Offended by Profanity?

October 8, 2008 at 7:21 am 3 comments


Yesterday we were discussing profanity in the media in my Journalism lecture. The question was raised, ‘What is offensive about profanity?’ Is the word itself offensive? Or maybe are the connontations we associate with the word offensive?

Even if we think about cultural differences…Words like ‘kak’ or ‘kaffir’ don’t really offend the Americans, but mean the same as ‘shit’ and ‘nigger’. In South Africa ‘moer’ is the equivalant to ‘f-k’ and yet you were probably not offended by seeing it typed out.

When you read my blog, do you feel more offended seeing ‘Fuck society’ or ‘F*** Society’? What is the difference? I feel angry when papers block those three letters- Am I so stupid that I don’t really know what you are referring to? Do the children who read that not understanding that stars after a letter means a bad word? Are those three letters what makes readers uncomfortable?

My thoughts? no ways. A word is a word is a word. It is the meaning behind those words that make what you are saying offensive. Whether you say, ‘screw you’ or the more ‘profane’ version you are conveying the same meaning. Whether you say Damn it, Dang it or something more original, the meaning is the same.

This alludes to the question then, If my word choice don’t affect the offensive level and rather what makes me offended the meaning behind the words, then why choose a less expressive tone? Simple. There is no reason at all. Except connontations don’t just apply to words. The people who use these profane words are usually associated with the stereotyped. Profanity is sometimes seen as cheap, unintellegent, and down right grotestque. Is this fair to yourself? Is it acceptable to be judged like this in society? If no what are you doing to do about it?

Ok, so weigh in. What do you think? Tell me your views on profanity…

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Hillbilly Duhn  |  October 8, 2008 at 1:39 pm

    I’m weighing in…:)

    I don’t think that it has anything to do with the words themselves being offensive v.s. none offensive. As you said, a word is a word is a word. People, or Society made the choice to make them what they are. I think what happened or happens is that everyone is always trying so hard to be different then the person they are standing next to, that yes, even words are used to seperate ourselves from being just like “Them”.

    I believe the word “fuck” originally meant something totally different. If you look it up, you’ll find that society, OR people have warped it and brought it to a much different level then it’s original intentions.

    Kudo’s for making awesome points. I likes.

    Reply
  • 2. Aleta  |  October 10, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    I don’t particularly care for profanity, reading or hearing it. I try not to use it, though it might sleep if I’m going through road rage (thankfully doesn’t happen that often).

    Be is the full word, the astericks, it’s the meaning that puts the word into question.

    Reply
  • 3. Random Hiccups  |  October 10, 2008 at 10:20 pm

    Sure, I think both of you make very valid points! Thanks for your opinions! It is great to hear what you think!

    Reply

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