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The "F" word- are you offended by it?



 
 
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  #1481  
Old July 19th, 2010, 12:11 am
canismajoris  Male.gif canismajoris is offline
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

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Originally Posted by Midnightsfire View Post
The last person to swear in front of the children in my neck of the woods got maced by an outraged grandma. (The police just laughed when they got called in...Some areas you just have to know well, to leave well enough alone.)
For some reason I think seeing my grandma violently attack someone would make a bit more of an impression than hearing someone say a word I don't even know. The only justification I can think of for that kind of reaction is not that swear words are bad, but that absurdity is a normal part of human society.


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  #1482  
Old July 19th, 2010, 12:23 am
Midnightsfire  Undisclosed.gif Midnightsfire is offline
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

Swear as often and loudly in front of your own children. Not someone else's children.


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  #1483  
Old July 19th, 2010, 12:28 am
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

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Originally Posted by Midnightsfire View Post
Swear as often and loudly in front of your own children. Not someone else's children.
I still think a rather better lesson for kids is not to assault strangers.


  #1484  
Old July 19th, 2010, 12:59 am
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

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Originally Posted by Midnightsfire View Post
Swear as often and loudly in front of your own children. Not someone else's children.
If parents don't want their children to hear certain words, they should not take them out in public. The world is filled with adults who use adult language and most of us aren't thinking about some kid who might be in the vicinity.


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  #1485  
Old July 19th, 2010, 1:12 am
Midnightsfire  Undisclosed.gif Midnightsfire is offline
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

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Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
If parents don't want their children to hear certain words, they should not take them out in public. The world is filled with adults who use adult language and most of us aren't thinking about some kid who might be in the vicinity.
As I pointed out, this is the way the neighborhood is geard towards. "Adult language" is for adults.

The person maced learned the hard way to think how he may be offending others. A lesson that many others should probably learn as well. (Although I suspect they too need to learn the hard way. No one learns from others' experience anymore.)

After all, you can't use the word in some places, even on the internet.


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  #1486  
Old July 19th, 2010, 2:05 am
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

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Originally Posted by Midnightsfire View Post
The person maced learned the hard way to think how he may be offending others. A lesson that many others should probably learn as well. (Although I suspect they too need to learn the hard way. No one learns from others' experience anymore.)
I think the person maced needs to move to a place with stronger values, where outrageous violent overreaction isn't considered acceptable.

To claim that swearing is worse than random violence almost makes me think you're not taking this discussion seriously. I think I've done a pretty thorough job outlining how arbitrary the taboos on certain words are, and I'd be glad to discuss that further, but otherwise you're going to have to defend your moral assertions with some evidence other than an anecdote. Evidence that swearing actually negatively affects anyone would be a great start.


  #1487  
Old July 19th, 2010, 2:09 am
craiggles  Male.gif craiggles is offline
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

I've changed my mind on this recently. I used to swear all the time and I thought it was silly that people considered the f-word offensive, but now I feel like it can be, and it just seems stupid that we use it the way we do.

I won't deny that it's nice to have - there are some situations where "normal" words just don't cut it - but I actually think it's kind of sad that it's become so commonplace. We don't even think about who we might be offending.


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  #1488  
Old July 19th, 2010, 2:18 am
Midnightsfire  Undisclosed.gif Midnightsfire is offline
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

Not that it may mean much, but I applaud you.


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  #1489  
Old July 19th, 2010, 3:30 am
NickHeartsMat  Female.gif NickHeartsMat is offline
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

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Originally Posted by MistressofRaven View Post
If parents don't want their children to hear certain words, they should not take them out in public. The world is filled with adults who use adult language and most of us aren't thinking about some kid who might be in the vicinity.
Wow just wow. So parents who want to shelter their children from harsh language, which let's face it swearing is harsh language, as much as possible should just deal with the fact that some people can't control themselves?

A lot of people see swearing as "just words" and okay I understand that. The fact remains though that swear words ARE offensive to many people. Otherwise we wouldn't even be having this discussion. To dismiss the fact that people find some language offensive and take the attitude that they should just deal with it and get used to it is just plain sad to me. I don't personally care what comes out of someone's mouth, but I do care when I know there is a strong possibility of my child being exposed to that. I am not talking about someone saying it and my kid overhearing it, but if it is used in conversation with my children then yeah, there is going to be trouble. That is not okay with me. I don't care if that makes me weird because honestly I am looking out for my kids best interest and I don't think there is any reason why swear words would ever be acceptable to use in conversation with kids.

I actually used to see swear words as no big deal. Things change when you are raising children though I guess.


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  #1490  
Old July 19th, 2010, 3:55 am
canismajoris  Male.gif canismajoris is offline
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

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Originally Posted by NickHeartsMat View Post
Wow just wow. So parents who want to shelter their children from harsh language, which let's face it swearing is harsh language, as much as possible should just deal with the fact that some people can't control themselves?
By analogy, here's a question: If you wanted to shield your child from ideas you consider dangerous, should you just deal with the fact that your child will eventually be exposed to them?

Another question, since nobody else seems to want to answer it: How would you say swearing negatively affects children?

I'm not saying it doesn't affect them at all, but I also think that they are instructed to feel negatively affected, while if left to their own devices, what might happen? Swearing affects people, it really does, physiologically, because they know it's forbidden. But where did this belief come from? From their parents, teachers, and churches, naturally... adult role models set boundaries for what language is acceptable and what isn't.

I understand the reasons how swearing can influence a child, how that in turn can influence other children, and so on. But what I would like to know from parents in general: How are children actually harmed by it? In concrete, specific, terms, what harm comes to them when they hear swaering?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickHeartsMat View Post
A lot of people see swearing as "just words" and okay I understand that. The fact remains though that swear words ARE offensive to many people. Otherwise we wouldn't even be having this discussion. To dismiss the fact that people find some language offensive and take the attitude that they should just deal with it and get used to it is just plain sad to me. I don't personally care what comes out of someone's mouth, but I do care when I know there is a strong possibility of my child being exposed to that. I am not talking about someone saying it and my kid overhearing it, but if it is used in conversation with my children then yeah, there is going to be trouble. That is not okay with me. I don't care if that makes me weird because honestly I am looking out for my kids best interest and I don't think there is any reason why swear words would ever be acceptable to use in conversation with kids.
I urge you to read some of my recent posts. You'll find, I hope, that although there are lots of reasons swear words come to exist, these reasons are arbitrary, arbitrary in that they are invented by the culture that uses them. Nobody would say "Oh my God!" If there had been no church.

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Originally Posted by NickHeartsMat View Post
I actually used to see swear words as no big deal. Things change when you are raising children though I guess.
Did you see swearing as a big deal when you were a child? Given that you feel it is a big deal where it concerns your children, I am willing to bet the adult role models in your early life probably felt the very same way. It's a tradition, not an inevitability.


  #1491  
Old July 19th, 2010, 4:46 am
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

Not sure if I've ever answered this question before.

But, no, I'm not offended by swearing, F-word or otherwise. They are just words like any other for people to use to help describe how they are feeling, etc.


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  #1492  
Old July 19th, 2010, 6:01 am
Lemongrass  Female.gif Lemongrass is offline
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

I find it interesting when people use the argument 'they are just words like any other'. Words all exist because they have meaning and connotation. Sometimes I think we are moving towards a society where anything and everything goes, with no consideration for consequences or thought of how my words or actions may be affecting others.

It seems a very narcissistic attitude to me (by the way this is not aimed at the above poster, just general reflections, based on reading recent posts). Why must we over intellectualise things, if something you do or say offends someone for whatever reasons, that is a reality in itself, one would hope that people would refrain from doing something that is displeasing to another person, because they care enough about how people around them are feeling. I don't much agree with the concept of 'I'll do what I want, if you don't like that's your problem' type of attitude, I don't think it at all fosters a healthy and contented society.


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  #1493  
Old July 19th, 2010, 6:05 am
NickHeartsMat  Female.gif NickHeartsMat is offline
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

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Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
How are children actually harmed by it? In concrete, specific, terms, what harm comes to them when they hear swaering?
Well when someone swears at a child that can be very psychologically damaging. My kids get upset when someone speaks in an upset tone and to add in swear words would totally freak them out, they would internalize that and automatically (regardless of whether the person was actually directing their emotions at my kids) feel as though they did something wrong. Kids have an amazing ability to turn everything into their fault.

Look, I am not saying that no one should swear and that if you swear around kids you are a bad person, what I am saying is that people should not use that kind of language while speaking to a child.

That is not to mention the harm that comes from the child repeating the things they have heard. They can get suspended or expelled for swearing at my son's school district. Not to mention that anyone (neighbors, teachers, strangers, whoever) could call Children's Services and report that behavior which depending on the environment the child is in, could lead to them being removed from the home. If that isn't damaging to a child I don't know what is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
I urge you to read some of my recent posts. You'll find, I hope, that although there are lots of reasons swear words come to exist, these reasons are arbitrary, arbitrary in that they are invented by the culture that uses them. Nobody would say "Oh my God!" If there had been no church.
I read all your posts but I still fail to see how it makes any difference. The fact is that swear words may just be words but there IS a negative association with them. I don't care where they came from, or how they evolved through the years, the point is that it doesn't matter in the here and now.

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Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
Did you see swearing as a big deal when you were a child? Given that you feel it is a big deal where it concerns your children, I am willing to bet the adult role models in your early life probably felt the very same way. It's a tradition, not an inevitability.
Yes, as a child I remember being completely afraid when anyone would swear at me (like my older sisters often did). It did make it seem like whatever they were swearing about was 30 times more serious than it actually was, and I could never be sure that whatever they were talking wasn't my fault. Why would I ever want my kids to feel that way?

Its not just the actual words, it's also the tone behind them most of the time. They are strong words, used to convey strong emotions and kids are very susceptible to someone's tone of voice. For me, it is not only the swearing, in general I don't think it is acceptable to tear into a child without using swear words.

My parents never really cared about swearing. They didn't swear at us, but we did grow up hearing it around the house often. It was never a big deal to them, if the situation warranted swearing they swore. They are still like that. So I wouldn't say that my parents tried to shelter us from swearing at all. So no, it was not tradition. The truth is that until you have kids you don't know what things will change, but you can be fairly certain your views on some things will (maybe not this issue, but certainly others).

Quote:
Originally Posted by canismajoris View Post
By analogy, here's a question: If you wanted to shield your child from ideas you consider dangerous, should you just deal with the fact that your child will eventually be exposed to them?
I am well aware that my children will be exposed to many bad things as they age, but that doesn't mean that I am going to start exposing them now because "oh well they might as well get used to it". Children are not little adults, they don't process things the same way, so leaving them to make sense of adult topics is crazy to me. I am all for answering any questions my kids have about any topic, but I do so in an age appropriate way. You may not see swear words as offensive, and that is okay, I respect that but I personally don't want my kids using that sort of language at their ages and so if I can keep them away from it I will.

Shielding them while they are young doesn't mean shielding them forever. I think that is a distinction that needs to be made. Just because they will be exposed to a lot of violence as they get older doesn't mean that I should start them young and let them view lots of violent things.


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  #1494  
Old July 19th, 2010, 6:53 am
lightreading  Female.gif lightreading is offline
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

Swearing IS just words. Ugly, vile, vulgar words--but only because of their meaning, of course. People don't like to be forced to think about certain things, so swearing may bother them. It doesn't bother me--because words can hurt, sure, but a few ugly words won't scar a child for life. Constant bad language and rudeness in the home can be classified as abuse (if it's directly insulting) but otherwise, it doesn't matter.
As for "starting them too young"--let them know what's there. Don't delude them. IMO, that's a big mistake. If parents make sure their children know that violence, etc. is wrong and that they shouldn't be violent, there's no problem with them seeing violence.


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  #1495  
Old July 19th, 2010, 7:29 am
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

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Originally Posted by Midnightsfire View Post
Spoken as someone who hasn't any children.

Or will you teach them "trash talk?"
Did you miss the part where I said one of my bones snapped? What was I (or anyone else who has been in this situation) supposed to do? Check if anybody under say 16 was within earshot, and then react? I make no apologies ever for saying whatever I want in that context, no matter who is around. My kids, your kids, John and Mary Smith's kids. Seriously, children will see worse things on television than if they hear me say one word when I'm in excrusiating pain. I won't swear in public generally, unless something like I mentioned above happens, because it's just not part of my language and I understand that it does offend some people (though that's less of a reason for me) and they don't want their kids hearing it (I can respect that).

And just because I don't have kids, doesn't mean I want children (mine or others) swearing or being exposed to bad language all the time (I resent that implication). It just means, that swearing is a fact of life, everyone is going to hear it SOME time. I don't think I damaged those children, to be honest. They survived the trauma (as far as I know).


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  #1496  
Old July 19th, 2010, 7:39 am
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

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Originally Posted by NickHeartsMat View Post
Well when someone swears at a child that can be very psychologically damaging. My kids get upset when someone speaks in an upset tone and to add in swear words would totally freak them out, they would internalize that and automatically (regardless of whether the person was actually directing their emotions at my kids) feel as though they did something wrong. Kids have an amazing ability to turn everything into their fault.
Well I'm not going to get into psychology and parenting techniques, but I think swearing is not the cause of the problem you're describing.

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Originally Posted by NickHeartsMat View Post
Look, I am not saying that no one should swear and that if you swear around kids you are a bad person, what I am saying is that people should not use that kind of language while speaking to a child.
I think there's no reason to use that kind of language around a child. I just don't think that exposure to it necessarily does any damage. At worst I would see it as an opportunity to discuss the matter with my kids and make it clear what I expect of them when it comes to language. I have nothing against swearing at all, but when children are learning to speak, write, and generally express themselves, I would also rather encourage other things than profanity.

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Originally Posted by NickHeartsMat View Post
That is not to mention the harm that comes from the child repeating the things they have heard. They can get suspended or expelled for swearing at my son's school district. Not to mention that anyone (neighbors, teachers, strangers, whoever) could call Children's Services and report that behavior which depending on the environment the child is in, could lead to them being removed from the home. If that isn't damaging to a child I don't know what is.
But those consequences come directly from rules about swearing, not from swearing itself. I'm not convinced there's any legitimate reason to suspend a student for swearing unless it was an explicit threat. I also don't think profane langauge alone can be considered any kind of abuse or neglegence.

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Originally Posted by NickHeartsMat View Post
I read all your posts but I still fail to see how it makes any difference. The fact is that swear words may just be words but there IS a negative association with them. I don't care where they came from, or how they evolved through the years, the point is that it doesn't matter in the here and now.
I agree, it doesn't really matter here and now, so why lose sleep over it.

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Originally Posted by NickHeartsMat View Post
Yes, as a child I remember being completely afraid when anyone would swear at me (like my older sisters often did). It did make it seem like whatever they were swearing about was 30 times more serious than it actually was, and I could never be sure that whatever they were talking wasn't my fault. Why would I ever want my kids to feel that way?
I was asking sincerely, and I'm not qualified to analyze your experiences. But I can tell you this: When I was little, if I heard a word I didn't know, I asked my parents what it meant (later when I could read I figured out how to look things up in the dictionary). I distinctly remember once asking my dad what the F-word meant. I was somewhere between 4 and 6 years old, I'm not sure exactly. And he told me something along the lines of "well that's a word that grownups use, but it's not polite". Since my parents already encouraged me to be polite, I knew that if I used the word I could sound more grown up, but that it would be wrong to say something impolite. But as I got older, I realized that the only people I cared about offending with bad language were the people who had told me not to use it. I'll be honest, excessive swearing makes me feel uncomfortable. Not threatened, but just slightly abashed. I personally find it rather hard to conduct a conversation when someone's swearing a lot, so I'm not by any means advocating it.

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Originally Posted by NickHeartsMat View Post
Its not just the actual words, it's also the tone behind them most of the time. They are strong words, used to convey strong emotions and kids are very susceptible to someone's tone of voice. For me, it is not only the swearing, in general I don't think it is acceptable to tear into a child without using swear words.
How can you be sure it's not entirely because of the tone behind them? When we're talking about kids who won't necessarily understand what the words mean, I think unless they only respond negatively to swear words, and not any other harsh or loud voice, the tone is wholly responsible. Once again this doesn't mean kids can hang out in a bar, but there's no reason to mace someone for saying the F-word, as the story goes.

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Originally Posted by NickHeartsMat View Post
My parents never really cared about swearing. They didn't swear at us, but we did grow up hearing it around the house often. It was never a big deal to them, if the situation warranted swearing they swore. They are still like that. So I wouldn't say that my parents tried to shelter us from swearing at all. So no, it was not tradition. The truth is that until you have kids you don't know what things will change, but you can be fairly certain your views on some things will (maybe not this issue, but certainly others).
I believe you that having kids will drastically change my perspective, but what I meant to ask was whether your parents permitted you to swear. You have already mentioned that profanity scared you when you were a child, but you don't have to elaborate any further if you don't want. I'm only asking out of curiosity, not because I'm trying to make some kind of point.

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Originally Posted by NickHeartsMat View Post
I am well aware that my children will be exposed to many bad things as they age, but that doesn't mean that I am going to start exposing them now because "oh well they might as well get used to it". Children are not little adults, they don't process things the same way, so leaving them to make sense of adult topics is crazy to me. I am all for answering any questions my kids have about any topic, but I do so in an age appropriate way. You may not see swear words as offensive, and that is okay, I respect that but I personally don't want my kids using that sort of language at their ages and so if I can keep them away from it I will.
Hehe, thank you for answering, I give you credit for a lot of indulgence. Actually I do see swear words as offensive in plenty of situations, but I don't think they're going to destroy any children as long as they're protected when it matters and they understand what swear words are and the consequences of using them when they're old enough. (Exceptions will abound.) And I think my rationale is entirely different from yours--maybe it is because I don't have kids yet, but I'm not arguing anything drastically different from what you appear to think. However, I think it's important to remember the inevitable changes that will occur in language from region to region and generation to generation. I confidently predict that in 20 years your kids will be using swear words you've never heard before. So I hope we agree that young children are probably the best compelling reason to avoid swearing, but also that bad language is not a reason to attack another adult, because that doesn't set a very good example either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NickHeartsMat View Post
Shielding them while they are young doesn't mean shielding them forever. I think that is a distinction that needs to be made. Just because they will be exposed to a lot of violence as they get older doesn't mean that I should start them young and let them view lots of violent things.
I don't believe that either. I think when it comes to kids, since you can't really stop them from being exposed to every particular idea out there, having sincere and rational explanations and instructions available for when they are is the next best thing. I don't think there's any reason for a kid to be made afraid of a particular word, whether it because of someone frightening a child by swearing or someone frightening a child in order to discourage swearing. If parents have a responsibility to protect their kids from swearing, they definitely also have a responsibility not to make swearing a bigger deal than it needs to be.


  #1497  
Old July 19th, 2010, 8:03 pm
SirDobster  Female.gif SirDobster is offline
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

I think there are times and places when the F word is appropriate, and when it is not.

I use it too much when I am by myself, especially when I'm frustrated or angry.


  #1498  
Old July 19th, 2010, 9:25 pm
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

Well, gee, guys. I just spent a week passing a kidney stone and I didn't even, ever think of using the F-word. And in case you don't know what that feels like, imagine giving birth to a watermelon and all the pain is concentrated in one area that moves along with the kidney stone. Any woman who has experienced childbirth without pain relief will know what I mean... I used the Lamaze method for my four children. Unfortunately, Lamaze doesn't seem to work on kidney stones. The pain was as bad or worse as when I had both my knees replaced at the same time.

To condense the experience... the pain is A-G-O-N-I-Z-I-N-G.

And I reiterate... I never said or even thought the F-Word once. I just don't need that word in my vocabulary. If I am really, really, angry I can think of whole lot of other words to convey my displeasure.


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  #1499  
Old July 19th, 2010, 10:59 pm
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

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Originally Posted by cathairetic View Post
If I am really, really, angry I can think of whole lot of other words to convey my displeasure.
Well so can I, but that isn't really the issue. Swearing has probably always existed, and it's used now in every language there is. This ubiquity occurs for one reason: swearing, when done correctly, is a 100% guaranteed method interjecting and/or intensifying what a speaker wishes to express. While that certainly isn't the only method of accomplishing the goal, it just works.

Interestingly enough I just read an article which mentioned that people's reactions to swearing are very similar to the reactions of educated people who are exposed to grammatical errors. This might suggest that swearing, like grammatical errors, are seen to belong to low or vulgar register. And yet, people from all nations and walks of life and education levels swear--I had a priest once who could make a sailor blush.

So while I might applaud your vocabulary, do not make the mistake of believing that the absence of cursing in formal speech necessarily reflects any vulgarity on the part people who use it as part of their vernacular. I think beliefs of this nature, for example the clearly misguided notion that people from the southern U.S. are slow or stupid because of their accents, are a tacitly encouraged form of discrimination. Discrimination that, strangely enough, drives people to conform rather than fight its premise.

ETA

Here's a link to that article... I don't see any specific instances of swear words in it, but I would like to add the disclaimer that I'm not qualified to discuss all of the contents of it, since it seems to branch into anthropology and neuroscience at various points. It's an old article, but I have coincidentally read books by several of the linguists mentioned in the past year and I think the article probably still supports their theories.

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/20/science/20curs.html



Last edited by canismajoris; July 19th, 2010 at 11:02 pm.
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Old July 19th, 2010, 11:13 pm
craiggles  Male.gif craiggles is offline
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Re: The "F" word- are you offended by it?

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Originally Posted by Midnightsfire View Post
Not that it may mean much, but I applaud you.
Oh wow, thanks!


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