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Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:15 PM

I'm confused by people who are offended by swear words.

Last edited Sun Oct 10, 2021, 05:00 PM - Edit history (1)

(in response to a now-deleted thread about cursing)

Words are just universally agreed-upon sounds that convey concepts. I don’t understand being offended by sounds. I DO understand being offended by the concepts conveyed by those sounds. Personally, I’m a huge fan of both fucking and shitting. Not sure how those concepts are offensive. I’m offended by the concepts conveyed by words like “murder”, “rape”, “misogyny”… but I don’t lose my shit when I hear those words.

In my experience, everyone who has ever tried to make me quit swearing by making me look small for using “swear words”, has been a self-righteous fucker, with a pathetic need for attention.

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Reply I'm confused by people who are offended by swear words. (Original post)
pnwest Oct 2021 OP
Chin music Oct 2021 #1
pnwest Oct 2021 #5
Chin music Oct 2021 #8
malletgirl02 Oct 2021 #13
world wide wally Oct 2021 #77
pnwest Oct 2021 #131
sop Oct 2021 #2
pnwest Oct 2021 #6
PatSeg Oct 2021 #54
DEbluedude Oct 2021 #73
Javaman Oct 2021 #125
OnDoutside Oct 2021 #3
pnwest Oct 2021 #7
Steelrolled Oct 2021 #15
GoCubsGo Oct 2021 #31
bluboid Oct 2021 #44
plimsoll Oct 2021 #59
malletgirl02 Oct 2021 #67
plimsoll Oct 2021 #75
pnwest Oct 2021 #93
druidity33 Oct 2021 #103
whistler162 Oct 2021 #99
Voltaire2 Oct 2021 #116
MissMillie Oct 2021 #4
pnwest Oct 2021 #9
Steelrolled Oct 2021 #10
MissMillie Oct 2021 #19
GoCubsGo Oct 2021 #34
Mossfern Oct 2021 #36
Scrivener7 Oct 2021 #89
meadowlander Oct 2021 #98
malletgirl02 Oct 2021 #11
question everything Oct 2021 #18
PJMcK Oct 2021 #48
ShazamIam Oct 2021 #12
luvs2sing Oct 2021 #14
billh58 Oct 2021 #16
question everything Oct 2021 #17
soldierant Oct 2021 #49
onecaliberal Oct 2021 #84
muriel_volestrangler Oct 2021 #91
onecaliberal Oct 2021 #105
soldierant Oct 2021 #133
Scrivener7 Oct 2021 #85
onecaliberal Oct 2021 #134
Steelrolled Oct 2021 #101
Act_of_Reparation Oct 2021 #123
Iggo Oct 2021 #124
dumbcat Oct 2021 #20
ret5hd Oct 2021 #32
dumbcat Oct 2021 #58
ret5hd Oct 2021 #66
Slammer Oct 2021 #68
ret5hd Oct 2021 #71
dumbcat Oct 2021 #86
milestogo Oct 2021 #21
Ocelot II Oct 2021 #26
milestogo Oct 2021 #28
kimbutgar Oct 2021 #27
pnwest Oct 2021 #29
pnwest Oct 2021 #35
treestar Oct 2021 #94
90-percent Oct 2021 #22
Ocelot II Oct 2021 #23
milestogo Oct 2021 #33
Ocelot II Oct 2021 #38
Behind the Aegis Oct 2021 #60
Klaralven Oct 2021 #24
pwb Oct 2021 #25
teach1st Oct 2021 #30
flying_wahini Oct 2021 #37
Xipe Totec Oct 2021 #50
keithbvadu2 Oct 2021 #39
DownriverDem Oct 2021 #40
malletgirl02 Oct 2021 #41
Kali Oct 2021 #51
malletgirl02 Oct 2021 #61
pnwest Oct 2021 #74
Kali Oct 2021 #114
róisín_dubh Oct 2021 #118
inthewind21 Oct 2021 #126
Martin Eden Oct 2021 #42
Tommymac Oct 2021 #43
tiredtoo Oct 2021 #45
sarcasmo Oct 2021 #46
roamer65 Oct 2021 #47
TlalocW Oct 2021 #52
ColinC Oct 2021 #53
Throck Oct 2021 #55
malletgirl02 Oct 2021 #63
orleans Oct 2021 #110
Slammer Oct 2021 #56
Ms. Toad Oct 2021 #57
Behind the Aegis Oct 2021 #62
malletgirl02 Oct 2021 #65
Behind the Aegis Oct 2021 #69
malletgirl02 Oct 2021 #72
Behind the Aegis Oct 2021 #78
malletgirl02 Oct 2021 #83
Behind the Aegis Oct 2021 #104
orleans Oct 2021 #112
róisín_dubh Oct 2021 #119
Voltaire2 Oct 2021 #117
jaxexpat Oct 2021 #64
LisaM Oct 2021 #70
malletgirl02 Oct 2021 #76
Talitha Oct 2021 #79
Scrivener7 Oct 2021 #80
AZLD4Candidate Oct 2021 #81
Vinca Oct 2021 #82
Skittles Oct 2021 #87
muriel_volestrangler Oct 2021 #88
pnwest Oct 2021 #92
muriel_volestrangler Oct 2021 #97
Manifestor_of_Light Oct 2021 #90
Scrivener7 Oct 2021 #95
pnwest Oct 2021 #100
Buckeye_Democrat Oct 2021 #96
dickthegrouch Oct 2021 #102
roamer65 Oct 2021 #106
roamer65 Oct 2021 #107
pnwest Oct 2021 #129
SharonClark Oct 2021 #108
ExTex Oct 2021 #109
tavernier Oct 2021 #111
LakeArenal Oct 2021 #113
Raine Oct 2021 #115
Name removed Oct 2021 #120
ecstatic Oct 2021 #121
Iggo Oct 2021 #122
thucythucy Oct 2021 #127
pnwest Oct 2021 #128
thucythucy Oct 2021 #130
gulliver Oct 2021 #132
cksmithy Oct 2021 #135
CelticCrow Oct 2021 #136

Response to pnwest (Original post)


Response to Chin music (Reply #1)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:23 PM

5. A good bout of shouted profanity can be

a huge emotional release 😊

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Response to pnwest (Reply #5)


Response to pnwest (Reply #5)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:33 PM

13. You might be feeling good

Some of the other people around you not so much.

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Response to pnwest (Reply #5)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:58 PM

77. Smash your finger with a hammer and see what word comes to mind.

(It aint shuckie dern)

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Response to Chin music (Reply #1)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 03:24 PM

131. This one agrees...

[url=https://postimg.cc/t7XWktnB][img][/img][/url]

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:19 PM

2. Intent is important. Profanity can be humorous and entertaining, it can also be cruel and violent.

Words are just words.

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Response to sop (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:23 PM

6. 'Zakly!

Precisely this!

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Response to sop (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:25 PM

54. Yes, it is the intent

Even ordinary, everyday words can be offensive if they are used in a hateful or cruel way.

Ever since Trump and the rise of the MAGATs, I find myself more offended by language then ever before. Sometimes, it feels like they only have a handful of words to use and most of them start with "F". They've taken the satisfaction out of a juicy swear word. They use them so often, the words have lost all of their impact.

Because of Trump and his vile followers, I find myself swearing a whole lot less. I don't want to be associated with such people. I can remember when a good old "F*ck you" had a punch to it. Now it is just a sign of willful ignorance from people who throw childish tantrums at the grocery store.

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Response to sop (Reply #2)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:51 PM

73. Profanity, at times,...

provides relief where prayer does not.

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Response to sop (Reply #2)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 11:25 AM

125. I agree.

back in my screen writing days, it was frowned upon to put swear words in the expositions.

I always thought that was just plain stupid. if employed with proper intent, who cares.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:20 PM

3. This always surprises us in Europe about Americans.

Is it faux prudishness or something ?

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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:24 PM

7. Faux prudishness is an apt perception.

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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:35 PM

15. Probably just cultural differences - there are a few :)

 

Though I thought every country had words you don't use in polite company. I have to admit I wouldn't tell my grandmother that it is fucking hot today

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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 03:15 PM

31. Faux prudishness mixed in with a sense of moral superiority.

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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:09 PM

44. a yup!!! don't get me started...

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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:30 PM

59. Not really faux prudishness. These are usually people who view it as their entitled deference.

It's due to their self perceived superiority morally. When you curse (their usage) in front of them they believe it diminishes their purity. Therefore you have taken something from them. It's odd however because they've taken the concept of a profane oath and extended it to individual words. On the other hand many of these people were praying for Barak Obama to die, an actual curse, but this was acceptable behavior.

Intent has no meaning, directing malign prayers (spells would be more apt) at another is acceptable. Using certain words in frustration would be unacceptable. What I think Europeans may miss is that this is most prevalent in small towns where malignant gossip and the local elite can inflict enormous damage on people or families. Damage that can last generations.

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Response to plimsoll (Reply #59)


Response to malletgirl02 (Reply #67)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:55 PM

75. No, they're assholes.

I don't think they deserve that deference, but they do and they often have families that can force people to their whim.

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Response to malletgirl02 (Reply #67)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 05:58 PM

93. Of course you should be offended by an insult directed at you personally.

Any words they used to directly attack you would be hurtful. Had they said "Fat woman" it would be just as offensive. But, is the word "bitch" what's offensive, or the personal attack? If I used the sentence "Trying to load paper in this copier is a bitch" in your presence, would you be offended then? I used the word, but not in a direct attack on you.

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Response to pnwest (Reply #93)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 08:02 PM

103. well, but....

when i was in Wales in the early 90's "bloody c#nt" was an extremely popular expression. Many usages, even as in "This copier is a Bloody C#nt!". I never could get used to it. Fuck and Shit are ubiquitous and i can't really think of other 'swear' words or expressions that have quite the same effect on me. Cultural thing maybe?



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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #3)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 06:31 PM

99. Also it demonstrates a lack of

intellect if just about every other word out of the person is a swear word.

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Response to whistler162 (Reply #99)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 06:57 AM

116. limited vocabulary does that.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:20 PM

4. I don't like it when anyone here tries to make anyone look small for any reason

We're at our best when we stick together.

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Response to MissMillie (Reply #4)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:25 PM

9. Truth.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:27 PM

10. It seems we all have our own set of bad words that we don't like to hear.

 

It is most interesting when you cross borders, where a word that sounds completely innocent to you is a racist slur.

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Response to Steelrolled (Reply #10)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:48 PM

19. I am offended far more by people telling others what they can and can't post...

most notably what people shouldn't post (like: "why are you giving that credence by posting that here?" )

As far as I'm concerned, if I'm not breaking the rules, I can post whatever I like.

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Response to MissMillie (Reply #19)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 03:17 PM

34. Couldn't have said it better myself...

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Response to Steelrolled (Reply #10)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 03:23 PM

36. I believe I have a couple that offend me

they're derogatory in nature.
And even then, if they're part of a character in something I'm reading or in a plot of a movie or show I can tolerate them in that context.

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Response to Mossfern (Reply #36)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 05:29 PM

89. Gendered and racial slurs bother me. I don't use them.

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Response to Steelrolled (Reply #10)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 06:25 PM

98. It's not the word, it's the intention behind it.

If you call a female dog a bitch to clarify her sex, fine. If you quote it in an academic dissertation to discuss misogyny in 20th century literature, fine.

If you call a woman a bitch to remind her of her place or call a man a bitch to imply he is like a woman and therefore contemptible, that's sexist.

I have an issue with people being sexist, not using some list of taboo words.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)


Response to malletgirl02 (Reply #11)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:48 PM

18. Thank you

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Response to malletgirl02 (Reply #11)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:16 PM

48. That's a fair point

But it seems silly when someone alludes to a word without spelling it out. For example, when someone writes “f*ck.” The reader knows the word and the writer has used it in spite of themselves. It just seems dumb.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:30 PM

12. I am mixed about the subject, while I understand some people are deeply offended, to me based on a

misunderstanding of when the swearing is expressing anger and feeling and when the language is used in a purient and sexual manner where nearly every action or idea is related to some sexual act. ( I may not be making myself clear I will try again.)

I agree with Samuel Clemons, there is a right way and right time for it, swearing for emphasis.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:34 PM

14. I come from a long line of champion swearers.

My uncle is still famous for his outbursts, though my dad is not far behind in prowess. They are both gone, but their memory is legendary in the family.

As a quiet, petite woman, I can shock people with my salty language though, over the years, I have learned to control it in professional and some social situations, something those who taught me never had to do.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:40 PM

16. Actually, "swear words"

like pornography, are only offensive when the intent is to be offensive. As Justice Potter Stewart said regarding obscenity, "I know it when I see (hear) it."

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:45 PM

17. My opinion is that when every other word is F**k it shows a poor vocabulary

But then this is my opinion and poor vocabulary has developed with all the short cuts of social media. Bad grammar and spelling. Not that I do well, but I try.

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Response to question everything (Reply #17)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:17 PM

49. It can happen with a person who has a good vocabulary

when the issue or fact being commented on is so egregious as to make that person literally speechless ... no words. "Fuck" every other word substitutes for animal-like cries. And, unfortunately, these days, there are many issues and facts which affect people that way.

Communcation can still happen though .... I'm reminded of an anecdote from a soldier who related that the Sergeant said "Get your fucking rifles" so consistently that one day when he said "Get your rifles" it immediately got real that something was up.

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Response to soldierant (Reply #49)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 05:15 PM

84. Exactly. Thanks for explaining, has nothing to do with vocabulary.

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Response to onecaliberal (Reply #84)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 05:36 PM

91. Using just one or two swear words, but a lot, is a sign of a poor vocabulary

There are hundreds of swear words, and they have different implications. Just using "fuck" and "shit" is like overusing "nice" and "sad".

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #91)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 09:52 PM

105. Sometimes exasperation clouds ones mind.

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Response to onecaliberal (Reply #105)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 05:04 PM

133. Amen to this!

Last Saturday I listened again to the opera "Billy Budd" on the radio. That plot turns on exasperation clouding Billy's senses ... with tragic consequences.

If you cannot bear opers, you can always look up the Melville novella.

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Response to question everything (Reply #17)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 05:15 PM

85. I got an almost perfect SAT verbal score back in the day. And I curse a lot.

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Response to Scrivener7 (Reply #85)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 05:10 PM

134. 👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

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Response to question everything (Reply #17)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 07:58 PM

101. It might also be the inability to express themselves while speaking.

 

I think that is s a skill that you develop over time.

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Response to question everything (Reply #17)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 11:00 AM

123. Good thing we don't need to rely on your opinion.

Researchers have actually studied this and found regular use of profanity is often indicative of a large, versatile vocabulary.

But hey, whatever helps you get through the day, I guess.

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Response to question everything (Reply #17)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 11:03 AM

124. I gots tons of vocabules and I say fuck and shit on the reg.

Because that’s how people talked where I was between the ages of 10 and 30. It’s got nothing to do with how smart people are or aren’t (or as you put it so politely, their “vocabulary.”)

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:49 PM

20. From my somewhat older perspective,

it has more to do with social class and structure than with the meanings of words.

When I grew up in the 1950's we were taught that only the lower educated members of the lower socio-economic classes used swear words and vulgarity. In my home and other of my family it was never tolerated. And my dad was a house painter/wallpaper hanger, and we weren't very high in the social classes ourselves.

It was the same with tattoos. Back then only roughnecks and sailors had them, and to have was exposed was definitely a sign of lower class. Even today, when it is more accepted and called "body art" I still flinch every time I see a tattoo, especially on young women. I have to be very careful around my son's wife not to flinch when I see hers. I know times have changed, and she did two tours in Iraq, and is a very nice person. But it still screams lower class to me, and I doubt I will be able to change before I die.

Luckily, my social circle is comprised mostly of people that feel like me. Mostly retired military officers or business executive. I haven't heard a vulgarity like a "fuck" or "shit" in a face to face conversation in years, if not decades. Occasionally a "damn" or something will slip out, but that is not considered lower class in my circle.

Damn, I must be old.

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Response to dumbcat (Reply #20)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 03:16 PM

32. Does this translate into feelings of...

superiority/inferiority towards those displaying/uttering these symbols of lower socioeconomic classes?

Is a person, once identified as a member of these lower classes, ever able to “climb the ladder” to a higher class (in the eyes of those already in such higher class, not monetarily)? Or is it, as I once read, a matter of “it takes three generations to become a gentleman”?

What do you perceive as the symbols of your class that are looked down upon by the class that is above you? What is considered “unseemly” by them? Do you take any time/effort eliminating those traits from yourself in a hope you will be perceived in a more favorable light by those in that higher class? If not, why not?

What do you perceive as symbols of the class above you that you aspire to attain?

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #32)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:30 PM

58. Interesting questions

Does this translate into feelings of superiority/inferiority towards those displaying/uttering these symbols of lower socioeconomic classes?


Yes.

Is a person, once identified as a member of these lower classes, ever able to “climb the ladder” to a higher class (in the eyes of those already in such higher class, not monetarily)? Or is it, as I once read, a matter of “it takes three generations to become a gentleman”?


In my eyes they can. I can't speak for others.

What do you perceive as the symbols of your class that are looked down upon by the class that is above you? What is considered “unseemly” by them? Do you take any time/effort eliminating those traits from yourself in a hope you will be perceived in a more favorable light by those in that higher class? If not, why not?


I have no idea. It isn't something I have ever thought about.

What do you perceive as symbols of the class above you that you aspire to attain?


I have no asperation to attain any other class status. I have no interest in it.

Thank you for those interesting questions. It's not something I have thought about before, but might be worth some thought.

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Response to dumbcat (Reply #58)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:39 PM

66. TY (nt)

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Response to ret5hd (Reply #32)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:42 PM

68. vulgar

After the military, my father dug ditches with a shovel. His father's job was putting crossties onto his shoulder, walking them into train cars, and dropping them off for transport.

My mother was a migrant farm worker.

My parents bought a house which had no indoor plumbing and raised a family there. (We eventually got indoor plumbing when I was about six, maybe about eight years into their marriage.)

The attitude which I was taught to have was that people who use profanity in casual conversation are vulgar/crass people. There wasn't any kind of "socio-economic status" or "lower class" element worked into that attitude.

Nobody on my mom's side of the family (the migrant farm workers) or my dad's side of the family used profanity...at least within my hearing as a kid or as an adult.

I know that was a long time ago and might as well be in a galaxy far, far away. But I still have to work against the tendency to be dismissive of people who use vulgarities.

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Response to Slammer (Reply #68)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:47 PM

71. The person I asked the questions of...

specifically stated “…it has more to do with social class and structure…”, which is why I asked those specific questions that related to status and class.

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Response to Slammer (Reply #68)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 05:18 PM

86. Pretty much my thoughts

only in my growing up, vulgar/crass people were by definition "lower class". But when I use the term "class" here I am thinking more of intellectual ability, which to me is part of social class, not economic class.

Like you, in my childhood there was no use of profanity on either side of our families. Both families were rural farm laborers and tradesmen, raised during the depression. Not high class anything. But the males still wore jackets and ties and hats when going to town, and the women wore dresses and other appropriate attire. Profanity was just not acceptable among civilized people back then.

Times have changed. I have watched them change, and the cultural changes included. I don't like many of them, but there's not anything I can do about it. It is something to think about, though, especially as we get older and see more decades of change.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:51 PM

21. Did you have parents?

My mother never used profanity in her life, and my father only used it in extreme situations. There are some words that he never used. They were shocked and offended by swearing, and they were not "self-righteous fuckers". They were just dignified.

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Response to milestogo (Reply #21)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:58 PM

26. There were words that were not to be spoken in my house,

especially by children. Those included damn, hell, goddamn, ass, and any word referring to shit that wasn't a kid's word like "poopy." My dad could get away with damn and hell, but I never heard him say shit or fuck. In fact, I never knew fuck at all until I saw it written somewhere when I was about 9 or 10 and I had to ask somebody what it meant. Those words were all considered vulgar and nice people just didn't use them.

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Response to Ocelot II (Reply #26)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 03:05 PM

28. Yup.

And when I said a dirty word that I didn't know the meaning of for the first time, I got a bar of soap in my mouth. I was 7, and I didn't say that word again for 20 years.

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Response to milestogo (Reply #21)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 03:03 PM

27. My Dad never swore but my Mother did have a potty mouth at times

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Response to milestogo (Reply #21)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 03:10 PM

29. My mother was a veeeery strict, old-school Dutch woman, who had

very clear ideas about lady-like behavior (God love her, she TRIED to instill lady-like behavior in me...to no avail) But when angry or frustrated, she could let loose a sting of Dutch profanities like the most seasoned sailor. She'd cut loose with enough English profanities that my stepdad would be a bit taken aback sometimes.

Yes, I had parents. Very strict Dutch, old-school, no pierced ears, dating or makeup before you're 16, no giving your phone number to boys EVER kind of strict. In my mother's mind, profanity wasn't the biggest stumbling block to being lady-like.

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Response to milestogo (Reply #21)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 03:20 PM

35. Your parents have never tried to make me quit swearing, I've never met them. So by default

they are not included in the group of people I've experienced to be self-righteous fuckers.

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Response to milestogo (Reply #21)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 05:58 PM

94. My father used them, hell, damn, shit

SOB and bastard. But he did not defend it - he thought it was a bad habit he was trying to overcome.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:51 PM

22. what my lifelong hero Frank Zappa had to say about this;


“There is no such thing as a dirty word. Nor is there a word so powerful, that it's going to send the listener to the lake of fire upon hearing it.”

― Frank Zappa



-90% jimmy

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:53 PM

23. Swear words are used *because* they are transgressive. Because they are transgressive,

they are intended to draw attention to the statement in which they are contained. They don't necessarily carry their literal meaning, as when you yell "Fuck!" if you drop a heavy object on your foot. The circumstances are completely unrelated to sexual intercourse, but because fuck is a "bad" word you use it to express the intensity of your feelings about hurting your foot.

At one time the worst words were those relating to religion; since religion was taken very seriously one had to be careful not to take God's name in vain - it was vulgar at best, heretical at worst. Body function words were considered too vulgar to be uttered in polite company starting in about the 19th century, and that attitude continued until maybe 30 years ago. The F-bomb is now dropped routinely except on network television and in published newspapers. It is still considered vulgar but it is no longer transgressive - and for that reason it doesn't have the same impact it once did. I'm not offended by it, and I say it, but only sparingly, because its constant use is kind of pointless. If nobody is shocked, why bother?

The linguist John McWhorter traces the history of swearing in an interesting and very entertaining book, Nine Nasty Words: English in the Gutter. He points out that fuck has become commonplace and not at all shocking, but the words that are now completely taboo are racial and ethnic slurs.

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Response to Ocelot II (Reply #23)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 03:16 PM

33. But they fail to be transgressive when they are overused.

Just as violence in films fails to shock when you see it constantly. I am amazed at the age at which children start using profanity now days. They must be hearing it at home, or at least they don't get in trouble for saying it.

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Response to milestogo (Reply #33)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 03:25 PM

38. Exactly my point. I'm not shocked by vulgarity, but I'm sometimes annoyed

when people don't seem to be able to express irritation or disagreement or anger with any word but fuck. To me it displays a poor vocabulary or a lack of imagination or, if written, lazy writing. I use it but rarely, when I'm really angry or I've stubbed my toe. There are so many other excellent words and expressions and curses and insults just waiting to be used...

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Response to Ocelot II (Reply #23)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:30 PM

60. That is an excellent book!

As soon as I read your explanation, I immediately saw McWhorter's description. I just fished that book a few weeks ago.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:54 PM

24. Taboos change. Go ahead and use the F-word, but do not use the N-word.

 

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 02:57 PM

25. I swear sometimes but not usually.

Pukes have lawn signs that say fuck ? on them. I don't think that is right, words are said and gone, print to me is not speech. But I guess it is allowed. Freedoms are being abused. Fuck me.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 03:14 PM

30. As an elementary school teacher

I probably went through a time of swearing as a teen or a young hippie-type, but I don't remember. When I became a teacher, I decided to forgo most swearing so I wouldn't inadvertently and through habit swear in front of students. I'm not offended by swearing, but I feel there are times when people use swear words needlessly and ineffectively, especially in a manner that limits expanded and more specific communication.

I also know there there are, rightly or wrongly, folks who are offended by swearing. So, even after retiring from teaching, I don't swear much around others, especially around people I don't know well. I am put off by those who swear in front of children they don't know. I would never ask somebody not to swear here. I would ask those adults swearing in a crowd of children to put a lid on it.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 03:24 PM

37. I have to admit that I like to swear around my uptight sister in law. It makes her

So uncomfortable. She’s a Trumpie so I enjoy it a bit TOO much.

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Response to flying_wahini (Reply #37)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:18 PM

50. The target of my cussing is usually the computer.

Sometimes because it doesn't do what I want, and sometimes because it does what I tell it to do.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 03:30 PM

39. Sometimes swearing can be appropriate, even excessive swearing.

Sometimes swearing can be appropriate, even excessive swearing. I quit watching one movie (40 year old virgin, I think), due to excessive swearing. In the movie Wolf of Wall Street, the swearing actually fit and was appropriate.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 03:45 PM

40. Using the F word

became popular when I was in college.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)


Response to malletgirl02 (Reply #41)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:20 PM

51. because those are aimed at your physical appearance and are directed TO YOU

that is rude and offensive. if they just said "get the fuck out of the way" it wouldn't have been any particular personal insult. you could have taken offense at the language but it wouldn't have been the same as calling you fat or a bitch.

usage and context matter.

on an adult, politically oriented discussion site? especially one that has tools to help you avoid words you might not like? sorry the fucks flying around are just fine.

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Response to Kali (Reply #51)


Response to malletgirl02 (Reply #61)


Response to malletgirl02 (Reply #61)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 12:09 AM

114. fucking obtuse

is how I would describe many of your replies.

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Response to Kali (Reply #114)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 07:09 AM

118. OMG just choked on my coffee.


I swear. All the time. I don't swear AT people. I don't call people offensive things.
But when I'm sitting in traffic because people drive like fucking morons? Yep.

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Response to Kali (Reply #114)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 11:40 AM

126. LOL

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:05 PM

42. And then there are two-way words ...

You can prick your finger, but DON'T finger your prick!

- George Carlin

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:05 PM

43. If thy eyes or ears offend thee, get thy shit together and get fucked up.

After all it may be bitchin great shit.

Of coarse, getting small is not necessarily a bad thing, just ask Steve Martin.



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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:11 PM

45. We have to come up with some new swear words

The ones currently in use are now part of regular dialog. The cute gal asks if you want fries with your fucking burger.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:12 PM

46. John Goodman's scene from Treme. F you, you F ing, F's

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:14 PM

47. I remember a post calling the word "fuck" a "rapey" word.

Apparently this post was just about as popular, since it was deleted.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:23 PM

52. They're the closest things to actual magic words we have

On their aptly named, "Bullshit," show, Penn and Teller took a look at profanity. It is really weird how most of society agrees on a set of certain sounds having such a special definition/meaning. Even the people P&T interviewed that agreed that curse words weren't special normally drew the line at one specific one that starts with a C including a shock jock who said his wife would kill him if he used it.

TlalocW

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:24 PM

53. Same

Thank you for this!

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:26 PM

55. Free trip to HR in my office.

I've learned to be creative, tell it like it is and avoid the trip.

Because they're assholes in HR.

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Response to Throck (Reply #55)


Response to malletgirl02 (Reply #63)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 10:59 PM

110. is there an hr dept where you work? why not report them? nt

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:26 PM

56. kids

I used to have kids who would read over my shoulder.

Since they aren't allowed to use such words in casual conversation, say in a classroom, I preferred to not have them exposed to those words in casual conversation.

Or have to stop participating in a website conversation so I can explain what various words mean to kids who read those words over my shoulder.

I know this is a site where adults have serious conversations. But I'd rather not have parents who are picky have to sneak around whenever they access the website because they're not sure when someone is going to spout off with a profanity-laced tirade.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:26 PM

57. I don't ask anyone not to swear around me (aside from my daughter)

But as far as I'm concerned the language is (1) unimaginative, (2) often misogynistic, and (3) designed to offend. Although, as to the latter, it often becomes habit and at least loses the initial motivation once it becomes a habit.

The latter two are, obviously, anti-social - and that, more than the words,is what I find offensive. They are frequently used inteintionally, or unintentionally, to offend or to convey hatred toward women or to put us in our places

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:35 PM

62. As you can see from the responses, it can be quite classist.

There are types of taboos around various "swears", and it really depends on a few things, including time (as in period of), socio-economic class, gender, and, even ethnic/racial backgrounds. Someone above mentioned a book by John McWhorter, I do suggest picking it up. It isn't a long read and it is very interesting, educational, and entertaining. Nine Nasty Words: English in the Gutter: Then, Now, and Forever

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #62)


Response to malletgirl02 (Reply #65)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:42 PM

69. Did I say that?

Why no, I didn't. I said it can be. Assuming someone's knowledge of vocabulary, education level, or their status because of their use of profanity; that is classist.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #69)


Response to malletgirl02 (Reply #72)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 05:02 PM

78. How ironic.

"if someone uses swear words they are an abusive jerk. " Your statement, right there, is what I was saying. You are making an assumption about the person, even if it isn't technically about their socio-economic class, you are, nonetheless, classifying them in a pejorative way.

I have bosses who use swear words, which leads me to have less respect for them. Your opinion, to which you are entitled.

Also I can make the argument that the use of swear words especially in a professional setting is a sign of privilege and having power over people. I'd wager it goes far beyond the use of words you deem inappropriate. Do they take longer lunches? Come in later? Take more or longer vacations? It is likely they do, that is the power of privilege, but it doesn't mean they are "abusive" just because you don't like the words used.

Your examples are VERY narrow and specific. Many here are speaking to a larger, macro, setting. Would cursing be acceptable in a kindergarten? Probably not, but in a college setting? It would likely raise fewer eyebrows, if any.

Frankly, the reverse can be true in regards to swearing, as seen above, and even in the OP, that people who don't swear or have an issue with it, are prudes, social awkward, or authoritarians of sorts.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #78)


Response to malletgirl02 (Reply #83)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 09:03 PM

104. No, I didn't make your point. You missed the point.

Why is ok to call people who don't like swearing "prudes, social authoritarians, socially awkward",? You are classify me in a pejorative way because I don't like swearing.


No, I didn't. I stated: "Frankly, the reverse can be true in regards to swearing, as seen above, and even in the OP, that people who don't swear or have an issue with it, are prudes, social awkward, or authoritarians of sorts." and that was in reference to people who make assumptions about people who don't swear as being as misinformed as though who make assumptions, like you did, against those who do swear. This is either a misunderstanding on your part or a deliberate strawman argument, similar to the first response to me from you.

While it is oh so wrong for me to have my opinions about people who swear.


Except I already stated: "I have bosses who use swear words, which leads me to have less respect for them. Your opinion, to which you are entitled." You continue to jump to conclusions with your comments; "Also, my bosses are in a higher class than I am, so since I am just a peon I have no right to object to anything they do." and "How can I be authoritarian when I don't object to my bosses swearing? To me the fact that I can't object makes them authoritarian not me." I have no idea if your bosses are indeed from a higher class, only by what you are claiming. They may have more power due to their administrative nature, but it doesn't mean they are socio-economically more advantaged than you and, frankly, that isn't the point.

Lastly, some kids called me a "fat bitch", apparently objecting to that makes me a authoritarian prude.


You simply reworded the first strawman remark you made to me. (So my object to some kids who called me a "fat bitch" I am being classist?) And I will simply say, like I did the first time in regards to your assertion: Did I say that? Why no, I didn't. What you are describing is a personal attack which happens to have a word you classify as a "swear." Had those kids called you a "fat cow", would that have really been any different? No. It would have still been a personal attack, a gendered one, as well, just sans a word considered by some to be a "swear". No one is stating that you must accept personal attacks when profanity is used. No one, not a single person, has claimed such an attack is not abusive.

You are speaking about something specific and trying to rework what I said in my first post, which is about generality, to desperately fit your specific example. I will make this as simple as I can:

-- There are some who think anyone who swears is low-class and/or uneducated. This is can be a form of classism. EG. I heard Jennings use a profane word, so you know he is an abusive person, and so low-rent, to boot.

-- There are some who think anyone who doesn't swear or objects to it, is prudish (can also be classist), socially awkward, or an authoritative i.e. "Grammar (word) Nazi" EG. Someone heard me say "Damn!" when I stubbed my toe and proceeded to dress me down for "swearing!" That person was nothing but a self-righteous soul seeking attention!"

-- Swearing, using profanity, is simply another way in which some people communicate. Some use it sparingly for a variety of reasons, some use it profusely for other reasons, and some don't use it at all, for their own reasons.

-- I discussed but a few of "those reasons" in my first post, and referenced the reasons of others I had seen in the thread.

Just because you have been personally abused by profanity doesn't mean you weren't abused, but it also doesn't mean anyone who uses profanity is abusive, either.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #104)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 11:10 PM

112. omg--(been reading these back-and-forth exchanges); you have the patience of a

fucking saint!

(yeah, i only threw that "fucking" in to be ironic considering the topic)

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Response to malletgirl02 (Reply #72)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 07:13 AM

119. Wait, what?

It's not all about you unless YOU specifically are the object of the cuss words.
Also, god help you if you ever go to the UK, or Ireland, or pretty much anywhere else where English is spoken. Maybe the Queen wouldn't say swear words, but everyone else sure as hell will.

Signed, an apparently abusive jerk because I use "fuck" in the abstract.

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Response to malletgirl02 (Reply #65)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 07:02 AM

117. If they called you a grossly obese woman

it would have been acceptable?

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:37 PM

64. I have found that when I feel the need to make a point by swearing.....

I get the point across much more effectively if I take the moment or two to contrive other words instead. I'm not always successful in finding the moment to clarify my thoughts. Sometimes even silence is preferable.

I can't discuss Trump with a Trumpists. The vocabulary goes into curse and condemn mode almost immediately. Silence is definitely preferable and until I'm ready to back up passion with action it will, hopefully, prevail.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:44 PM

70. I get tired of overuse.

I was on a plane once when two guys across from me, seemingly co-workers on a business trip, said fuck or fucking every other word in some experience they were recounting.. It was frankly obnoxious to listen to, like a Mamet play or something. I couldn't decide whether to say anything - ultimately did not - but I didn't enjoy it. And I swear fairly often, just not like that. I think they just used the word so much they weren't even aware of it.

I am not a huge fan of dropping f bombs where there are little kids around either. I have worked in childcare, and I highly doubt if the parents want three year olds to come home saying "shit" all the time.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 04:55 PM

76. Fine use swear word

Use a swear after every word if you want. It's your right, but it doesn't mean every one has to like or appreciate it.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 05:07 PM

79. My Dad used to tell us 4 kids "If you hear me say it, YOU can say it."

Well, a few adult cousins dropped by one Friday night and after we children went to bed, the Gals gossiped and the Guys (mostly my truck-driver Dad) started telling jokes... they thought we were asleep.

You can imagine how hard Mom laughed at the breakfast table when all 4 of us kids let fly the words we heard Dad say.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 05:10 PM

80. I like to curse. I curse here a lot. I replied to that thread and said so. But the DUer

who posted that thread is not a "self-righteous fucker, with a pathetic need for attention." He or she is simply someone who dislikes swear words.

The DUer who posted that thread is someone I disagree with on this. On other topics, we agree. He or she is certainly not someone I need to demean and insult.

What is the point of doing that?

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 05:12 PM

81. Lenny Bruce - when you outlaw the "f" word, you outlaw the ability to say "f" the government.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 05:13 PM

82. The last time I emailed my little brother, now a child not quite 70, I asked him if he could

remember anyone in our family who swore all the time since - especially since the rise of Trump - it seems I utter the word "fuck" with more frequency than any other word. He did come up with a great aunt who had the endearing names of "pisshead" and "shitheels" for her bank co-workers. I do manage to keep a civil tongue in my head when I'm out and about, but the real me tends to come out in my posts on this site.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 05:25 PM

87. I hear you

while there certainly is a context for cussing (I tend to tone it down around kids, for example) - in general, it always amazes me what offends some people and what does not

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 05:26 PM

88. Your OP doesn't make sense.

If "words are just universally agreed-upon sounds that convey concepts", and you "understand being offended by the concepts conveyed by those sounds", then you'd understand being offended by the words being said.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #88)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 05:53 PM

92. Hm. I can see what you mean. If I'm not stating my case clearly, let me elucidate:

My point is if one is going to be offended by a word, why is the word fuck considered vulgar, when the word homicide is not? Why are the words themselves, mere sounds or a string of alphabet characters, offensive? Are they truly offended by fucking and shitting? I'm trying to ask why words themselves are offensive. Why is "fucking" vulgar, when "intercourse" is not? They convey the same concept, so why is the actual word vulgar?

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Response to pnwest (Reply #92)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 06:25 PM

97. I think Ocelot II explains it pretty well in #23.

I would add that "fucking" and "intercourse" only slightly convey the same concept. Languages have shades of meaning, and you can't just substitute any word you find in a thesaurus entry for another and leave the meaning unchanged. The difference of both from "making love" is considerable too. "Fucking" is assumed to be for pure physical pleasure (and can have connotations of violence, sometimes - the derivation may be from words meaning 'strike'), or even instinct, rather than 'romance', 'love' or 'affection'.

Part of our use of words is to indicate groups we're in, and, sometimes, which we aren't - or which our listeners aren't. As Ocelot II says, sometimes we want to transgress. Yes, most modern people are offended by shitting - that's why toilets have doors on them (Romans, I understand, had communal toilets. More unsavoury was the shared sponges on sticks for wiping themselves afterwards). Fucking is also, in nearly every modern society, done in private too, and most DUers would understand offence at someone doing it casually in public. We all have customs, that may change gradually (we may not be offended by a passionate kiss in public now, but 150 years ago, our ancestors might well have been).

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 05:34 PM

90. delete

 

Last edited Tue Oct 12, 2021, 04:50 PM - Edit history (1)

...

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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #90)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 06:17 PM

95. Seems to me that in your Buddhist template you have it backwards. Saying "shit" or "fuck"

means very little. As you said yourself, they are just placeholders.

Using a word like "trollop," no matter how archaic, actually does insult and demean the person you are describing. Pretty much the opposite of "right speech." "Trollop", by the way, has the added grossness of being a gendered slur. And FUCK! We certainly don't need any more "creative" gendered slurs.

I think it is much less hurtful, much more benign, when I use curses as exclamations or adjectives than when you use words, no matter how cute and "fun" and archaic, that insult and demean.

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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #90)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 06:37 PM

100. my takeaway from this is that you were proud of your daughter

calling another girl a trollop, because she didn't use the word slut?

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 06:24 PM

96. Most "curse words" aren't actually curses anymore...

... in which people tried to invoke God -- using "God's name in vain" (showing their own vanity) -- to curse some personal enemy to Hell or whatever.

What's so ironic about the traditional concerns about vanity is that the modern-day Bible-thumpers, who are most upset about meaningless curse words, also tend to express the most vanity when they confidently proclaim that God punished homosexuals in New Orleans with a hurricane.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 08:00 PM

102. Like others, I'm of an age where it was forbidden

But my mother beat me for swearing.
To hear or read others doing it highly triggering for me. I struggled through the first 15 minutes of that Travolta gangster movie 30 years ago, but was glad I stuck it out.
I’m still triggered and just as I wouldn’t consider farting in someone’s face I can’t assault their ears with what I consider the verbal equivalent.

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Response to dickthegrouch (Reply #102)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 10:24 PM

106. For true desensitization to the F-bomb...

Watch Scarface (1983) with Al Pacino.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 10:38 PM

107. A tutorial.

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Response to roamer65 (Reply #107)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 02:23 PM

129. Fucking hilarious

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 10:51 PM

108. Go ahead and spit on the sidewalk and scratch

your balls while you’re cussing up a storm. Only self-righteous attention-seekers will care.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 10:54 PM

109. Words-- specifically dehumanizing words -- are prelude to action.

 

If you call people "sh*t at some point you will treat them like sh*t.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 11:00 PM

111. Not a bit offended.

Somewhat bored with the lack of knowledge of the English vocabulary these days. So many interesting words and phrases in our language. But if fuck is your go-to every other word, have at it. Just don’t expect me to listen too closely.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Sun Oct 10, 2021, 11:18 PM

113. Everything in moderation. Be aware of your audience.

I don’t think swearing is particularly professional. I would be shocked if my banker told me to deposit the effing money.
My banker would be shocked if I told him to deposit the effing money.

My Catholic mother in law would not be impressed with a string of f-bombs.

And yes, effing means exactly the same so why use a more offensive word.

Not sure about class or intelligence but to me it’s more aggressive and intimidating.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 12:24 AM

115. Swearing is easy, anyone can do it

it takes self control and wanting to get your point across in an adult way to refrain from it. I'm a filthy talker but I use it at home inside not in public. I really don't want turn to off people and have them discount every point I want to make because they feel like I'm out of control

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Response to pnwest (Original post)


Response to pnwest (Original post)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 09:01 AM

121. I've fallen short of my own principles with regard to cursing

Generally speaking, I think there's a time and a place. I feel that cursing around someone you don't know may be interpreted as rude and/or disrespectful. That said, I've been cursing a lot over the past 6 years. I'm not proud of it, but it is what it is.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 10:56 AM

122. Cussing around grownups bothers me zero and it bothers me less and less that it bothers others.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 11:50 AM

127. One of my favorite Lenny Bruce routines:


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Response to thucythucy (Reply #127)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 02:18 PM

128. HA! That's great

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Response to pnwest (Reply #128)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 03:20 PM

130. Here's another one you might like.

He was arrested for this as well, in 1961 or ;62.

Great comic, though as a drummer only so so.


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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 03:44 PM

132. It sucks if it's done by assholes in the wrong settings or as spice to mask boring or stupid

Spitting is fine if it's on a baseball field, but spitting on the carpet indoors will get you left out of parties. Swearing is situational. Usually, for me, I read too much swearing as a trace odor of low personal strength in the swearer. They can only create voltage but can't do current.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Mon Oct 11, 2021, 06:49 PM

135. Country Joe McDonald the fish cheer

I never said a bad word until I was about 12, in the 6th grade. Born in1951, I saw Country Joe mcDonald many times in concert, the f- word and Viet Nam had crowds of people screaming the f- word. I cursed then, stopped when I had children at home, while teaching elementary school. Occasionally a "bad word" escapes my mouth in front of my grand children, otherwise I curse whenever I want too.

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Response to pnwest (Original post)

Wed Oct 13, 2021, 10:08 AM

136. Just because this belongs in this thread

This just belongs here.

[link:|

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