cussing

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AuthorTopic: cussing
Warrior
Member # 5483
Profile #0
Today there seems to be a lot of controversy over whether cussing is acceptable and under what circumstances so I figured I'd see what my fellow spiderwebbers thought. If you check one of the first 3 boxes then check no others.

Poll Information
This poll contains 1 question(s). 3 user(s) have voted.
You may not view the results of this poll without voting.

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Ignorance Is bliss -Cypher (Matrix)
Don't think you can; know you can -Morpheus (Matrix)

sanity is overrated :)
Posts: 130 | Registered: Monday, February 7 2005 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #1
Controversy? Please describe this, and what has changed to make you think this is something recent.

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WWtNSD?

Synergy - "I don't get it."
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Shaper
Member # 73
Profile #2
Why the first three? Why can't I say that swearing is only okay for adults who stub their toes?

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Posts: 2957 | Registered: Thursday, October 4 2001 07:00
Shaper
Member # 32
Profile #3
It helps add emphasis in places where other words just won't do...

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Lt. Sullust
Cogito Ergo Sum
Polaris
Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Guardian
Member # 2080
Profile #4
If it were up to me, I would be using profanity right now...

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--Orochimaru
Posts: 1918 | Registered: Sunday, October 13 2002 07:00
Agent
Member # 2820
Profile #5
In formal settings, profanity is disrespectful and should not be used except in the most extraordinary of cases.

In public, one should respect others who are offended by profanity. But if no one around minds, then profanity is perfectly acceptable in my opinion. To me, there is no compelling higher moral reason to avoid swearing. Like Sullust said, sometimes it adds the emotional kick to an otherwise bland sentence.

However, I think there is a limit to the frequency with which one should use profanity for various reasons. Excessive profanity causes the listener to become desensitized to the vulgar words, which become trite and lose their power to evoke any real emotion or interest.

Additionally, I find that people who swear too often have difficulty expressing themselves professionally and precisely at a moment's notice. When these persistent swearers cannot think of the specific word they want, they just use a swear word. Granted, most of the time this correctly conveys the overall mood and message, but at other times the final sentence is vague and impossible to interpret without further context.

For instance:

"That is some crazy @$$ @#%#!"
"Right... so do you like it or not?"

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Thuryl: I mean, most of us don't go around consuming our own bodily fluids, no matter how delicious they are.
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Alorael: War and violence would end if we all had each other's babies!
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Drakefyre: Those are hideous mangos.
Posts: 1415 | Registered: Thursday, March 27 2003 08:00
Agent
Member # 27
Profile #6
I'm not going to stop anyone from cursing, but in case anyone isn't sure, it always reflects poorly on your intelligence.
Posts: 1233 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #7
When using a language, having more words at your disposal not only makes you sound smarter, but enables you to express yourself more clearly.

Therefore, a better about swearing is not to avoid it altogether, but to avoid every third sentence in your speech being a swearword. This does not just apply to swearing; "like" and "totally" should be treated the same way. Of course, swearing should be avoided altogether when you are speaking to someone who may be offended by it. This is not about censorship (or this "political correctness" crap - I can say crap, right?), either; it is simply about being polite to other people so they like you more.

Unless, of course, behaving in a way that makes other people like you isn't your style. :P

[ Thursday, June 28, 2007 19:42: Message edited by: jg.faust ]

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Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair. | I have a love of woodwind instruments.
"That damn meddling eskimo." --WKS about Alorael
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Off With Their Heads
Member # 4045
Profile Homepage #8
Swearing is usually only good in extreme circumstances or when it's really, really funny. My LSAT trainer, the illustrious James Murphy, rarely swore, but when he did, it was amazing. I leaned over to my good friend in the training and said that there was something about the way that he swore, and she replied, "Yeah, it's sexy."

If he had sworn more often, though, it would've lost its effect, and I think that is generally true with most swearing.

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Posts: 7968 | Registered: Saturday, February 28 2004 08:00
Guardian
Member # 6670
Profile Homepage #9
Somebody give me an expletive that isn't a degrading sexual reference, an inappropriate use of a religious term, or a reference to an unseemly bodily function, and I'll use it.

Great Caesar's Ghost, perhaps?

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"Profanity is the feeble attempt of a weak mind to express itself forcibly."
Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
Law Bringer
Member # 335
Profile Homepage #10
Because profanity is so ubiquitous and generally meaningless now, it's lost a lot of impact. I've never really used it much, and if I feel a very strong emotion I can usually find a more original and satisfying way to express it. Primal screams and waving arms work well.

—Alorael, who thinks there's an element of courtesy and professionalism too. Just like you wouldn't throw slang and contractions into academic writing, you probably shouldn't start cursing at length in front of someone else's children, your boss, or total strangers. There's no good reason for it, but cultural mores rarely make sense.
Posts: 14579 | Registered: Saturday, December 1 2001 08:00
Guardian
Member # 5360
Profile #11
Nalyd believes that cuss words should not be used by children, and not in formal situations.

Everything else was unmarked.

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May the fires of Undeath burn in your soul, and consume it.
Posts: 1636 | Registered: Wednesday, January 5 2005 08:00
Shock Trooper
Member # 6754
Profile #12
Sticks and stones. It's extremely closed-minded to apply taboo to words. That's my opinion and, since I doubt I'll get much out of it at the moment, I don't care to explain.

If anyone wants my rationale, beat a path to my door.

[ Thursday, June 28, 2007 21:22: Message edited by: Nick Ringer ]

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One of these words is mispelled.
Posts: 284 | Registered: Tuesday, January 31 2006 08:00
Agent
Member # 2820
Profile #13
Most of the time, I consider being hurt by words as pretty weak since it is not physical pain (the most undeniable, clearcut sort of pain). But it is awfully lame to go around annoying people who just want you not to swear in order to get a kick out of free speech.

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Thuryl: I mean, most of us don't go around consuming our own bodily fluids, no matter how delicious they are.
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Alorael: War and violence would end if we all had each other's babies!
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Drakefyre: Those are hideous mangos.
Posts: 1415 | Registered: Thursday, March 27 2003 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 3040
Profile #14
quote:
Originally written by Dintiradan:

Somebody give me an expletive that isn't a degrading sexual reference, an inappropriate use of a religious term, or a reference to an unseemly bodily function, and I'll use it.

Great Caesar's Ghost, perhaps?

The problem is with specifying what "degrading," "inappropriate," and "unseemly" mean. I think it's more context and intent rather than words themselves that define expletives.

Jeff is probably smart to block out ****, for instance (it starts with a c and rhymes with punt), because many people find it degrading, but to others it may be a term of endearment.

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5.0.1.0.0.0.0.1.0...
Posts: 508 | Registered: Thursday, May 29 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #15
I don't know that I want to associate with someone in whose vocabulary it is an endearment. Language has different meanings to different people, true, but we can't reject an objectively true meaning completely if we want to communicate in it. And in this case, the objectively true meaning is insulting when applied to persons (and at least crude when applied to the organ).

Edit: I'm missing an option that said "... should be properly called cursing".

[ Thursday, June 28, 2007 23:13: Message edited by: jg.faust ]

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EncyclopaediaArchivesMembersRSS [Topic / Forum] • BlogPolarisNaNoWriMo
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair. | I have a love of woodwind instruments.
"That damn meddling eskimo." --WKS about Alorael
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #16
It's all context. In the army, an NCO walked into the insufficiently tidy barracks room of some friends of mine, and uttered an eloquent and perfectly grammatical sentence of eight words, four of which were variants upon a single taboo word. This was an extreme enough case to bear repeating as a story, but it shows that expletive inflation is less of a problem than you'd think. That particular NCO used cusswords practically as punctuation, but he was a smart and articulate guy nonetheless, and he had plenty of room left to make more forceful statements when needed.

Context, however, is serious business. Adapting your vocabulary to your setting is a basic intelligence task, and people who can't or won't do it tend to find life hard. That old NCO is surely out of the army by now, and I bet he doesn't speak that way in his current environment. As I said, he was smart.

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We're not doing cool. We're doing pretty.
Posts: 3335 | Registered: Thursday, September 4 2003 07:00
Law Bringer
Member # 2984
Profile Homepage #17
Clean this ****ing ****-hole the **** up?

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EncyclopaediaArchivesMembersRSS [Topic / Forum] • BlogPolarisNaNoWriMo
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair. | I have a love of woodwind instruments.
"That damn meddling eskimo." --WKS about Alorael
Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
Shaper
Member # 32
Profile #18
quote:
Originally written by Dintiradan:

Somebody give me an expletive that isn't a degrading sexual reference, an inappropriate use of a religious term, or a reference to an unseemly bodily function, and I'll use it.
I can think of at least one word that meets this requirement. However, I don't think it's a word that you should be using...

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Lt. Sullust
Cogito Ergo Sum
Polaris
Posts: 2462 | Registered: Wednesday, October 3 2001 07:00
? Man, ? Amazing
Member # 5755
Profile #19
In answer to bastard, I mean Dintiradan, there in fact are some words that are considered cusses without being considered to be part of your triumvirate. But honest to God, this whole thing is extremely cultural. Like illustrated by wz.As and then Aran, certain words can be deadly insulting to one group of people, and not to others, and an observer group looks on in amazement. They are just words, and their sole purpose is to convey a meaning prescribed by the speaker. If "****ing hell, you ****ing maggots better ****ing clean up this ****ing hellhole in the count of two" doesn't convey a meaning extremely clearly, I can't imagine what one of you would suggest would do it better, remembering to include all of the subtext of the message as well.

And I got a laugh out of the "unseemly bodily function." Because I know that you know that all mammals process food through digestion, and then expel the non-digestable parts from their anus. Just because humans have chosen, mostly for sanitary reasons and our own weak immune systems, to not make public crapping part of our general lives, does not make it unseemly. In fact, I would wager that anytime you hit the porcelein for longer than 3 minutes, anyone you were with knows what is going on, and doesn't give a ****.

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WWtNSD?

Synergy - "I don't get it."
Posts: 4114 | Registered: Monday, April 25 2005 07:00
Infiltrator
Member # 4248
Profile #20
Some months ago, I read the "Suuri kirosanakirja", (the Great Dictionaty of Curse words in english). It had some 50,000 curses in it... and many words in it weren't even curses in my consideration. Actually, the book made a very good point about cursing: a curse isn't about the word, it oftentimes isn't even about the meaning, it's about how you say it and when. Put your words right, and the name of any famous politician can make (a very good) curse, but even complete gibberish will do, if you but enough emphasis on it.

[ Friday, June 29, 2007 07:20: Message edited by: Frozen Feet ]

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I have nothing more to do in this world, so I can go & pester the inhabitants of the next one with a pure concscience.
Posts: 617 | Registered: Tuesday, April 13 2004 07:00
Guardian
Member # 6670
Profile Homepage #21
Well, I didn't intend my list to include everything (and I don't consider scatalogical references to be a big deal - I just don't get why they're used out of context. I've used crap and other words that the autocensor will catch quite often before... when I'm working with compost or emptying a septic tank). I suppose the problem arises from the difference between the prescriptive and descriptive viewpoints. Personally, I'd wonder why a NCO would keep talking about sex when he wanted us to clean up a barracks - which is why I'd be a poor fit for the military. :P

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There's a pizza place near where I live that sells only slices. In the back you can see a guy tossing a triangle in the air.
- Steven Wright

[ Friday, June 29, 2007 07:25: Message edited by: Dintiradan ]
Posts: 1509 | Registered: Tuesday, January 10 2006 08:00
Infiltrator
Member # 4248
Profile #22
Just sprung to my mind that discussing about sexual or religious minorities can be a real problem, 'cause many words are autocensored to keep people from insulting each other with them. Synonym dictionaries tend to come in handy.

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I have nothing more to do in this world, so I can go & pester the inhabitants of the next one with a pure concscience.
Posts: 617 | Registered: Tuesday, April 13 2004 07:00
Warrior
Member # 5483
Profile #23
Wow 22 replies overnight. Not bad for my first post in months. Well without school and with DSL hopefully that length of absense will never be seen again.
quote:
Controversy? Please describe this, and what has changed to make you think this is something recent.
Controversy simply refers to people on both sides of the debate feeling very strongly that they're right. As for the change to make it recent, I said no such thing I simply stated that it was a current issue that could use some discussion.
quote:
Somebody give me an expletive that isn't a degrading sexual reference, an inappropriate use of a religious term, or a reference to an unseemly bodily function, and I'll use it.
Depends; do you consider jackass a cussword? Some people do and some don't. (I don't)
quote:
I don't know that I want to associate with someone in whose vocabulary it is an endearment.
Good thing you dind't go to the same high school I did. S***head was what you called your friends. Example: "what's up, s***head?" Also you would hear nearly every word in the book almost every day and the rest usually every week. Other things were also said that you wouldn't hear in a lot of other places such as "you suck loose va(rest of word deleted in case of children present on thread)" Fortunately pretty much only freshmen got written up for it. I cussed many times every day myself and rarely even got told "watch your language."

[ Friday, June 29, 2007 08:37: Message edited by: The_Other_Guy ]

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Ignorance Is bliss -Cypher (Matrix)
Don't think you can; know you can -Morpheus (Matrix)

sanity is overrated :)
Posts: 130 | Registered: Monday, February 7 2005 08:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #24
quote:
Originally written by Dintiradan:

Somebody give me an expletive that isn't a degrading sexual reference, an inappropriate use of a religious term, or a reference to an unseemly bodily function, and I'll use it.

Great Caesar's Ghost, perhaps?

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"Profanity is the feeble attempt of a weak mind to express itself forcibly."

"**** the draft."
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00

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