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snopes
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A father is asking Toys "R" Us to take a popular toy set off the shelves because he says the one given to his 6-year-old son utters a curse word.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20061025/D8KVSC680.html

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Canuckistan
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quote:
Still, Morton said the company shouldn't take a chance that another child could hear what his son heard.

"I understand they can't check every toy on the shelf," Morton said. "But if one doesn't say it and one does, maybe someone is playing a game and got in a hurry and forgot about it. Personally, I think they should be held liable."

Sigh. Another please-do-my-parenting-for-me parent.

And liable for what? Last time I checked, cuss words weren't illegal.

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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DaGuyWitBluGlasses
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:

And liable for what? Last time I checked, cuss words weren't illegal. [/QB]

In Canada its illegal to swear in or near a public place.

(Criminal Code Section 175 (1) (A) )


DOn't know about North Carolina though

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Rhiandmoi
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quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:
quote:
Still, Morton said the company shouldn't take a chance that another child could hear what his son heard.

"I understand they can't check every toy on the shelf," Morton said. "But if one doesn't say it and one does, maybe someone is playing a game and got in a hurry and forgot about it. Personally, I think they should be held liable."

Sigh. Another please-do-my-parenting-for-me parent.

And liable for what? Last time I checked, cuss words weren't illegal.

I don't know what they would be liable for either since I don't know what the laws are about toys cursing, but I don't think it is unreasonable for a parent to expect that a toy intended for a child, marketed to children, and sold in a children's toy store not say the f-word. I don't think that is asking someone else to parent for you.

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jessboo
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quote:

"Stop, I don't want to have to pull out my nightstick."

And this is a kids toy? Filth I tells ya, filth!

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Canuckistan
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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
I don't think it is unreasonable for a parent to expect that a toy intended for a child, marketed to children, and sold in a children's toy store not say the f-word. I don't think that is asking someone else to parent for you.

If it did, of course. The company is disputing that.

But why wasn't the parent checking this toy ahead of time? If they're so worried that the f-word is going to corrupt, shouldn't they be checking these toys before letting their kids play with them? Just to make sure that the toy is appropriate?

quote:
Originally posted by DaGuyWitBluGlasses:
In Canada its illegal to swear in or near a public place.

(Criminal Code Section 175 (1) (A) )

A couple of points:

First, this section is specifically about disturbing the peace by means of violence, swearing, or whatever. Presumably, swearing in and of itself (such as in a normal conversation with friends while walking quietly down the street) wouldn't qualify.

Second, I'm not sure how this is relevant, since presumably the toy could not be charged with disturbing the peace.

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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Christie
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Generally I'd agree that parents need to check out toys ahead of time but in all fairness to the average parent I don't think most of us are going to listen to every talking toy we might consider purchasing for our child because we expect to hear the F word. I'm going to assume that a toy made for and marketed to children isn't going to have "cuss words". Well, maybe I should say I used to assume that [Eek!]

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Canuckistan
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Even if it isn't cuss words, though, parents should definitely be checking out the toys to make sure they're not defective, or otherwise what they consider to be appropriate for the children.

I personally don't think that swear words are appropriate in a child's toy; that's one reason I check the toy before buying it for my nephew. I also check it to make sure that it's not defective in any other way, for instance.

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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halibut
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Ok, this thread is taking a fork right now, so I'll address both issues

1) The debate about the toy is whether it actually did swear or not. It would appear that it didn't

2) I think it's reasonable for a parent to assume that a child's toy is not going to swear. I for one would not check and test to all ends of the earth every single toy that each of our 3 children get each christmas for example. And if I found a toy that did, whether I had "tested" it or not, I would rightly make a fuss.

EDIT: And with regards to this toy, if I did check it, I would probably press the voice button a couple of times to see what it was like. And it's unlikely that every phrase would come out within that small "testing" period.

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Saint Gryphon
I Saw Three Shipments


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I don't know about anyone else, but I always play with my childrens toys... usually with them begging to get a turn [Razz]

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Defender of dragons and slayer of fair maidens

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DaGuyWitBluGlasses
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:


quote:

(Criminal Code Section 175 (1) (A) )

A couple of points:

First, this section is specifically about disturbing the peace by means of violence, swearing, or whatever. Presumably, swearing in and of itself (such as in a normal conversation with friends while walking quietly down the street) wouldn't qualify.

No, but sitting at a playground in itself and swearing in front of the kids (even if not directed at them) could be charged.

quote:

Second, I'm not sure how this is relevant, since presumably the toy could not be charged with disturbing the peace.

The operator, or the saboteur could be charged.

But for someone who's not old enough to apreciate the consequence, those responsible for him/her obtaining the means of breaking the law, can be liable.

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TuFurg
The First USA Noel


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"I've had to explain to parents why my son is saying the f-word; it's horrible,"

Perhaps it's because his father hasn't explained how wrong it is- or that even though his father has, the kid just keeps on saying thereby defying dear old dad? That's not exactly the manufacturers fault. [Roll Eyes]

I doubt either of the above is probable- most likely pops is just being a drama queen and milking this for all it's worth.

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Rhiandmoi
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quote:
Originally posted by Canuckistan:
quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
I don't think it is unreasonable for a parent to expect that a toy intended for a child, marketed to children, and sold in a children's toy store not say the f-word. I don't think that is asking someone else to parent for you.

If it did, of course. The company is disputing that.

But why wasn't the parent checking this toy ahead of time? If they're so worried that the f-word is going to corrupt, shouldn't they be checking these toys before letting their kids play with them? Just to make sure that the toy is appropriate?


I don't know about this toy, but many toys that talk have a list of their phrases printed on the package. I mean with that reasoning, parents should watch g-rated videos completely through after getting them from blockbuster before letting their children watch them. Instead of trusting that a G-rated movie won't have porn cut in.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Canuckistan
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DaGuy, for that to be true, the toy would still have to be creating a public nuisance. Most toys are not created with causing a scene in mind. And any modifications to the toy to make it a scene would then be a) extreme; b) a sign that the person was trying to cause a disturbance.

I don't think a cop would charge a parent for playing with a toy that happened to say something that sounded like an obscenity. Simply playing a toy would not constitute disturbing the peace.

As for checking the toys: Consider it something I do. If you get a toy from me, I've checked the speaking elements. Mainly because I'm curious as to what the toy says. Obviously, not all toys can be tested for defective purposes (as packaging often doesn't allow for that). But I do my best. YMMV, apparently.

--------------------
People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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Four Kitties
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quote:
Originally posted by TuFurg:
"I've had to explain to parents why my son is saying the f-word; it's horrible,"

Perhaps it's because his father hasn't explained how wrong it is- or that even though his father has, the kid just keeps on saying thereby defying dear old dad? That's not exactly the manufacturers fault. [Roll Eyes]

I doubt either of the above is probable- most likely pops is just being a drama queen and milking this for all it's worth.

Ditto this. CatNip and I try very, very hard not to use NFBSK language in front of the Kitten, but sometimes she hears words we don't want her to use, either from us or from someone else. We explained a long time ago about grown-up words, and that she was not allowed to use them. My child is a draaaama queen! extraordinaire (just like Momma [Wink] ), but the worst we've had to contend with is the occasional "oh my God" instead of "oh my goodness."

Four Kitties

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Canuckistan
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quote:
Originally posted by Rhiandmoi:
I don't know about this toy, but many toys that talk have a list of their phrases printed on the package. I mean with that reasoning, parents should watch g-rated videos completely through after getting them from blockbuster before letting their children watch them. Instead of trusting that a G-rated movie won't have porn cut in.

Porn, of course, would be a different beast here, since it is regulated, and a law would have been broken (namely, that porn cannot be sold to anyone under the age of 18). Nevertheless, I'm saying you should expect that the toys shouldn't, not that they don't. What happens in the case of sabotage? It can happen. Clearly, not the company's fault, but it can happen. Yeah, it's an extreme case, but still worth checking for. Oh, and to make sure it actually works.

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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Rhiandmoi
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How about not porn, but full frontal female nudity from an R rated movie.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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Canuckistan
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In all honesty, if it were integral to the plot, and not sexual, I wouldn't have much of an issue with it.

I mean, we take kids to museums, and there are all sorts of naked statues around. Of course, I don't have hangups about nudity. Once again, YMMV. And as for swearing in movies, if there is swearing, it wouldn't be rated G (without it being a case of sabotage, of course).

And a two-hour movie is not the same thing as a quick test of a toy that has five, 10 catchphrases. But even then, it might not be the worst idea to pre-screen movies for your kids. I don't see the issue with that, really.

I also don't see of a real-life situation where this would happen. What company intentionally splicing in nudity into children's movie would survive past the weekend? This goes to the other issue -- that this isn't an actual case of obscenity, but rather one parent thinking he heard it, and demanding all similar toys be pulled from the store. That's a case of do-my-parenting for me: I misunderstood, and now because my misunderstanding led to an awkward situation, I have to demand that no other parent be put in a similar situation in case they misunderstand. That annoys me.

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People need to stop appropriating Jesus as their reason for behaving badly. It's so irritating. (Avril)

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Rhiandmoi
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The company in the OP did not intentionally record the message with the f-word. They are saying that there were some defective chips. They did re-record the phrases after the first complaint. What is not clear is whether or not they left the toys with the possibly defective chips on the shelves for other parents to find.

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I think that hyperbole is the single greatest factor contributing to the decline of society. - My friend Pat.

What is .02 worth?

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invisigoth
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this reminds me of a toy i had as a kid who cussed at me, does anyone remember the talking nano pppies and kittens? mine said a number of bad words and when i called the company to complain they didnt believe me.
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Monza305
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quote:
Originally posted by Four Kitties:
quote:
Originally posted by TuFurg:
"I've had to explain to parents why my son is saying the f-word; it's horrible,"

Perhaps it's because his father hasn't explained how wrong it is- or that even though his father has, the kid just keeps on saying thereby defying dear old dad? That's not exactly the manufacturers fault. [Roll Eyes]

I doubt either of the above is probable- most likely pops is just being a drama queen and milking this for all it's worth.

Ditto this. CatNip and I try very, very hard not to use NFBSK language in front of the Kitten, but sometimes she hears words we don't want her to use, either from us or from someone else. We explained a long time ago about grown-up words, and that she was not allowed to use them. My child is a draaaama queen! extraordinaire (just like Momma [Wink] ), but the worst we've had to contend with is the occasional "oh my God" instead of "oh my goodness."
Four Kitties

I ditto your ditto. I have a 7 year old and my wife and I certanly do not watch our language around her. We explained to her a long time ago that some words are grown up words. I haven't heard her say a cuss word in a very long time. She won't even say them now if we ask her.

That's why I think kids should be exposed to some things. How will they know a cuss word is bad if they never hear them?

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Putting on gloves don't make you a fighter.
And all the study in the world doesn't make it science. -Paul Weller

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Arriah
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I've done the same thing with DD. She knows that some words are only appropriate in certain situations and I've explained to her that just to be safe, I'd rather she didn't use them at all for now because she isn't quite old enough to understand when it's not appropriate.

She has been given special permission to say "Holy S***" if she ever sees an inch-long, flying, red ant on the window near her head.

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moonfall86
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quote:
Originally posted by jessBOO:
quote:

"Stop, I don't want to have to pull out my nightstick."

And this is a kids toy? Filth I tells ya, filth!
Heh, I see I'm not the only one who thought this could be misinterpreted as being dirty. Is it possible that the "stick" sounded like "f***?" if the sound quality wasn't very good?

As for the son saying the f-word, he is old enough to understand that some words are bad.

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smackmac
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My son had a little Seasame Street piano that had Ernie saying "Rock the House" when you pushed the button. DH swore it was saying "What the hell?" It could sound like "What the hell?" if you didn't know what it was supposed to be, which was written on the packaging.

Of course I've not heard the toy in question, but I have every reason to believe that the quality was crappy and he heard something that just wasn't there. I doubt that these chips are recorded one at a time and the programmer decided to mess with someone's mind.

I tend to check toys with sound, but only because I want to hear what they say for myself, since I'm about 10 years old most of the time. [Big Grin]

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"Maybe getting in the last word doesn't really mean you win." - The Clarks

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WildaBeast
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quote:
Originally posted by moonfall86:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by jessBOO:
[qb] [QUOTE]
Is it possible that the "stick" sounded like "f***?" if the sound quality wasn't very good?

As for the son saying the f-word, he is old enough to understand that some words are bad.

Exactly what I was thinking. It's impossible to tell in this case with out actually hearing the toy, but every other case I've heard of like this has been of a toy with really poor sound quality making a sound that could be interpreted as a swear word. That's the only way I could think of a "defective chip" could say the f-word. And the only way one could possibly hear a swear word in these cases is if you already know that word.

The only other remotely plausable explanation I can possibly think of is that someone at the factory recorded a different phrase as a joke and the chips made it into finished toys. Without knowing where and how these recordings are made and the audio chips are programmed I don't even know how likely that is.

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"Unseasonable is an odd word to begin with. It sounds like it's describing something that it's impossible to sprinkle pepper on." -- Nonny

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Tootsie Plunkette
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It's the 'stop!' that apparently sounds more like 'nfbsk!'

quote:
Jerry Gibson, president of TekNek Toys, provided the Associated Press with a copy of the source file for the recording which says, “Stop, I don’t want to have to use my nightstick” in a child’s voice.

But Morton’s version appears to replace the word “stop” with a much more offensive word — a term for sexual intercourse — spoken by what sounds like an adult. He kept the toy because he wants those who think he’s hearing things to listen for themselves.

Source

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WildaBeast
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Want to judge for yourself? Visit www.jdnews.com for a comparison between a recording from the toy Philip Morton bought and the toy’s recording source file forwarded by TekNek Toys.
Direct link to the audio.

I listened to it several times, and to me it sounds like "stop!", but just like I suspected, the sound quality is so bad I can see how could sound like "f---!" to some people. Heck, I could almost just as easily say it sounds like "foot!" or "block!" or "zlop!" with the quality of that recording.

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"Unseasonable is an odd word to begin with. It sounds like it's describing something that it's impossible to sprinkle pepper on." -- Nonny

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