Consider this post (edit: now deleted as abusive by the 'community' automated user.) Since it's been edited, here's its original version:

Me and my four friends are big MCU fans and we are thinking of starting to read the comic books to understand the lore a bit better.

I'm wondering if any characters have my pronouns or my friends pronouns, Adam (pronouns he/him) says Marvel is very LGBTQIAA+ friendly but when my friend Quince (pronouns zir/zhey) asked if any characters have neopronouns Adam said he doesn't think so which upset zhey.

My two other friends Baster (pronouns fret/from) and Piel (pronouns var/let) said that there are tonnes of characters in the MCU so surely one of must do. Var googled for any information but couldn't find any and fret though about signing up to a comic forum to ask but they don't have such a friendly code of conduct for new users so I've asked here.

So to sum up I'm asking for MCU (or any comic character) with the following neo pronouns:

  • Zir/zhey
  • Fret/from
  • Var/let
  • Grimble/gromble (these are my pronouns)

Thanks, baster is desperate to have a superhero with the same pronouns as from (My pronouns are grimble/gromble)

This is a pronoun trolling post. I know it, you know it. grimble-grombles know it :-)

Anyway, should it just be closed (note: It had already been closed and reopened), or - edited into something useful, e.g.:

Are the comic book characters in the Marvel Comic Universe (or possibly other settings) which have any characters with non-traditional personal pronouns / neo-pronouns (such as these)?

  • It was already closed but has subsequently been reopened. It is highly likely to be a troll post aye, especially given the timing and follow up comments even if the post itself wasn't obvious enough. – TheLethalCarrot Mod Oct 21 '19 at 10:44
  • @TheLethalCarrot: Edited this bit of information in, thank you. My question stands though. – einpoklum Oct 21 '19 at 10:45
  • I'd vote to close it myself but having already been successful in doing so I can't again. However, it's at -9 so won't show up on the homepage anymore so even if it doesn't get closed I'm happy to let it die in the depths where it won't be seen. – TheLethalCarrot Mod Oct 21 '19 at 10:47
  • @TheLethalCarrot: So, you don't believe the "salvage" would have been worth it? I mean, the two-liner I suggested would have been a valid question. – einpoklum Oct 21 '19 at 10:55
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    My personal opinion is "don't feed the trolls" i.e. leave it as is and let it die. However, I'm aware others would like to salvage it and turn it into something reasonable so it can stay open. It's really up to you if you think it's worth it. – TheLethalCarrot Mod Oct 21 '19 at 10:57
  • @TheLethalCarrot: I couldn't decide, which is why I asked. But ok. – einpoklum Oct 21 '19 at 10:58
  • It's also worth noting that question was linked on main meta so it has extra eyes on it, not all doing what is best. – TheLethalCarrot Mod Oct 21 '19 at 11:01
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    Editing it into shape means that you're going to give a troll account a boost. – Valorum Oct 21 '19 at 13:24
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    @Valorum: That's a good point. Didn't think of that. – einpoklum Oct 21 '19 at 13:28
  • Yeah that seems pretty suspicious to me. All the pronoun choices seem extremely non-standard, like confusingly so. Looking up the words + pronoun seems to give the question as top results. That doesn't prove anything; but it definitely raises my suspicion, even more so than just "grimble/gromble" on their own. – JMac Oct 21 '19 at 14:26
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    It seems impolite to call the OP a troll just because grimble got his pronouns from what is presumably gromble's favorite band. – Kyralessa Oct 23 '19 at 19:56
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    @Valorum "Vote for the post, not the user" though :p – Möoz Oct 24 '19 at 1:29
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    FWIW, "Grimble/Gromble" has previously been used elsewhere on the network and declared trollish. – Möoz Oct 24 '19 at 2:47
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    @MishaR: If it weren't, I wouldn't ask this question. That was the dilemma - whether or not to salvage a decent question out of the grimble-grombleness. – einpoklum Oct 25 '19 at 18:17
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    @MishaR: The "friends" story was pretty outlandish. Also, I distinguish between gender dynamics and the use of, well, outlandish pronouns. You would be hard-pressed to describe the gender identity which corresponds to grimble/gromble or the other stuff. – einpoklum Oct 25 '19 at 18:44

The problem with questions like this is that it's basically a live hand grenade waiting for some imbecile to throw themselves upon it.

While it seems reasonably clear and common sense that grimble and gromble are not appropriate personal pronouns and that this person is a troll, anyone who dares to say such a thing is likely to be flagged and/or openly accused of being a transphobe.

"I'm thinking the mods have closed it because I'm trans and they may be transphobic. Thanks again"

Normal users should not be having to deal with this question. It was flagged for moderator attention days ago and while some of our mods are on strike, others aren't.

AncientSwordRage and/or Thaddeus should be doing something about this. It's baffling that they're just letting it lie.

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    Note that my salvage does not actually deny that the poster or his/her/their/xir/grumble/gromble (huh! dodged that one!) friends actually use those pronouns, it just sort of moves away from the hand-grenade, hopefully. – einpoklum Oct 21 '19 at 11:43
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    @einpoklum - when you edit this question into shape it'll undoubtedly pick up upvotes. That can't be a good thing if you think this might be a troll – Valorum Oct 21 '19 at 13:42
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    I agree with this except that this is not the responsibility of the elected mods, either. SE created this mess and is still iterating their official FAQs on the new CoC. Elected mods don't have clear guidance on what to actually do with this post, therefore in the meantime SE needs to clean it up. I don't know if ASR and Thaddeus have seen the post but I do know that several CMs have seen it and they are just letting it lie. – Null Mod Oct 22 '19 at 13:13
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    @Null - Which is frankly gutless – Valorum Oct 22 '19 at 15:55
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    @Valorum I'm not often able to look at flag en masse, so I have been very late to the party. Some of these should now be sorted. – AncientSwordRage Mod Oct 24 '19 at 12:27
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    While I admire you calling out our inactive moderators, we have always "fed trolls" on this site, at least to the extent where a question can be revised to something legitimate, which the example here could have been. – Skooba Oct 25 '19 at 21:14
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    @Skooba - If you like a troll question, re-ask it. – Valorum Oct 25 '19 at 21:16

A new FAQ regarding the updated CoC is due out shortly. I've seen a draft of it but until it is public it is not official, and until official guidance is due out I don't think it makes any sense for any elected moderators -- whether on strike or not -- to handle such issues. After all, SE has already summarily removed a respected moderator before the CoC was updated (and certainly before any FAQs were written) with the dubious claim that she violated the CoC at the time; elected moderators do not have the proper guidance on how to handle such a post, which is largely why I have suspended by activity as a moderator for the time being. Handling this post should be the responsibility of an actual employee of SE (i.e. a CM), at the very least until the official FAQ is finalized (and I know several CMs have seen the post).

As for normal users, judge for yourself whether or not the post is on-topic and vote accordingly (or just leave it alone).

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    I don't care about the CoC. It's a hostile SE Inc. artifact. I was asking my fellow community members what to do in this situation. – einpoklum Oct 21 '19 at 14:54
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    @einpoklum Whether you care for it or not doesn't matter. As a user of the network you are bound by it and it is the new CoC, specifically the FAQ that caused this situation in the first place so it is relevant here. – TheLethalCarrot Mod Oct 21 '19 at 16:21
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    @einpoklum You may not care about the CoC but SE cares that you follow the CoC. SE has not explained how to distinguish between trolling and a legitimate request to use neopronouns so I would advise against closing a question solely on the basis that you think it is trolling. Also, the last (public) guidance I saw regarding the CoC is that you should not edit out information about a user's preferred pronouns in the post. That looks like it might be changing based on the proposed new FAQ due out tomorrow but until things are finalized I'd be careful what you edit. – Null Mod Oct 21 '19 at 16:22
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    @Null: Yeah, I don't know about all that. I'll do what I believe is appropriate and if Fullerton/Chipps/etc. don't like it they or moderators loyal to them can throw me out. Actually that can happen even if I do follow the CoC, like in the case of Monica Ciello, so like I said - I don't let that worry me. – einpoklum Oct 21 '19 at 16:42
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    @Null - So we're back to "it's a live hand grenade" then? – Valorum Oct 21 '19 at 16:47
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    @Valorum Of course it's a live hand grenade. A respected moderator was summarily removed for pre-thoughtcrime over this issue. I, personally, will not touch any post like this until at the very least the official FAQ is finalized. I advise any other user to do the same. SE created this mess so let them clean it up. – Null Mod Oct 21 '19 at 16:52
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    @Null: Could you clarify your post with your latest comment? – einpoklum Oct 22 '19 at 7:31
  • @einpoklum - Indeed. This seems highly relevant info, especially if it represents the general thinking of our moderator team – Valorum Oct 22 '19 at 8:58
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    @einpoklum I don't know what my latest comment would add to my post. I said in my post that it's the responsibility of the CMs (i.e. SE) to deal with it. I've called out SE on their claim that Monica violated the CoC at the time she was removed, which means that she was removed for pre-thoughtcrime. And since at least one moderator has been removed based on rules that didn't even exist at the time, I advise any user to also avoid doing anything which might conflict with rules that are not yet public and official. – Null Mod Oct 22 '19 at 13:08
  • @Valorum I speak for only myself here. – Null Mod Oct 22 '19 at 13:08
  • @Null: It would allow me to un-downvote it, which I would do given the comment. – einpoklum Oct 22 '19 at 13:09
  • @einpoklum I'm not worried about the downvote but I've clarified why I don't think the elected moderators should be dealing with this (which is my only disagreement with Valorum's answer). – Null Mod Oct 22 '19 at 13:25
  • @Null - In which case the elected mods should put a comment on to explain their unwillingness to deal with the flags. – Valorum Oct 22 '19 at 15:53
  • @Valorum - you must never have played hot-potato, especially not with live hand grenades. "just letting it lie" is what we should all be doing. That's what they're doing; want us to do, and what I will do because I'm already tired of this. Apology failed and they're not going to recant; no other choice for either us. – Mazura Oct 27 '19 at 5:56
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    @Null "pre-thoughtcrime" should be Merriam Webster's word of the year. It will come increasingly in handy. – TheAsh Oct 29 '19 at 15:23

The new Code of Conduct doesn't give you room to do anything about it.

Neo-pronouns are not clearly defined, there is no authoritative list of them, they're rarely used, and they don't follow common English grammatical principles.

Any other set of words that would fit that criteria would be edited or corrected to fit modern English convention, but the new CoC states that neo-pronouns are the exception to this because they are "part of a user's identity."

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    While neopronouns are not clearly defined. Identifying yourself as grimble gromble the gnome certainly suggests that you're not taking the whole thing seriously. – Valorum Oct 23 '19 at 8:12
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    @Valorum In what way does it suggest that? – LCIII Oct 23 '19 at 11:59
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    Because Grmble gromble was the funny gnome from a pink Floyd song – Valorum Oct 23 '19 at 13:44
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    @Valorum But how does that invalidate it? I'm not trying to be a smartass. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that the very nature of neopronouns is that when you drill down deep enough you see that they don't play by any established rules of English. One requests them, which thus makes them valid. – LCIII Oct 23 '19 at 13:50
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    "This is a pronoun trolling post. I know it, you know it. grimble-grombles know it." - I honestly didn't. And even if I did there's nothing I can (nor would) do about it. +1 – Mazura Oct 27 '19 at 5:34
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    As a not native English speaker it is very difficult for me to differentiate troll pronouns from non-troll pronouns. (I am guessing native English speaker have similar troubles, too). I also don't listen to Pink Floyd and can't know names of all the gnomes Pink Floyd is singing about. +1 – wha7ever Nov 21 '19 at 20:49

I've come around to @Valorum's position, which is:

Editing it into shape means that you're going to give a troll account a boost.

So even if it could be salvaged by a deep-cutting edit, it's not a good idea to do this. So a Close vote, possibly flagging, and a down-vote with an explanation (like the one I made on the grumble-gromble question).

Now, it's true that the explanation violates the suggestion of "Don't feed the trolls" - but for fairness, and the off chance I could be convinced it wasn't trolling after all, I'd still justify the downvote.


It’s been deleted as rude/abusive by the automated Community user.

  • "deleted by Community♦ 19 hours ago This question was deleted as spam or offensive." The vote count stands at -20 (+17/-37) – Buzz Oct 24 '19 at 0:34
  • i.stack.imgur.com/MII3f.jpg – Alex Oct 24 '19 at 0:49
  • Is there much (any?) point in this considering a) you didn’t know why it had been deleted yourself and b) the meta question was edited hours beforehand to state as such. – TheLethalCarrot Mod Oct 24 '19 at 5:38

Before I saw this question, I edited the question to something reasonable that is at least on-topic. I preserved the OP's pronouns, but removed the tangential chatter that isn't really part of the question and that seems to have generated the most controversy. It isn't that we don't want to hear about the asker's friends and pronouns, but that they aren't relevant to grimble's actual question. The same would be done for any question on any Stack Exchange site - while it may be interesting that a user encountered a particular error message from their C compiler while programming from a cafe in Miami, geography isn't likely part of the underlying issue.

Let's assume that the question was asked in good faith and try to move on, maybe even getting a good answer.

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    Editing the question into shape, reopening it and even answering it is just letting the troll win and giving them a boost. We don't want that. We've already spent way too much time on this and giving the troll what they want. Just let the post die. – TheLethalCarrot Mod Oct 21 '19 at 14:33
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    @TheLethalCarrot we don't delete posts because we aren't happy with the poster's behavior or character. We delete them because they are off-topic or very low quality. – Robert Columbia Oct 21 '19 at 14:57
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    @RobertColumbia I don't know where you've gotten "delete" from as I never said that. We also don't feed trolls and have never done that. I'd be happy to let the question be open and might even upvote it if it was asked in good faith but this wasn't. We shouldn't let bad faith posts and trolls on the site period. – TheLethalCarrot Mod Oct 21 '19 at 15:01
  • What does keeping the sentence 'My pronouns are grimble/gromble.' adds to the question? "Are there Marvel characters that uses neo-pronouns?" is a valid question, everything else is fluff that detracts from the question. – Sava Oct 22 '19 at 1:42

I voted to reopen the question because it's not all that crazy a question.

Marvel has recently had a huge push for inclusivity, and multiple people in Marvel have explicitly stated that they want more members from the LGBTQ+ crowd represented:

Marvel Studios EVP of Production Victoria Alonso says the Disney-owned studio is “actively” working towards a more diverse and inclusive Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“I would feel honored to have a member of the LGBTQ+ group represented in our films and I hope the future shows that,” Alonso wrote in a Reddit Q&A Wednesday when asked about the addition of LGBTQ+ characters to the ever-expanding franchise.


Marvel’s Runaways highlights a lesbian romance between Nico (Lyric Okano) and Karolina (Virginia Gardner), but scenes touching on Valkyrie’s (Tessa Thompson) and Okoye’s (Danai Gurira) bisexuality were deleted from Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther, respectively.

The franchise will also feature its first trans actors in Spider-Man: Far From Home, in theaters July 2, and Russo in May promised the MCU will receive its first LGBTQ+ superhero “very soon.”

Marvel Studios Promises More Diversity and Inclusivity in Phase 4 and Beyond

Though I don't know the current run of Marvel to answer it myself, I wouldn't be surprised at all to hear there was a minor hero or villain with non-conventional preferred pronouns. And I really don't want this site to set the precedence that non-conventional pronoun usage is trolling.

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    "And I really don't want this site to set the precedence that non-conventional pronoun usage is trolling." - non conventional pronoun use isn't trolling but this question is. – TheLethalCarrot Mod Oct 21 '19 at 14:19
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    @TheLethalCarrot So what's trolling about it, if not the non-conventional pronouns? I would really like to understand that. – GGMG-he-him Oct 21 '19 at 14:21
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    The way it's worded, the OP's pronouns, the comments by the OP on the post. – TheLethalCarrot Mod Oct 21 '19 at 14:23
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    @TheLethalCarrot I don't follow, you just said non-conventional pronoun use isn't trolling, but at the same time the OP's pronouns indicate trolling. The comments look fine, too. I flagged the accusation that the mods may be transphobic, but other than that several comments seem pretty in favor of re-opening it. – GGMG-he-him Oct 21 '19 at 14:26
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    @TheLethalCarrot Again, I'm good on the general concept of flagging if there's trolling, but I'm not convinced this is trolling. It's a solid question about sci-fi, even limiting itself to a specific company. – GGMG-he-him Oct 21 '19 at 14:27
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    If you can't see what's trolling about the question I really can't help you see it. And there's a difference between non-conventional pronouns and trolling pronouns but considering the state SE is in at the moment I don't really want to go too far down that route. That's just one factor that led me to believe it's a troll. – TheLethalCarrot Mod Oct 21 '19 at 14:29
  • The comments by the OP... not the comments in general. More specifically how they seem very aware of how the site works considering it's a brand new account and the second comment, that you flagged, in particular. – TheLethalCarrot Mod Oct 21 '19 at 14:31
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    @GGMG-he-him It's definitely very strange that they spent so much of the original post dedicated to explaining their own pronouns, and their friends pronouns. What's especially strange to me is that a majority of the pronouns they use are so non-standard that you can google them + "pronoun" and the first hit is that SE question. When combined with everything going on in SE... it definitely raises a lot of flags. – JMac Oct 21 '19 at 14:33
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    @TheLethalCarrot I need specifics. What do you have that makes you think that the user is "very aware of how the site works?" Mods didn't close the question, users did. If anything, this user explicitly doesn't know how the site works. – GGMG-he-him Oct 21 '19 at 14:50
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    "don't want to set the precedent that non-conventional pronoun usage is trolling" - there's non-conventional, and then there's grimble-gromble. And bringing up OP's friends' supposed pronouns. You should not have reopened under these circumstances. – einpoklum Oct 21 '19 at 14:59
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    @TheLethalCarrot This is incredibly disappointing. I really wish I could have come away with more to work with than "an overall impression", it leaves a bad taste in my mouth that I could ask the exact same question with a higher rep and more conventional pronouns and get a free pass. – GGMG-he-him Oct 21 '19 at 15:05
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    If you asked the "exact same question" as in the exact same wording I'd still be confident it was a troll post. Please don't take the things I say out of context of the overall picture. As I said it's all the things combined not particular things in isolation. – TheLethalCarrot Mod Oct 21 '19 at 15:07
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    @TheLethalCarrot I mean, "The OP's pronouns": I don't have them, I have he-him. "The comments by the OP on the post": Not sure how this would play out, if I got my post closed for mentioning that my pronouns are he/him in a post sparked by my friends talking about neo-pronouns I'd at least privately accuse the mods of misconduct. A question about Marvel heroes is absolutely on-topic. "The way it's worded": it's been edited into shape. Lethal, help me here. Quote something, give me an IP search, find other questions on the network, do something other than sell me on a feeling, or we disengage. – GGMG-he-him Oct 21 '19 at 15:14
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    @GGMG-he-him Paraphrased from Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [trolling], and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it." – eshier Oct 21 '19 at 17:22
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    FWIW something I had forgotten but was reminded of recently, a similarly named doughnut "new" user posted a pronoun troll post on The Workplace with the same pronouns. It was even more clear that it was a troll post than this one. – TheLethalCarrot Mod Oct 23 '19 at 8:33

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