Obscenities: Why are people so upset by them?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by CwrnPuppet, Aug 9, 2002.

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  1. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    The same reason some people still believe in religions.

    INDOCTRINATION

    If something has been drilled into your head since you were old enough to think...you tend to believe it is true. No matter how insane it is.


    It is not just indoctrination. Take, for example, the body processes category I mentioned. Most people do not refer to human waste in polite society. Why? Because it reminds people of such things as the smell and texture of human waste. Besides, who really wants to focus on the results of our digestive systems?

    Or, you can look at the sexual swear words. Again, a person should not be discussing their sexual practices in polite society. Why? Because it is not necessary to do so. Also, many of this category refer to acts that are considered wrong by our society (again, often involving close relatives and usually a person's mother). Such references are meant solely to offend.

    Again, epithets and other insult should have no place in polite society either.

    Finally, the religious terms are used only to offend another person's beliefs. A person who says "Damn you!" is expressing their desire for a person to receive eternal condemnation, according to their religious beliefs. Again, these are used mostly to insult others.

    In short, the purpose of obscenities is to offend others, either through direct insult or by bringing up subjects that have no place in polite discussion.

    Kimball Kinnison
  2. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    I myself don't use swear words, but I am not particurally offended when I hear them used (especially in movies). I mean, my mom is my Sunday school teacher, and she says "s***" and "damn" sometimes. I've heard her utter a few other choice words, but not often. She never uses the Lord's name in vain, however.

    Yet my parents have never sheltered me from reality. When we watch movies, we don't get offended by strong language (I mean, we watched Training Day together!) because it's part of the real world and we're doing ourselves no good to shelter ourselves from that language in the home when we're going to encounter it everywhere else.

    I personally don't use swear words mostly because I never have and it would sound weird to me to hear myself saying those things. Besides, I come up with much more creative ways to express myself (which usually gets laughs).

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  3. stevo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 14, 2001
    star 4
    If the reason a swear word is a swear word because of the subject it relates to-- why is there a difference between s--- and crap, or ---- and dung?
  4. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    If the reason a swear word is a swear word because of the subject it relates to-- why is there a difference between s--- and crap, or ---- and dung?

    Well, like I said, in polite society. For example, I doubt if you were at a state dinner you would be using words like "crap" or "dung", let alone a stronger version, nor would you be discussing sex acts of any kind (most likely). As you move farther and farther away from the more formal situations, the milder terms, while still inappropriate, do not provide as much offense, depending on context.

    However, I am a great believe in this quote from Gordon B. Hinckley. "Swearing just shows that you ddon't have a big enough vocabulary to keep from swearing."

    Kimball Kinnison
  5. Darth Mulacki Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 4, 1999
    star 5
    Here in Denmark(a part of scandinavia) the f-and s-word is a common part of the vucabulary. It's used all the time in TV and newspapers and nobody cares. They are common insults but are also used in a more friendly way Fx. if somebody tells a doubtfull story
    I can go "yeah right, go f*** you" and the person doesn't give a damn.
    If somebody makes fun of me, I just give them the finger and a false smile and they start laughing.

    But for some reason some people give me a angry glare in I say an obsceniti with the word god in it.


    -Mulacki

  6. Saint_of_Killers Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 5
    I think the idea that people who cuss are uncreative is rather silly. Taking som random word and saying "if you use this word, you're not vreative and have a limited vocabulary" is stupid. Besides, you'd be suprised how creative some people can be with cuss words.
  7. Dathka Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 24, 2002
    star 1
    The question can only be answered when you answer the question that comes prior to it. (I tried to reword that, but I couldn't. So if it didn't make sense the first time give it another try ;)).

    WHY do you swear? Why not say "OH LOVELY ROSES!" next time you hit your thumb with a hammer? I'm not being sarcastic here :). WHY do you swear?

    It us usually associated with short uncontrolled anger, which is why it is probably a taboo on our society (and sensibly so).

    But it is also often being used to add dramatic effect to something a person is saying. It's MEANT to shock, draw attention to whatever the speaker is trying to emphasize.
    I, personally, don't have a lot of respect for people who use it every two sentences and casually. It usually shows how weak a grasp that person has of the English language if you use it that often. It's crude.

    But they CAN be used, in the right circumstances. Robin Williams uses them all the time in his stand up routine. And he's FUNNY! Because he knows how to use them. He uses them for dramatic effect and NOT because he can't think of anything else to say.

    EDIT:
    I also want to add quickly that many people I've met who casually swear say "What's the harm? It's just a word.". But they take a bizare GLEE in watching people be shocked by them. THAT is why they use the words. And that's the crude behaviour I was refering to.

    I am NOT saying that people who swear are unimaginative. It's used more in the army etc because there's a NEED to shock and quickly draw attention. That doesn't make them cruder or more unimaginative or dumber.
    But if you're some teenage punk living in suburbia and not the south side of Chicago and have no real REASON to use them, other then to shock people and feel cool about doing it, then I think you're crude and a loser. It's all about when, where, and how, how often and to what extent you use them :).
  8. Maveric Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 17, 1999
    star 4
    I agree with Kimball, in my experience, those who swear constantly use it to cover up a lack of vocabulary.

  9. solojones Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 27, 2000
    star 9
    If the majority of people are offended by cussing, maybe you should consider cutting back some. Or be creative. Try "fluff" instead of that OTHER f-word. Really, it's pretty funny when you shout "What the FLUFF!?" and everyone stares at you ;)

    My fav expression I've made up is "that irks the flea"

    I'm a nerd.

    -sj loves kevin spacey
  10. CwrnPuppet Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 4
    WHY do you swear? Why not say "OH LOVELY ROSES!" next time you hit your thumb with a hammer? I'm not being sarcastic here . WHY do you swear?

    Why not? Obscenities are unique as expletives: While they add not true meaning to a statement, they can add intent, emphasis or humor.

    It us usually associated with short uncontrolled anger, which is why it is probably a taboo on our society (and sensibly so).

    My point is that they don't need to be associated with such things. They certainly aren't in my neighborhood. They're mostly used for comical effect.

    But it is also often being used to add dramatic effect to something a person is saying. It's MEANT to shock, draw attention to whatever the speaker is trying to emphasize.

    I many cases, yes; but not always. Personally, I never swear to shock. In fact, I very adamantly avoid it. If I know that someone will be offended by such words, I try not to use them in their presence: This is simply out of a desire to be polite, but I still feel that it's rather silly and superstitious to be so upset by mere words.

    I, personally, don't have a lot of respect for people who use it every two sentences and casually. It usually shows how weak a grasp that person has of the English language if you use it that often. It's crude.

    That's nice. Me and my masters degree in English tend to disagree. Expletives are part of the language and have their uses: Pretending that they are crude or non-existent makes no sense to me.

    But they CAN be used, in the right circumstances. Robin Williams uses them all the time in his stand up routine. And he's FUNNY! Because he knows how to use them. He uses them for dramatic effect and NOT because he can't think of anything else to say.

    Agreed, to a certain extent. There is a distinct difference between using such words for effect and using them for lack of any true verbosity. Either way, who really cares? Some people are better at speaking than others - why are we to hold it against anyone simply because they haven't the talent in this area that others, such as Mr. Williams may have?

    I also want to add quickly that many people I've met who casually swear say "What's the harm? It's just a word.". But they take a bizare GLEE in watching people be shocked by them. THAT is why they use the words. And that's the crude behaviour I was refering to.

    It may be crude, but it isn't completely without merit. They may not be aware of the ways in which they are being post-modern, but shock does sometimes help people to accept these sorts of things, eventually. And these crude people also have a point: the only harm that can be done is inflicted by the "victim" on themselves. Sticks and stones, you know.

    I am NOT saying that people who swear are unimaginative. It's used more in the army etc because there's a NEED to shock and quickly draw attention.;/i]

    Why is there such a need?

    But if you're some teenage punk living in suburbia and not the south side of Chicago and have no real REASON to use them, other then to shock people and feel cool about doing it, then I think you're crude and a loser. It's all about when, where, and how, how often and to what extent you use them.

    Wait... There is a NEED in the army, but not in suburbia? If you think it's all sun and roses there, I've got news for you. Teenage pecking orders can be fierce.
  11. gwaernardel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2001
    star 4
    Okay, I just found this line incredibly funny: Me and my masters degree in English tend to disagree.
  12. TreeCave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    I think the idea of "curse words" comes from Kimball's first category - with words that condemn someone's soul or insult their deity, you are "cursing" and that offends them. I normally curse regularly, but I refrain even from saying "Oh my god" around people I don't know well, because there are people who feel taking the "lord's name in vein" is far more offensive than a string of words you can't say on TV. And frankly, I understand why and respect that.

    Other curse words I can understand people being offended by are ones that insult someone's heritage, gender, sexual orientation, etc. However, I have heard racists put more venom in the term "African American" than could ever be put into any of the derogatory terms for black people. It's what is MEANT by the words that matters to me - that's why the whole PC movement has not worked out well. I mean, I take great offense at the PC term "vertically challenged" because it implies that my shortness is a source of shame that I need a pretty term for, as opposed to just one more physical trait, like my eye color. I'm not vertically challenged - I reach cabinets on a daily basis! :D
  13. Jedi_Master_Anakin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 4
    Well I think that religious affiliation with this subject seems a little ironic to me. I do not mean to attack anyone that is christian but does it not seem odd, that in the bible they use many of the four letter words, and now even when you use them in their correct definitive place, it is still looked down upon by most biblical religions. I never understood this, and probably never will. Again, I am sorry if I offended anyone who is in a biblical religion.
  14. DarthPhelps Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2002
    star 5
    ...does it not seem odd, that in the bible they use many of the four letter words...

    Interesting. Which words? (Use caution)

    If you mean Hell, of course it refers to a place. It isn't used in the context of foul language.
  15. Jedi_Master_Anakin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 4
    I am going to ask Knightwriterif it is exceptable to post those words if not, them PM me and I will give you a full listing.
  16. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    People who curse arent neccessarily unimaginative. I can curse someone out without them even knowing what i ma talking about. And the acts i can describe and the context in which they occur can be quite amusing to all around me.


    Lets face facts, there really is no reason a word should be banned. It is a word, nothing more nothing less.
  17. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    I am going to ask Knightwriterif it is exceptable to post those words if not, them PM me and I will give you a full listing.

    Just PM people if they want to know (or e-mail), as I don't think it would be acceptable here.
  18. Jedi_Master_Anakin Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 25, 2002
    star 4
    This thread must not die!

    [rant]First off. Obscenities are only obscene to those who choose to take them as such. For instance the word for which was used of old in reference to a donkey, was used daily, even minutely(if sucha word exists) And now because somebody decided that it is vulgar has convinced everyone that saying the word is obscene.

    Need further references? Ok, how about the infamous "F" word? Did you know that in Britain that word was placed upon the backs of underage drinkers who were caught being drunk. They would place those individuals in the army. They would say that you were caught being " Flamboiyant Under Carnal Knowledge". And now just because some individual happened to notice that the "F" word could also stand for "Fornication Under Carnal Knowledge" And so now saying the word is obscene. It is so pathetic to me that we allow people who just want an excuse to offend and anger people to define the words in which were used without harm or foul.

    Also, I would like to state that for the individuals in the United States of America maintain the right to speak how they wish. Racist, homophobic, hateful, and insulting words are allowed, and a majority of people seem to be fine with these, but the minute that profanity is used a large group of people suddenly are objecting to the first ammendment. What the heck? Its like their saying;

    "Well, I am for the First Ammendment unless what the person says offends me."

    That is so pathetic. Give us a break people. The First Ammendment gives us the freedom to the press, and the freedom of speech. What part of the line "freedom of speech" do you not understand? I just wish that people would just find something better to complain about then people swearing.[/rant]

    Peace and Love to all.
  19. Darth_SnowDog Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 10, 2001
    star 4
    Here's my question:

    Why is it that in America we place more emphasis on censoring sexuality (including expletives dealing with sexuality) but we find it perfectly okay to endorse violence and hatred?!

    I mean... it's generally considered okay for two men to beat each other's brains out on national TV (boxing) but the thought of two men being affectionate towards each other is often found repulsive by the same people.

    How screwed up is that? What does it say about society that we're willing to teach our kids that being a man is about being violent towards each other, rather than compassionate?
  20. CwrnPuppet Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 4
    Well, what would the US be were it not for strange contradictions?
  21. womberty Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    Because we want our men to be real men!

    And we want to protect the innocent women and children.

  22. CwrnPuppet Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 4
    *slaps forehead* Oh, that's right!

    Yep - violence makes you a *real* man, but some dirty words or some sex make you "corrupted".

    Kinda makes ya want to sing the national anthem, doesn't it?
  23. Darth_Omega Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2002
    star 6
    Well swear words in Holland are based most of the time on diseases like cancer and the other ones are based on old diseases...
  24. sleazo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 13, 2001
    star 4
    My favorite curse is Jamaican-- Bloodclot (or bumbleclot). Basically it means have a bloodclot in your heart or brain and die.
  25. ADMIRALSPUZZUM Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 13, 2002
    star 4
    Obscenity 1 : the quality or state of being obscene 2 : something (as an utterance or act) that is obscene

    I mean, no matter how you take it as a joke or if it doesn't offend you, it is MEANT to offend. That is why the use of such words is discouraged, because the whole point is to incite conflict or shock. The words themselves arent the issue. It is not so much the words but it is the meaning behind them that is the problem. Sure, its just a word, but look at what it means.

    My favourite thing to say instead of swearing is "Great jumping catfish!"
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