Author Topic: Swearing  (Read 5012 times)

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Offline animagusurreal

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« on: September 14, 2016, 09:24:50 am »
As mentioned in the rules, the debate forum is part of the family section of the forums, so please, no swearing in this thread. I think we can discuss it as a concept without actually doing it , or alluding to any specific swear words :).

There are two groups I've come across whose opposite views of swearing equally mystify me: there are the people who react to hearing even one swear word as if it's causing them physical harm, and the people who swear multiple times in every sentence they speak. I've actually been seated between these two groups on a bus, where the driver and an elderly woman seated in the front got angry at a group of swearing teenagers seated in the back. The woman exclaimed, "Why should I have to listen to this filth!" So the bus driver got on the loudspeaker and told the teens to stop. They politely agreed, and stopped...for about three minutes, before resuming as before. I don't think it was meant maliciously. I think it was so ingrained in their pattern of speech that they slipped back into it without even realizing. It seemed to be a verbal tic, as other people drop the words "man," "dude" or "like" into whatever they're saying multiple times. The thing is, those are very innocuous words, while swearing usually expresses some sort of extreme emotion. This, to me, is the purpose of these words, expressing things that ordinary words can't.  (Used sparingly, and in certain situations). But this group was just having an average even-toned conversation about their day. It doesn't bother me like it did the woman and the driver, they just strike me as strange words to use that way, but I'm sure it seemed totally normal to them.

Then, there's swearing in the media. I often run across comments like, "It was a terrible movie. It had swearing in it!" I also knew a guy who waited for movies to come to TV, just so all the swearing would be removed. I don't mean to dictate what their taste should be - again, I just don't get  it. Movies that feature swearing often focus on adult subject matter - war, organized crime, etc. - situations where people in real life might swear. A well timed swear can emphasize a dramatic moment or punch up a joke. It's also odd to me that saying certain swear words a certain number of times will automatically get your movie Rated R in America. At my local multiplex, this means a guard at the door of the theater to prevent teens from getting in, as if this is the only way they'll ever hear swearing. (It seems more likely to me they'll pick it up at home or at school.) Movies that are edited for TV will often feature much of their violent content, but will have swear words bleeped or removed. But as with swearing in real life, there seem to be two extremes. The other day, a co-worker saw me walking to work and offered me a ride the rest of the way. I was in her car for two minutes, and during that time, the rap song she was listening to repeated the same swear word at least seven times. It doesn't offend me, it just seems a tad excessive. Any sort of dramatic emphasis is lost by using it that often.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 09:59:09 am by animagusurreal »

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Offline Kobuk

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Re: Swearing
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2016, 02:08:09 pm »
You picked a really interesting topic for the Debate forum.  :P

We all swear. Even I do it.  :-[ We all do it for various reasons, and we all do it to different people. Why? I guess for some people, they just feel it's a better means to get your point across, whatever that might be. For others, the reasons could be, but are not limited to:
* They feel "empowered" by the stronger and fouler words/language and think swearing gives them power or commands respect/loyalty from others.
* They think they can get whatever they want by using swearing.
* They think that swearing can command other people to do what you want them to.

Swearing is an ugly form of communication. In short, it's disrespectful. Surely, people can learn other and better ways to communicate to others without having to belittle, put down, be rude, arrogant, and disrespectful toward other people? Swearing, IMO, just makes people rude, hateful, spiteful, and in it's worst ways, it makes people bigots and racists. What good from shooting off your mouth and swearing could ever come from that? NONE.  :P

And another bad thing about swearing: Watching the young kids do it. Is it really necessary to swear around children? If parents or other people are going to do it, then at least take your conversations to another room where there aren't any children. And if you think "Well, eventually, they're just going to hear it later as they grow up. So what's the big deal if they hear it now?"   Just because children pick it up when they're young doesn't make it right.  >:(

As an old saying goes: "Treat others as you yourself would want to be treated." 

Offline cause the rat

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Re: Swearing
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2016, 06:04:11 pm »
I swear when I'm angry. OK that's an understatement. I turn into a hung over sailor on a stormy Sunday morning when I'm angry. I can let out a stream of colorful metaphors that would rot the paint off a metal trash can. It's my quick release. Let it out and go on. To be honest I feel bad if I'm swearing wile talking to someone. I really don't like hearing it myself. it's ok if it's not overdone. An occasional deification or fornication reference is acceptable. A constant stream of it isn't edgy. It's just bad communication skills. Take a ten word sentence. Say the same four or five fraises over and over again. You end up with a 10 minute monolog. I end up with the feeling the speaker likes the sound of it's own voice.

I think it has it's place. Let's say you don't swear. If I hear you shout out " unfossilized pyrite!" it will get my attention. I will automatically what to find out what's wrong. If you say it all the time I wouldn't raise an eyebrow.
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Offline Chipper Blu-wolf

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Re: Swearing
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2016, 10:45:33 pm »
Heh you should hear all the choice words being thrown around on bowling league night. ;)  None of it personal of course, just people angry they made bad shots.  None of it is really harmful as we're all adults.  Now a Saturday morning league where the kids go and bowl, this type of language personally sets a poor example, and as one of the coaches I'd be taking any adult aside that decided to say that -- or kid for that matter!  When I worked at a rougher school, we had kids that are 5, 6, 7 that know all this wonderful colorful language to spout out at us because they're having a bad day!  Certainly not OK for the age, even if we are saying swearing is OK to let off steam--but to which age group, and to which people?  The reality is, if the kid grows up saying all these lovely four letter words because mommy and daddy shout and yell the same four letter words all over the house, then the kid never truly learns when its ok to let it out under your breath, or when its not ok to say the word at all.  This is the real problem.  >:(  I could make people wilt at the stories I have of pre-teens shouting off four letter words in a school.
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Offline Foxpup

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Re: Swearing
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2016, 11:37:22 pm »
I swear for rhetorical effect. It's a useful way to add emphasis, and sometimes it's simply the clearest way to say what you mean. (I do have in mind a particular swear word that has no exact synonyms in English, and thus its regular meaning cannot otherwise be expressed without resorting to convoluted phrases or potentially ambiguous euphemisms, but in accordance with the rules, I'll avoid identifying it.)

Of course, as with any rhetorical device, swearing is most effective when it's not overdone. There is a certain group of people who seem to know only two or three swear words and use them all the time. I can't help but laugh at these people. What are they going to say when they're really mad?

And I'm not even talking about the use of swear words in insults, which I very rarely do because it seldom adds anything. A truly cutting insult requires words taken from the whole of the language; the range of possible insults is extremely limited when using just swear words. It's a dying art form.

Offline Yip

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Re: Swearing
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2016, 10:23:13 am »
Personally, I think treating certain words as 'bad' is kind of dumb. It's just a collection of syllables which is no more or less powerful that any other collection of syllables. The important thing is not the words themselves but the meaning and intent behind them and the manor in which they are said.

Once while riding the bus, there was a guy that was saying things like "We hold these truths to be self evident..." and "For every reaction, there is an equal and logical reaction."  And this guy made me uncomfortable. Not because of the words, because I didn't have a problem with them. (Other than the fact that e said 'equal and logical' instead of 'equal and opposite'.)  What bothered me was the way e said it. Loudly, speaking to no one in particular. It gave me the feeling that this guy was drunk or maybe not all there. Either way, it means you have no idea what they might do, and that is unsettling.

I know that example is anecdotal, but I think it does a good job of illustrating what I'm talking about when I say it's not the words themselves that matter.

Offline Old Rabbit

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Re: Swearing
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2016, 01:20:31 pm »
I grew up in a non swearing enviroment. I often heard them in public places,
Just not at hom.

I never got in the habit of using swear words when writing or talking to others.
It's probably because I had to  deal with the public over the years in my work.

Though many people do swear, you can't tell by looking if they do or are accepting
of iit. So I never got int eh habit of doing it.

Many feel they need to use them to express their feelings and emotions. I am not offended
by the words, sometime i woder how they talk at home or to their kids.

I think they over use them in movies and in books. That's just my opinon.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2016, 01:25:43 pm by Old Rabbit »
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