Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Okay, so this post is all about swearing. Ha ha ha. I though it would be a funny topic for a post. To be honest, I find swearing pretty funny. I don’t find it offensive in the least. Why is the word f*ck any different than the word puck?  It’s just another word, isn’t it? Yet people find it so offensive. I think it’s rather interesting. Oh well, swear words will be swear words I suppose. Actually I think that a well chosen swear used at the right time is quite effective! Swearing itself doesn’t bother me. What bothers me is when a swear is (a) used in a derogatory manner towards another person, and (b) when it is used is such excess that it becomes meaningless. Come on, a swear is a swear, it’s not supposed to be used as a noun, adjective, adverb, pronoun etc. (in one sentence!). So yeah, I’m not completely against swearing, I think it has it’s place, but I think it is way overused in a meaningless way in our society. Personally, when I stub my toe, I’m much more inclined to say “bother!” then anything else, much to my companion’s amusement.


Dorothy said...

It bugs me for the reasons you mentioned, but yeah, it can be used in an okay way sometimes.
If someone's using it repeatedly, to me it sort of indicates that they lack vocabulary skills.
It also bothers me if someone's swearing around a little kid as often the meanings to swear words are things they really shouldn't know at that age. F*** doesn't mean something G-rated at all when you think about it.

Logan said...

Too True!, but what I am wondering is who is your companion?

Shelagh said...

Nice discussion topic Daniel!

I am often offended because of the context in which the swears are used. They are either directed at someone or worked into a speech pattern. The words do have meaning, often derogatory or hurtful. When they are part of a speech pattern often the user does not realize they are using them. they may not realize that many in our society are judging them, especially in the workplace. I believe using them reduces the civility of society.

Sh*t means excrement - so if someone says "you little sh*t", then it hurts. If someone smacks their head and says "sh*t" out loud, then the meaning is not the same, but the word is still heard by others.

The words we choose to use, and the tone of voice we choose to say them with, has an impact upon the listener. Many swear words are meant to warp, ridicule or destroy something which is actually beautiful. Think of the hateful swear words used in parts of Quebec aimed at the Catholic Church. When I first began having them yelled at me while taking Quebec 411 calls I could not believe it was even legal to use them!

As you know we homeschooled Sarah. When she was about 7, she had a general idea about where babies came from and because of the way we explained it, she knew it was an act of love between a husband and a wife. She did not know any swear words. One day she was getting ready for bed and innocently asked me "Mummy, what does fuc*ing" mean?" I took a deep breath and we began another conversation - one I wished would not happen for a few more years. She could not understand why someone would refer to such a beautiful procreative act in such a crude and hateful way. Actually I don't either. Because I have been a parent for so long, and believe children have the right to their innocence for as long as possible, I do find swearing offensive. (And I haven't even started talking about how it offends and hurts our elderly.)

I think sometimes people swear because that is what they have been exposed to in their lives, and they don't know any other way to express themselves. We have such a wealth of words to choose from, and once we become aware of that choice, I feel we have a responsibility to make a choice which helps our world rather than hurts it.

For those of you who are reading this and feel swearing is harmless, I ask you to use your imagination. Imagine your future daughter or son. Would you swear around them or be comfortable with someone else swearing near them? Why? How will you explain these words to them without taking away yet more of their innocence? Would you be comfortable with your son or daughter swearing around their grandparents? If there is truly nothing wrong with it, then having a 3 or 4 year old aim their swear words at their 80 year old grandmother should be fine, right?

This is a great debate that has gone on for years and will continue to do so I'm sure!

Thanks for the musing Liber Boy. Keep them coming!

Dan said...

Shelagh/Dorothy- I especially agree that swearing in front of young children is especially inappropriate!

Something else that bothers me is that it seems that a lot of people have a hard time controlling the swears that some out of their mouthes, like it's such a habit that they can't stop where and when they swear.

Logan- I just meant whoever I'm with. Pretty much everyone I know seems to find it pretty amusing that I say "Bother!" when I'm annoyed. Don't worry, I'm still quite happily single. :)