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Topic: Strange "Condition" Request

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Subject: Strange "Condition" Request
Date Posted: 2/8/2010 7:56 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2009
Posts: 2
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Hi all,

Had a strange condition request this weekend. The requestor wanted a book from a non-smoking home (fine), but also one with no profanity??? I would understand if it was a childrens book, but it was not...

Anyhow, I have not actually read the book in question. So I am not sure if it meets that condition.

That said, is something like that really valid? The book is a mass-market paperback suspense novel.

Thanks for your comments and thoughts.



Date Posted: 2/8/2010 8:13 AM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2005
Posts: 1,181
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Personally, I would decline the request as not meeting their conditions and as a reason state that you had not read the book.

Date Posted: 2/8/2010 8:14 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2007
Posts: 2,276
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Yes, that is a strange one and to my mind, that is not your responsibility to screen their reading for them and I would turn it down out of hand. It is the requesting member's responsibility to "research" the books that they request as to appropriateness for their needs -- not yours!

Date Posted: 2/8/2010 8:16 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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People can request anything they like in their RCs. That being said, I would guess this person will have a lot of people turn down their RC---even if they've read the book. I know in my case, that unless there is a lot of profanity, I wouldn't even remember if there was or not after I've read the book.

I'd turn this request down and state that I have not read the book. I might also state that the request is subjective--profanity can have different meanings to different people.


I do wonder however how the person would handle receiving a book--would this person wait to mark it received until after they've read it? Would they pick up profanity in a quick check of the book?

Date Posted: 2/8/2010 8:19 AM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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Yes, that is a strange one and to my mind, that is not your responsibility to screen their reading for them and I would turn it down out of hand.


I agree with Sally. It's not your job to read the book for them, nor scan for works they might not like. And then you have to agree on what is 'profanity'? (My grandmother would say that if a character says "Oh, hell..." then that's profanity. I wouldn't even notice that.)

Way too much work, and I don't think very appropriate to ask someone to do for them.

Just decline. I'm sure they'll get used to being turned down, but then are probably happier with the books they do get.

Date Posted: 2/8/2010 8:28 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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Decline. No second thoughts about that one. A lot of the books on my shelf are ones I picked up at FOL sales, so I have no idea of their content, and even books I read, it may have been months ago and there's no way I can remember every word. Also, "profanity" is a subjective term. Does she mean "hell, damn, crap" is profanity, or only the more hard-core profanity like the eff word, the cee word and things like SOB? Who knows?

Decline, decline, decline....


Date Posted: 2/8/2010 8:34 AM ET
Member Since: 9/19/2006
Posts: 3,462
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I don't know if it's really valid. I assume we can put whatever we like in the RCs.  But unless one has previously read the book, one would literally have to skim through every page to "find" any profanity. I can't imagine anyone willing to take the time to do this. Heck, even with books I've already read, I can't pinpoint any specific cursing (pg. 504, line 36, word 15) unless it happens to have an overabundance of swear words. This would be an almost impossible task to do. So yes, now that I really think about it, I feel this is totally unreasonable. I would decline this request with no problem (nicely worded, though). This is just my own humble opinion, but I bet a lot of PBSers are going to feel the same way.


Date Posted: 2/8/2010 8:53 AM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2010
Posts: 400
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Some people are extreme in their religious beliefs, and that it their right to believe that way, but they should have realized that is is a business that is open to the public, and that means from all religious or no religious beliefs. 

II have a cousin who lives in Canada and is so strict in what is allowed in his home that the kids can't watch TV, the girls had to play with only the children of members of the church due to the negative influence they would have on them; and darn was considered a profanity.

there is no way to screen such a book for anyone, if she is going to be that picky, she should stick to religious stores, they sell non-fiction there for all ages.

I agree with the others, tell her there is no way you can determine the level of profanity as it is subjective and you have not read the book.


Last Edited on: 2/8/10 8:55 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 2/8/2010 9:08 AM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2009
Posts: 2
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Thanks everyone for the helpful comments! I definitely realize some people are religious and may not want to read books with profanity, but... where do you draw the line? Definitely will be too difficult and time-consuming to skim it searching for words. I'll decline this one and send them a note, to see if we can work something out.

Date Posted: 2/8/2010 9:20 AM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2007
Posts: 8,139
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I would turn it down, saying that my sense of what is "profane" may not mee the requestor's and that I have not read the book. Seriously, you need to know what you're ordering by reading reviews and book descriptions. There are also forums here where you can ask about the profanity level in the books. I wouldn't touch that RC with a 50-foot pole.

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 2/8/2010 9:29 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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Is it possible that she meant no profanity hand-written on the book? Guess not, but wow, that's weird.

Date Posted: 2/8/2010 9:58 AM ET
Member Since: 6/26/2006
Posts: 6,633
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I've heard about a RC that the book not be about vampires.  Umm, I'd hope you knew that before you requested the book??

I'd deny.  It's not my job to make sure the book doesn't have any bad words. 

Date Posted: 2/8/2010 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 5:59 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/8/2010 10:57 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I would decline even if I had just read the book. Some people thinkg "darn" is profanity.  And who can remember every word of abook they just read. Even if it seemed to have no profanity there could be a stray "damn" or "hell" or something in there. 

I wonder if they get many books with that RC. 

Date Posted: 2/8/2010 1:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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I wonder too. My feeling is, YOU are the one ordering the book, so it would be YOUR responsibility to know (or at least anticipate) the general content and tone of the book before you ever order it. If you have a "no profanity" RC, best not to be ordering hard-boiled crime fiction or erotica, and if you have a No Vampires RC, probably a book called "Bite me" wouldn't be a good idea. :D


Date Posted: 2/8/2010 2:36 PM ET
Member Since: 10/22/2009
Posts: 1,452
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I'm with everyone else.  This is one request I'd decline.  Personally even if I'd read the book, unless there is a heck of a lot of profantity I probably wouldn't be able to tell you if it had any or not. 

And, after you've declined you'll be first in the FIFO line so it probably won't take long for your book to be ordered by someone else.

Date Posted: 2/8/2010 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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I'd decline unless I was sure my book fit.  IF it fits, I'd send it.  It certainly is valid as is every RC.  There is no limit to what you can ask for in an RC.  I read them, if my book meets them, I send it.  I don't judge them one way or another and seldom even THINK about them once my decision is made.

Date Posted: 2/8/2010 3:40 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I'm pretty open to RCs, but anything content-based I'd assume is the responsibility of the the requestor to figure out prior to placing the order.  Deny!

Date Posted: 2/9/2010 12:22 AM ET
Member Since: 3/27/2009
Posts: 25,000
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Yes, one can ask for the moon in an RC.  And I can add this RC to my collections of lunatic RCs.

Date Posted: 2/9/2010 12:24 AM ET
Member Since: 6/4/2007
Posts: 2,941
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That's a good idea, but how would you word that?  "I am not willing to accept books that do not come with the Moon"?

Date Posted: 2/9/2010 12:37 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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How about:  "I am a lunatic.  Literally!  Therefore I require all books sent to me to include The Moon (Earth's preferable, but others okay.).  Thanks!"

Date Posted: 2/9/2010 12:37 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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As the sender, you are responsible for the condition of the book, not the content.  Requester must do their own research to discern if the book contents meets their needs.  Like odor, opinions regarding suitability of content will vary from member to member....decline.

ETA - this request may have been viewed more favorably if written as a favor instead of a demand... "I prefer my books without profanity, and attempts have been made to screen out those I would consider unsuitable.  If I am mistaken and you are aware of profanity in the book I request from you, I would appreciate if you would deny this request and/or notifiy me of the situation.  Thank you...yada, yada..."

Last Edited on: 2/9/10 1:08 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 2/9/2010 7:58 AM ET
Member Since: 12/7/2007
Posts: 6,435
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That's one for TT's list, for SURE.  Unless I was sending The Cat in the Hat, I'd decline that sucker.  Huh, maybe they think "sucker" is profanity?  What a goofy RC.

Date Posted: 2/9/2010 10:22 AM ET
Member Since: 11/15/2008
Posts: 1,705
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I wouldn't even give this RC a second thought, and decline immediately.  I might even suggest the requester go to the library to "preview" the book before requesting it on PBS, or even bringing it home.  just a suggestion of course :)

M.E. (ryenke) -
Date Posted: 2/9/2010 10:38 AM ET
Member Since: 1/6/2009
Posts: 625
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Yeah, I have a couple of children's books on my book shelf I would not worry about sending - but like everyone else, if it was an adult book, even if it was one I had read and reread, I'd not be able to say if it had any profanity (especially since that is a very subjective determination) so I'd just decline.  It is a kooky one though, thanks for sharing!