The use of language, including profanity, and culture
03-14-2015, 08:29 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-14-2015, 01:06 PM by Miguel.)
#1
The use of language, including profanity, and culture
Note from Miguel:

I created this thread by splitting the initial posts from another thread.



Quote:XAtlantic Wrote:
Lol, what's with that obsession with not using some words? I never quite got that. It is ok to carry a weapon but not to use a certain word in public ... ponder that! (sorry, couldn't resist, just a European view ... of course I know of the important influence of puritan communities in the forging of the US! They were fleeing Europe, of course ...).

Quote:Tusk Wrote:
Like you, I'm often confused by this 'social affliction' some have with 'words', the means by which we communicate. Maybe it's because my early upbringing was in the UK but I could never understand this need to chose a 'word of the day' to be socially offended by. Even to the point of being revisionists and going back in time to 'edit out' even socially impactful works like Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Roots.

I've always told people, it's not the words that are bad, it's the context within which they are used. If we remove words because we blame them for social unrest, we limit our ability to express ourselves to others. IMO be insulted by the racism, anger and vitriol that charges the word, not the word in and of itself.

XAtlantic, after seeing your comment on "word choice" I was reminded of a quote of Mark Twain's that I saw years ago. Unfortunately, I don't remember it verbatim, and went on a search to find it last night. The search wasn't successful, but I will attempt the quote as best I remember it. He said something to the effect that the English language had few enough words to correctly express what he intended to convey, and he (damn well) wasn't going to limited by 'societal etiquette' to say it.

After seeing Tusk's above comments about Huckleberry Finn (and Tom Sawyer, as well, although Huck seems to remain the more offensive to some), it seems highly likely that the remark that I'm thinking of was a response to the offense/outrage that Huck produced. And Tusk's remark was a more elegant way of stating the message my dear Mr. Twain was attempting to communicate. (I happen to love Mark Twain.)

But there are other elements regarding word usage involved, I suspect. While the U.S. likes to pretend a great evolution (and to be fair, there has been a great deal of growth), there is still a fair amount of sexism that exists. Mercfan and I have touched on certain impacts the music world.

Although language isn't one of those areas that is discussed with frequency (if at all), I think (actually, I know) there is still an invisible wall regarding language that's acceptable for women to use. And, oddly, that wall may come as much from women as it does from men.
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03-14-2015, 12:12 PM, (This post was last modified: 03-14-2015, 12:19 PM by Tom22.)
#2
RE: Haley joining PMJ for part of European tour
Interesting discussion on language. I love Mark Twain's sentiment about there not being enough words as it is.

I Agree with you guys who are big on the context where a word said in one way is far different than another. "I'd love to F her" is a vulgar thought, first discussing a private thing we don't talk about at the dinner table and perhaps only with the closest friends in limited circumstance > but also being far more objectifying and demeaning in it's general meaning than "I'd like to wake up with her" perhaps.

But MUch differently, when People say "f that" they're meaning something hard to put in words in a terse way. its more than "I have no use for that". It's close to "I have no respect for that and I also think it's horse manuer", which actually echo's the demeaning aspect of the vulgar connotations of it's original context.

2) I think words have sounds that have meanings in themselves based on the phonics. So many yiddish words are very descriptive almost without one ever hearing them before. I've got to "schelp" these books back and forth to class for example conveys some of the effort and boredom in a sigh of relief putting them and the sound of a sigh of disgust we make without words.

A one syllable word with a drawn out type of a less sonours vowel sound followed by a snappy consonant mimics sounds of nature like when you "whack" (another word popular for it's sound mimicing its action) something with a stick or a whip -- which is a human act of disgust and fending off (and sometimes like a snap of a whip and inflicted punishment.

So I think words like "fxxx" and "shxx" have a lot to do with their sound alone.

3)Some words that have historically been used for Hate do bring up too many other things to be used in polite society in my book. Racial words in particular like the N word have so much heinous history attached to them that even if Mark Twain's Huck Finn used them in a context of say "Bubba" reffering to a white southern boy or "bloke" reffering to a almost "homer simpson" like connotation of a regular not particularly educated working guy in Britain, the N word has too much a history of hate during Jim crow not to bring up the hate it was used under. I think there was probably a lot more hate used with that N word after Twains time than during it when it was perahps more patronizing that hating.

Fxggxt is another word used too often for an attack and also had no real inherent meaning to it related to homosexuality. (it is a fine word for a bundle of kindling) I'm less fond of words like "handicap" or "oriental" being outlawed because those words were actually far more descriptive than "disabled" and "asian".

The word "handicap" is actually more positive in my book because it implies something that can be over-come but still a drag on performance. The word disabled is really emphasizing a permanent state rather than just a headwind towards performance. Obviously the word Asian would refer to people from India and Afghanistan etc when Oriental referred to a subset of that group that shared additional cultural elements with each other and more often than not much of an alphabet etc.. Those words were used with some hate but they in themselves aren't really bad enough to only be words of hate.

Guess those are my 3 thoughts.

I see know problem at all when the F word is used with disgust but do have a problem with it when used as an objectifying one person "doing something" to another thing. If the song said "we fxxx all night" that aint really polite convestation but not at least not objectifying like "I fxxd her" ... "f" that though is really just "I don't like that at all" rolled up into terse and gutterally natural utteration.
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03-15-2015, 04:23 AM, (This post was last modified: 03-15-2015, 04:33 AM by john.)
#3
RE: The use of language, including profanity, and culture
George Carlin 1983

Don't watch if offended by words
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