5
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You swim in my sea
But don't appreciate me
Until I win races
Or make laughing faces,
I make a great head
Though I run from the dead.
I'm cool, you gotta admit
But don't call me chicken [poop]!

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  • $\begingroup$ Based on the -4, I'm guessing a lot of people are offended, though I'm not sure why. This is definitely not and not intended to be offensive. $\endgroup$ – Errorum Jun 7 '17 at 21:11
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    $\begingroup$ Why is this offensive then? Please explain. I was so proud of myself for this one, sad to see it go down in flames :( $\endgroup$ – Errorum Jun 7 '17 at 21:18
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    $\begingroup$ Hey. The way you've worded this, specifically the parts about 'swimming in my sea' and 'give great head', is leading some people to suspect that the answer is sexual in nature. If you could find a way to reword it so that it doesn't give the same impression, that would be good. Thanks. $\endgroup$ – Mithrandir Jun 7 '17 at 21:27
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    $\begingroup$ In an attempt to help rescue this riddle, I've made an edit suggestion that does a couple of things - it removes the main innuendo but still gives a slightly obtuse meaning and it also fixes the poem rhyme scheme to keep the strong AABBCCDD format started in the first four lines... which gives the last line the strong drive towards the final rhyme word without it being written in the question itself. Please excuse my forwardness but feel free to revert the edit if you would rather retain the original version. $\endgroup$ – Catija Jun 7 '17 at 22:47
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    $\begingroup$ I'm surprised that @Mithrandir and BG of all people have such dirty minds. I've read all revisions of this riddle and couldn't see anything remotely sexually suggestive. Try pulling your heads out of the gutter some time. Also, there have been plenty of riddles here which have a dirty or sexual surface reading but are in fact perfectly legit; even if this did look sexual, we should be used to it by now and able to give a newish user the benefit of the doubt. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jun 8 '17 at 10:57
9
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Welp, seeing as this was downvoted to oblivion, and likely won't be answered. Here's the answer:

I'm:

Nitrogen

The title

Both words start with En, N is Nitrogen's chemical symbol

You swim in my sea

The atmosphere can be thought of as a sea of air, 72% Nitrogen

But don't appreciate me

Humans actually don't need to breathe Nitrogen as much as Oxygen

Until I win races

Used in race cars for boost

Or bring laughing faces

Nitrogen is used as laughing gas

I make a great head,

Nitogen beers have a lot of head compared to carbon beers

Though I run from the dead,

Decomposing corspes release nitrogen

I'm cool, you gotta admit

Liquid Nitrogen is very cold at -321 F (-196 C)

But don't call me chicken [poop]!

Chicken manure has loads of Nitrogen

Sorry everyone was so offended by my nerdy chemistry riddle

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    $\begingroup$ @Errorum You are not going to persuade us that "I give great head" wasn't intended to sound sexual. (I take it the actual point was to make something that sounds very naughty and turns out to have a perfectly innocent answer. Which means that removing the naughtiness would remove much of the point of the puzzle. Tricky. But the site's policy is pretty clear; see e.g. this: puzzling.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/5183/… $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 7 '17 at 22:20
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    $\begingroup$ Those examples are different from this one; they are suggestive, this is (was, before Catija's edit) explicit. I stand by my statement about the phrase "give great head" and conjecture -- though I am not going to check while at work -- that if you put that phrase into Google you will not find more than one result in the first twenty that has a non-sexual meaning, unless some sort of safe-search censorship is at work. Incidentally, I do not believe you can really be unaware of the difference between innocence and ignorance; knowing what a phrase means is not the same as having a dirty mind. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 8 '17 at 12:37
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    $\begingroup$ @Gareth How can you say this riddle is/was explicit when it says literally nothing about sex and its OP couldn't understand where people were seeing anything offensive? You could maybe argue that it's suggestive, if you happen to be well-versed in sexual slang; to someone who isn't, there's nothing in the words "give great head" which make it more likely to mean something sexual than something to do with the Hydra of Lerna or foamy beer. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Jun 8 '17 at 12:47
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    $\begingroup$ I decline to believe that the OP genuinely couldn't understand where people were seeing anything offensive. (Saying "I don't see why people are getting offended" is perfectly compatible with actually understanding well what they objected to.) I am not sure what you mean by "nothing in the words ..."; if you mean nothing in each individual word then language doesn't work that way; if you mean nothing in the phrase as a whole then I repeat my suggestion to do the obvious search-engine test. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 8 '17 at 13:08
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    $\begingroup$ Ah, I found a way to do it safely despite being at work. Result: no non-sexual meanings in the first 40 hits. One referring to hydras at #45 (no others in 41-50), except that the point of that one is clearly to be a pun on the sexual meaning. I didn't look further than the fifth page of search results. The sexual meaning is what that phrase means, like it or not. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Jun 8 '17 at 13:14

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