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UnicyclePoet

Profanity/Vulgarity

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One of the things that most offends me in media and entertainment is the use of vulgar language. When watching movies on television I breathe a sigh of relief whenever I see, "Edited for content". That means less distasteful and unnecessarily offensive content. I suppose I am more sensitive to this type of thing since becoming a parent. I love certain bands and artist's music. Unfortunately, some of the words they use in their lyrics are such that I recoil in shock and horror at the thought of introducing their music to my children. I have never been a fan of swearing, particulary the F*** word. There are tactful ways to express the same idea and emotion without resorting to crudity. It takes more creativity, wit and humor to be euphemistic while still getting the point across. Some of the most delightful movies were made during the time of the heaviest censorship. Writers had to be more clever. Double entendre and innuendo were used to express things which, phrased delicately, did not upset the sensors but definitely would have if put too bluntly. Obviously there needs to be a balance. Political correctness can be (and often is) taken to far to the extreme. It is not realistic of me I suppose, but I would much prefer to hear kinder and gentler ways of expressing things in media and entertainment as opposed to an overabundance of the F*** word, etc. True, I or my children might hear worse at work or school than much of entertainment which I find offensive. There is a difference, however, between that and choosing to pay money to bring it into your home. There are movies which are excellent, except for that one part. There are songs which would have been beautiful except for an ugly word. Some even which beg the question, "Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?!" When a musician puts out songs with vulgar language, I hesitate to have my children even listen to the safe ones. My fear is that by becoming fans of the safe ones, it will lead them to be exposed to the others. I admit also that knowing a musician uses vulgarity in their songs lessens my enjoyment of the ones in which they don't.

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One of the things that most offends me in media and entertainment is the use of vulgar language. When watching movies on television I breathe a sigh of relief whenever I see, "Edited for content". That means less distasteful and unnecessarily offensive content. I suppose I am more sensitive to this type of thing since becoming a parent. I love certain bands and artist's music. Unfortunately, some of the words they use in their lyrics are such that I recoil in shock and horror at the thought of introducing their music to my children. I have never been a fan of swearing, particulary the F*** word. There are tactful ways to express the same idea and emotion without resorting to crudity. It takes more creativity, wit and humor to be euphemistic while still getting the point across. Some of the most delightful movies were made during the time of the heaviest censorship. Writers had to be more clever. Double entendre and innuendo were used to express things which, phrased delicately, did not upset the sensors but definitely would have if put too bluntly. Obviously there needs to be a balance. Political correctness can be (and often is) taken to far to the extreme. It is not realistic of me I suppose, but I would much prefer to hear kinder and gentler ways of expressing things in media and entertainment as opposed to an overabundance of the F*** word, etc. True, I or my children might hear worse at work or school than much of entertainment which I find offensive. There is a difference, however, between that and choosing to pay money to bring it into your home. There are movies which are excellent, except for that one part. There are songs which would have been beautiful except for an ugly word. Some even which beg the question, "Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?!" When a musician puts out songs with vulgar language, I hesitate to have my children even listen to the safe ones. My fear is that by becoming fans of the safe ones, it will lead them to be exposed to the others. I admit also that knowing a musician uses vulgarity in their songs lessens my enjoyment of the ones in which they don't.

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The thing is, your kids will be exposed to these things whether you like it or not. You can teach them right and wrong, and you can tell what to say and what not to say, but you can't censor their music.

One thing I know is that music is the most personal thing for me. If I were to have my music censored, I would only want to listen to it more.

In the end, words are just that: words.

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well fuck, i just don't quite understand this.

are you telling me that you've never let a single curse word slip in front of your kids? swear to god that a kid would be more influenced to say "bad words" if their mommy said it compared to someone they don't even know on the tv.

that's life. now go crawl back under your bridge mr. troll.

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quote:
Originally posted by kandi:

well fuck, i just don't quite understand this.

are you telling me that you've never let a single curse word slip in front of your kids? swear to god that a kid would be more influenced to say "bad words" if their mommy said it compared to someone they don't even know on the tv.

that's life. now go crawl back under your bridge mr. troll.

Thank you for self-selecting yourself out of my company. I only get together with people who don't curse.

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As a linguist, I find people's objection to "profane language" pretty interesting, though it is generally a sociolinguistic phenomenon and it's not like there's anything vulgar about certain morphemes that makes profanity logical. Objectively speaking, sounds are sounds and if they offend you it's because you've associated them with a meaning which may or may not be the same meaning the speaker holds for that sound.

My point being, it's what a person means that can be offensive, not the words they say. There's nothing inherently offensive about "fuck", so if I say "well fuck, I dropped my pen" the meaning is the same as "well crap, I dropped my pen" and really if the simple difference in sound offends you, I think that's a bit illogical. It's entirely different if I say "fuck you asshole". Something like that is generally meant to be offensive and you'd be justified in taking exception at such a statement... but only in the same way as if I said "screw you jerk". The sound changes don't really alter the meaning.

In an artistic context, I cringe every time I see "this film has been edited for content." If the writer has her character say "fuck", it's probably for a reason. The reason may be to make you dislike the character, or to realize something about the character's personality. If you have your baddies running around saying "freak you" it really doesn't have the gritty realism that some artists strive for; it sounds fake because it is fake, and that's a shame.

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quote:
Originally posted by UnicyclePoet:

I have never been a fan of swearing, particulary the F*** word.

quote:
Originally posted by kandi:

well fuck

haha Big Grin *high five*

words are words guys ._.

whether they are bad or not to you is your choice entirely.

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quote:
Originally posted by kandi:

i want your job. how can i get it?

Being a linguist has so far been a solely academic pursuit, my employment has been in other areas. Hopefully after the next degree that will change.

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