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Friday, 3 July 2009

What a load of aul..

*** Warning - contains strong language and badly expressed opinions***

Swearing.

It's not big.
It's not clever.
It's not appropriate.
But we're all guilty of it.

This post is prompted by a group discussion about the 'c' word (I'm aware that some people are sensitive about that particular word, so I won't type it in full...we all know what it is.) It started simply with the question 'Does it offend you'? and the responses were varied and quite interesting. Very few people said that they weren't offended by it, some said that they were, but weren't quite sure why, and the rest insisted that they were indeed offended by it.

Swear words are funny old things though, aren't they? Where did they come from? Like...who thought up the word 'fuck' and decided that it would be an offensive word, a vulgar term that would be used to insult someone? And for all the other swear words that you know, the same applies. Who gave these simple words that power?

Some argue that it's not the words themselves that can be offensive, but the intent. That 'fuck you!' said with malice behind it is far more offensive than the same words said in a jesting, or apathetic way.
Others say that the words themselves are the problem, and are just unncessary, not to be used.
I tend to agree with the former. Swear words, to me, are just like any other. The person saying them is the one who puts the meaning behind them. The words alone are nothing.

One thing noticeable about swearing is that it's a lot less taboo than it once was. In my opinion, anyway. It's frowned upon, certainly, but it is accepted, however uncomfortably, by today's society. It's not shocking to hear someone use 'fuck' or 'shit' or 'bollix' in their everyday conversations. Which, in one way, is a good thing. It lessens the offending power of the words. I do, however, shudder everytime I hear a child of any age telling someone to 'piss off' or 'get the fuck away from me, ye bastard!'. The downsides of a society open to swearing, I suppose..

Before I wrap up this already rambly post, I'd like to go back to the 'c' word. I want to know just why so many people find it offensive. Of those asked, they stated it's because it's a derogatory term for female genitals. Fair enough, this is true.

But...what about words like 'dick(head)', 'prick', 'bollix', 'knob'...all swear words, all insults. All derogatory terms for men's bits. And yet there's nowhere near as much stigma surrounding those words. Should men get all uppity and offended whenever one of those words are used now?

And then, there's arsehole...

(see Lette's Blog for her take on swearing)

17 comments:

CranberryScone said...

---my comment in rated NC-17----

I have no idea why it offends people. As long as curse words aren't meant to hurt or alienate an entire group of people [like fag or nigger] I really don't care either way. Growing up, my mom taught us never, under any circumstances were we to use the word pussy or cunt and anyone who does use such words... well, they're low class.

I think I've developed a distaste for such words as I myself don't them, but I know people who do and they don't bug me. I like to think of swear words as having the movie rating system...
like... damn, hell etc are in the PG rating... I wouldn't freely use them around small children, but 12 and up, it's on.
Shit and ass is around the PG-13 level
Fuck, etc... those are more of my rated R language that I typically use only around adults.
But words like pussy and cunt... those are words that I consider NC-17. There's really no major use for them, you can live your whole life staying R and below, but hey, some people like it.

Does this make any sense to anyone other than me?

ps. you SHOULD be able to read my blog, please tweet me if you can't!

Maxi Cane said...

I'm sorry. I'm confused.

Some people don't like swearing?

What a pack of can'ts.

Colette said...

hehehehe penis! :p cheers for the link back only saw that now :) I dont like the c word simply because of the way it was beat into me never to use it even though it was fine to use everything else!! LOL its stupid really its only a cunting word! :p

PaddyInEngland said...

pretty sure fuck came from a german plane of the same name in WW1 and the english used to say the fuckers are coming when they saw the planes approaching

Daily Daydreamer said...

@Scone - Thanks for the well thought out reply. It does make sense. I don't think people who swear are low class though, it's the way some people chose to communicate. Some people may not agree or like it, but different strokes for different folks I suppose!

@Maxi - I know...I found it sooo fucking hard to believe too. What the fuck like?!

@Lette - No problem, thought it tied in nicely with the topic! :)
Agree, it IS only a word, and, like I pointed out in the post, men dont get offended at words which IMO are the male equivalent of it...so what's the big deal?

@Paddy - Really??

B said...

I am not offended by any swearing in the slightest, but find a lot of internetty stuff has this silly "pro-swearing" attitude that just seems ridiculous(unless it's extremely creative swearing, eg. The Thick of It)...

Going outta your way to swear to show you're not afraid of the big bad words is sorta like white people going outta their way to make black friends so they won't look racist; ie. it's completely ridiculous and shows that you do bother a bit too much about it to truly not care.
If that makes sense?

I hate the old forced f*cks. "This is ffffffffffffff-fffff-fffffffffff*cking thing is F*CKING ridiculous."

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