra, people.


That's The Rules, the hard and fast Rules and nothing but the Rules. If you fuck up on any of the rules we'll hunt you down and probably not do anything -- it's more of a guideline, really.