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Thread: I swear

  1. #31
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Um guys, despite the topic can we manage our urges to just post profanities... it's kinda the point... it's outta place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrielle View Post
    When placed and timed appropriately, swear words can really make a powerful impact on what you say. They can make what you've just said funnier, more frightening, more important, more powerful, more serious. Swear words do a lot of things that other words might not necessarily achieve. However, when they are overused, it can make what someone is saying annoying, limp, and tiresome at best. For example, the overuse of "fuck" is just as irritating to me as the overuse of "like" in sentences. In my book, they stem from the same problem: a difficulty articulating one's thoughts or emotions in a concise and accurate manner.
    Do not visit Birmingham nor Newcastle. Trust me...


    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrielle View Post
    I think there's also a bit of an association with an informal attitude with swearing. I think that's why work places would rather you not swear. Not because it's neccessarily offensive, but because it's too informal, just like wearing your old t-shirt, shorts, and sandals to work is too informal.
    I think that's a big part of it in the UK. It's sort of like the topic of sex.. you can bring it up with your nearest and dearest but otherwise it's a bit taboo and tends to leave people feeling uncomfortable like you just intruded upon their space or something.
    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrielle View Post
    I'm sure there are a number of other cultural associations with swearing. The association of such words with the lower-class, criminals, and/or otherwise unsavory folk, for example.
    This was something brought up in another conversation.. it may have even come up in the same program.. anyhow... the theory goes that if you want rid of something then make it seem indicative of lower classes.. undesirables. They're doing it now with smoking (you only now see the downtrodden smoke.. the posh and well to do don't inhale apparently) and drug use. I have to wonder if that's one of the functions of an underclass.. to give a place to gather all the unwanted attributes then point and tut repeatedly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Huh. I suppose so. That would apply not only to swear words, but to pretty much everything I do or think.
    You must get nasty splinters from repeatedly sitting on that T/F fence you've found
    Quote Originally Posted by Athenian200 View Post
    Why would I bother to assess anything at all in such terms as preferable/undesirable, except for concern with the reaction other people have to it? If other people aren't involved, things simply are a certain way and have certain qualities, or they are not and do not.
    Hole in head... undesirable. Being there for your 100 birthday... priceless.

    Last edited by MacGuffin; 09-26-2008 at 12:54 PM. Reason: merged posts
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  2. #32
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrielle View Post
    ...
    I think there's also a bit of an association with an informal attitude with swearing. I think that's why work places would rather you not swear. Not because it's neccessarily offensive, but because it's too informal, just like wearing your old t-shirt, shorts, and sandals to work is too informal.

    I'm sure there are a number of other cultural associations with swearing. The association of such words with the lower-class, criminals, and/or otherwise unsavory folk, for example.
    Those are good points.

  3. #33
    Magical Firelie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    Those are good points.
    That's ALL you have to say on this topic? You have a profanity filter linked in your signature!

  4. #34
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Firelie View Post
    That's ALL you have to say on this topic? You have a profanity filter linked in your signature!
    That does seem rather funny, doesn't it?

    I'm still mulling.

  5. #35
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    ... Mr. Stephen Fry.

    As he argues swearing is nothing to do with a poor vocabulary and in fact is often indicative of the opposite. He also points out that although many say it is unnecessary that such is a ridiculous remark as coloured socks are unnecessary.
    I can’t agree with this. Almost all great works of literature have been written with absolutely no vulgarity or profanity in them.

    Though perhaps in this day and age of ignorant and ill-educated people who can no longer understand the authors from hundreds of years ago, perhaps he has a point. You must use the vocabulary of the people you are speaking to. Perhaps being vulgar is part of the collective consciousness now.


    The largest revelation, which is one that I'm still mulling over, is that he states that most people who claim to be offended by swearing itself (this is obviously apart from them being offended by what message the words may be conveying) are usually offended because of what they think other's reactions will be. This kind of rings true to me with most chastisements coming from people with the lines of "What would your mother think?" or "You wouldn't say that to X would you?".
    I agree that that is a big reason. It’s something I think of as societal pressure. Whatever society accepts is acceptable. Whatever society rejects is rejected. Unfortunately, society seems to be spinning headlong down a flushing toilet.

    Just to clarify… at first I thought that “swearing” was “taking the Lord’s name in vain”, but in later posts, people seem to be referring to all swearing and vulgarity under the one umbrella of “swearing”.

    Is swearing part of the language to be used with freedom and relish?
    I don’t believe so. I hope it never comes to that. But more and more words get added to the realm of everyday usage with frightening frequency. There’s no stopping it once it gets to prime time television.
    Is swearing intrinsically wrong?
    As one who believes in God and in the Holy Bible, yes. I believe that people are warned not to use God’s name wrongfully in the Ten Commandments. I believe this is the reason why taking God’s name in vain was socially unacceptable for so long. As societies have moved away from the fear of God, people are losing this restraint. For disciples of Jesus, it is also recommended for them not to use profane, vulgar or coarse language.

    If you do object to swearing is it more the poor usage (like using one certain common four letter word as punctuation) or is it just swearing itself?
    I think for the most part that people are conditioned by exposure to accept whatever they are exposed to unless they are motivated for some reason to reject it.

    For myself, there are certain harsh sounding words with a “K” sound in them which when said with anger make me feel threatened and frightened. The first time I ever saw “s-cks” on a forum, I had a physical reaction akin to being punched in the stomach. (That was about 8 years ago before its use was so common.)

    I don’t really care to listen for long to an individual whose language is full of “swearing” for no other reason than the fact that they can’t think of a less abrasive or more appropriate word.

    When I was 15 years old, a man moved in next door who used the f-word in almost every sentence. He was ignorant and it was a staple of his vocabulary. Until that time, the only people I knew of who used that word were rough, hard people who I had never met, and was not supposed to associate with, like prison convicts.

    My family never used vulgar language or slang. My mother is a highly intelligent ISTJ who reads the encyclopedia recreationally! We were not even allowed to use the word “butt”! (We could say “fanny”, for those of you who are wondering.) I was once punished for saying the word “fart” in front of my mother.

    A possible factor is that my mother’s first language was French, and I assure you, in her native tongue I heard the most creative ways of being profane that a person can imagine, but only when she was enraged.


    What do you think to the idea that being offended by swearing is more social responsibility than being offended by the words yourself?
    That is probably true since I don’t think most people care about the weight of their words.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post

    Well not really. Most of the usage of swearing is entirely inappropriate and an abuse to swearing properly. Artful usage however is entertaining, colourful (note the U in that... bloomin colonic spellers) and adds spice to conversation. In fact, continuing with the spice analogy, good usage brings out the flavour, poor usage drowns it.
    I see what you are saying, but I think that audience is still quite small at this point. It’s my observation that the fine distinction is lost on most people.

    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Have you never wondered though why a simple word can cause so much panic? I mean I realise that it does and some of the people I hold very dear to me are offended by it but I go along with this concept of decency more out of feeling responsible to their emotional state than actually finding the word inappropriate (though I do wonder if that is the core definition of the classification "inappropriate").
    If a person has chosen to leave a certain word out of their vocabulary out of a desire to please God, or at least to not offend him, then I think it’s understandable that they would be bothered by people around them making light of something they themselves deem quite serious. Every day we do things so as to not be offensive to the people around us such as bathe and brush our teeth. Every society has their dictates. Mr. Fry is obviously about the business of breaking down the restraints.

    How casually does someone hear the f-word who has been a victim of rape or incest?

    When I hear words that have been used against me in anger, in order to demean and demoralize, they bring back a rush of feelings from the past and re-open the wounds.

    Words happen to be especially important to me, though I realize they mean almost nothing to others. It is those others who can’t understand or relate to my feelings who might ridicule me for thinking and feeling the way I do. There’s nothing I can do or say to make them understand.


    I guess then the question becomes, what is good use of swearing?
    A good use would be to communicate on the level of your hearer, to make yourself understood, I can imagine.

    I must confess that I am not perfect in taming my tongue, and in the past 10 years, I have used a vulgar or profane word perhaps a half dozen times because I believed the depth of my feeling would not be conveyed any other way that I could conceive of at the time.

    Sometimes when I am angry, frustrated, depressed and “beside myself” I can lose control of my tongue. I did use the word d-mned the other day, when normally I would have used darned instead, or nothing at all. I was trying to convey the fact that I was “beside myself”. It was a cry of frustration, a cry for help. So just in case anybody thought that I think I’m perfect, I know I’m not.

    The reason I use a profanity filter on my browser is because I don’t want to become inoculated to certain words. The people in the circles I move in don’t use those words. When I go to the bank, the grocery store, meet with teachers or administrators, go to church or even when I go to most other forums, most people don’t use vulgar or profane words. I have noticed that if I get around people using vulgar language, I will start using it myself. So in order to prevent that, I try to limit my exposure to it, just as I do in real life.
    Last edited by INTJMom; 09-29-2008 at 10:52 AM. Reason: grammatical error

  6. #36
    Junior Member takeheart's Avatar
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    I swear a lot. It's not allowed in my household and I've never heard anyone in my family swear, so I definitely didn't pick it up at home. Curse words can add zest and emotion to conversation that nothing else can. They bypass the rational part of the brain and go straight for the emotional centers. However, if I know someone is really upset by curse words, I refrain from using them (which makes ME uncomfortable).

    Strangely, I love it when people casually swear. Not at other people, and not if every other word is a curse, but if you throw a few four letter words into conversation, I'll feel much more relaxed around you. I DON'T UNDERSTAND WHY, but that's how it is! Hearing other people swear makes me happy, probably because they're "breaking the rules".

    You should hear me when I'm alone in my car. A traffic light turning red earns a blue streak from me!

  7. #37
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    INTJmom, profanity isn't sub-intelligent lower-class drivel. COCK. See?

  8. #38
    Senior Member prplchknz's Avatar
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    I curse, rarely at anyone. Mostly inanimate objects. When I'm trying to find something, I don't have time to think of fancy words.
    In no likes experiment.

    that is all

    i dunno what else to say so

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by INTJMom View Post
    [COLOR=Navy]I can’t agree with this. Almost all great works of literature have been written with absolutely no vulgarity or profanity in them.

    Though perhaps in this day and age of ignorant and ill-educated people who can no longer understand the authors from hundreds of years ago, perhaps he has a point. You must use the vocabulary of the people you are speaking to. Perhaps being vulgar is part of the collective consciousness now.
    I would take issue with the first part of this, certainly. What was vulgar or profane many years ago is often different than what is considered vulgar today. Many of Shakespeare's works, for instance, contain language that was considered quite salty in its day. Language changes over time, and I would posit that this is a bigger reason that contemporary audiences have trouble understanding dusty works of literature than the fact that they are "ignorant and ill-educated."

    Being vulgar has always been part of the collective consciousness, because there have always been situations and events that inspire anguish, anger and lust. If literature (including television and movies, the literature of the day) is to accurately portray the human condition, then these emotions are sometimes best expressed with the judicious use of vulgarity. You can dance around such emotions with flowery language, but to deny that an emotional, visceral truth is sometimes best conveyed with vulgarity is, I think, to stick one's head in the sand.

    Vulgarity, just like any of the seven deadly sins, is no less a part of being human simply because some choose to forego it.
    Everybody have fun tonight. Everybody Wang Chung tonight.

    Johari
    /Nohari

  10. #40
    Senior Member INTJMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flak View Post
    INTJmom, profanity isn't sub-intelligent lower-class drivel. COCK. See?
    tee-hee

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