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#1: swearing

Posted on 2006-06-03 05:32:34 by babel

Adams touches on this subject some (Belgium), but he doesn't really
answer my questions about swear words. What makes swear words any
worse than other words? Did someone decide "Hey I don't like these
words, I think I'll make them offensive?"


damn

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#2: Re: swearing

Posted on 2006-06-04 20:35:30 by JimPAX

babel wrote:
> Adams touches on this subject some (Belgium), but he doesn't really
> answer my questions about swear words. What makes swear words any
> worse than other words? Did someone decide "Hey I don't like these
> words, I think I'll make them offensive?"
>
>
> damn

I think the "Belgium" concept _is_ Douglas' answer to the question.
Swear words are what society says they are.

In practice, I think you'll find that most swear words are slang
references to one of three broad categories:
Scatalogical topics - fecal/urinal matter, sexual organs or acts
Denigrating terms - racial, progeny or gender based epithets
Blasphemous terms - deity names, references to the ultimate resting
place of the soul

Hope this helps.

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#3: Re: swearing

Posted on 2006-06-05 01:59:30 by Steve Marshall

&quot;babel&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:soccerstar&#64;wwnet.net" target="_blank">soccerstar&#64;wwnet.net</a>&gt; wrote

&gt; Adams touches on this subject some (Belgium), but he doesn't really
&gt; answer my questions about swear words. What makes swear words any
&gt; worse than other words? Did someone decide &quot;Hey I don't like these
&gt; words, I think I'll make them offensive?&quot;

Japanese doesnt' have any swear words.
It's not so much that they are offensive but that people take offence to
their being used.
'Bloody' used to be an offensive swear word though it is/was a perfectly
ordinary word as well.

Steve M

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#4: Re: swearing

Posted on 2006-06-05 04:11:20 by JimPAX

&gt; 'Bloody' used to be an offensive swear word though it is/was a perfectly
&gt; ordinary word as well.
&gt;

While certainly true, Bloody is short for &quot;Bloody flux,&quot; a reference to
the menstrual cycle or to the diarrhea common with dyssentery,
depending on the region/time period referenced. Either way, it falls
squarely into category one from above when used as a swear word.

Other swear words are also &quot;ordinary,&quot; such as damn, which appears
numerous times in repectable writings and has for centuries. It's not
just the word itself, but also the context within which it is used.

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#5: Re: swearing

Posted on 2006-06-05 04:18:02 by JimPAX

JimPAX wrote:

&gt;
&gt; While certainly true, Bloody is short for &quot;Bloody flux,&quot; a reference to
&gt; the menstrual cycle or to the diarrhea common with dyssentery,
&gt; depending on the region/time period referenced. Either way, it falls
&gt; squarely into category one from above when used as a swear word.

Actually, more research indicates that &quot;Bloody&quot; could also have been
short for &quot;Bloody wounds&quot; , in reference to the crucifiction
(particularly the nail wounds through the hands and the sword thrust
through the side) of Christ. So bloody also falls into category three.

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#6: Re: swearing

Posted on 2006-06-05 10:15:21 by Stephen Borrill

babel wrote:
&gt; Adams touches on this subject some (Belgium), but he doesn't really
&gt; answer my questions about swear words. What makes swear words any
&gt; worse than other words? Did someone decide &quot;Hey I don't like these
&gt; words, I think I'll make them offensive?&quot;

According to the Mary Whitehouse Experience Encyclopedia [1], swear
words have different frequencies and some, like a dog whistle, are so
high that most people don't respond to them. I won't give you their
example, I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader.

[1]
<a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/articles/m/marywhitehouseex_1299002018.shtml" target="_blank"> http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/articles/m/marywhitehousee x_1299002018.shtml</a>

--
Stephen

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#7: Re: swearing

Posted on 2006-06-05 17:57:03 by Neil Gerace

&quot;JimPAX&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:JimPAX&#64;gmail.com" target="_blank">JimPAX&#64;gmail.com</a>&gt; wrote in message
news:<a href="mailto:1149446130.146059.122930&#64;h76g2000cwa.googlegroups.com..." target="_blank">1149446130.146059.122930&#64;h76g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...</a>
&gt;
&gt; babel wrote:
&gt;&gt; Adams touches on this subject some (Belgium), but he doesn't really
&gt;&gt; answer my questions about swear words. What makes swear words any
&gt;&gt; worse than other words? Did someone decide &quot;Hey I don't like these
&gt;&gt; words, I think I'll make them offensive?&quot;
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; damn
&gt;
&gt; I think the &quot;Belgium&quot; concept _is_ Douglas' answer to the question.
&gt; Swear words are what society says they are.

Yes - and when the society or its rules changes, what words are offensive
and what ones aren't can change too.

I think the Norman Conquest is responsible for some perfectly ordinary
English words becoming swear words.

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#8: Re: swearing

Posted on 2006-06-05 19:16:48 by Kaare Fiedler Christiansen

Neil Gerace wrote:
&gt; &quot;JimPAX&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:JimPAX&#64;gmail.com" target="_blank">JimPAX&#64;gmail.com</a>&gt; wrote in message
&gt; news:<a href="mailto:1149446130.146059.122930&#64;h76g2000cwa.googlegroups.com..." target="_blank">1149446130.146059.122930&#64;h76g2000cwa.googlegroups.com...</a>
&gt;&gt; babel wrote:
&gt;&gt;&gt; Adams touches on this subject some (Belgium), but he doesn't really
&gt;&gt;&gt; answer my questions about swear words. What makes swear words any
&gt;&gt;&gt; worse than other words? Did someone decide &quot;Hey I don't like these
&gt;&gt;&gt; words, I think I'll make them offensive?&quot;
&gt;&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt;&gt; damn
&gt;&gt; I think the &quot;Belgium&quot; concept _is_ Douglas' answer to the question.
&gt;&gt; Swear words are what society says they are.
&gt;
&gt; Yes - and when the society or its rules changes, what words are offensive
&gt; and what ones aren't can change too.
&gt;
&gt; I think the Norman Conquest is responsible for some perfectly ordinary
&gt; English words becoming swear words.

AINDERBY QUERNHOW (n.)
One who continually bemoans the 'loss' of the word 'gay' to the English
language, even though they had never used the word in any context at all
until they started complaining that they couldn't use it any more.

Best
Kåre

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#9: Re: swearing

Posted on 2006-06-05 23:15:17 by iain

Kaare Fiedler Christiansen &lt;<a href="mailto:news&#64;kaarefc.dk" target="_blank">news&#64;kaarefc.dk</a>&gt; wrote in
news:44846700$0$2102$<a href="mailto:edfadb0f&#64;dtext02.news.tele.dk" target="_blank">edfadb0f&#64;dtext02.news.tele.dk</a>:

&lt;snip&gt;
&gt;&gt;
&gt;&gt; I think the Norman Conquest is responsible for some perfectly
&gt;&gt; ordinary English words becoming swear words.
&gt;
&gt; AINDERBY QUERNHOW (n.)
&gt; One who continually bemoans the 'loss' of the word 'gay' to the
&gt; English language, even though they had never used the word in any
&gt; context at all until they started complaining that they couldn't use
&gt; it any more.

Liff!

Completely hijacking the thread, but that reminds me that I still haven't
mentioned the rather wonderful group I found on Flickr:
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/groups/liff/" target="_blank">http://www.flickr.com/groups/liff/</a>

See if you can guess which photo is mine!

--
iain

<a href="mailto:afda&#64;imb.clara.net" target="_blank">afda&#64;imb.clara.net</a> <a href="http://www.zootle.net/afda/" target="_blank">http://www.zootle.net/afda/</a>
&quot;how can you say that iain is a furyy fpevcg?!&quot; - kristen

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#10: Re: swearing

Posted on 2006-06-07 01:02:32 by Steve Marshall

&quot;Stephen Borrill&quot; &lt;<a href="mailto:gsborrill&#64;precedence.co.uk" target="_blank">gsborrill&#64;precedence.co.uk</a>&gt; wrote

&gt; According to the Mary Whitehouse Experience Encyclopedia [1], swear
&gt; words have different frequencies and some, like a dog whistle, are so
&gt; high that most people don't respond to them.

Does this mean that if people could hear the whistle, they would come
running with their tongue hanging out ???

Steve M

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