Indecency vs. free speech (no Who)



John Hughes pureneasy at tesco.net
Wed Apr 21 15:43:59 CDT 2004


> > Surely we can find equally descriptive words among the ones we
> > know than a swear word for public use?
>
>   I agree.  I'm not defending Bono's actions.  I'm just amused at
society's
>   continuing attempts to come to terms with swearing & define its
legitimacy,
>   or lack thereof, within the community.  Like I said, it's been going on
for
>   quite some time.

One thing I fond bizarre is the fact that many, many Hollywood films rely on
obscene swearing for dialogue, yet the US press and tv is possibly the most
censored in the world. No swearwords, nipples, bums or boobs on US networks
or newspapers, and the fuss over Janet Jackson's nipple was way out of
proportion with the stream of obscenities in films.

The British press - and tv - are by contrast riddled with NBB and
swearwords.

> > What were his conclusions?
>
>    That attempts to stifle swearing amongst classes of people is almost
>    always doomed to failure.  That swear words, like all words, have a
>    life of their own & fall in & out of use over periods of time.  That
swear
>    words, again like other words, fluctuate in their meaning & potency,
>    if you will, over time, too.

it seems almost disappointing that such relatively common sense conclusions
were drawn!

> > That swearing can be a legitimate function of language, even a necessary
> > one, as it acts as a release of tension & anger within the user.  That
> > there is good swearing & bad swearing.  Well-crafted, imaginative forms
> > of swearing as opposed to cheaply employed, unimaginative forms, as
> > well.  (Think Bono!)

I'd rather not, thank you. Brrrrr!

> > That there are many distinct types of swearing:  There's swearing,
cursing,
> > profanity, blasphemy, obscenity, vulgarity, & euphemistic swearing (gosh
> > darn!)

I regularly practice all such varieties!

> > Does a term that continues to be used as a swearword cease to be
> > a swearword when it is used as an honorific?  It does not.  The swear-
> > word's intensity, its energy charge, is borrowed for the occasion to
> > convey to the other the depth as well as the kind of feeling one has for
> > him. The other usually gets the message without the slightest misunder-
> > standing.

Except I refer you to America and Britain, two nations divided by a commomn
language (in itself a conundrum, as I've seen it as a quote from either
Churchill or GB Shaw - the US/UK difference in the use of fanny, though.

My concern is that the constant use of obscene swearwords coarsens
societies, so that for example things like FCUK (French Connection UK)
become acceptable as a logo on children's clothes.

Cheers,

john




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