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Sun man in F-word shocker

Is such language really necessary?
Fri Oct 20 2006, 13:11
WHEN YOU'RE a blogger and work in a high-profile role for a large company, at what point does freedom of expression bend and give way to the desire to not offend?

We offer this not as a tooth-sucking topic for Melvyn Bragg and other self-appointed philosophers at large on Radio 4, but because of an interesting case of the F-word being used in an entry by an executive at one of enterprise IT's biggest names.

Tim Bray of Sun Microsystems, for it is he, writes of Sun's BlackBox datacentre-in-a-crate initiative: "I'm glad we built it, because it is just totally drop-dead f****** cool."

Nicholas Carr raises the topic in his excellent blog, asking: "Question for Miss Manners: Is it kosher for a corporate blogger to use the f-word?"

Bray himself pops up to respond: "F******' A, Dr. Carr. (But I did decide not to use that as a title of an ongoing post.)"

Interestingly, Bray helped craft Sun's own blogging policy, according to reports.

Should he be forgiven because Sun is a "gnarly" Californian company staffed by “dudes” for whom the conventions of polite society do not apply? Or because his blog is personal and therefore does not necessarily represent the views of his employer?

Discuss among yourselves, but the day that the language of the billiards hall reaches such depths here, we shall be forced to leave the United Kingdom. Amen. µ


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