Swearing

Apologies for there being no post last Sunday, but things got in the way and I didn’t get the chance to sit down and write. If I’m feeling particularly productive today, you may get two posts out of me, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. Either way, my next post will probably be a review of The Avengers (in short, it was awesome) if I can get my thoughts on it down into something intelligible. First though, you have this rant about swearing, specifically in regards to people who write swear words down on social media or forums.

I try not to swear too often, mostly just because I think if you say a word too often it loses its meaning and edge, and with a swear word that makes it worthless. The point of swear words is to convey large amounts of emotion succinctly, and as such should only be used sparingly. That said, I won’t shy away from using swears when I feel them adequate, especially in my writing; they give an extra burst of interest that writing can often be lacking.

I’m not one of those people who argues that swear words are meaningless and no-one should ever be offended by them, because like it or not these words have a certain social stigma associated with them that won’t ever go away. If it did, other words would fill their space – we need words that are slightly taboo sometimes. Because of this, there are times when swear words just aren’t appropriate, and I cringe when I hear someone swear in a lecture or something – the words don’t belong in polite or formal conversations. If you’re talking to someone formally, have some manners for fuck’s sake.

So if I’m OK with swear words in general but understand the need to avoid them at times, what exactly do I have a problem with? (Come on, you knew a problem was coming). The issue I take is with people who write sentences with swear words in but censor themselves by writing things like f**k or f-word. Yesterday I was reading a forum post and I actually saw someone who had written ‘F-word me, this change is so f-word-ing stupid’. Not only is that sentence much more difficult to read than it should be, the censoring serves no purpose.

First off, if you’re writing something, you know whether there’s a chance for someone to take offense to you swearing. Writing on a school newsletter? Yeah, you should probably avoid swearing. Writing something on a forum or blog? No-one cares if you swear (or cares about anything you say at all really – trust me on that). If you ARE writing in a place where you think swearing probably isn’t a good idea, writing something like f**k isn’t going to change anything – anyone reading it (including kids, who are rarely as dumb as you think they are) will know you meant fuck and read it as such. Therefore, the reader knows you said fuck, and the asterisks were pointless – you might as well have just said the word.

If, however, you think that writing the word fuck is just too offensive for your post, then putting f**k isn’t going to soften it in anyway. Just use a less offensive word, because the sentences ‘This shit is too hard’ and ‘This sh*t is too hard’ are read in the exact same way. If you’re angry or emotional enough to feel that swearing is absolutely necessary, even though you feel uncomfortable writing swear words, censoring yourself won’t change anything, other than lower my opinion of you.

Say you don’t like swearing in front of your parents, and your parents read your facebook. You want to write the update ‘I had such a fucking horrible day’, but feel like you’ll get put down by your parents for using that language. Deciding to write ‘I had such a f**king horrible day’ won’t change any outcome – you’ve still written the word in context, and you’re parents would know that you use that sort of language, even if you do censor the word when written down. Next time you go to censor yourself, think about why you’re actually bothering – putting in censorship is just insulting your readers by making the assumption that they can’t handle seeing the word written down. Any child that’s old enough to read the word fuck has undoubtedly already heard it, and understands it’s a bad word.

If you want to swear, then just do it. Don’t be a c*nt about it.

/end rant

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2 Responses to “Swearing”

  1. I swear far too much! I like this rant, people do put the asterisk and it annoys me too!

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