Russell Coker <russell@xxxxxxxxxxxx> writes:
> I wrote a blog post about Unparliamentary Language and FOSS which received
> some interesting comments (and the Wikipedia page is hilarious). I think that
> in the case of someone using a term such as "bigoted" it would be reasonable
> for the moderator to request that they withdraw that statement. As such a
> statement doesn't seem libelous or seem likely to cause further disputes there
> wouldn't be a need to do anything after the statement has been
I love some of the quirks of parliamentary language. I think the thing
that probably does most to temper arguments in parliament is the fact
that you're not allowed to talk to anyone but the Speaker of the House.
Telling an impartial judge about how you perceive someone, even if
you're very upset, is significantly less provocative than doing it
directly at the target of your criticism.
Anyway, as it happens the word 'bigoted' turns up in the Hansard record
of the UK parliament fairly regularly, and it didn't take long to track
down an instance where it was being used to describe a large swathe of
or this very pointed attack on an individual, where a point of order
suggested that it was offensive language is made and rejected:
That's from 1972, so perhaps the meaning of the word has shifted since.
Still, I cannot find any instance of it being withdrawn in a brief search.
So, it's not unparliamentary, not that that makes any odds.
I am astonished that anyone thinks its an inaccurate way of describing
some of the interactions that go on in Free Software. Many of us seem
to take great pleasure in being members of strangely defined factions
and splinter groups, with the definitions reasonably often being in
terms of the things that are opposed.
The dictionary definition that I (as a native en_GB speaker) recognise
for 'bigoted' is:
Obstinately or unreasonably attached to a belief, opinion, or faction,
and intolerant towards other people’s beliefs and practices
Is anyone really going to try and suggest that RMS is not obstinate at
times? How is his tolerance of differing opinion coming along? I
suppose we all mellow with age, do we not?
N.B. I think that RMS's obstinacy is a fine characteristic. If it were
not for him, I would have had a much less enjoyable working life,
because there would not have been much in the way of Free Software to
work on, so I'd still be be running the worthless crap peddled by the
likes of Microsoft ... oh, oops, I may have let my bigotry show there.
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