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[P]
Well Shucks Howdy.

By porkchop_d_clown in Culture
Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 07:44:38 PM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

So now what you got to say, baby?


Once upon a time there was a word. A word so foul, so rancorous in meaning, in usage, that until recently even dictionaries refused to contain it. This word was so explosive, so corrosive that merely using it in a text would corrupt and contaminate paragraphs on either side. This word was so dangerous, so hazardous that even when someone did use it, others would go out of their way to hide it from sensitive eyes: "It means `Read the Friendly Manual,' sir."

Yet this word did, in fact, have its uses.

There are times in life when events overwhelm us; Times when despair overcomes us. Times when it seems as if God Himself has climbed down from his throne to administer unto you a personalized, monogrammed, butt-kicking. It used to be that when such things happened, we had a tool to express our utter and complete abjection - to verbally indicate that our souls felt as if we had just been chewed up and spat out by the great hay baler of life. But this is no longer true.

Recently, I participated in a discussion on what makes American culture distinct. Leaving aside such bits as flame wars over the precise frequency with which Americans say "God Bless America" and even overlooking the question of "Can you consider a group of people to be a distinct culture when they can't even agree on what to call a carbonated beverage?", the point was raised that, in places such as the UK, the word of legend had lost its power and was, in fact, being bandied about like some mere euphemism. Later, it was alleged that among the young people today, even children of good American stock are prone to try to color the air blue at the drop of the hat.

And that's a shame - not because there's something intrinsically wrong with cursing but because by taking a word that used to be (un)sacred and making it everyday, we've robbed the word of the very power that made it so useful in the first place.

Consider that back when polite people were apt to say things like "Excuse me sir, but your vehicle has rolled over my foot", the mere use of even a mild profanity was sufficient to stop all conversation and focus attention on the speaker. More over, the sheer range of profanity, from the most mild to the never-uttered-in-mixed-company, made it possible to precisely convey the exact level of irritation or anxiety with which the speaker was filled.

But that sort of nuance is no longer possible today. Indeed, who has not been at a loss to determine whether an internet poster was expressing mild disinterest or had, in fact, just had his genitals chewed off by a rabid badger? In truth, there are work-arounds to this problem, such as using a creative combination of terms to achieve the desired affect, but this is a partial solution at best. After all, when you are in the middle of crashing your automobile at a high rate of speed do you really have time to say "Well, doesn't this just wax the sacred carrot of Hammurabi"?

Thus, in conclusion I would like to ask you, my good friends, to reserve profanity for those occasions that really demand it. Otherwise we'll all be saying thinks like "I haven't felt this poorly since the Olsen twins became Carmelite nuns!"

And that would be a fucking shame.

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Related Links
o to contain it
o Read the Friendly Manual,
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o Also by porkchop_d_clown


Display: Sort:
Well Shucks Howdy. | 140 comments (106 topical, 34 editorial, 2 hidden)
Fucking good article. (3.00 / 5) (#5)
by Russell Dovey on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 01:40:14 PM EST

However, you have not considered the possibilty of new, pithy swear words that still lie under a taboo and offend most people who hear them, such as babyfuck, pedophilic, AIDS-infested, and so on.

These words are too long, you say?

Well, have no fears, because the natural evolution of the language will shorten those expletives that are especially popular to more usable forms, like babuck, philic, fested, etc.

Brought to you by your friends at the "I Hope My Mother Doesn't Read k5" channel.

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan

Well, I sure hope so. (2.83 / 6) (#11)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 03:55:54 PM EST

Larry Niven alluded to that process in one of his sci-fi short stories. There's a conversation between two cops - one young, one well over a century old. The young cop's speech is full of "bleep", "bleeping", "bleeped" etc... You assume that niven is just censoring the young cop, but about a page into it the other cop starts laughing and says "you know, I remember when 'bleep' was a word you used when you weren't allowed to swear!"

--
"telling an obese person to just eat less is like telling an asthmatic to just breathe better."


[ Parent ]
In the immortal words of Special Agent Scully ... (none / 1) (#31)
by Ranieri on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 08:20:50 AM EST

"You bet your blankety-blank beep I am!"
--
Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
[ Parent ]
My favorite right now (none / 3) (#65)
by LocalH on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 08:44:25 PM EST

AIDS-infested cum bubble.

Short, sweet, to the point, and bound to either piss someone off or cause them to guffaw.

[ Parent ]
and NIGERR! (none / 0) (#118)
by auraslip on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 12:14:10 AM EST


___-___
[ Parent ]
Anyone notice (2.85 / 7) (#12)
by Tatarigami on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 04:05:53 PM EST

... that all the good new swearwords seem to come from England?

Well done, lads. Keep it up.

Well, yes... (none / 1) (#17)
by Aero Leviathan on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 06:55:23 PM EST

They invented the language. ALL the words come from England.

~ Aero
[ Parent ]
Not 'smorch' (3.00 / 13) (#18)
by Tatarigami on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 07:07:47 PM EST

That one's mine.

[ Parent ]
That word is stuponfucious. (2.00 / 4) (#42)
by Zerotime on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 02:24:00 PM EST



---
"You don't even have to drink it. You just rub it on your hips and it eats its way through to your liver."
[ Parent ]
That word is utterly gnorf. (none / 0) (#50)
by CodeWright on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 05:50:01 PM EST

In fact, I take as shimshin your apparent desire to kizzizle a perfectly good language like English with your gnorfish and piztwaddle terms like smorch.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
New swear words embiggen us all. nt (none / 0) (#63)
by Russell Dovey on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 08:31:06 PM EST


"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

Much better... (none / 0) (#85)
by CodeWright on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 11:14:01 PM EST

...than ensmallinating.

--
A: Because it destroys the flow of conversation.
Q: Why is top posting dumb? --clover_kicker

[ Parent ]
It's all perfectly cromulent...(n/t) (none / 0) (#100)
by baron samedi on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 06:11:12 AM EST


"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]
some examples, please :P (none / 0) (#30)
by CAIMLAS on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 07:58:28 AM EST

so that we can improve ourselves! heh
--

Socialism and communism better explained by a psychologist than a political theorist.
[ Parent ]

Why, certainly (none / 3) (#45)
by Tatarigami on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 04:25:22 PM EST

'Arsebiscuits' springs immediately to mind.

While they're not new, my perennial favourites are 'sodding' and 'bollocks'. And there's no doubt that 'wanker', 'tosser', 'asshat' and 'piss artist' are the best insults.

[ Parent ]

CUNT GASH FANNY ARSEMUNCHING CUNTSHITTER (none / 0) (#70)
by James A C Joyce on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 09:59:06 PM EST

enn tee

I bought this account on eBay
[ Parent ]

Stop it. (none / 0) (#87)
by ktakki on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 11:25:46 PM EST

You're making me nostalgic for Tom Buck.


k.
--
"In spite of everything, I still believe that people
are really good at heart." - Anne Frank

[ Parent ]

Asshat isn't British (none / 0) (#98)
by Gully Foyle on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 05:47:18 AM EST

Why would someone wear a donkey on their head?

If you weren't picked on in school you were doing something wrong - kableh
[ Parent ]

Cuntmuffins........ (none / 0) (#97)
by Nursie on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 05:06:24 AM EST

Monkey-shaving badger-buggerer.
Cockweasel.
Arse-pustule.


Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
my current favorite... (2.25 / 3) (#58)
by Work on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 07:37:36 PM EST

is a farkism. Asshat.

I once called a man in traffic an asshat. The look on his face was well..priceless.

[ Parent ]

Better: (none / 1) (#122)
by hobbified on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 12:35:41 AM EST

While I like "asshat", one of my REAL favorites is "assclown", which got a well-deserved boost from Office Space.

[ Parent ]
I noticed... (none / 0) (#93)
by Pseudonym on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 12:23:04 AM EST

...that all of the lame ones come from England, too. It has been said that you can't speak an average-length sentence in England without using at least two euphemisms for the male genitals.


sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
[ Parent ]
I beg to differ (none / 0) (#114)
by Tatarigami on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 06:12:22 PM EST

That's a load of -- I mean, you're talking --

Aw, nuts fuck.

[ Parent ]

The lost art of eloquent cursing (2.60 / 10) (#14)
by jobi on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 05:24:30 PM EST

There's much to be said in favor of a short, powerful expletive like the "fuck" in the article, but doesn't it leave you a bit unfulfilled at the end of the day, even maybe a bit wistful for the days of eloquent cursing?

I mean when, as the article points out, everyone and his uncle uses "fuck" in everyday conversation, maybe there's not much expletive power left in the word other than its shortness and perchance the satisfaction of saying a "bad" word -- if that's what tickles your lily, so to speak.

Now, as a non-native speaker of english, I can assure you that the observation made in the article cuts across language borders, as does the word under scrutiny itself. People like to swear, it seems, but they seem to confine their swearing vocabulary to a few select words, often sexual in nature. Why this is, I can but guess.

I'm rambling, but the thrust of my comment is this: Isn't it nicer and more fulfilling to swear eloquently and at length, than to just use the somewhat luke-warm "fuck"?

In my eyes, a heartfelt "Oh, but by the slime-infested gonads of a syphilite chimp, could you just do the dishes?" has more of a ring to it that "Fuck, could you just do the dishes?", don't you agree?

Well, that's my opinion, anyway.

---
"[Y]ou can lecture me on bad language when you learn to use a fucking apostrophe."

I actually thought a lot about whether to (none / 1) (#15)
by porkchop_d_clown on Sun Feb 15, 2004 at 06:21:00 PM EST

include it or not - for just the reason you mention. I couldn't decide if the impact would be greater with or with out it.

I guess I decided that to leave it off would seem coy.

--
"telling an obese person to just eat less is like telling an asthmatic to just breathe better."


[ Parent ]
depends where you're from (none / 0) (#68)
by Battle Troll on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 09:54:56 PM EST

People like to swear, it seems, but they seem to confine their swearing vocabulary to a few select words, often sexual in nature. Why this is, I can but guess.

In certain parts of the world, "hostie sacrament du maudit tabernac'!" will be taken much worse. It's all cultural background.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Bullshit. [nt] (none / 1) (#71)
by James A C Joyce on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 09:59:59 PM EST


I bought this account on eBay
[ Parent ]

Actually no. (3.00 / 6) (#73)
by For Whom The Bells Troll on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 10:06:50 PM EST

People like to swear, it seems, but they seem to confine their swearing vocabulary to a few select words, often sexual in nature. Why this is, I can but guess.
My mother tongue is Telugu, and one of my Telugu teachers from school was in the habit of cursing us as (to crudely translate the phrase) "people with faces of someone who'd go fishing in a washbasin" whenever we didn't respond to his questions properly.

Then there's this colourful swear-word, which would literally translate as "hen thief" (not "thief of hens", but a thief who is a hen). It's one of the worst abuses possible in my mother tongue.

There are others of course, but you get the drift; we tend to differentiate between "curses" (tiTlu) and "vulgar terms" (asbhyata pradESiMcu padamulu) As in, yes we have equivalent phrases for 'fuck' (deMgu) and other adult phrases, but no, that's not all; it's possible to choose words for a more polite company.

Indeed, this a distinction that's been celebrated by popular culture as well. One of the more popular songs from four or five years back, was a post-modernist pun on the sacred Bhagavad Gita; the tune, tempo and tone was the same as the Gita's verses, but the song was in fact an assorted collection of tiTlu, so if you weren't listening to the words closely initially, you'd be amazed as to how verses that would otherwise have praised divinity instead start describing you as (among other things) an unclean bat that's better off dead than alive for the good of the world and all that's in it.

But I suppose you've made your point in the weirdest way possible. I speak four languages fluently, and it so happens that I often catch myself reverting to Urdu or Hindi whenever I want to express myself graphically; more fun, it seems, to use a quasi-native language to cuss than it is use my own mother tongue. (Then again, it's not pure, refined, "proper" Urdu or Hindi, more like the local street dialect, so that might explain things).

---
The Big F Word.
[ Parent ]

I've always thought it was incredibly sad (2.83 / 6) (#23)
by livus on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 02:04:39 AM EST

and an inditement of our society that a word which means sexual intercourse wasmeant th be the "worst" swear word.

I mean, really, telling someone to get fucked sounds more like well-wishing to me. Who wouldn't want to get fucked?!

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

You miss the implication. (3.00 / 4) (#39)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 01:43:28 PM EST

"Making love" is what two people do together. "Getting fucked" means, or used to mean, being impersonally used as an organic semen collector.

If that happened to me, I'd be pretty damn angry. After I got done being sore, of course.

--
"telling an obese person to just eat less is like telling an asthmatic to just breathe better."


[ Parent ]
SIG! (none / 2) (#46)
by coderlemming on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 04:28:38 PM EST

"Getting fucked" means, or used to mean, being impersonally used as an organic semen collector.

Wow.  Highly considering a sig on the order of "Go be impersonally used as an organic semen collector".


--
Go be impersonally used as an organic semen collector!  (porkchop_d_clown)
[ Parent ]

Things I highly do NOT recommend... (none / 1) (#79)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 10:25:10 PM EST

reading that post whilst sitting next to one's wife and then having to explain why you're laughing so hard....

--
"telling an obese person to just eat less is like telling an asthmatic to just breathe better."


[ Parent ]
you're no fun! (none / 3) (#51)
by livus on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 06:13:10 PM EST

"making love" is what two people who are in love do together (or two people with lots of gold chains who don't really love each other but who are stuck in the 1970s).

Getting fucked is what everyone else does, and personally I've always enjoyed it immensely.

Impersonality has a lot going for it. It's what we expect from our doctors, our lawyers, the guy who delivers the paper, and our casual sex partners. Anything else would be too darn creepy.

If we could only fuck people we were in love with, most of us would have had hardly any sex. Besides which I'd have had to wait until age 20 to lose my virginity.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Now, there's a concept. (none / 2) (#80)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 10:28:34 PM EST

If we could only fuck people we were in love with, most of us would have had hardly any sex. Besides which I'd have had to wait until age 20 to lose my virginity.

I think I'll make that my sig on some site where I'm not known as "d_clown"....

--
"telling an obese person to just eat less is like telling an asthmatic to just breathe better."


[ Parent ]
also not polite (none / 0) (#120)
by auraslip on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 12:17:52 AM EST

Polite as: If I talk about sex alot and sound like a pervert this girl won't sleep with me.
Or: If I say fuck in this group of girls to see which one is interested in sex with me, it will embarress someone.
It's not "proper" to bring up sex a lot, because it could expose an uncomfortable situation. polite
___-___
[ Parent ]
it's not polite because people are ashamed of it (none / 0) (#125)
by livus on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 05:05:57 AM EST

"fuck" is considered obscene because fucking is considered something that has to be private, and to some people it's shameful/embarassing.

Compare it to say, strawberries. If I talk about strawberries this girl will still eat some with me, if I say "strawberries" in a group to see if anyone wants some, no one is going to be embarassed.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]

Hi moron. (none / 0) (#139)
by ShiftyStoner on Wed Feb 25, 2004 at 10:39:50 AM EST

 Could you be thinking of the word rape. Because people make the decision to get fucked. And uh, do it because they like it.

 Unless they are morons like you. In which case the'll charge the fucker with rape because they feel they have somehow been violated. Even though they made the conciouse decision to let the fucker fuck them.

 Many woman do enjoy a good fucking every now and then you know. Some men as well. That is in the real world, not the christian view of the world.

 However, that makes a nice insult.

 Thank god they have finaly put the word fuck in the dictonary.

 Fuck off you organic semen collector.  
( @ )'( @ ) The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. - Adolf Hitler
[ Parent ]

Get with the times (none / 2) (#24)
by driptray on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 03:05:04 AM EST

Taboos change. Try this:

Nigger


--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
Heh (3.00 / 6) (#29)
by DrH0ffm4n on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 07:40:28 AM EST

You said 'badger'.

---
The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.

Nothing funnier than a good badger. (none / 0) (#32)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 08:24:24 AM EST

Except "prarie voles". Why do the UKOGBANIans call the perfectly adequately named prarie dogs "prarie voles"?

--
"telling an obese person to just eat less is like telling an asthmatic to just breathe better."


[ Parent ]
Obligatory (none / 0) (#61)
by Kwil on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 08:03:20 PM EST

badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger mushroom mushroom badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger mushroom mushroom badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger mushroom mushroom badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger badger and I think a snake! Snake! Snake! Oh it's a snake!

That Jesus Christ guy is getting some terrible lag... it took him 3 days to respawn! -NJ CoolBreeze


[ Parent ]
Does that thing ever end? (none / 0) (#77)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 10:17:02 PM EST

Also, is it a parody of some song that thankfully never made it across the pond?

--
"telling an obese person to just eat less is like telling an asthmatic to just breathe better."


[ Parent ]
AFAIK It's an original by weeble (none / 1) (#106)
by c4miles on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 10:12:45 AM EST

I don't know whether that's disturbing or reassuring. As to whether it ends, well, it's an infinite loop. However, the video does tend to get out of synch and/or start stuttering after a while.
--
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see.
[ Parent ]
I've got a dirty word (2.80 / 5) (#35)
by psychologist on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 09:55:09 AM EST

Everytime you want to sayy fuck to really shock people, say "vagina". That must be the most dirty word evar.

pfah. (none / 1) (#37)
by pb on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 12:14:08 PM EST

Vagina? Please, now you're just being a cunt...
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]
*rimshot* [nt] (none / 2) (#38)
by astatine on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 01:13:27 PM EST

.

Society, they say, exists to safeguard the rights of the individual. If this is so, the primary right of a human being is evidently to live unrealistically.Celia Green
[ Parent ]
cunt is worse (excluding Australia) [nt] (none / 1) (#49)
by Haunting Koan on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 05:36:32 PM EST

N.T. could mean many things, but in this case it means "no text," so move along.

[ Parent ]
Fuck the police. (nt) (1.42 / 7) (#41)
by Danzig on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 01:52:17 PM EST



You are not a fucking Fight Club quotation.
rmg for editor!
If you disagree, moderate, don't post.
Kill whitey.
Neil Armstrong was fond of the word (none / 0) (#43)
by Mindcrym on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 02:40:57 PM EST

As can be heard in the original audio recording during his first steps on the fucking moon.

  -Mindcrym

what the... (none / 0) (#44)
by coderlemming on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 04:19:28 PM EST

Uhhmm... does this have any credibility whatsoever?


--
Go be impersonally used as an organic semen collector!  (porkchop_d_clown)
[ Parent ]
of course not. (none / 0) (#57)
by Work on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 07:35:22 PM EST

"Audio stolen from The Onion"

A classic Onion headline from "our dumb century" was "HOLY SHIT! MAN WALKS ON FUCKING MOON"

[ Parent ]

And on today's episode of "Big Shot" (none / 1) (#53)
by DLWormwood on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 06:49:40 PM EST

I can't have been the only one to think of Cowboy Bebop when I first saw the article title...
--
Those who complain about affect & effect on k5 should be disemvoweled
CURSE YOU (none / 0) (#59)
by ZorbaTHut on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 07:56:45 PM EST

now I have that music going through my head.

[ Parent ]
It's not that bad (none / 0) (#78)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 10:19:30 PM EST

Just think of Juice Newton and the Queen of Hearts until the other song is driven from your mind.

--
"telling an obese person to just eat less is like telling an asthmatic to just breathe better."


[ Parent ]
And for good reason. (none / 0) (#76)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 10:14:54 PM EST

Although I was also thinking of Polymer City Chronicles.

--
"telling an obese person to just eat less is like telling an asthmatic to just breathe better."


[ Parent ]
Diacritic Usage (none / 0) (#55)
by nymia_g on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 07:08:43 PM EST

The word has definitely played many roles in usage, though. The mere utterance of the word in almost any situation may place it in the category and can be used as a diacritic.

Right. (3.00 / 6) (#56)
by Work on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 07:33:29 PM EST

There is still one word which will get almost always revulsion though: Cunt.

I believe in britain cunt is increasingly common, but in the US anyway its a rare word and now enjoys the same "shock" as fuck used to.

I think that's only a European thing... (none / 0) (#60)
by Skywise on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 08:01:33 PM EST

It doesn't really have "power" over here in the US.  Of course, context is everything...

[ Parent ]
America's a big place... (none / 0) (#66)
by Wain on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 08:48:28 PM EST

cunt is the one thing you can't call a woman,  up here in the midwest anyways.  Well, I do, but they get really pissed off at me for it, it really is looked upon as the worst thing you can call a woman around here.


[ Parent ]
Here too (none / 3) (#95)
by Brandybuck on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 01:35:06 AM EST

Here too. Use that word in the lowest class of bar you can find, and you'll get the *** kicked out of you. Say it in the fanciest of restaurant, and you'll be firmly escorted to the door. About the only people I know who can get away with using that word are feminists criticizing other feminists.

[ Parent ]
Also in the NorthEast US (none / 0) (#136)
by Woundweavr on Sat Feb 21, 2004 at 01:29:00 PM EST

Fuck is the same as an exclamation point. Bitch has all the strength of meanie. Tits and cock are as acceptable as please and thank you.

Stay away from the word cunt. Its very much not worth it.

[ Parent ]

liquersupgutterslutbucketcuntwhore (none / 0) (#91)
by soje111 on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 11:45:28 PM EST


SOJOURNER
[ Parent ]
Not Just Profanity (3.00 / 7) (#62)
by virtualjay222 on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 08:16:21 PM EST

Most words have lost their meaning through overuse. A solid majority of people don't have a deep enough working vocabulary to really utilize the power of the english language. Instead, when I ask how last night's concert was, I get "It was pretty chill," which they also use to describe the doughnut they're eating, and their new haircut. Fat lot of good that answer did me.

The answer is clearly more standarized testing, not education reform or things of that nature.

Then again, that's just my pet peeve.

---

I'm not in denial, I'm just selective about the reality I choose to accept.

-Calvin and Hobbes


chill (none / 1) (#64)
by unknownlamer on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 08:33:49 PM EST

My former-girlfriend once called Dream Theater "chill." I knew then that I was headed for disaster...



--
<vladl> I am reading the making of the atomic bong - modern science
[ Parent ]
...most words are overused... (none / 1) (#96)
by labradore on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 02:38:29 AM EST

I agree, people talk too much.

[ Parent ]
They do talk to much (none / 1) (#104)
by virtualjay222 on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 08:29:19 AM EST

But never really say anything - and that's the bigger problem, I think.

---

I'm not in denial, I'm just selective about the reality I choose to accept.

-Calvin and Hobbes


[ Parent ]

Chill is... (none / 0) (#99)
by mikelist on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 06:11:01 AM EST

... more of a statement of overall satisfaction than an answer to the more detailed question of 'how' something was or is.

[ Parent ]
Sorry, but... (none / 0) (#113)
by Tatarigami on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 06:09:50 PM EST

... anyone uses the word 'chill' as an adjective to express approval has already pressed a loaded gun to the back of communication's head and pulled the trigger.

[ Parent ]
I use the word chill... (none / 0) (#116)
by curunir on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 08:08:28 PM EST

...and I have a perfectly acceptable grasp of the English language.

The difference between me and the people that I imagine you're talking of is that I understand the context in which I'm speaking and adjust my vocabulary accordingly. So when, I'm out with friends at a bar or a club, 'chill' is a perfectly acceptable word to use. Often times, there's no need for the subtelty that a more correct word would provide. And if it's simply a matter of conveying meaning to another party, why add more complexity than necessary? However, I've never once used the word 'chill' in a work environment. The context at work is much more professional, so words appropriate for a friendly context aren't appropriate there.

Those who are more adept at social situations are those who can adjust their speech patterns naturally depending on the setting. If you are constantly tossing out SAT words, people are going to dismiss you as a pompous asshole. If you constantly drop into slang, people will assume you're uneducated. Transitioning seemlessly between the two is what I'd consider to be the true sign of intelligence.

BTW...I completely disagree with you on your "standardized testing" philosophy. I learned almost nothing from standardized testing beyond testing strategies. The vast majority of my vocabulary comes from reading. There's no better form for teaching vocabulary than reading. If student's curricula included more reading, it would result in larger vocabularies. Anything besides that would be largely ineffective.

[ Parent ]
Good Point (none / 0) (#126)
by virtualjay222 on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 10:57:53 AM EST

But I was being faceitious about the testing. Note: I was not being sarcastic, which tends to have a more biting connotation, one that insinuates anger. My goal was to lightly poke fun at the state exam boards who, for some reason, insist that everything be reduced to a standardized test.

---

I'm not in denial, I'm just selective about the reality I choose to accept.

-Calvin and Hobbes


[ Parent ]

ever seen a cary grant movie? (1.71 / 7) (#67)
by myrspace on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 09:04:00 PM EST

--fuck, fuck, fuck, mother-mother uck, mother-mother fuck-fuck! Mother-fuck-, mother-fuck, mother-fuck, noinch, noinch, noinch, smoking weed, smoking weed, doing coke, drinking beers! Drinking beers, beers, beers, rolling fatties, smoking blunts! Who smokes the blunts? We smoke the blunts!

Felt "poorly" (2.00 / 4) (#74)
by yet another coward on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 10:08:03 PM EST

How poor is your feeling? Can you distinguish toilet paper from sandpaper? If not, bathroom hilarity may ensue.

Summary (2.50 / 4) (#81)
by ldrhcp on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 10:48:39 PM EST

So in other words...

What does "fuck" mean? (1.50 / 6) (#82)
by United Fools on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 10:59:14 PM EST

We cannot find it in the fucking dictionary.
We are united, we are fools, and we are America!
"Go Ask Your Mother" (none / 0) (#110)
by ewhac on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 01:46:15 PM EST

Then your dictionary is fucked; get a new one.
---
Editor, A1-AAA AmeriCaptions. Priest, Internet Oracle.
[ Parent ]
What fucking morons voted this story FP? (2.14 / 14) (#86)
by Osama Bin Fabulous on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 11:24:14 PM EST

There's always a reason. Whenever someone says "you should act more like me," there's always a reason. No one ever comes right out and says "I don't like you and I think you should behave the way I tell you to." In this case, like so many others, it's a bullshit reason: "You'll be able to express yourself better." As if somehow nowadays people have trouble telling when someone is pissed off.

There are two major points completely unexamined by the article. The first is that common usage of a swear word is the effect of it becoming less 'sacred,' not the cause. "Fuck" as a swear word derives its power from the shamefulness of engaging in sexual intercourse. That shame has receded slightly from the culture, hence the lessening of the impact of the word "fuck."

If I were to say "porkchop is a bastard," that has less of an impact as if I said "porkchop is a fucking retard." This is because being an "illegitimate" child is not stigmatized in today's society. We still recognize it as an insult of habit, not out of any shock at its meaning. On the other hand, being mentally challenged is not currently a desirable trait, and using the less polite term "retard" intensifies the insult.

Secondly, and probably much more importantly, is the manner in which words become curse words. Why is the word "cunt" obscene, while "vagina" is not? The answer is that one word was at one time more commonly used by "lower class" people, while the other was the educated man's choice. One was derived from the language of a conquered people, the other by their conquerors. So it seems awfully silly to make a big deal over someone saying "cock" instead of "penis," unless you like making class distinctions.



I resent the implication, sir. (2.62 / 8) (#90)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 11:45:10 PM EST

First, I am not a fucking retard - I have two children which, I think, should prove that I fuck quite adequately.

Second, as to the hypothetical question of my legitimacy - my parents were married a good seven months before I was born.

--
"telling an obese person to just eat less is like telling an asthmatic to just breathe better."


[ Parent ]
Premature birth (3.00 / 5) (#102)
by wiredog on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 08:18:29 AM EST

My great grandmother was born two months 'premature'. She weighed about 8 pounds.

Researching family history can be much more fun that you'd think. Especially when you find out that the person listed on the birth certificate as great grandmother's father was not the person to whom great great grandmother was married...

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]

for unknown carnal knowledge (none / 1) (#89)
by soje111 on Mon Feb 16, 2004 at 11:37:55 PM EST

i think it really depends on the individual. if anyone has known me for a period of time they know how i talk. since i dont swear often it really makes an impresion when i do. so fuck everybody else, let all those stupid fuckin morons waste thier breath and the value of thier talk. woofuckinhaa
SOJOURNER
School magazine material (1.66 / 9) (#94)
by orconabora on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 01:23:21 AM EST

Lads and ladsesses,

we are adults here - This story is clearly puerile. If it were written with a dryly sardonic note, it might have merited inclusion as a satirical essay.

Also, the author evidently belongs to genteel company - there are plenty of swear words that have not lost their meaning due to frequent usage. I am not going to list them. Let us go back 70 years. It would have been hilarious if we could read an article written by somebody then bemoaning the frequent use of the word damn and the consequent melioration of its meaning.


Think no more, laugh, be jolly Why should men make haste to die? - AEH, A Shropshire Lad, XLIX
American culture (2.55 / 9) (#101)
by flo on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 06:25:52 AM EST

Often have I heard persons of inferior education pronounce the claim that "American culture" is an oxymoron.

This is, of course, blatantly false. After all, "yeast culture" is not an oxymoron, either.
---------
"Look upon my works, ye mighty, and despair!"
American culture inferior? (none / 1) (#115)
by Pop Top on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 06:42:25 PM EST

Go blow a fag!

[ Parent ]
Hrm? (none / 1) (#121)
by RadiantMatrix on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 12:22:59 AM EST

And to what end would I exhale violently on a cigarette?

----------
I don't like spam - Parent ]

that may be true (none / 0) (#117)
by JayGarner on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 09:44:54 PM EST

But I gotta say one of the more painful aspects of the American version of Iron Chef was 'Iron Chef American'. You know every night he was hoping the challenge would involve Chef Boy-R-Dee products.

[ Parent ]
Good Fucking Thread (none / 2) (#105)
by wiredog on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 08:51:31 AM EST

Here, where pdc probably got the idea.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

One of many inspirations. (none / 0) (#109)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 01:35:33 PM EST

Bono's boo-boo and a number of others got me to thinking about it as well.

--
"telling an obese person to just eat less is like telling an asthmatic to just breathe better."


[ Parent ]
comment (none / 1) (#107)
by wollien on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 12:28:30 PM EST

You shouldn't be apset over the lost of the word "fuck". People use it so they won't have to think and invite they own phrases. It's a metter of culture I think, russions have the cursing industry very developed for instance.

So . . . (none / 2) (#111)
by YellowNumber5 on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 03:22:53 PM EST

Thus, in conclusion I would like to ask you, my good friends, to reserve profanity for those occasions that really demand it. Otherwise we'll all be saying thinks like "I haven't felt this poorly since the Olsen twins became Carmelite nuns!"

And that would be a fucking shame.



So . . . Was there a badger on the loose?

I will not discuss that. (none / 1) (#112)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Feb 17, 2004 at 05:24:42 PM EST

The whole badger thing is a wildly overblown rumor. I will not discuss it.

Next question?

--
"telling an obese person to just eat less is like telling an asthmatic to just breathe better."


[ Parent ]
WTF? (1.40 / 5) (#119)
by NeantHumain on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 12:16:23 AM EST

How did this fuckin' puritan's piece of shit about America going to fuckin' hell make it to the damn frontpage anyway?

Why is fuck such a bad word anyway? Its literal meaning is to copulate. Is that such a bad thing? It's a word so old it has close cognates in other Germanic languages, implying that the word is over a thousand years old. Back then, people weren't such prudes about such simple facts of life as sex.

It's the whole Christianization-of-the-West thing. It's really fucked up our culture and turned it into some anti-pleasure peversity. On the bright side, Christianity did introduce caring more about the lot of other people for altruistic reasons to the West, and now we're lucky enough to have such altruism in secular form--liberalism, socialism, etc.

I actually view the peer-enforced censorship of fuck and other such words as a censorship on what a person can think. For one thing, profanities allow a person to express raw emotion; censoring this is, in effect, trying to force everyone into a bland, emotionless state. Also, fuck has long been derided by "polite" speakers because sexual behavior does not make for "polite" discussion. Give me a break. A free mind can determine for itself what makes appropriate discussion material, and it's quite often what is most controversial.

And, one last thing, is it just being assumed that, a hundred or so years ago, people rarely cursed? You've got to be kidding me.


I hate my sig.


not puritan, just tongue-in-cheek. you missed the (none / 2) (#124)
by zedumfore on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 12:55:22 AM EST

> How did this (expletive deleted) make it to the damn frontpage anyway?

because it's a fucking brilliant piece of writing,
shithead.
~Johnny J. Zedumfore
[ Parent ]

Glad to see you know your history. (none / 0) (#130)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 06:56:30 AM EST

'cause it looks like you're doomed to repeat it.

--
"telling an obese person to just eat less is like telling an asthmatic to just breathe better."


[ Parent ]
censorship's not caused by Christianization (none / 1) (#137)
by adimovk5 on Sun Feb 22, 2004 at 01:07:29 AM EST

The censorship we are experiencing is part of a social cycle. Words are allowed and censored in a back and forth flow. Society in general comes to a consensus of what it deems proper. Such things as bikinis were once considered obscene. Such things as codpieces were once proper attire.

[ Parent ]
You guys should take a look at this great book. (none / 1) (#127)
by HereticMessiah on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 11:29:57 AM EST

The F Word by Jesse Sheidlower. Excellent.

--
Disagree with me? Post a reply.
Think my post's poor or trolling? Rate me down.
This isn't a drawback (none / 1) (#128)
by Sesquipundalian on Wed Feb 18, 2004 at 11:51:54 PM EST

of a multicultural mosaic, it's a strength.

Everyone's personal profanity scale is different. That means that before you can comunicate intensly with someone, you must get to know them (this requires earning their trust). This is better than an homogenous culture where once you know how to push one persons buttons, you can push everyones button.

There's this Juliet Lewis flick on rental called Claire something or other, and get this; the premise of the movie is What if you were accused of a crime you didn't commit, and you were French?


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
Earning trust before communication? (none / 0) (#129)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 06:54:50 AM EST

Uh. Right.

Somehow I think you've flipped those on their heads. Good communication is a prequisite of trust, not a consequence.

How can you trust someone you don't understand?

--
"telling an obese person to just eat less is like telling an asthmatic to just breathe better."


[ Parent ]
People who think that (none / 0) (#131)
by Sesquipundalian on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 11:41:41 AM EST

are easy to fool. The attack works as follows; You just talk and act really nice (and clean cut) around them until it's time to betray them, and then you do.

The correct defence for this attack is to not trust anyone except your close friends and family. If you use this strategy of forcing your enemy to befriend you first, you will be a much harder person to betray, (more expensive actually). This will usually cause your enemy to go any find a more gullible mark.

In the USA on the other hand, the state religion is Evangelical Capitalism. There, when special interest officers, trained with CIA war psychology tactics, invade someones community and tear it apart, said someone (INSERT DISADVANTAGED MINORITY HERE) is expected to "adjust well to social change".

Peanalties for failure to adjust well to social change, in the USA range from; loss of social status and income opportunity all the way through to legally enforced pharmocologically implimented lobottomization.

Fortunately, I'm a Canadian. We're actually immune to this stuff at a cellular level ;)


Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
[ Parent ]
Where Bad Words Came From (none / 0) (#133)
by katwyn on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 04:29:03 PM EST

In answer to some previous posts, I read somewhere (I don't have a citation, but it's common knowledge) that Anglo-Saxon words are more likely to be perceived as rude than Latinate ones. Moreover, I liked the example used - "shit" against "defecate".

But on the theory itself, note that Chaucer used some choice Anglo-Saxon words, and the way in which Latin fused with Anglo-Saxon indicates that the status difference was prolly not as large a factor was was thought. *shrug*


- Katheryn Windham
[ Parent ]
A brief explanation (none / 2) (#134)
by paraf on Thu Feb 19, 2004 at 07:27:44 PM EST

For the better part of the last milennium, English peasants lived under a French aristocracy.

Ashamed of peasant ancestry, middle-class English speakers try to sound "high class" be using French words.  

Thus, we choose "Fornicate" and "Deficate," instead of their peasant-language synonyms.

Of course, most of us speak our ancestral tongue freely in private, while we avoid it in public.

Likewise, this taboo affects discussion of food.  While the plain farmer speaks about "pigs" and "cows," the pretentious shopper will insist on "pork" and "beef."  Confront him with the English words at his dinner table, and he probably feign disgust.


FUCK YOU! (none / 1) (#135)
by ShiftyStoner on Fri Feb 20, 2004 at 04:34:51 AM EST

 FUCK FUCK FUCK

I love the word fuck. Even with it's minimal power.
QTFMEINTHA(o)~ABUD@4TO0
SNORTBLOWBLOWSNORT
( @ )'( @ ) The broad masses of a population are more amenable to the appeal of rhetoric than to any other force. - Adolf Hitler

We Have Lost, (oh lost) (none / 0) (#138)
by travlight on Mon Feb 23, 2004 at 09:44:58 AM EST

our eloquence of language. Regardless of class, race, status of wealth, we have lost the use and eloquence of language. Ab Lincoln.... Emerson, Wolfe. Where in our pop culture (except maybe the word smith dennis Miller) can you find people that can praise, chastise, or insult with great simple eloquence. I personally think it is the laziness and the lower expectations (sic standards)that generations (parents) have demonstrated over time that has allowed "The Dumbing of America". I watch in complete horror (and sick facsination) our multi-million pop stars and athletes not able to anunciate or complete coherent sentence... and we just love them for it. And, who cares? Hey, look just turn your daughter into a half naked pop-whore and y'all will be financialy set. Got a six foot eight inch kid.... hey basketball is the way to go for fortune... we don't really care if they have any cognitive ability.... as long as we can be entertained. That is what matters. (nothing sexy about a life saving operation performed on a child.... that doctor just picked the wrong carrier field... after all we want to bitch about the cost to save a life. Our society is lost in entertainment, we have sold our eloquence, our class and our culture to the God of "Make me feel good". That is the bottom line here.
Go in peace.... or not, just go
And we certainly managed to lose it quickly. (none / 0) (#140)
by porkchop_d_clown on Thu Feb 26, 2004 at 03:47:26 PM EST

If you ever get the chance, listen to the 40-50 year old tapes of Walter Kronkite and his posse reporting the news. Dang! Those ol' boys could sling quadrasyllabics like they knew what they meant.

I have a lot of trouble imagining most modern news casters having as much understanding of language - or even their subject matter - as those gentlmen displayed.

--
"telling an obese person to just eat less is like telling an asthmatic to just breathe better."


[ Parent ]
Well Shucks Howdy. | 140 comments (106 topical, 34 editorial, 2 hidden)
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