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Swearing

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Mostly Harmless
40757.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 12:58 am Reply with quote

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Last edited by Mostly Harmless on Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:23 pm; edited 3 times in total

 
Feroluce
40771.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 5:06 am Reply with quote

I think that swearing is becoming more the norm in respone to how communication is changing.
We now have far more personal, yet anonymous forms of communication than ever before *points at bulletin board*
As a direct result, we are communicating to a far greater audience than ever before and far more often that ever before.

Profanity has often been labeled as 'bad' language.
People are now coming to understand that this is nonsense.
The purpose of language is to communicate.

If you see a child walking on the roof of a greenhouse you could either shout
"Get off that fucking roof" (profanity used to shock), or
"Em, could you em, you know, come down, you might fall, know what I'm sayin' n' stuff" (no profanity but definitely 'bad' language).

 
QI Individual
40776.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 5:28 am Reply with quote

The BBC still insists on bleeping out any words deemed inappropriate when a programme is on too early.

Quote:
Watershed policy

From 9pm the TV watershed helps parents protect children from unsuitable material. In all but exceptional circumstances, programmes before 9pm are suitable for general audiences including children. From 9pm they are progressively suitable only for adults.


I find it somewhat odd that 'QI' on BBC Two at 10pm is censored while 'Friday night with Jonathan Ross' on BBC One (which supposedly is geared towards a broader audience) only 35 minutes later is allowed much more freedom.

Who decides that?

 
Feroluce
40781.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 5:35 am Reply with quote

Personally, I think bleeping words after the watershed is redundant.

 
feynmanMH42
40782.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 5:37 am Reply with quote

I think QI is censored to make it funnier, don't you think swearwords would ruin the atmosphere?

 
djgordy
40783.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 5:38 am Reply with quote

Not that I'm bothered about such things but it must be admitted that there is no consistency at the BBC with regard to the watershed. I was watching something last week with the subtitles on. One of the characters said 'fuck' unbleeped but the subtitles came up as 'f**k'.

 
violetriga
40786.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 6:00 am Reply with quote

While I don't like to hear excessive swearing (especially from youngsters) I think it's a bit odd to be offended by something quite so simple as a single word.

We seem to be changing the naughtiness levels of words - I heard "crap" on Blue Peter fairly recently, and that would've been unheard of in the not-so-distant past. There are still some words that are seen as very bad, but many others have become generally acceptable.

 
Mr Grue
40792.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 6:43 am Reply with quote

I'd say it's presumptuous to assume that words we now consider as taboo (or recently taboo) have been taboo for centuries. Restoration verse is rife with swears, but it's impossible to tell how much shock they would have had, post Puritan or not.

Folk etymologies also are worth noting, because they tend to suggest the notion of having to explain a particular swear word to polite society, which in turn suggests that swearing benefitted from a more divided society.

What I find interesting is the fact that taboo words tend to reflect other social taboos - most taboo words that currently have the power to shock are either racist or target minorities.

And the last bastion of the sexual swear-word is the c word, which I suspect is one of the last vestiges of the reification of women. Although the belief that it is "the word that hates women" sort of works both ways with that.

 
Mostly Harmless
40794.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 7:00 am Reply with quote

..


Last edited by Mostly Harmless on Sun Jan 08, 2006 5:23 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
QI Individual
40809.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:10 am Reply with quote

It can be funny too though. I mean.... Open This Link and tell me you didn't laugh.

*Warning - Language of an explicit sexual nature - although used in some of the silliest combinations you've ever heard*

 
dr.bob
40817.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:35 am Reply with quote

Mr Grue wrote:
And the last bastion of the sexual swear-word is the c word


Surely that taboo must be on its way out when Caprice was able to say it on "This Morning" (definitely before the watershed!)

Personally I find it silly to be offended by words. By doing that, you're effectively handing a great power over yourself to anyone who's prepared to say the word.

I think swearing can be used effectively in language to express certain emotions. However, when I hear people (I hate to use the term "chavs", but there you go, I said it) who use a swear word almost every other word it strikes me as a bit silly. If you're using these words so commonly, what have you got left to express more extreme views?

Mr Grue wrote:
Although the belief that it is "the word that hates women" sort of works both ways with that.


In "Spaced", Simon Pegg and Jessica Stevenson established that "the word that hates women" is "leotard" :)

 
Mr Grue
40819.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:37 am Reply with quote

jumpsuit, surely?

There's the theory that people who swear continuously are using it as a pause in which to come up with the right word, much like other people um and ah.

Also, swearing can be useful as a rhythmic device, seen best in stand-up comedy as a means of delaying or elevating a punchline.

And apropos of nothing, posh people are the best swearers of all.


Last edited by Mr Grue on Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:42 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Tas
40820.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 8:40 am Reply with quote

Ah, it's all bo!!ocks, anyway!

:-)

Tas

 
dr.bob
40828.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 9:07 am Reply with quote

Mr Grue wrote:
jumpsuit, surely?


D'oh! Me and my faulty memory :)

Mr Grue wrote:
There's the theory that people who swear continuously are using it as a pause in which to come up with the right word, much like other people um and ah.


That's certainly what it sounds like, but as I said it does rather devalue the word.

An example of what I mean is in the film Life Of Brian. There's a bit about half-way through the film where Brian, exasperated by a crowd of people following him, finally just turns round to them and tells them to "Fuck Off!!!!!". This causes a stunned silence among the crowd following him and is a genuinely funny moment.

It was only after watching the film a few times that I realised why it might be so funny. The character of Brian doesn't actually say the word "fuck" before this point. There's plenty of other swearing in the film, but his character refrains. So, when he finally does let rip, it really conveys just how emotionally charged and frustrated he's getting with these people.

I can't help feeling that, if he'd been swearing all the way through, it would've made that moment less funny.

 
samivel
40883.  Tue Dec 20, 2005 12:48 pm Reply with quote

The C-word was standard English at one time, and was used in texts on surgery and anatomy, but became unacceptable by the end of the fifteenth century. It's used more often now than previously, but it still offends a lot of people.

The first recorded use of the word in English is from a 13th-century map of Southwark, which includes a place called 'Gropec*ntelane', situated, as you may expect, in an area known for its brothels

 

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