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[P]
What's vulgar to you?

By John Milton in Meta
Wed May 30, 2001 at 12:43:53 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Every community has standards of decency whether legally or informally enforced. What is offensive to the K5 audience?


Recently, I noticed that two otherwise ordinary posts I made were getting a lot of 1's and even a few 0's. I'm not going to link to them, because I don't want to start a discussion on their relative merits. I want to discuss what I believe caused them to be modded so. After a while, I came to an understanding of what was wrong with those posts. Obscenity.

I'm not normally a potty mouth, but while posting on The Other Site, I got into the habit of using mild obscenities to garner more attention to my comments. It's not something I think about conciously. I don't particularly like foul mouthed people, but it is only natural to mimic your environment. On K5, obscenity doesn't seem to be 1133t. I'm not complaining either. It's a refreshing change.

However, it has started me to thinking about what is vulgar and obscene. To most of us, those definitions are probably very personal. Some words that others find vulgar have no effect on me. For example: Hell. It's in the bible. If you say that you want someone to go to Hell, it's just a religious insult. It makes me blush no more than any other insult. Since I plan to be here for a while, I want to know what is obscene to you.

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Poll
The most vulgar word in the enlish language is
o f**k 7%
o s**t 0%
o he double hockey sticks 0%
o b***h 2%
o rusty 6%
o troll 6%
o sla****t 18%
o none of the above 57%

Votes: 228
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Also by John Milton


Display: Sort:
What's vulgar to you? | 146 comments (133 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
Profanity. (3.25 / 4) (#2)
by id10t on Sat May 26, 2001 at 11:55:12 PM EST

I'm not easily offended by harsh language, in fact it really doesn't bother me. The thing is, I do have a habit formed of judging people by their use of profanity. This habit stems from how I was raised: I was taught that, if someone uses a lot of vulgarity/profanity in their conversation, it's likely a sign of an impaired vocabulary. From this, when I see or hear a lot of use of that kind of language, I tend to feel that the person speaking is largely uneducated and has a small vocabulary.

--------

"Still! `Old friend!' You've managed to kill just about everyone else, but like a poor marksman you keep missing the target!"

Admiral James Tiberius Kirk, ST: The Wrath of Khan

--------

id10t

I generally disrespect those people too (none / 0) (#3)
by John Milton on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:01:18 AM EST

Nothing speaks uneducated idiot more than profuse obscenity. But there is a difference in my mind between vulgar words and inflammatory words. H*** is inflammatory. F*** is very obscene to me. The most vulgar words to me are those that reference bodily processes. Although I should note that I voted for the fourth choice on the poll. If your going to curse someone, don't curse their sex. Attack their personality or their lineage.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Well... (4.25 / 4) (#9)
by id10t on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:15:28 AM EST

I tend, when needing to curse someone, to follow the Arabic tradition. For example, I recently NEEDED to curse a caller at work; I muted the phone, and shocked a co-worker by saying aloud "May you come down with a previously unknown and highly embarrassing plague of boils on your face!" I find that MUCH more satisfying than random profanity. I tend to visualise the curse, and the result, and it does wonders for easing tensions. The last time I actually swore was about two years back when I broke a finger. The pain was maddening, and I won't bore you with what I said, but I did manage to exhaust my long list of profanities collected from 8 different languages. I collect those, and any time I meet someone who speaks a language I don't I get that person to teach me how to swear in that language.

That's highly educational, actually. You can learn a lot about a culture from how they swear. For example, one of the worst insults possible in Russian is (phonetic spelling) "nyeh kultyoornee" which translates into English as "You are uncultured!" Don't use that over there unless you're prepared to fight.

--------

"Still! `Old friend!' You've managed to kill just about everyone else, but like a poor marksman you keep missing the target!"

Admiral James Tiberius Kirk, ST: The Wrath of Khan

--------

id10t
[ Parent ]

This was my point (none / 0) (#10)
by John Milton on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:20:55 AM EST

As I see it, there is a difference between curses and profanity. A curse can use any language. Go to H*** is a curse. H*** itself is not really a profane thought. I only censor it, because I don't want this discussion to devolve into the uncut Jerry Springer video.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
I know. (5.00 / 1) (#11)
by id10t on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:30:17 AM EST

Same thing here, which is why my use of language here is so circumspect. I'd hate to see this discussion get panned by NetNanny or some such.

--------

"Still! `Old friend!' You've managed to kill just about everyone else, but like a poor marksman you keep missing the target!"

Admiral James Tiberius Kirk, ST: The Wrath of Khan

--------

id10t
[ Parent ]

I'll say it again... (2.50 / 2) (#41)
by ti dave on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:09:56 PM EST

Thread blocked by Net Nanny?
Really, who gives a damn?
People that allow themselves to be subjugated by a frickin' program deserve no pity from me.

ti_dave


"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
OUCH! (none / 0) (#121)
by error 404 on Wed May 30, 2001 at 03:36:26 PM EST

I had a guest from Russia last year. He had quite a few comments about lack of culture. In his opinion, there are exactly three items of culture here - Guinness, Harley-Davidson, and those plastic mugs that have a layer of water that can be frozen to chill a beverage without diluting it. (Dump an already cold beer in one of those. Mmmmm, beer slush!)

I hadn't realized just how much he was insulting my fine city/state/country.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Clotting lymph! What the immune response!? (none / 0) (#71)
by brion on Mon May 28, 2001 at 04:43:33 PM EST

What's so bad about bodily processes?

Chu vi parolas Vikipedion?
[ Parent ]
Nothing (none / 0) (#82)
by John Milton on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:54:34 AM EST

Modern science has informed us about clotting lymph. Most of the bodily processes I'm thinking of are old and talked about. Sex and pretty much every way to releive yourself. Even snot is considered an insult. Not a bad one but an insult.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Depends on which words you choose (none / 0) (#84)
by brion on Tue May 29, 2001 at 03:44:15 AM EST

'Cunnilingus', for instance, is a technical term in English, but was a quite vulgar one in the original Latin, roughly equivalent to 'p***y-licking' or 'c**t-sucking.'

In our own idiom, we can see 'snot', slightly rude, versus 'mucous', quite boring, but both referring to the same stuff. 'S**t!', fairly rude, but 'Crap!' somewhat rude, and 'Defecate!', confusing but not particularly rude. 'F**k!', very rude, 'freak!'&co, somewhat rude, 'Coitus!', silly.

If rude and nonrude words for the same substance or act are available side-by-side, I have a hard time seeing the specific bodily function as being the offensive party.



Chu vi parolas Vikipedion?
[ Parent ]
Interesting Logic (4.00 / 1) (#18)
by Tachys on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:16:43 AM EST

So by using more words that means you have a impaired vocabulary?

[ Parent ]
Purgatory, yeah, (none / 0) (#120)
by error 404 on Wed May 30, 2001 at 03:30:14 PM EST

if it's the wrong assing word, it sucking reflects poorly on your asparagus-scented vocabulary.

Sometimes the right word is one of the infamous seven. Some people cuss all the time because they can't do anything else, out of habit or lack of language skills. A smart person can aim a bit of sarcasm to great effect. A dimmer bulb can only reply "fuck you".

Historicaly, you find smart, educated, or at least rich, people in the kid of formal setting where pithy anglo-saxon derived vocabulary is grossly inappropriate. So people like that learn to avoid such language. Since yer basic sailor or construction worker spends little time taking tea with Her Majesty, the habit of avoiding the pithy anglo-saxon isn't a big advantage. As a result, there is a class distinction.


..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

Vocabulary? (5.00 / 10) (#23)
by sigwinch on Sun May 27, 2001 at 02:01:09 AM EST

I was taught that, if someone uses a lot of vulgarity/profanity in their conversation, it's likely a sign of an impaired vocabulary.
Shit, no, motherfucker. Four-letter words aren't goddamn vocabulary. They're fuckin' punctuation. ;-)

--
I don't want the world, I just want your half.
[ Parent ]

Thank you (4.00 / 1) (#38)
by id10t on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:40:33 AM EST

For confirming my point.

--------

"Still! `Old friend!' You've managed to kill just about everyone else, but like a poor marksman you keep missing the target!"

Admiral James Tiberius Kirk, ST: The Wrath of Khan

--------

id10t
[ Parent ]

poll (4.58 / 12) (#4)
by Delirium on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:02:00 AM EST

"cunt"

Supporting evidence from k5: as far as I know, the story with this title is the only voted-up story so far to have its title changed due to offensiveness

I'm not trying to be bossy (2.00 / 1) (#7)
by John Milton on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:09:57 AM EST

I usually don't ask people to change their writing style, but if this story gains a lot of comments, it would be nice if everyone starred out the words that were obvious. No need to trigger a net nanny meltdown. Sorry. I just want to keep this clean. A story like this could slip very easily.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
stars (4.00 / 1) (#12)
by Delirium on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:32:19 AM EST

Yeah, I was actually considering that, but decided not to due to the fear that "c**t" wouldn't be very recognizable (and thus my comment would make little sense).

[ Parent ]
c*nt? (none / 0) (#70)
by brion on Mon May 28, 2001 at 04:37:28 PM EST

Generally changing/masking one letter is sufficient - witness 'fsck', 'darn', etc.



Chu vi parolas Vikipedion?
[ Parent ]
consistency (none / 0) (#73)
by Delirium on Mon May 28, 2001 at 07:38:49 PM EST

Yeah, but I usually just don't mask out any at all. The main reason I had considered using "c**t" was to be consistent with the format used in the actual poll options (they all have all the letters replaced by stars except the first and last letter). But I decided not to. Oh well. =P

[ Parent ]
On a funny note (none / 0) (#75)
by John Milton on Mon May 28, 2001 at 08:47:58 PM EST

Every time I see the fourth entry up there I think of our president. :) It's too bad I didn't think of some better choices. Right now the poll has 118 votes. That's a pretty good sample.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Starring out words (4.00 / 1) (#14)
by Lance on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:42:59 AM EST

I think starring out words is totally gratuitous. Anyone who is old enough to recognise "f**k" (imagine this with no stars, I'm following your request, even though I disagree) is old enough to recogise "f**k" (with stars) when they see it. If you can't recognise "f**k" (with stars) when you see it, you most certainly should not be reading K5.

[ Parent ]
I am old enough to recognise the word (none / 0) (#15)
by John Milton on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:55:46 AM EST

I don't do it for myself. To some people, it makes and important difference. I wanted to discuss this with everyone, and some would be turned away by not starring. Also, some articles can gain more than a few comments. On a large scale, I don't think starring out those words detracts from the conversation, and I think it will make it easier for some to discuss it.

In the future, I will follow this convention in all of my comments, because some k5ers will be reading this at schools. I don't want to get them in trouble or interfere with their education.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
The George Carlin Paradox (3.00 / 1) (#17)
by Tachys on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:13:24 AM EST

How do you know what the bad words are if you can't say them?

You say you are old enough to recognise the words. But some of us are not. I mean I had never seen the word cunt until about 9 months ago. When I looked in the "bad words" file in Tribes.

[ Parent ]
To quote "Risky Business"... (none / 0) (#25)
by cei on Sun May 27, 2001 at 03:54:48 AM EST

Say "What the fuck." ...If you can't say it, you can't do it.

[ Parent ]
No. (none / 0) (#27)
by pwhysall on Sun May 27, 2001 at 04:23:53 AM EST

If you don't want people to think that you're saying "fuck", don't say "f**k".


--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown
[ Parent ]

I don't really care... (5.00 / 2) (#39)
by ti dave on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:02:49 PM EST

I don't really care that the people who've rolled for a frickin' censorware program can't read these posts...

ti_dave


"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Title Changed? (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by Tachys on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:01:16 AM EST

What was the original title then?

Any game that gets banned by the Austrailian govt can't be all bad... - Armaphine


[ Parent ]
title-changing (4.00 / 3) (#19)
by Delirium on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:18:46 AM EST

I'm not referring to this story, but to one from a few months back. The title was simply "Cunt," and after it was posted rusty changed the title to "On the Nature of Profanity" or something of that sort.

[ Parent ]
What's vulgar to me? (3.75 / 8) (#5)
by Crashnbur on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:04:00 AM EST

Words are not vulgar. Sounds are not vulgar. Actions, in many cases, are not vulgar. No, it is the person and the purpose that makes something vulgar.

When a friend happily asks me, "How the fuck are you doing, man?!", I am not insulted or offended, and the language is not vulgar, in my opinion. I realize that I am in a minority here.

When there is obvious disrespect, indecency, or malice involved, however, then words or actions can be vulgar. Such as a few (a tiny few) idiots right here on K5 constantly accusing me of rating comments unfairly. They personally attack me because they do not agree, so I rate their comments a 1, and they accuse me of being unfair. If I were being unfair, I would rate their comments a 1 simply for disagreeing with me. But, alas, I do not do that. If someone represents their point well, I rate it a 4 or 5, even when it is completely against me. However, when someone cause my opinion a "reign of terror" or blatantly attacks me personally, or anyone else for that matter, I never rate the comment higher than a 2.

crash.neotope.com


Intent does colour words (4.00 / 3) (#13)
by John Milton on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:38:52 AM EST

Reference the fact that blacks frequently call each other n****r. From each other, it's casual. From a white, it's an insult to dignity. Any word can be used in a pejorative sense. Lawyer is used that way frequently.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
hmmmm (3.00 / 4) (#28)
by vsync on Sun May 27, 2001 at 04:57:45 AM EST

What word are you talking about? Do you mean "nigger"?

--
"The problem I had with the story, before I even finished reading, was the copious attribution of thoughts and ideas to vsync. What made it worse was the ones attributed to him were the only ones that made any sense whatsoever."
[ Parent ]
don't think so. (4.16 / 6) (#20)
by Defect on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:22:37 AM EST

I often litter profanity in many of my posts and often have the same posts rated relatively high. Vulgarity is far different from profanity, and i'm assuming all it comes down to in the end is the net worth of the comment. If someone makes a fairly insightful comment and then goes on to an annoying diatribe on how "Inoshiro tried to rape [his] butt" then chances are the comment will get rated low, probably into the depths of k5's black hole of inanity.

I understand the point of this story wasn't to discuss the quality of comments and what makes a comment worthwhile, but rather what people find offensive. I personally don't find much offensively vulgar, though certain words are just inherently upsetting to look at and mentally hear, such as 'cunt.' I can laugh at insincere (as in joking) racist, certain sexist, and otherwise politically incorrect themed comments, but i have absolutely no tolerance for abusive comments against females, including, but not limited to in any way, any direct mention of rape or beating. It's not sexism, it's just that some things irritate me beyond the scope of reason, and i guess that is the definition of being truly offended.

Certain things for certain people. If i'm in a boring mood then i miss humour in certain posts, or certain comments come off as worthless and annoying, but rarely downright offensive. That's k5 for you.
defect - jso - joseth || a link
Perhaps I was wrong (4.00 / 1) (#21)
by John Milton on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:36:19 AM EST

Both posts were attempts at humour. We all no how badly those can go. Still, I don't think the language helped me, and in truth, I don't want to really offend people. I'm not Politically Correct, but I try to be reasonable. My sense of humour is eclectic to say the least. I watched the South Park movie and lived to talk about it. It was perhaps the only time I really thought watching a movie placed my immortal soul in peril. :)

The words I used were what I would consider vulgar. Not just profanity. S**t and F***. Language is so loose on the internet that it is easy to forget yourself. I've noticed a certain lack of vulgarity here, and I think it is a good thing. Vulgarity offends me while profanity doesn't. I thought this would make an interesting discussion, because it is something we rarely ever talk about. We literally can't talk about it in a sense.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Appropriateness (4.33 / 9) (#22)
by Pseudonym on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:42:15 AM EST

I'm not offended by "bad words". No, let me state that more strongly. I don't believe that there is such a thing as "bad words" at all.

Having said that, "coarse language" comes in various shapes and sizes. For example:

  • The insult or curse. Insults are obvious. Curses don't hold much water nowadays. Telling an atheist to "go to hell" or "be damned" doesn't exactly strike any fear. Truth be told, an awful lot of religious people don't believe in damnation nowadays either. But I digress.
  • Profanity. This means denigrating or desecrating something that someone else holds dear. In Christian countries, this used to include taking the Lord's name in vain. Nowadays, calling free software advocates "communists" probably counts as profanity for a lot of people.
  • Taboo. Mentioning or hinting at topics or concepts which are considered "off limits" for various reasons of taste. Once upon a time, even mentioning pregnancy by name was taboo. I don't think that the average K5 reader has many topics which they consider "taboo".
I think that the overriding concern for me, however, is appropriateness. I'm not shocked by much, but it jars me when, people use language which I believe is inappropriate for the situation. This doesn't just apply to "uncouth" language, though. To pick one example: sex is not a "taboo" subject as far as I'm concerned, but it is when it's my sex life and the context is conversation with my parents. That would make me uncomfortable.



sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f(q{sub f{($f)=@_;print"$f(q{$f});";}f});
IMO (4.20 / 5) (#26)
by xriso on Sun May 27, 2001 at 04:18:17 AM EST

I'm basically OK with anything in text. Sometimes, swear words can be used to enhance meaning, but it seems that a lot of the time I see them just plopped in to enhance the poster's coolness. When you only have one meaningful word out of every 5, I would say that the noise has overcome the signal, and the post has too little content.

Interestingly, I just realized that I never swear. I've heard a good share of profanity, but it hasn't rubbed off on me.

Still, you must remember that posters are not necessarily the only ones who read kuro5hin. I would disapprove of profanity for others' sake.
--
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)

Stalin. Hitler. Mao. (3.11 / 9) (#32)
by your_desired_username on Sun May 27, 2001 at 09:22:49 AM EST

In any context not directly related to history, politics, or racism, any reference to the above 3 is (IMO) vulgar.

Banner ads are even more vulgar.

Hm (none / 0) (#33)
by Anonymous 7324 on Sun May 27, 2001 at 09:39:01 AM EST

can you explain why? Or is that just a personal assesment (opinion) on your part?

[ Parent ]
Personal opinion. (4.33 / 3) (#36)
by your_desired_username on Sun May 27, 2001 at 10:36:22 AM EST

They are both personal opinions.

Many discussions contain comparisons to Hitler, Mao, etc, that are foolish due to the sheer magnitude of the crimes of those people. Calling school administrators 'Nazis' because they suspended a kid for having a pair of nail clippers, is a good example; the difference between fearful (or overzealous) and incompetent school administrators and those who murdered 6 million people is enormous. I consider such comparisons vulgar; they detract from discussion.

As for ads - of which banner ads are only one of many kinds - those who create ads have a finanicial incentive to decieve the viewer. Yet ads often make people more likely to buy a product. I consider this relationship a monstrous flaw in human behavior. (I can't claim to free of that flaw.)

[ Parent ]
6 million people ey? (2.00 / 2) (#57)
by axxeman on Sun May 27, 2001 at 09:59:18 PM EST

I suppose you refer to the holocaust.

I guess Hitler didn't have anything to do with the death of any, oh I dunno

  • French
  • Polish
  • English
  • Serb
nationals?

Not that this list is in any way complete or exhaustive.

lec·tur·er (lkchr-r) n. Abbr. lectr: graduate unemployable outside the faculty.
[ Parent ]

Huh? (none / 0) (#131)
by aphrael on Thu May 31, 2001 at 12:49:53 AM EST

what's the point that you're making? That his numbers were underestimated? They struck me as a guess, and not as being intended to slight people killed during the war outside of the concentration camps.

[ Parent ]
I'm not him, but... (none / 0) (#145)
by decaf_dude on Mon Jul 09, 2001 at 02:32:02 AM EST

I'd wager a guess that he means "Hitler was largely responsible for the deaths of 45,000,000 people worldwide - not just 6,000,000 (figure commonly associated with the number of Jews killed during WWII). Sadly, this is very common nowadays: attempting to distort the facts around WWII and make it look like it was only the Jews that got killed and everybody else had a jolly good time.

--
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=89158&cid=7713039


[ Parent ]
Agreed (yeah, here's a "Me too" comment. (3.50 / 2) (#68)
by liberalmafia on Mon May 28, 2001 at 01:10:22 PM EST

I'm growing thoroughly ill of listening to and reading the words of people who call anyone they disagree with a "nazi". One of my personal pet peeves for vulgarity is "feminazi", for example. Once you use that word, you've signaled that what you say is not worth my time and effort to listen to.

[ Parent ]
On comparisons to members of infamous groups (5.00 / 4) (#69)
by brion on Mon May 28, 2001 at 04:28:42 PM EST

Individual Nazis didn't kill 6 million people by themselves! As an aggregate group over several years, yes, but does one have to personally kill 6 million people to be compared to a Nazi? Does one have to personally conquer most of the Mediterranean, sow the fields of Carthage with salt, and sponsor gladitorial games to be compared to a Roman? For that matter, does one have to be a large spinning object used to store rotational energy to be called a 'dynamo'?

Most Nazi party members, I suspect, never actually killed anyone themselves or ordered mass slaughters - that was the job of the SS. Plenty were bureaucrats - overzealous and fearful - following senseless rules for their own sake, shrugging and saying 'that's the rule, deal with it' when it didn't seem fair.

It's a metaphor, dangnabit! A way to point out notable characteristics through partial similarity. Not an equivalency statement! Sheesh.



Chu vi parolas Vikipedion?
[ Parent ]
Yeah, and? (none / 0) (#132)
by aphrael on Thu May 31, 2001 at 12:51:29 AM EST

It's a metaphor, dangnabit! A way to point out notable characteristics through partial similarity. Not an equivalency statement!

Sure. But what's the metaphor say? Treat it as a simile: [so-and-so] is like [someone who would participate in or support the killing of 6 million people]. It exaggerates the evilness of [so-and-so], and eventually trivializes the real crimes of the nazis.

[ Parent ]

Now you're talking nonsense! (none / 0) (#140)
by brion on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 05:07:04 AM EST

  • A simile is a looser comparison than a metaphor.
  • Hindsight is a wonderful thing. If we wait until after somebody kills 6 million people to raise the spectre of past horrors, we'll feel pretty dumb for not doing something sooner, won't we? After all, the Nazis started off as a laughable party of drunkards and wackos. No one paid attention to them, and they gradually gained more and more power. Then they killed millions upon millions.
  • I'm not fool enough to think that "it couldn't happen here" -- and if it does, I want to be able to point it out and stop it.
  • What the Nazis did is, sadly, NOT a unique incident that could never happen anywhere else before or since - history is full of wars and genocides on every continent save Antarctica. They are a brutal reminder that human nature contains great evil as well as great good. If you sanctify that evil, pretend it is inhuman, forbid anyone to speak of it, then how will you recognize it if you see it again?


Chu vi parolas Vikipedion?
[ Parent ]
You're pretty much fucked up! (1.09 / 21) (#48)
by SPasmofiT on Sun May 27, 2001 at 02:49:10 PM EST

You're an idiot! Stalin and Mao had a vision and they weren't afraid of realizing it! What have you done lately, besides jerking off and having your fill, you capitalist bitch?

[ Parent ]
My take on offensive language (4.11 / 9) (#34)
by xdc on Sun May 27, 2001 at 10:03:12 AM EST

I'm mostly desensitized to cussing, except in certain contexts where I wouldn't expect to hear it. I prefer not to communicate with "dirty words", but sometimes it is most expedient to do so. In general, however, it is unneccessary and crude, decreasing the s/n ratio.

Bad ideas bother me far more than mere words. For instance, I find the term "illegitimate child" offensive. Sure, the kid may have come into being because of an inappropriate relationship on the part of its parents, but it is they who should bear any labeling that results from their actions. The child had no say in its conception, and to be called "illegitimate" is unfairly demeaning. That's just one example of an idea that is offensive to me. A "clean" expression of repulsive ideas is more likely to offend me than a message that includes some quasi-arbitrarily blacklisted words.

Somewhere in between and above "bad words" and "bad ideas" is taking the Lord's name in vain. I realize that most people don't share my Christian faith and reverence for God. They are free to believe as they wish. However, I am bothered when "God", "Jesus", and "Christ" are misused. Present-day culture affords these names little respect, but these names are very important -- in fact, sacred -- to me, and I cringe at their abuse.

Curses aren't cool, either. While "hell" is a usable word and I'm used to "f---", I disapprove of "go to hell" (a most horrible curse, even if it's devoid of meaning in the minds of most people) and "f--- you". These (especially the former) fall into the "bad ideas" category that I mentioned in the second paragraph.

That said, I rarely get offended in normal conversation or online discussions. It is my preference that dignity, decency, and respect be maintained in discourse.

I prefer... (2.75 / 4) (#40)
by ti dave on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:05:37 PM EST

//I find the term "illegitimate child" offensive.

Yeah, me too.
Too P.C. I prefer **bastard**.
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
Bible doesn't prohibit cursing (3.62 / 8) (#49)
by John Milton on Sun May 27, 2001 at 03:55:07 PM EST

As far as I know, there was no rule against cursing in the bible. Just not to take the lords name in vain. The Hebrews rarely ever even pronounced the word Yawweh. It was usually written out. Cursing, on the other hand, seems to be very popular in the bible.

It is shocking how people who ordinarily advocate tolerance and respect for others religions will curse Christianity. I suppose it's alright to be critical if it's the most popular religion. Although some conservative Christian groups definitely ask for it, most don't. A lot of crimes have been perpetuated in the name of Christianity, but that's not unique to any religion. Early Christians were used as human torches to light the horse races for pagans. That's pretty intolerant.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
I guess it's true that cowards attack in groups. (none / 0) (#74)
by John Milton on Mon May 28, 2001 at 08:11:19 PM EST

ti dave, DontTreadOnMe thanks for the 1's. I guess this must truly be an inane/noise comment. After all, you think so, and you can't be wrong. I'll treasure your moderation.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Yes... (none / 0) (#80)
by ti dave on Tue May 29, 2001 at 12:02:25 AM EST

Now that I have your attention, and called out the errors of YOUR moderating ways, I have modified my previous moderation of your comment.
Eloquently written as well, Good Job!

Cuts both ways, Doesn't it?

In the Future, try not to be a "score =1" moderating Dick...

Cheers,

ti_dave
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
I know which one you're talking about (none / 0) (#81)
by John Milton on Tue May 29, 2001 at 12:57:03 AM EST

It's the only comment I've moderated down in this whole discussion. I don't moderate people down in a article I initiated without good reason. xdc said he found a term offensive, and you went out of your way to reply with it. You are right on one thing. It deserved a 2 and not a 1.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
I would... (none / 0) (#91)
by ti dave on Tue May 29, 2001 at 11:39:48 AM EST

like to apologize for my modding outburst from yesterday, SEWilco pushed my somewhat patriotic buttons, and I was bitter. I come here to read intelligently written essays, most of the time, that's what you produce.

Cheers,

ti_dave
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
taking the lord's name in vain !=common definition (3.83 / 6) (#56)
by DontTreadOnMe on Sun May 27, 2001 at 08:34:59 PM EST

I realize that most people don't share my Christian faith and reverence for God. They are free to believe as they wish. However, I am bothered when "God", "Jesus", and "Christ" are misused. Present-day culture affords these names little respect, but these names are very important -- in fact, sacred -- to me, and I cringe at their abuse.

Did it ever occur to you that the whole notion of "taking the lord's name in vain" is very possibly a collossal misinterpretation and/or mistranslation of the original concept? The original concept probably had more to do with putting words into god's mouth and, in his name, leading others astray, than it ever did with what words people choose to use as explitives.

Logic would suggest that Jim Jones leading the faithful by the hundreds down to Guiana, and ultimately to their (mass) graves via cyanide poisoned cool-aid to be a much more relevant examle of "using the lord's name in vain" than an irate person screaming "god fucking damn this shit to motherfucking hell!" after their Windows box has just crashed, taking with it their last two hours of work.

It is very possible the commandmant in question had much more to do with the enforcement of religious orthodoxy than with day to day language. Profanity, as such, appears to be a later invention, having little to do with the original notion of using the lord's name in vain, and even less to do with using god's various identifiers as explitives (i.e. what does defining "shit" or "fuck" as profanity have to do with a religious taboo on saying "god" or "jesus christ" as an explitive?).


--
http://openflick.org - Fighting Copyright with Free Media
[ Parent ]
Your close... (none / 0) (#130)
by Samrobb on Wed May 30, 2001 at 10:35:20 PM EST

The example with Jim Jones is spot on, but using it to excuse "lesser offenses" is not. For someone who believes in God and Jesus, as we do, it's an act of disrespect to take their names in vain, in any way - either by using the names as an expletive, acting in a way that would not be pleasing to God, or using God's name as a way to achieve your own material goals.

Showing disrepect in minor ways is a prelude to showing disrespect in major ways - just ask any grade-school teacher or USMC drill seargent :-) The Bible is fairly clear on the matter; being disrespectful of God, even in a slight way, is not something that a believer should ever condone or be comfortable with.


"Great men are not always wise: neither do the aged understand judgment." Job 32:9
[ Parent ]
Very Little (4.50 / 12) (#35)
by aerogems on Sun May 27, 2001 at 10:12:16 AM EST

Not a lot offends me, period. I believe that people should be able to freely express themsleves in whatever way they deem fit for the occation, and that the consideration for others feelings shouldn't necessarilly be considiered.

This is based mostly on the belief that, as Carlin (the first who actually went (or was at least given credit to my knowledge) and compiled a list of "obscene" words), words are just words. It's the meaning you give to them that makes them otherwise.

I take it a step further, and say that since all of these "obscene" words are only "obscene" because of the connotation held by the person offended, that the offended person is acting irrationally. They are allowing this word to bother them, for no good reason.

That being said, I have had a long running open challenge. I personally refuse to accept that there is such a thing as swearing, until someone can provide me with a purely objective definition, without the use of connotation, of what swearing is, and why only specific words are considered swearing.

For example..... Why is "damn" considered to be a "swear word" while "darn" is considered perfectly acceptable in most social situations? Both are four letters long, only one letter is different in the spelling. Could it really be that that single letter is what makes the huge difference?


If you're motivated enough to go to the store to buy a motivation book, aren't you motivated enough to do that? So you don't need the book! Put it back, tell the clerk, "Fuck you, I'm motivated, I'm going home!" -- Geroge Carlin

Darn it (4.66 / 6) (#42)
by flieghund on Sun May 27, 2001 at 12:41:10 PM EST

Why is "damn" considered to be a "swear word" while "darn" is considered perfectly acceptable in most social situations?
Yeah, I get a kick out of it every time one of my highly religious friends lets out something like "darn it all" or "those freakin' drivers" or something like that. It's all a minor feat of subconscious translation: when I hear "those freakin' drivers," my mind has already translated the speaker's intent to "those fsckin' drivers." I make no real distinction.

So why bother to make the substitution in the first place?

Even in the example I gave, I replaced the 'u' with an 's' to "preserve dignity" or some kind of crap. Like everyone reading this doesn't know exactly what I meant? On a larger scale: like God doesn't know you meant "damn" when you said "darn"? Is God really that gullible? If it goes against God to curse, do you really think He makes a distinction between "darn you all to heck" and "damn you all to Hell"? Or one of my personal faves: saying "Jeez" when you mean "Jesus [Christ]"?



Using a Macintosh is like picking your nose: everyone likes to do it, but no one will admit to it.
[ Parent ]
Ironically... (none / 0) (#43)
by fluffy grue on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:02:07 PM EST

Did you notice that you said "fsckin'" instead of "fucking?"
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Exactly (4.50 / 4) (#46)
by flieghund on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:20:21 PM EST

Why do people, myself included, feel so compelled to do make those kinds of substitutions? I can only guess that it has something to do with a childlike (as in misinformed) attempt to exploit theoretical loopholes. That is, substituting "freak" or "fsck" must be okay because the so-called rules regarding profanity only specifically mention "fuck." Human beings are very good at finding loopholes in rules and exploiting them through literal interpretation, rather than determining the intent behind the rule and following that.

Using a Macintosh is like picking your nose: everyone likes to do it, but no one will admit to it.
[ Parent ]
Yeah (3.00 / 1) (#47)
by fluffy grue on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:32:44 PM EST

I got that it was your point after I read the whole message. Hence my later retraction. :) I was just over-eager in jumping on the opportunity.

Now, the reason I usually say "frotzing" in any grue-related context is because it's a Zork reference; specifically, "frotz" is a spell which is used to make anything glow in the dark, so obviously it's a cuss word to a grue. :) In fact, a grue telling another to "go frotz yourself" would literally mean, "Go make yourself luminous and, as an implied consequence, die." Though lately I've noticed I've been using "frotzing" in my own internal dialog a lot, which is pretty disturbing. I should start just saying "fuck" again, but it's just not as funny. Just like how "fsck" is pretty much a geek in-joke and obvious pun on the UNIX filesystem check tool; "fscking hard drive" and all that.
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

But... (none / 0) (#137)
by spiralx on Fri Jun 01, 2001 at 07:49:07 AM EST

I should start just saying "fuck" again, but it's just not as funny. Just like how "fsck" is pretty much a geek in-joke and obvious pun on the UNIX filesystem check tool; "fscking hard drive" and all that.

... in-jokes are fucking sad. And they're just not funny.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

On a related note... (none / 0) (#115)
by BobaFatt on Wed May 30, 2001 at 12:22:03 PM EST

See French Connection UK, who gained much publicity over here by putting up billboards all over the place emblazoned in very large letters with the abbreviated company name "FCUK"
The Management apologise for any convenience caused.
[ Parent ]
Oops (none / 0) (#45)
by fluffy grue on Sun May 27, 2001 at 01:12:39 PM EST

Wasn't paying attention to your entire message. Disregard my previous comment. :)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

cursing in your second language (3.66 / 6) (#50)
by mami on Sun May 27, 2001 at 03:56:54 PM EST

It's interesting to listen to people cursing, who are multilingual. The difference in the vulgarity they display, when cursing (or not) in each language other than their native one, is huge. How they speak is so much dependent on the environment they immersed in to learn to speak their second language.

I watched myself slipping with more ease into four letter words with two ** in it, since I started posting more comments here. I had no idea about the differences between "damned" or "darn", how bad a word like "s**cks" really is, or simply "what the heck" or "what the hell".

You simply don't have a feeling in your second language for the subtle differences in the usage of words. Humour is often misunderstood. One tries to sounds funny and it ends up to be awkward if not insulting to a native speaker. That's a big problem.

Knowing this, I really don't give much attention to simple wordly vulgarity in an environment, where I don't know who posts as a native speaker and who doesn't.

What is obscene or vulgar to me on a forum, which claims to be populated by geeks ( let's say to me that means people who take care of thinking throroughly and precisely), engage in endless argumentation over the meaning of the second "e" in the word "free". There is no hope to ever change their minds, even after some compelling arguments have been made towards the lack of meaning to the second letter "e" in the word "free".

So, basically, people, who can't change their minds and never stop argueing on a public forum, are somewhat obscene to me.

Just for your information (3.00 / 1) (#60)
by John Milton on Mon May 28, 2001 at 12:18:24 AM EST

I don't think many people here or really anywhere would consider sucks to be profane. I don't know though. I remember when I was in middle school our teachers thought that. I think they were just the really religious ones who thought that everything was profane. I've never met anyone who had a problem with the word.

I have met people who will get very violent if you mention the word stupid. Everyone seems to have their pet peeve.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Sucks (none / 0) (#102)
by fluffy grue on Wed May 30, 2001 at 01:58:27 AM EST

"That sucks" comes from "that sucks eggs" which comes from "go suck an egg" which was a "vulgar" expression in the 1950s which meant "go suck on someone's balls."

What did you think things suck on? Carrots?
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

'Teaching your grandmother to suck eggs'? (none / 0) (#104)
by brion on Wed May 30, 2001 at 02:35:17 AM EST

I always kind of figured it derived in some roundabout way from that phrase, the past of which may be read about here.

Chu vi parolas Vikipedion?
[ Parent ]
Hanging organ (none / 0) (#122)
by goosedaemon on Wed May 30, 2001 at 04:26:38 PM EST

I always thought it was related to "sucks dick" or something like that... Huh. I just noticed that "suck", "dick", "fuck" and "cock" all end in "ck". I wonder if there's a connection.

[ Parent ]
Credibility (2.75 / 4) (#52)
by SPrintF on Sun May 27, 2001 at 05:42:51 PM EST

In my view, the use of vulgarity reduces the credibility of the writer. As "Milton" noted, he uses it to attract attention. It adds nothing to the quality or content of his arguments. A writer who chooses to add "noise" to his "signal" in order to add weight to his comments probably has little of value to say.

some people respect swearing (5.00 / 1) (#54)
by John Milton on Sun May 27, 2001 at 07:00:12 PM EST

Perhaps not to draw attention. I got in the habit of sprinkling a little profanity for pretty much the same reason that most do. Some people don't seem to respect you if you don't. No one has ever said that too me, but I've gotten that impression. It is true that the wheel that squeaks the most gets the oil. No one likes to have their comments ignored. I'm not above that.

For most of my life, I have been one of those people who never swears. I finally just got sick of people acting like I was a goody-two-shoes. Tp To some people, refusing to swear is a sign of weakness. Not a good reason, but that's why.

Obligatory humour: It must be said. The most profane word in the galaxy is Belgium. There! I've said it.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
But it varies with the audience. (5.00 / 1) (#101)
by static on Wed May 30, 2001 at 01:57:09 AM EST

I know that I've had people respect me more because I tend not to swear. OTOH, other friends who do, tend to devalue the words' shock values.

I almost never swear in online fora. This means that the very rare times I do, there is extra added weight to my words. It has made people stop and reconsider.

Wade.

[ Parent ]

Magical incantations (1.66 / 6) (#53)
by slaytanic killer on Sun May 27, 2001 at 06:39:20 PM EST

The recoiling from vulgarity is a rather sweet thing, really. It hints at a sort of innocence. Some parents devise all sorts of tortures for their children when they swear, but never think of the weekly raping of US elementary schoolgirls on their way to school. Perhaps it means a need to symbolically defend the world against evil, even if no one is strong enough to do anything real. Or perhaps it shows a need to dominate the weak, no matter what level of society one belongs to.

Who knows, perhaps both. Twisted world. Incantations are not seperate from reality, in the primitive recesses of our minds.

jesus fucking christ (4.50 / 4) (#58)
by axxeman on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:32:06 PM EST

Can you please indicate in the future that a link leads to pictures for the viewing of which at work one can be fired?

Thank you.

lec·tur·er (lkchr-r) n. Abbr. lectr: graduate unemployable outside the faculty.
[ Parent ]

BEWARE CLICKING ON ABOVE LINK (none / 0) (#63)
by slaytanic killer on Mon May 28, 2001 at 05:58:32 AM EST

Thanks to axxeman for pointing out the dangers of clicking on links in this world. The link in the above post may fall under this category for you; it depicts (presumably) young girls forced into various sexual acts.

[ Parent ]
A good example (1.63 / 19) (#55)
by 2400n81 on Sun May 27, 2001 at 07:08:01 PM EST

This piece of shit article is offensive to me because it needlessly wastes a slot in the bulging Submissions Bin and doesn't say anything.

So people thought your writings sucked. Join the club. Who cares?

Wastes a Slot? (none / 0) (#90)
by ti dave on Tue May 29, 2001 at 11:32:51 AM EST

How's that?

Is there a hard-coded limit to the number of stories in the submission bin?

Rusty's servers can't spare another 5k of storage?

Or are you just a prick who can't be bothered to skim over a trivial number of stories and vote?

Cheers,

ti_dave
"If you dial," Iran said, eyes open and watching, "for greater venom, then I'll dial the same."

[ Parent ]
What is obscene to me: (4.25 / 16) (#59)
by Burrito Supreme Dictator on Sun May 27, 2001 at 11:47:21 PM EST

There are a few things that are obscene in my mind.

  1. Laws are still passed based on lobbyists, junk science, ignorance, and religion.
  2. Prison rape exists in a country that claims to ban "cruel and unusual punishment".
  3. There actually exist some poeple who genuinely hate freedom.
  4. Some of these people can ascend to power by democratic election. ("Gee, what happened to the Weimar Republic?")
  5. People who murder others to achieve their twisted vision of a perfect world. (Stalin, Hitler, Mao, the KKK, Pol Pot, &c.)
  6. People who murder others for their own convenience. (Countless tin-pot dictators worldwide, for instance.)
  7. People who knowingly brainwash others. (Cults, propagandists, etc.)

Now, considering the fact that all this exists in the world, I couldn't care less about people who utter four-letter words. Utter away. Once the words themselves become common enough to lose their sting, they'll fall into disuse.

The existence of terribly bad things (4.00 / 2) (#76)
by interiot on Mon May 28, 2001 at 10:12:20 PM EST

...doesn't make moderately bad things effectively good. People can still make the world a better place by fixing the things they're able to.

Alternatively, I think the first obvious response is that words are offensive only if the listener allows them to be.

I'm just trying to argue for what I think is a better means to the same end, and without the emotional bloat. (or is emotion a necessary part of a discussion of obscenity?)

[ Parent ]

Yes and no. (4.00 / 1) (#78)
by Burrito Supreme Dictator on Mon May 28, 2001 at 11:01:36 PM EST

Emotion is a necessary element to any discussion of obscenity, since without emotion, the very notion of "obscenity" could not exist.

What I was hoping to show was that in the face of things that are truly horrible, mere "bad words" are meaningless.

You aren't going to rid the world of evil by changing the way we talk. The realm of ideas, on the other hand, bears much more fertile ground. To bring about any sort of meaningful progress, we must change the way we think.

[ Parent ]

abcdef (none / 0) (#79)
by interiot on Mon May 28, 2001 at 11:35:13 PM EST

What I was hoping to show was that mere "bad words" are meaningless, even when they're not in the face of things that are truly horrible.

The "truly horrible" part is also useless when we're talking something that is bad.

So IMHO, the device is just a distraction.

[ Parent ]

First things first (none / 0) (#116)
by pallex on Wed May 30, 2001 at 12:42:04 PM EST

"Now, considering the fact that all this exists in the world, I couldn't care less about people who utter four-letter words. Utter away. Once the words themselves become common enough to lose their sting, they'll fall into disuse."

Exactly. Once the most pressing problem in the world is deciding whether swear words are a Bad Thing, then we can talk. Until then, I`m going to find it hard to give a duck*.

*75% rude!


[ Parent ]
H***pipe (4.00 / 6) (#61)
by slakhead on Mon May 28, 2001 at 01:56:24 AM EST

MTV is actually blipping out the word "Hashpipe" in Weezer's new song and they are titling it "H***pipe."

I feel compelled to point out that the majority of people who watch MTV and enjoy weezer already know what a hashpipe is for and may have even used one before viewing the video (making all those sumo guys look really trippy indeed) but MTV still blips it.

I know that isn't quite a vulgar word but it seems like a bad decision to blip the word. After all, Comedy Central has been running Half Baked nonstop for days and they don't bleep "weed" or "cheeba."

Also, about vulgarity on weblogs:

The first step to convincing yourself you are an intellectual is to stop cussing every other word. (Or you could just be trying to convince other people too; whatever works.)

Secondly, most people use vulgar words as quick signs that the post is a troll or the person posting is not behaving rationally at the time of posting.

MTV's censoring (4.00 / 1) (#66)
by TheGimp on Mon May 28, 2001 at 12:13:19 PM EST

MTV also censored out "suicide" on Papa Roach's song. They are not to be used as an example because I think they are way too careful when choosing what words to censor. Anything that can remotely be offending they omit. Yet another reason to hate MTV...

[ Parent ]
more MTV censoring (3.00 / 4) (#72)
by Cameleon on Mon May 28, 2001 at 05:25:28 PM EST

Another weird MTV censoring thing: in the Wheatus song teenage dirtbag, is the line 'her boyfriend's a dick, and he brings a gun to school' they censor 'gun' but leave 'dick'...

Another thing: by censoring, they often draw attention to words you otherwise wouldn't have noticed, thus having an effect opposite to what they wanted.

[ Parent ]
Same on Radio 1 in the UK... (5.00 / 1) (#83)
by deefer on Tue May 29, 2001 at 03:42:15 AM EST

I can't believe it either - "dick" is less offensive than "gun"?

Strange days indeed...

And for the record, Irish radio censored nothing; I was over there when it was released...


Kill the baddies.
Get the girl.
And save the entire planet.

[ Parent ]

Radio 1 is 0wned by the BPI... (none / 0) (#107)
by pallex on Wed May 30, 2001 at 08:25:43 AM EST

at least, theres an unhealthy relationship between them)

...perhaps they have to ask to get stuff banned/edited, so they sell more copies?

[ Parent ]
Well... (5.00 / 1) (#129)
by Funk Soul Hacker on Wed May 30, 2001 at 10:02:51 PM EST

Aint no body eva been dicked to death, know what I'm sayin?


--- Right about now, Da Funk Soul Hacker
[ Parent ]
think a little further (4.00 / 1) (#85)
by vsync on Tue May 29, 2001 at 04:36:10 AM EST

Another thing: by censoring, they often draw attention to words you otherwise wouldn't have noticed, thus having an effect opposite to what they wanted.
Are you sure that's an accident?

--
"The problem I had with the story, before I even finished reading, was the copious attribution of thoughts and ideas to vsync. What made it worse was the ones attributed to him were the only ones that made any sense whatsoever."
[ Parent ]
Bleeping sells CDs (none / 0) (#119)
by error 404 on Wed May 30, 2001 at 02:59:42 PM EST

Or at least encourages Napster use.
..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]
My favourite MTV censoring... (5.00 / 2) (#114)
by Ricdude on Wed May 30, 2001 at 12:18:25 PM EST

My personal favourite MTV censoring is in the song "Scooby Snacks" by Fun Loving Criminals. The line from the song is, "Running around robbing banks all wacked on scooby snacks". They chose to bleep the "wacked" portion of the line. Never mind the "robbing banks" activity, that's just a fine topic for a song, as long as we're not advocating robbing banks while "wacked" on "scooby snacks"... whatever that might mean.

On an entirely different note, it's perfectly fine for Bob Marley (and Eric Clapton) to claim, "I Shot The Sheriff", but if Ice-T wants to be a "Cop Killer", too bad. Not to mention NWA's "Fuck the Police", an excellent commentary on the problem of racism in the Los Angeles Police Department, but did anyone take a second look at that song? or request that the album be pulled from stores, and re-released without the allegedly offensive song? and Cover Art

For truly a great philosophical discussion on the nature of offensive language, see George Carlin's "Seven Dirty Words".

[ Parent ]

Target Audience (none / 0) (#118)
by error 404 on Wed May 30, 2001 at 02:58:45 PM EST

I've heard a few instances where a song gets played on a Classic Hits station unbleeped, but the exact same song - not a cover, not a live version, the exact same recording - is heavily bleeped on stations in the same city that aim at a younger demographic.
..................................
Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]
another MTV fave (none / 0) (#134)
by eann on Thu May 31, 2001 at 11:48:37 AM EST

That way overplayed Third Eye Blind song a few years ago. "Crystal meth" was apparently too evil to hear, but "she goes down on me" was fine.


Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men. —MLK

$email =~ s/0/o/; # The K5 cabal is out to get you.


[ Parent ]
vs. Much Music (none / 0) (#139)
by CYwolf on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 02:17:14 PM EST

Much Music, the Canadian version of MTV, also played a censored version of Last Resort. The really funny part was that the words 'Last Resort' were censored about 10 times, even if the song title is clearly visible as the song starts. ("Suffocation, no breathing, this is my <....>")
I actually emailed them about this, and was told they just play the version of the video they are given. Not sure why they received one more chopped than MTV's though.
On another note, they have no problem playing Weezer's original Hash Pipe, and not that Half-Pipe garbage. Oh, and today is 'Not Much On' day, when they're going to play all of the most risque videos they can fit in a ~3 hour timeslot.

[ Parent ]
Kill all the intellectuals (3.00 / 4) (#67)
by John Milton on Mon May 28, 2001 at 01:02:54 PM EST

If anyone calls me an intellectual, I want them shot and left in a ditch to die. Intellectuals are power freaks. They think that they can somehow subdue the world with their mastery of it. They can quote Shakespeare in 12 languages, but they can't tell you what he's talking about in any of them except for (sic) symbolism. Intellectuals are the lawyers of knowledge. They'll argue any case to the death, and they love to hoard what they do know to keep you from realising that their full of it.

No, I'm not trying to convince anyone I'm an intellectual. Give me a sincerely curious person any day over an intellectual.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Shakespere (3.00 / 1) (#97)
by djabji on Tue May 29, 2001 at 06:45:57 PM EST

> They can quote Shakespeare in 12 languages

I can only quote it in it's original Klingon form.

I guess I'm not quite to the intellectual status.



[ Parent ]
heh (3.40 / 5) (#86)
by enterfornone on Tue May 29, 2001 at 07:17:21 AM EST

Once I was listening to JJJ, who normally play whatever swearing they like, but they played Everlast's "What it's like" and beeped out the word "drugs" and various other innocent words.

Afterwards the DJ said "oops, I accidently played the american radio edit - in america you can bring and uzi to school but you can't hear the word drugs on radio cos that would be bad"

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]

I've noticed the differences (5.00 / 1) (#99)
by Greener on Tue May 29, 2001 at 08:15:51 PM EST

As a Canadian visiting Australia for a year I've been able to compare the US edits and the Australian edits on the radio and in music videos. A couple Eminem music videos aired on Channed V provide a good example. The Way I Am airs completely uncensored here in Australia while in the US they kill the audio on several obscenities. In contrast, Stan is censored even more in Australia than in the US. All references to locking his girl friend in the trunk and several other lines refering to domestic violence are cut out while in the US version only a few lines describing violence are deleted.

I've been thinking about writing an article about the differences in broadcast standards andlevels of acceptability of violence and language in the media in countries around the world but I haven't had the time. If enough interest is expresses from readers of this comment I'll make an effort though.

The article I want to write was inspired by a viewing of the weekly late night episodes of Big Brother Uncut here in Australia which includes graphic discussions of sexual escapades and images of full frontal nudity on broadcast television (as opposed to cable). This is one of several differences in standards I've noticed and I am curious about what people think about these differences.

[ Parent ]

MTV funkiness (none / 0) (#100)
by fluffy grue on Wed May 30, 2001 at 01:11:04 AM EST

Back when I got cable, I watched loveline on an occasional basis. I was always amused by the fact that when someone said "clitoris" it went through just fine, while the word "clit" would be bleeped out. I always thought they should try to be more consistent and bleep out "clit" all the time, so that you just hear "*bleep*oris." That would show how stupid it is to bleep out words which are apropos and the like.

The apologists always say, "Well, 'clit' is colloquial while 'clitoris' is a proper medical term." But 'clit' is just shorthand, and since when is a colloquialism bad? I mean, do they need to start bleeping out the word "knob" or "cherry" because they've been used as colloquialisms for "penis" and "hymen," respectively?

Then again, I stopped watching MTV (and thus Loveline, the only show I ever watched on it, 'coz I like hearing about peoples' messed up sexualities - I guess it makes me feel a little more normal) when Dr. Drew completely misassessed someone whose g-spot was being successfully probed. (Her description: "While my boyfriend and I are having sex, I suddenly feel like I need to pee, even if I just went before we started!" Drew's answer: "Perhaps you have a deep-rooted physiological problem. You should go see a doctor." Idiot.)
--
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

Teenage Dirtbag... (5.00 / 2) (#106)
by NoseyNick on Wed May 30, 2001 at 07:38:54 AM EST

I find it even more amusing... When they play Wheatus "Teenage Dirtbag" on the radio... the line...

Her boyfriend's a dick, he brings a gun to school and he'd surely kick, my arse if he knew...

They don't censor "dick" or "arse", they censor it thus:

Her boyfriend's a dick, he [scratchy noises] and he'd surely kick, my arse if he knew...

Thankyou, Columbine. "Dick" and "Arse" are now less offensive than use of the words "gun" and "school" in the same sentence, even in a "what an idiot" kind of way.

[ Parent ]

Context is all (3.83 / 6) (#77)
by driptray on Mon May 28, 2001 at 10:47:02 PM EST

Compare the following two scenarios:

  • A girl saying "My cunt is itchy".
  • A guy calling somebody else "a cunt".
Or these two sentences:
  • Eminem prides himself on never saying the word "nigger".
  • There's a couple of niggers standing over there.

In each case I have no problem with the first, but find the second offensive. And this is why filtering programs like Net Nanny etc just don't work.

Even in the second example I may not be offended if the person saying it is a character in a movie/book etc. The context has changed again, and it may well be that the filmmaker/author is making some valid comment on the nature of the character involved.

Aside from these questions of context, I quite enjoy the use of strong language, particularly if creative or evocative. I have to admit to being a little startled though when my 6 year old daughter says "It's fucking hot today!".


--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
I've never heard a girl say that. (none / 0) (#98)
by John Milton on Tue May 29, 2001 at 08:06:44 PM EST

A girl saying "My cunt is itchy".

Ooooh! There's a turn off.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Different vocabularies for different situations (none / 0) (#103)
by brion on Wed May 30, 2001 at 02:26:27 AM EST

I rather suspect that most females would never utter such a phrase in front of a male. As for what they say when we're not around, I can't be sure, but I'm told that the female of the species is not as daintily-spoken as the male believes.

Chu vi parolas Vikipedion?
[ Parent ]
Please keep things clean. (3.50 / 2) (#87)
by slambo on Tue May 29, 2001 at 09:27:28 AM EST

Okay, I'm a George Carlin fan, and the "7 Dirty Words" is one of my favorite bits of his. However, I find Dr. Demento's version of this bit, with a different silly noise inserted for each word so the act could be played on the radio, to be immensely more funny. By the same token, seeing a photo of a woman in a bikini is much more appealing to me than seeing a photo of a nude woman. The key is that I would rather use my imagination to see what is behind the silly noises and little pieces of cloth. Take away these imagination enhancers and you often degrade the piece.

Similarly, with technical articles, using milder words can have a greater effect than the curses themselves. When I'm reading a tech article, curses only serve to degrade the quality of the article and detract from the author's credibility. It is an extremely rare day when I will mod up an article with curses in it, because they simply are not needed for the vast majority of articles.


--
Sean Lamb
"A day without laughter is a day wasted." -- Groucho Marx

Profanity as a crutch for poor vocabulary. (2.75 / 8) (#88)
by Rasvar on Tue May 29, 2001 at 10:28:40 AM EST

I really consider someone that has to resort to profanity in everyday normal speech as someone who is pretty much uneducated and has a low vocabulary. Most of the time and argument or discussion can be made without resorting to curse words. I will admit that there are times when a curse word can be the only way to show utter contempt or disgust for a situation. However, in a written form, they should be used sparingly if you want to have a decent dialog of the issue at hand.

hrm? (3.00 / 3) (#92)
by nickco on Tue May 29, 2001 at 11:50:49 AM EST

I personally don't think profanity degrades anything. I don't consider mere words offensive.
In fact, can you think of a word more universal than 'fuck'? It applies to everything! :) I thank god that words like fuck exist, I mean, by the simply fact that they are offensive they can have astounding effects. Did your cheeseburger have tomatoes when you specifically asked for none? Utter a few profanities, and they will begin to think you are really pissed off. That's a good thing, it normally results in the expeditious manufacture of a cheeseburger with the correct condiments.

The fact that I don't consider profanity offensive is, in my opinion, the result of massive over exposure. Television has so desensitized the majority of teenagers, that, really, they don't really consider 'cursing' too bad. This is a bad thing, if just because I can no longer use profanity effectively.

Anyways, it's my opinion that if one uses profanity with a bit of discretion, it can actually enhance conversation, and does not reflect poorly on one's intelligence.

[ Parent ]
Why use it? (none / 0) (#93)
by Rasvar on Tue May 29, 2001 at 01:57:22 PM EST

I can get the same result by telling them I did not get what I ordered. I have never had to resort to profanities. Plus, I know some places that may add a little bonus if you curse at them. It is just not necessary. Be firm if you wish; but there is no need to curse anyone out over a hamburger.

[ Parent ]
the vocabulary arguement (4.62 / 8) (#95)
by shoeboy on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:15:45 PM EST

I really consider someone that has to resort to profanity in everyday normal speech as someone who is pretty much uneducated and has a low vocabulary.

That arguement is totally fucking preposterous you delusional twat. Consider the motherfucking scenario of some fuck stubbing his fucking toe. What the hell is he supposed to say if he doesn't swear? "Oh drat." "Dear me, what an unpleasant sensation." Horseshit. There are times in life when you've just got to curse like a bastard cross between a drunken sailor and a standup comic.

In conclusion, blow it out your ass.

--Shoeboy
No more trolls!
[ Parent ]

Amusing reply. (4.00 / 1) (#111)
by Rasvar on Wed May 30, 2001 at 10:44:38 AM EST

Sounds like a poor mans Carlin.

But to answer your question:
What the hell is he supposed to say if he doesn't swear?

I usually say Dang, Damn or Shit that hurt.

However, stubbing your toe and exclaiming is not what I consider to be part of everyday conversation. It is an emotional exclamation. Not your normal everyday talking to another person.



[ Parent ]
hark, shit you say? (5.00 / 1) (#128)
by Funk Soul Hacker on Wed May 30, 2001 at 09:52:08 PM EST

'shit' be a swareword, foo!


--- Right about now, Da Funk Soul Hacker
[ Parent ]
Give the man a qupie doll! (none / 0) (#133)
by Rasvar on Thu May 31, 2001 at 08:48:14 AM EST

I'll be you are right! It is a swear word.

Please note I said that I did not consider exclamaitions of this type normal conversation. I will say this, I may swear when stubbing my toe in private. However, I do try not to when in the presence of others.

[ Parent ]
Narrow minded response..... (3.00 / 2) (#105)
by Jailbrekr on Wed May 30, 2001 at 07:26:34 AM EST

Vocabulary is a means to convey emotion and/or a concept. Every word has a meaning behind it, as does the overall sentence and paragraph. Using swear words, no matter how vulgar, is only one means of expressing oneself. To belittle what is being conveyed due to grammar that you consider 'inappropriate', merely demonstrates your own ignorance.

Why be offended by words, when concepts and ideas can be *far* more disturbing. But, then again, if they present their concepts using proper grammar, you blindly agree with them, right?

Now, please set aside your bias, and read the following sentence for what it is: Go fuck yourself cocksucker.

[ Parent ]
But that is how it works (4.00 / 4) (#108)
by Cameleon on Wed May 30, 2001 at 10:31:30 AM EST

Using profanity doesn't have to mean that you have a small vocabulary, are stupid or have given something little thought. But that is often how it comes across, which is something you should be aware of.

For example, take your own post: I read it, agreeing with you, until I reached the last sentence:

Now, please set aside your bias, and read the following sentence for what it is: Go fuck yourself cocksucker.

This changed my entire opinion of you (which I had formed in the previous two paragraphs). The profanity was entirely unnecessary, because whatever you wanted to express with it, you already expressed much more clearly and with more respect to the author of the parent post that this sentence did.

So while I agree with you that using words like 'fuck' and even 'cocksucker' can add to the clarity of your speach and/or writing, I think you should be very careful when you use them, since there are often other emotions and concepts attached to them than the ones you are trying to convey.

[ Parent ]

Every word does have a meaning. (5.00 / 1) (#110)
by Rasvar on Wed May 30, 2001 at 10:37:26 AM EST

And when you have to choose the lowest common denominator, it does say a lot for you.

I can break down 'Go fuck yourself cocksucker'. It means to mean that you are incapable of carrying on a normal debate in everyday life. The words you used are designed to invoke an emotional reaction not based on any intellectual stimulus. By doing so, you lose credibility with your intended audience.

Also, more directly, where did I say I was offended by such language? I was simply stating that the use of such vocabulary, especially in a written forum, is generally a sign of poor education and verbal skills.

You waste your time trying to get an emotional response from me that way. I should also point out that I was never discussing preoper grammer. Grammer is the structure of the sentence. In that aspect, I think the proper grammitcal expresion of what you said should really be, "Go fuck yourself, cocksucker!" Not the comma and exclamation point since you would normaly pause between yourself and cocksucker. this is not always need; but I do believe it is prefered.

Vocabulary does say a lot for a person. If you used that kind of language where I worked, you could be reprimanded or fired. This is something to remember for those of you who have not joined the real world yet and are still in school. Cursing with your buddies may be an everyday thing. It is not acceptable in the business world.



[ Parent ]
Of course... (none / 0) (#112)
by Rasvar on Wed May 30, 2001 at 10:48:20 AM EST

it also helps if you can type. And I can't. Oh well, so much for previewing when I don't even catch typos. Thats almost as bad as cursing.

[ Parent ]
Bah (3.12 / 8) (#89)
by trhurler on Tue May 29, 2001 at 10:47:01 AM EST

Some moron: Some things are sacred!

Larry Flynt: You're FIRED!


If that doesn't make my point, you're probably stupid.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

Cussing is fun... (3.00 / 1) (#94)
by threshold on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:05:57 PM EST

I cuss a lot, my friends cuss a lot. I try not cuss when in certain social situations (at work, or church or something). But my dad being a an ex-Navy sailor, I have a strong disposition to swearing. Although I don't find myself posting cuss words a lot. I think my thought process is a lot more thought-out in a form. But in spoken word I'll blurt out fuck if I stub my toe or drop something.



Open Source, Open Standards, Open Minds
Words vs. Sentiments (4.25 / 8) (#96)
by Farq Q. Fenderson on Tue May 29, 2001 at 02:51:11 PM EST

It's not the words... never the words for me - always the sentiment.

I think the most obscene / insulting thing I've ever had to deal with was hoards of people running around with pamphlets claiming that Canada should be Christian. Period.

Normally I would laugh, but they did this on Canada Day - at the festivities. They didn't understand, so I started advocating Satanism and burning the pamphlets.

They got the idea. I didn't really like getting down and dirty, but it was really the only way to get the point across.

It's not what I said, but what I meant. It's not what they said, but what they meant. They didn't intend to offend, I'm sure, but the implications of what they were saying was nauseating to me. Wars have been fought over this shit and it's time to stop, eh?

So anyway, I can't imagine language to be inherently offensive. Yeah, the context - or sentiment - is the offending portion.

farq will not be coming back
Obscene / Vulgarity (4.00 / 6) (#109)
by Mad Hughagi on Wed May 30, 2001 at 10:34:05 AM EST

Main Entry: vul·gar
Pronunciation: 'v&l-g&r
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin vulgaris of the mob, vulgar, from volgus, vulgus mob, common people
Date: 14th century
1 a : generally used, applied, or accepted b : understood in or having the ordinary sense <they reject the vulgar conception of miracle -- W. R. Inge>
2 : VERNACULAR <the vulgar name of a plant>
3 a : of or relating to the common people : PLEBEIAN b : generally current : PUBLIC <the vulgar opinion of that time> c : of the usual, typical, or ordinary kind
4 a : lacking in cultivation, perception, or taste : COARSE b : morally crude, undeveloped, or unregenerate : GROSS c : ostentatious or excessive in expenditure or display : PRETENTIOUS
5 a : offensive in language : EARTHY b : lewdly or profanely indecent
synonym see COMMON, COARSE
- vul·gar·ly adverb

Main Entry: ob·scene
Pronunciation: äb-'sEn, &b-
Function: adjective
Etymology: Middle French, from Latin obscenus, obscaenus
Date: 1593
1 : disgusting to the senses : REPULSIVE
2 a : abhorrent to morality or virtue; specifically : designed to incite to lust or depravity b : containing or being language regarded as taboo in polite usage <obscene lyrics> c : repulsive by reason of crass disregard of moral or ethical principles <an obscene misuse of power> d : so excessive as to be offensive <obscene wealth> <obscene waste>
synonym see COARSE
- ob·scene·ly adverb

These are from some online dictionary - (first google entry on "dictionary")

For vulgar, I guess we're talking about 4 and 5.
I guess obscene can be either 1 or 2, with 2b in particular.

Personally, I think that the use of language is a personal preference, and as such it is the responsibility of the reader to make what they will of it. The problem with this is that language is not an objective quantity - it's all relative to the culture in which it is used. The fact that most people find the words "fuck", "shit", "cunt", etc. to be negative in character has nothing to do with the actual meanings of the words themselves - it has to do with how we percieve them based on some cultural upbringing. Personally I try to do away with those aspects of my upbringing that have no importance or logical consistancy, and as such I find the use of words to be arbitrary.

If I feel like speaking or writing in a certain way so be it. As long as the ideas I am trying to convey are solid, the language that I use to do so is only a personal preference. If you don't like the way I write or talk, tough shit (or so they like to say).

Often if I am trying to express my emotions in a very strong sense (as others have pointed out) I use words for their culturally significant impact. If I say: "I hate this aspect of swearing very much" instead of "I fucking hate this aspect of swearing" I guess I am trying to cater to the culturally accepted way of communicating, however, I think they are both equivalent in my mind.

Ah well, to each their own. If you don't like reading something, don't read it. The semi-anonymous nature of the internet allows us to be vocal in ways that we can't neccissarily be in normal meat-space situations. Since there is no fear of repercussion for how we speak, I'm all for people using whatever language they please. As long as I understand what they are saying, I could care less if every second word they use is culturally taboo or lacking descriptive quality.

HUGHAGI INDUSTRIES

We don't make the products you like, we make you like the products we make.

Effective swearing (3.66 / 3) (#113)
by scorpio66 on Wed May 30, 2001 at 11:26:54 AM EST

There are lots of things that I find offensive and vulgar - fortunately, language isn't one of them.

However, swearing in moderation can be a very effective use of language. If someone who you think never swears does the effect can stop a train. It has a much greater impact than someone who swears regularly.

Personally, I kind of agree with substituting * or letters in common swear words, if only because it shows respect for everyone in the audience, esp. children.

BTW, I know that children swear (I did as a child) but I think educating them in effective swearing is important.

My try at explaining swearing. (3.50 / 4) (#117)
by tkatchev on Wed May 30, 2001 at 02:49:39 PM EST

The concept of "swear words" is not just an arbitrary or irrational rule invented for no apparent reason. "Swears" go back thousands and thousands of years into the past of European culture -- they are rooted in ancient pagan taboos. Swears exist for the same reason that clothes do -- to instill fear and respect concerning key areas of the human experience, mostly those having to do with procreation. Basically, swear words are looked down upon not because they are particularly offensive (I mean, who hasn't already heard these words thousands of time before) but because using them too freely desentitizes you to your own sexuality. That thing hanging in your pants is not supposed to be another appendage (like a finger or a toe) but more like the means to conserve your cultural heritage and value system. In any case, our (European) forebears have been thinking something along those lines.

   -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.

A fun sentence (1.66 / 3) (#123)
by goosedaemon on Wed May 30, 2001 at 04:36:33 PM EST

Pretend for a moment that you're a Christian. Now pretend that you hear a guy on the street talking to another guy on the street. He says, in earnest, "Jesus Christ is one coolass motherfucker!"

Ban bad words, get Cargo! (3.50 / 2) (#124)
by cargogod on Wed May 30, 2001 at 05:55:54 PM EST

I, the Cargo God, very much enjoy the cultic behavior of those who believe that use of (or exposure to) certain bad words will cause Jeepers Cripes to darn your bottom to Heck. Dang, it's clear that that kind of crap will rot the mind of any child. And I'm really impressed when people are able to avoid such usage with high-strength ciphers that can defeat those fscking Net Nanny programs while still t*ttillating their readers.

To those who believe that the entire language belongs in the toolkits of its speakers and writers, well, that's probably how James Joyce lost his eyesight. Who knows what might happen if children tempt the Fates by using the forbidden words, or if we had no forbidden words by which to identify the Bad People who would use them? Best to be safe.

Yer fucken meta shit (3.33 / 3) (#125)
by Field Marshall Stack on Wed May 30, 2001 at 06:32:49 PM EST

is what's fucken vulgar to me, you goddamned cunt. Piss off, fucker.
--
Ben Allen, hiway@speakeasy.org
"Nobody ever lends money to a man with a sense of humor"
-Peter Tork
Very little is vulgar to me. (3.00 / 1) (#126)
by coffee17 on Wed May 30, 2001 at 07:34:30 PM EST

shit, fuck, god, chaos, beauty, ugly, love, hate. I don't care about them. Talk about graphic violence and it won't phase me. Graphicly depict sex, whether straight, gay, both and it won't offend me. Bring up drugs or religion, yay.

The one concept which I do find vulgar is that of procreation (not sex, but reproducing). All current problems in the world today could be solved within century or so if all humans (or even all life) stopped procreating. Babies and pregger mothers are especially disgusting, and I can't help but feel anger and disgust about someone talking about their kids.

That said, I realize that not everyone shares my views on obscenity, and am thus not going around marking any comments relating to kids, or babies as 0 or 1. I also try to curb my potty mouth (I dated a navy gal once, and she only grudgingly admitted that I seemed to have a worse gutter mouth).

However, while I'm not "in your face" about my dislike of children (to co-workers I've simplified it to that for them, no need for them to know that I hate all life), I didn't mask the look of disgust and hate I felt when a pregger co-worker who knows I dislike kids asked if I wanted to feel her belly. WTF was she thinking?

-coffee


DAMN (5.00 / 1) (#127)
by Funk Soul Hacker on Wed May 30, 2001 at 09:48:54 PM EST

Dude, you one fucked up cat!


--- Right about now, Da Funk Soul Hacker
[ Parent ]
Mildly Off-Topic (4.60 / 5) (#135)
by Mzilikazi on Thu May 31, 2001 at 12:34:27 PM EST

Something that I've often wondered about is the proper education of a child in how to swear...

I'm not suggesting that it should be a course in school or anything, but the words are part of our language and knowing the appropriate meanings as well as the appropriate time and place to use said words is extremely important. I was "taught", more or less, by the various older men that I hung around with as a child, either my grandfather, various great uncles, or other old men in the town. My father didn't have much of a role in this, because although he cursed quite frequently, I was forbidden to do so in his presence.

However, when you're around an 80 year old WWI veteran who's working on an engine and he suddenly smashes a finger, you learn when, why, and how to swear in an appropriate manner. :)

An example of what happens when a child doesn't learn properly: one of my younger cousins was startled by something and said, "That scared the ass out of me!" Obviously the word "shit" would have been better, but my aunt corrected him and told him to look for a better word. "That scared the butt out of me!" I was doing everything I could to keep from laughing. "That's better," she said, "but let's look for a nicer word, like 'wits' or 'breath' or 'willikers'." (None of which really fit the sentence well, and I have no idea why she chose them.) I'm sure he's going to get some odd stares the next time he's on the schoolyard and uses the word "willikers". Hopefully he won't get beaten up in the process.

Although I don't think that my young cousin should go around swearing like a sailor, I think he's being done a disservice by not learning the proper use of swearing. And I can't step in, as I already got chewed out for teaching him and his sister to play blackjack, even though my aunt begrudgingly admitted that it helped the kids with arithmetic. ;)



Scared the ass out of me (none / 0) (#144)
by SnowDogAPB on Fri Jun 15, 2001 at 11:58:07 AM EST

On the other hand, I think you can get a lot of spice out of substituting one swear word where another one is used normally.

I actually think having the ass scared out of you is pretty funny. :)


[ Parent ]
It's the thought that counts! (4.00 / 1) (#136)
by SlamboS on Thu May 31, 2001 at 08:22:29 PM EST

Things should not be considered vulgar out of tradition. If I tease a friend about something small, and he replies with "Fuck you," I'm not going to all of a sudden get mad and stop speaking with him. I'm probably going to laugh it off. If on the other hand, the friend replies with "Nobody here likes you and we don't know why you think we're your friends!" then I'm probably going to feel offended. The first sentence contained a word that is traditionally vulgar, yet it wouldn't make me mad unless inserted into a rude context. The second sentence would always make me mad, unless it was part of a sentence quoting someone else. Since we have replacement words for our cuss words (poop, etc.), I don't really understand the whole point of them being considered bad. Still, they're not good to teach to kids because kids don't generally have a good idea of who they're talking to and can easilly give the impression that their parents are irresponsible. After all, to the rest of the world, the stuff is evil.

It is because of all this that I think the banning of books like "Huckleberry Finn" is absurd. Mark Twain often used the word "nigger" in the book, so many black people are standing out against the book. Mark Twain, however, was friends with many black people and didn't even consider the word to be offensive. In his time, it was just the dialect everyone else was speaking. Twain wasn't using it to be mean, he was simply speaking his language.

I think that it is sad for people to blindly look at a few letters and are insulted. Well, I hope this doesn't offend anyone, but... Peace out, niggas!

/whois JohnGalt
How about this? (4.50 / 2) (#138)
by Requiem on Sat Jun 02, 2001 at 02:34:31 AM EST

Banned in the UK, so watch it. It has offended a lot of people since it was first published:

view the poem

(warning: it really, really could be seen as vulgar, even to you people who don't find many things vulgar)

That was vulgar? (none / 0) (#141)
by brion on Sun Jun 03, 2001 at 08:29:49 PM EST

Guess I'm jaded. But then, my parents took me to The Rocky Horror Picture Show in the womb, I'm scarred for life. :)

Note: vulgar in origin means "of the common people," or essentially "unsophisticated." Hence "dirty" words used primarily by the lower socioeconomic classes (vulgus) being vulgar, while the highbrow had their flowery cultivated speech. Since most of the "common people" (at least in the West) probably wouldn't approve of a blasphemous homosexual necrophiliac poem, I can't imagine it being considered vulgar! Offensive, perhaps.



Chu vi parolas Vikipedion?
[ Parent ]
Deficient in taste, but not harmful (none / 0) (#143)
by bored on Tue Jun 12, 2001 at 05:32:19 PM EST

That poem has a pretty high shock factor. I wouldn't call it vulgar but it sure was "Deficient in taste". The gay necrophilic act wasn't exactly to my liking but wouldn't have shocked me if it wasn't combined with the religious overtone. I'm Agnostic so the stuff about Jesus Christ shouldn't have bothered me but it was the final icing that put it a little over the line of fine taste. To a certain extent, I think, it would have been less shocking if it had been more obscene, its the nonchalance of the language that makes it so bad.

Even though I didn't particularly enjoy that piece of work it would take a lot more before I would consider it harmful to anyone and therefor a canidate for censorship. When it comes to censorship there are lots of examples of books, including many religious texts, that are far more harmful to people because of that attitudes that they attempt to teach. Even so, many pieces of 'literature' that teach harmful things are easily disarmed with long disclaimer style forwords and appropriate footnotes.



[ Parent ]
IMO, Vulgarity is subjective (4.00 / 2) (#142)
by mvsgeek on Sun Jun 10, 2001 at 01:59:08 PM EST

I am personally not offended by any specific word or combination of words. In fact, i find it hard to be "offended" by anything. In order to be offended, one must have specific unpleasant feelings associated with a word, sentence or idea, and i find it hard to associate any unpleasant feelings to commonly used vulgar terms such as "fuck" or "cunt" or "shit" (particularly the 1st two :) which are frequently seen in daily activity.
To people who hold no religion dear (and even some who do), religious cusses are also banal, and fairly devoid of meaning.
For example, I live in quebec, where the regular staple of ordinary conversation involves religious cussing - it's not seen as vulgar, it's just plain old conversation - despite once being a deeply religiously rooted culture.

That having been said though, in order to avoid offending other people (and getting into endless justifying rhetoric), I reserve my cussing and mold my manner of speaking to what i consider is appropriate given the company that I'm in.
- mvsgeek

Penn sez it better 'n me (none / 0) (#146)
by theora55 on Wed Jul 11, 2001 at 07:10:41 PM EST

Penn Gillette, of Penn-n-Teller, had an excellent essay on excite.com, which is now archived at Watch My Mouth, dated August 15, 1997. He makes the case that swearing is now so commonplace that it has lost much of its emphasis, and that not swearing forces/allows him to express himself more accurately. He's right; I know he's right, but I always end up saying "fuck it!"

What's vulgar to you? | 146 comments (133 topical, 13 editorial, 0 hidden)
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