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Why is swearing considered bad?

Discussion in 'Cafe toonzone' started by buttah, Oct 24, 2008.

  1. buttah

    buttah Member

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    I don't understand why it's such a bad thing in society. I remember when I was younger and believed swearing was bad simply because my parents told me so, but they only believed that because their parents told them so and so on and so on. That's obviously why most people believe that too and I wonder why people people blindly follow that belief and cover their children's ears like it'll hurt them or kids get soap stuck in their mouths or people could get suspended from school because of it when those things would hurt them more than a few words would. It doesn't make sense, it's like getting offended over saying "what" for no reason and it's something that's annoying me more and more.

    What's your thoughts on this?
     
  2. Roman Legion

    Roman Legion Let's Make a Deal
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    Gee, aren't you special*.
    (Pause your reaction!)

    Seems obvious enough to me. Swears, like all other words, are nothing more than a bunch of sounds strung together, right? Well, almost. They're "just" words, but words have meaning. Words are given meaning through usage. The problem with profanity is thus intent. If you've ever been offended by anything spoken or written, you should be able to grasp the concept of language which causes offense. On the other hand, if you're unusually thick-skinned, it's possible you'll never understand.

    * Note this sentence. I'm not actually trying to insult, just providing an example. Say I actually meant to offend you. If that were so, the sting comes through intent. "Special" didn't always have use as an insult. There's a whole class of insults that insinuate someone is of less than average intelligence by associating them with the mentally challenged. Note that this should also be considered offensive to someone who's actually mentally challenged, as it's a serious condition that many good people suffer from. Term after term, including "special", has fallen to insult through this process of association. A similar process creates profanity out of terms for homosexuals, women, and several ethnic groups that people have demeaned or oppressed in the past. Other linguistic processes, possibly through associations with feelings of shame, have created swears out of actions or words body parts.

    Some parents' attitude toward profanity can be taken to the point of absurdity, but stupid parenting is another matter.

    --Romey
     
  3. buttah

    buttah Member

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    Even then swear words intended meanings aren't bad, the f word means to have sex, if I can say "to have sex" then why would it be so much worse to say the f word? the s word? poop, nothing too bad about that to me, we all make it, damn is to condemn, I guess that would be more insulting to an older society but not today which is why I guess damn isn't considered as bad. The b word is the only one that could be really insulting because it would be calling a person a female dog and no one wants to be called that.But I still don't understand how it's so offensive.
     
  4. GregX

    GregX Active Member

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    Because people are uptight and look for reasons to get upset.
     
  5. Roman Legion

    Roman Legion Let's Make a Deal
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    Are you so sure about that? :sweat:

    Personally, I don't want to delve into the etymologies of words that aren't appropriate on the very forum we're discussing on. It's treading too close to skirting the rules. There are a host of words and phrases which have lost their punch, if anyone needs to use examples.

    --Romey
     
  6. Wounded_Dragon

    Wounded_Dragon Active Member

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    Well, originally it descended from "Do not take the Lord God's name in vain." This was from a time when people really believed that using his name to curse someone would actually work.

    Somehow it got entangled with foul language and we've been having language "censors" ever since.
     
  7. Light Lucario

    Light Lucario Moderator
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    At first, I thought that swear words were bad simply because my parents told me so. This was when I was like around seven, maybe eight at most. Then, more and more people started calling me those names and I felt the negativity from their intent of saying those words. I was mostly called the b-word, on account of being a girl and all. Now, I still think that the swear words are bad not because of what my parents say, but because of the negative power that those kind of words contain. When I hear people say those words, I can feel the hatred, the anger and that causes me to be fearful.

    You know the old saying, sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Well, that's obviously wrong. Words have power and that power comes from the person's intention when they say them. Sometimes it is for humor, but I mostly hear it as a way to express anger and hatred. Saying the f-word is much worse than simply saying to someone that you want to have sex with them because of the more intense and fearful power behind the f-word. That may sound weird, but that's how I feel.

    By the way, the reason why the b-word feels offensive to me is because of how it imposes a sense of dominance. Considering being called that word means being called a female dog, that would have an imposing/dominating feeling on the person. At least that's how it is in my female perspective.
     
  8. Roman Legion

    Roman Legion Let's Make a Deal
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    One other take on swearing, anyone? As long as no 3rd parties are denigrated, it's sometimes useful to have "strong language". There are situations where cursing is more than appropriate. Certain words ought to retain the negative power they've earned for the sake of such expression, and that power is lost through casual use.

    Much less to do with that, more to do with the desecration of that which is held holy or sacred. This goes back to not even writing God's name, for fear of blasphemy, which is still avoided by some to this day.

    --Romey
     
  9. The Cartoon

    The Cartoon Moderator

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    It doesn't matter if they are just words. It has nothing to do with your parents telling you that they are bad either. Why would you have to say them in the first place? That is the real problem here. Could you give me one good reason why you couldn't use "freaking" instead of "f-ing?"
     
  10. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    Certain words are bad because people WANT them to be bad. They want them to be bad so they can yell them when they're angry or frustrated to give their angry statements an extra punch (or sometimes they say them casually just because they want to look cooler than they actually are).

    The F-word wouldn't get nearly as much usage if everyone was okay with it.
     
  11. G. Wen

    G. Wen aspiring artist

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    Another thing to take into consideration is respect. Now, I don't believe swearing should be allowed in class because of respect for your classmates, the teacher, and the environment you're in. You may not have anything against it, some may be offended by it. Of course, some have taken this to the extreme, and advocted the removal of all literature that contains swearing.:yawn: Use your good judgement before you speak.
     
  12. Desensitized

    Desensitized Old School!

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    Because people let the words hold power over them.
     
  13. Kitschensyngk

    Kitschensyngk Worse than one of those little blue crunchy things

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    I think much of the problem lies with decorum. It isn't so much that swearing itself is bad, it just depends on where you do it and who can hear you.

    Right here at KU, we're having a little problem with it ourselves. At every home football game this season, every time we kick off the student section sees fit to quote from The Waterboy and shout "RIP HIS FxxxING HEAD OFF!" after the ball is kicked. The university doesn't like it, the coach has asked them to stop and the school paper has run a full-page ad about it and have even ran a poll where students decide on a cleaner alternative chant. And yet some people defend it, claiming that it's their right to express themselves openly.

    I personally don't like the chant. Not only is it in bad taste and inappropriate in a place where people bring their kids, but it further convinces me that Adam Sandler movies will be the downfall of Western civilization.
     
  14. Dr.Pepper

    Dr.Pepper Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree with this and honestly couldn't say it better
     
  15. Daxdiv

    Daxdiv Does this look like the face of mercy?

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    For some odd reason, I believe that. For instance if some words do get to someone, they do hold this power over the person.
     
  16. dark knight acolyte

    dark knight acolyte Deep in the Shadows of Gotham

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    No more impromptu than the banalities of the grains of a triscuit, profanity's social radar for most is a mere matter of social inevitability. If it wasn't one word, people who- per mine- tend to complain by nature, would find another to be crude or offensive.
     
  17. Peter Paltridge

    Peter Paltridge Knows about rock people
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    What I don't get is why the slur for women (female dog) is more tolerated than the slurs for other groups or categories.

    Of course the word can also mean "complaining," but I don't see why women are fine with it while you can get in huge trouble for uttering the slurs meant for anyone else.

    Also: I seriously didn't know the C-word existed until last year, and if you've ever wondered how it would feel to never have the inner stigma attached to a bad word...it feels pretty alien. I don't get the "jump" I get from encountering the other words whenever I read it, yet it's apparently SO offensive it's barely used at all. I'm not going to go around saying it, but I don't know if I can be "trained" to react to it this late in life.
     
  18. J'onn J'onzz

    J'onn J'onzz Best Male Member '08

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    I don't get how swearing is offensive. Why is "what the hell" more offensive to some than, say, "what the heck"? And why is "what the f***" any more offensive than "what the hell"? It has no meaning in that context. It's not "what the sex" or anything, that doesn't make sense. Similarly, Jesus Freaks who freak out about "what the hell" confuse me similarly. Yes, the word originated as a religious term, but in coliloquial usage, there is no real reason they should be offensive, considering they are usually just used as emphasis. There's someone at my school who actually is so afraid of swearing that she had NIGHTMARES about another student because they swear. I suppose I could see that if the other student swore AT her (like, calling her a b*tch or telling her to go f*** herself, though I'd still be kind of :shrug: toward having a NIGHTMARE about that) but she doesn't. And even when it is used in an insulting fashion, why do you care? There are just as harsh non-swears. If I called someone an "******bag" would it be that much more offensive than calling them, I don't know, "an incompetent idiot whose existence serves no purpose", or something like that? If you get rid of swearing, it doesn't get rid of offensiveness. It just gets rid of one way of saying it, which is oddly frowned upon, while other methods are not.

    edit: Wow, I triggered the word filter a LOT. D**ch is filtered now? Considering the topic, I think swearing is acceptable, though. You can't really go to a thread about swearing and not expect swearing, even as examples...
     
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  19. GWOtaku

    GWOtaku Moderator
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    Sometimes we swear, it happens. Nobody's perfect. I try to never go stronger than a hell or a damn. My problem is with people that make swearing a common part of their language. Then it becomes a substitute for saying what you mean, and it's just lazy. It's a heck of a lot easier to refer to something and make a "what the ______" remark then to actually say something coherent about it. Show me a man that's swearing every other sentence, and I'll show you a man who's not thinking very much if at all.

    Also a lot of swears are just vile insults, so of course people will react badly. To the extent that they become commonly accepted, it's a bad thing. I totally agree that the prevalence of the b word, for example, is a problem. Such trends debase the language and gives the fools out there greater sanction to say whatever they want, then disguising it with a "hey, I wasn't being serious" excuse. I believe that if you're going to talk like a foul-mouthed idiot, then you should be treated like one.
     
  20. tb4000

    tb4000 Active Member

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    From grammar school on up, it's always been deemed cool to swear. That's what it comes down to. You may grow out of it, you may not. But there is a large section of the populous that, if you swear about something, they take you seriously or they laugh if you use it in a comedic fashion. The words will always have power unless the fates deem otherwise, man.
     

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