View Full Version : Swearing- Is it always offensive?

23rd Oct 2004, 00:46
I thought I ought to put the question to what I believe is a well balanced group of people. It's half serious, half fun but please offer your view.

The reason I ask is because I do swear a hell of a lot. Or at least I am told I do. I know that I use the odd "F" word when perhaps placing emphasis on the magnitude of something. Ie, "I went to Wembley Stadium and it was f...ing massive".

I never swear specifically at somebody unless they are a close friend and we both know where we stand with each other.

I certainly do not swear in front of children or senior citizens as I do think that that is out of order. But I sometimes feel that people choose to be offended, For example, I was out one night and somebody in the pub said that basically all Asians should be deported. Not something I agree with but as soon as I said that that person was talking out of their ....ing arse.. Somebody told me to stop swearing but never said a word to Mr Racist.

This is what worries me, admittedly, I shouldn't swear. But it seems to me that people make more of the words that somebody uses as opposed to what they are actually saying.

The worst one for me was only two nights ago, I was at college trying to explain to a lady who had asked for my help, about the electronic structure of a Chlorine atom. I went through everything with her but unfortunately uttered a profanity when I got the orbitals mixed up. She then pretended that she hadn't heard anything I had said to her despite me correctly explaining to her how the electron structure of atoms in general, not just Chlorine worked.

It was as if I had gone to her house for a meal and because the tap water was too warm I had declared the evening ruined. Because of one word, my efforts had gone unrecognised. Believe it or not , I was offended.

I'll leave you to guess my thoughts on that episode.

I swear and I shouldn't. But on the other hand, should people use common sense and accept that sometimes, the often viewed profanity is not meant as such and may be used as filler? I do try to limit my swearing as much as possible to respect the opinions of those who do not like swearing but do they know this? It's not like I can wear a patch like a smoker and say, "I'm trying to give up you know.."

Please don't give me the "Swearing is a sign of a lack of intellect" crap. The most intelligent people I know swear quite often, not like the proverbial trooper but often enough. I believe that doctors, barristers and airline pilots are fairly bright folk or am I mistaken?

PS, I've tried lots of methods to stop swearing, but they haven't ....... worked yet.

23rd Oct 2004, 01:18
I think most people swear now and again...I'm as guilty as anyone when it comes to that. But like you, I try and temper my words for the audience I'm around. Sometimes though, the only word that can truly express the emotions I am feeling happens to be a swear word.

A perfect example today. Went to get my hair cut and the shop was dead. More barbers than customers. I asked the girl who was doing the cutting if it was always this dead. She responded:

"Yeah, during the week it sucks".

I gave her a 'did she just say what I think she said' kind of look and she responded: "well what other word would describe it as well..it stinks, it's lousy. Those words don't describe the environment as well as it sucks"...

So there you have it..everything in moderation.


23rd Oct 2004, 01:24

I take it you are not from the Newark that is 40 miles away down the A1 in medieval England?

That Newark does smell though..(The one 40 miles from me of course)

Cheers, SuperOwl.

There is an interesting anagram of Newark that is yet aother English swearword. But you may already know what it is...

23rd Oct 2004, 01:33

Can't see what the problem is with the word 'sucks'.:E

Feeton Terrafirma
23rd Oct 2004, 02:03
is sucks a swear word?

I have a vacuum that sucks, the intake on the car engine sucks, a jet engine sucks and many other things. Some of the things that suck are nice too. I even suck.... how else do you drink through a straw? I have never viewed it as a swear word..... sorry about that.

As for sucking up..... sometimes u just gota do it

23rd Oct 2004, 02:08

You have answered your own question. Its all about who is around at the time and what is acceptable to them.

23rd Oct 2004, 02:13
Jesus wept.


Bol****s. (Think of a Sex Pistols album title)

****. Rhymes with suck


Any of these words. Although the C-word is out of order in my book.

23rd Oct 2004, 02:23
It's a bit like harrassment, SuperOwl, it is the recipient who decides if it is unacceptable. Regardless of your intentions and how you feel about it, if someone indicates that they are unhappy with it, then you stop doing it. (I had to learn about these things when I was with the government.)

Sometimes it's blindingly obvious and you would know not to use certain words without needing to be told (the c*** word for example.) For other words/phrases, you can simply be guided by the other person's preferences ... and they will soon tell you if they are unhappy with it. The trick is to accept this ... it is not negotiable and it is not an invitation to debate either the issue or their preferences. Once they tell you they do not like it, you are required to stop. To continue could result in an assault charge (truly!)

23rd Oct 2004, 02:29
Hi Paracab,

Can't disagree with you on the point that it depends on who your with. Of course, it helps if you know that the people you are with can put up with the odd expletive.

The point that I am trying to make is that some people can express themselves better when they use certain words, whether they are swearwords or not. Should it not be the point that you are trying to make over the words that you use to make that point that are taken most seriously?

Personally, if I hear somebody swear and it is directed at somebody, I really don't like it. On the other hand, if somebody swears and its just an exclamation that is used as a filler and NOT for the purpose of causing offence, then I have no problem with it.

23rd Oct 2004, 02:36
You have no problem with it? That's very magnanimous of you, considering you are apparently incapable of not swearing.

Please don't give me the "Swearing is a sign of a lack of intellect" crap.

OK, then, how about a sign of a limited vocabulary?

Saying there are times when you simply can't help yourself swearing is a reflection on you, not the reaction of the person who hears it.

23rd Oct 2004, 02:41

I wouldn't go as far as saying that I agree with everything that you have said but I do see where you are coming from.

I swear quite often and as I have said, in pretty much the same way that people me say that something was "so big", I may say it was "effing huge". I do understand that some people may not like that choice of words but to get really upset by it? C'mon.

I sometimes do think that with some people, if I smashed their windows they would be more forgiving than if I uttered a swearword in front of them.

And back to my original point, some people choose to be offended. What I mean by this is that they don't actually care, you happened to swear in front of them and that is their cue to get high and mighty with you.

Again, I use the more than odd so called profanity, but I never, ever, direct it at somebody. Funnily enough, some folk find it amusing. Strange as it may be.


I wouldn't go as far as saying that I am incapable of not swearing. But I do swear quite often and although it is not something I am particularly proud of, I am not going to beat myself up over it. At the end of the day, if somebody happens to swear in front of me and its not directed at anybody and of course, not deliberately excessive, I won't have a problem with it. I'll ignore it, like most conversations going on around me that don't involve me.

The point I am trying to make is that it appears that some people will choose to be offended by whatever they can, be it swearing, interpreted racism, whatever. They seem to choose to be offended and wilfully ignore what is actually being said.

If somebody is GENUINELY offended, fair enough. Its when they pretend to be so that they can make a scene that annoys me. A bit like the people who flap their arms like mad when cigarette smoke goes near them, even though I am an anti-smoker myself.

And yet, some of the people I have in mind when I mention them getting offended by hearing the odd swearword, are quite oblivious to the fact that their cigarette smoke is being inhaled by people who find smoking offensive.

Whats worse? The "F" word on the odd occasion or Carbon Monoxide 95% of the time?

As for whether or not the frequency at which I may swear is a reflection on me or sign of a lack of vocabulary, I know otherwise.

If, like the lady at college who couldn't see that I got annoyed with myself when I made a mistake while trying to help her, they are going to miss out on somebody who will try their best to help them out where they can. Regardless of the odd word.

Their loss.

23rd Oct 2004, 03:35
It appears that you have assumed the responsibility of deciding what other people may, may not, should or should not find offensive.

If you have already decided that, it rather consigns everybody else's opinion to the scrap heap, doesn't it? I wonder why you sought other people's opinions here?

Btw, if you're interested, you'll find some intelligent thoughts on the general subject in this old thread (http://www.pprune.org/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=80858&perpage=15&highlight=swearing&pagenumber=1)


23rd Oct 2004, 03:55
A few years ago my grown-up daughter was over on holiday. Just 2 days before she was due to fly back to UK we went for a plodge on Mullaloo beach. When we returned I found that my car had been broken into. Her bag, passport, and money, and my binoculars and mobile had been nicked.

After a frustrating phone call to the cops from my step-brother's house, where they basically said 'ho hum - nothing we can do mate', I thought of calling my own mobile and leaving a message for the drug addled scrotes that had done the deed.

The call consisted of about 5 minutes-worth of the foulest language imaginable (I was pretty ropeable). After I had put the phone down my daughter said, "Dad, I didn't believe you even knew those words let alone say them!" She added that she was quite proud of me at that moment:ok:

the wizard of auz
23rd Oct 2004, 04:07
Swearing, is it always offensive??.
F#*% No!.
And I know lots of big words....so it aint my limited vocabulary. ;)
Language is an ever evolving thing, and some words in use today that are normal, were once seen as being vulgar and swearing. If I were to call someone a rapscallion a hundred years ago, it would have been like calling them a C... today. If I called the same person a rapscallion today, it would more than likely be greeted with a blank stare.
the meaning of a word has changed since it was first used as well.
Take bastard for instance. it used to be used to describe a child born out of wedlock........now its used to describe how ya day went, a particular piece of machinery, how the road to the black stump is, a word to yell when you hit your thumb with a hammer, an old mate, the neighbour, Ect. none of it with any sort of nasty intent.
I think we will find some words that are seen as swearing today will be in common use in the future, and will hardly be blinked at, if at all.

23rd Oct 2004, 05:49
Never understood why c*** is used as a swear word in the first place. It's like suggesting that this part of a woman's anatomy is a bad thing. I think its a f***ing good part:ok:

23rd Oct 2004, 06:59
I have to side with Binos, here, and declare that I dislike swearing in public. I know it is acceptable in most Western societies nowadays, but I still regard it as the user being too lazy, or ignorant, to use another word in lieu. I am a swearer, but ONLY at work with the boss, or with any MALES with whom I used to work. I am old enough to still believe that one never swears in front of women or children but, outside of work, I just don't use it. In 45 years of marriage, my wife has never heard me use an expletive, and my younger daughter only once, when a female driver pulled out in front of us at 100kph as we were heading for her school!
My attitude may be seen by some as hypocritical, I really don't care, I will NOT tolerate foul language by others in front of my family or friends. That includes television programs, I would rather change channels, or switch it off, before I put up with swearing. I actually feel embarrassed for the user, not only for myself, in that he/she is incapable of thinking of another, less offensive, word in lieu of the swearing. What disappoints me most is that the use of foul language has become acceptable in society, and no-one thinks any the less of the user for it. I do NOT see this as an "evolution of language", the words have always been there, my objection is simply to the increasing use of it rather than stretching one's mind to find a less offensive description.

Kind regards,


23rd Oct 2004, 08:01
I disagree with the opinion that using swear words always shows a limited vocabulary or laziness.
It's a lot more honest if someone blurts out an expletive in a moment of frustration, wonder or anger than someone who is carefully controlled and searches for the 'right' word - that always comes across as slightly manipulative to me in that they seem to carefully control the image they want to portray.
If someone uses a constant stream of expletives in everyday speech then they tend to lose effect anyway and yes they would look dim.
As for the poster who suggested you can be charged with assault for swearing - oh dear oh dear! Isn't that taking pc a little too far?! I bet you are a bundle of laughs to work with. There are a lot more serious things going on in the world than the odd swear word.

23rd Oct 2004, 08:43
To all those who don't swear and/or find it offensive - why?

I am referring to Anglo-Saxon here rather than blasphemy. As a lapsed Catholic (and about as lapsed as you can get), I can understand how taking the Lord's name in vain can be offensive to Christians. In a bizarre vestige of my own upbringing, if I hear blaspemy, my hackles rise.

But Anglo Saxon - what is offensive about it?

They are words, once in everyday use. Which prudish society in which age deemed that these words were taboo?

I don't find any word in itself offensive (not even C**T) but the context in which it is used can be. However, there are a lot of offensive things that could be said using a vocabulary worthy of your maiden aunt.



23rd Oct 2004, 08:47
Isn't this a freedom of speech issue?

Some people don't like to hear 'bad' language, some people don't like to hear racist political views. Some people just don't like to listen to anyone who disagrees with them.

In the US there is a constitutional right to free speech. I think the saying is, "I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".

As far as swearing in front of children goes, well when I was a child I remember being far more shocked at the discovery that children abroad were starving to death than I ever was by the use of colourful language.

23rd Oct 2004, 09:07
I'm sure some of you folks can imagine what it's like flying with the same people all the time. If you get along ok, and seeing as most pilots have the same interests, i.e. beer, cars, beer, boats, beer, aeronautical devices, beer, boobs, oh, and beer, one settles into a comfortable kind of chat routine once checklists have been run and terra firma has retreated to a safe distance. Invariably certain old jokes will be trotted out, the latest gossip swapped, etc. und so weiter. The flavour of the coversation tends to be enhanced somewhat by the marinade of 'colourful language'. So imagine 2 bizjet-pilots, doubled up in apoplectic mirth at the umpteenth profane rendering of the story of -insert famous name- having a noisy shag at 410, becoming suddenly aware of a pax standing right behind them... :\

23rd Oct 2004, 09:33
I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it
is a phrase written by a British writer to describe Voltaire's attitude in case of disagreement with someone in a discussion. Since then it's been wrongly quoted as Voltaire's (you won't be able to find it verbatim in his work and letters) but remains solidly EU :p

Back to the topic.
I think that the excessive use of swearing impoverishes languages. The less vocabulary you know the less ideas and concept you own. Our mind is like a building, and words to define concepts are like the bricks. People are using less and less words. Instead of saying "I had a fuel pipe rupture the other day" they'd say "My *** car was ***" which surely is less descriptive of the situation. You'll picture in your mind a car, and not the fuel pipe and the cause for its being US.
The mind needs practice to develop, and using linguistic shortcuts as a habit causes brain lazyness and it won't be familiar with handling more articulate concepts.
A French comic group (Les Inconnus) some years ago presented a scene where they acted as a group of students, having an ordinary day at home, and expressing every concept with the words "pu****n, fait ch***", (which you could tranlate freely with any expletive in English), spoken with different intonations. They went on for 5 min "talking", then when one of them, following a phone conversation with his girlfriend (consisting of more "pu****n, fait ch***") blurted out a "normal" sentence...and the others stared at him with a blank look until he corrected with, of course, "pu****n, fait ch***"!!! "Ahhhs" and "Oooohs" of understanding all around.

23rd Oct 2004, 10:15
Err ... TamedBill, perhaps you would like to read a little more carefully exactly what I wrote because that was not an opinion I was expressing. It is entirely true that a person can be charged with assault if they have used language which the listener considers to be offensive. It is also true that people have been successfully prosecuted for doing this.

I bet you are a bundle of laughs to work with.
Did you think that I made those laws? Let me spell it out so that even you can understand. Whether you approve of it or not is irrelevant, whether I approve of it or not is also irrelevant, but the fact remains that a person can be charged with assault for using offensive language. It has absolutely nothing to do with your opinion or mine, it is simply a fact.

23rd Oct 2004, 10:38
a freedom of speech issue

I understood that freedom of speech was related to the right to express views, rather than the words used to express them.

On another point, some people who swear constantly complain that people are not happy with them swearing. Wouldn't you think they'd recognise that there's a message in that?

23rd Oct 2004, 10:44
I really ought to have made myself clear when I started the topic as I am not talking about swearing in Ozzy Osbourne proportions. On that subject, I don't find Ozzy offensive when he swears, yet when his kids do it, I find it a little disturbing. Can it be the individual who is swearing or their intent that people find offensive? A combination of both perhaps?

However, in the context that was meant for this thread, I'm talking about the odd word and not a constant barrage of expletives where the speaker is trying to fit in as many as they can. I can understand why somebody would be upset by this but again, I'm on about the infrequent, odd swear word that is not directed at anybody or used maliciously.

When I started the thread, I wanted to know if people thought that swearing was always offensive. I myself sometimes think that swearing is offensive especially when it is meant to do so but I consider it no more offensive than somebody using a wide vocabulary to upset somebody. I base what I find offensive more on the intent than the words used.

What I worry about is the individuals who take the fact that somebody uttered a single profanity once and have based their opinion of that person on that one word. I know somebody who had no respect for Bob Geldof because of him saying "Give us your effing money..." or whatever it was he said. This person ignored the fact that it was said during Live Aid, his idea to raise money for the famine victims of Ethiopia. Everything he had done was not recognised by this person because he swore.

It's small mindedness like that that annoys me. Fair enough, Bob Geldof should not have used those words on live TV. But to forget everything he was trying to acheive that day?

Binocs, if I have come across as though I don't care what other people think, then I apologise for that. If I didn't care for other peoples views, I would not waste my time by starting this thread. I do have my opinion and generally speaking, I don't find the odd expletive offensive. There are limits though. However I am after other opinions too, hence this thread.

I ought to have made myself clear last night but I was a little worse for wear. On that subject, I'm sure I read somewhere that PPrune and alcohol can be a bad combination.....

I've been told that when I'm drunk, I never swear. Ever.

23rd Oct 2004, 10:45

May i suggest you read Tamedbill 's post again,,I don't read anything in the post to suggest he/she doesn't believe a law exists.

Only that you would have to be a complete ****** to enact that law! although i would agree it depends on the circumstances!

DickWad !! is that a swear word?


23rd Oct 2004, 11:36
I've read it through a few more times, rotaryman and I still interpret it as TamedBill believing it was a suggestion (rather than a reality) and that I am, therefore, "a bundle of laughs to work with."

If I am mistaken in that understanding then TamedBill will have an unreserved apology from me.

DickWad !! is that a swear word?
Dunno ... I never heard that one before!


23rd Oct 2004, 11:42
flyblue - thanks!

TheStormyPetrel - a fine distinction sometimes? I am thinking of 'Newspeak' in George Orwell's 1984. It can be difficult to express ideas like 'freedom' if the word 'free' does not exist. It's true that the word 'free' is not generally considered foul language but as Rotaryman says, what, exactly, is a swear word? I read about a local government employee who was dismissed for using the word 'paki' in a private conversation that was overheard by the complainant (who I believe was not an Asian). His defence, that he was using the word as an abbreviation and that no racial slur was intended, cut no ice. Yet I remember cricket commentators used to use the same word on television.

Under the American constitution, would he have been able to claim freedom of speech?

23rd Oct 2004, 11:55
I am no expert on the situation in the US.

I've read that Miller v. California 413 US 15 1973 is an important U.S. Supreme Court case involving the freedom of speech.

I've also read that this case established the Miller test for obscenity, which is the United States Supreme Court's test for determining whether speech or expression can be labelled obscene, in which case it is not protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and can be prohibited.

Perhaps one of our US legal prooners could help.

the wizard of auz
23rd Oct 2004, 12:01
C'mon Bluey, you have heard me use the term Dickwad almost as much as bloody Bonza!. :}

23rd Oct 2004, 12:03
There was an item on the news a while back to the effect that a magistrate had ruled that the word, 'fcuk" was not offensive and classified it as an ordinary feature of daily speech.

Moving on to the next case, he asked the usher to call the next defendant. The usher exited the court and was heard calling the appropriate name but reappeared after a few minutes by himself. When the magistrate asked where Mr. A. was, the usher replied, "Fcuked if I know, your Worship."

Prolly only one of those urban legends. ;)

Wiz ... I refuse to comment on that on the grounds that it may tend to incriminate me or otherwise compromise my defence. :suspect:

23rd Oct 2004, 14:59
Nowt wrong with swearing now an then (with exception of the C-U-Next-Tuestday word).

My mother can't stand the terms 'bl**dy', 'cr*p', 'dammit' 'sucks'. Where do they go on the swearing scale? :E

23rd Oct 2004, 15:48
So would 'drat' be considered an offensive word??

Explanation follows discussion!!

23rd Oct 2004, 16:48

I'm a she...............fact.


23rd Oct 2004, 17:05
would 'drat' be considered an offensive word??
It depends on the listener. Even in its original form it could have been offensive to some but not to others and the only way you will know for sure is if the person tells you it is or it isn't.

Would you say that "drat" (in its original form) was swearing or more like an old fashioned oath? What actually is the difference between cursing, swearing and oaths like "God dammit" and so forth??

23rd Oct 2004, 17:07
Isnt 'cursing' the American term for swearing?

23rd Oct 2004, 18:47
Who decided which words are "swear words"? I mean what's the difference between F**k & Fleck?
Had a mate who was a mormon. (Can't swear). Used to wander round muttering...
"fleck this for a game of soldiers" etc..
I also heard there are no swear words in the Japanese language. Is that true? What do they say when they get riced off,
"Clucking Bell"? Whoops I once got banned off R&N for saying that...

23rd Oct 2004, 21:39
Speaking of bad words reminds me of a joke... the Pope was doing a crossword puzzle and seemed stumped on a particular entry...he asked his assistant "What's a four letter word for a female relative ??" The assistant replied "Aunt, your highness". The Pontiff looked at him and said "Do you have an eraser handy ??" Hey...I just pass them on...

24th Oct 2004, 03:41

The word 'drat' (drett) is not what it seems to be. The word stems from the language that the Vikings brought with them to Britain. Originally it was the word used to describe faeces (sh*t).

The word sh*t also comes from the same language and was used to describe household detrius or dust.

Over time the words became transposed in much the same way as we now say 'bathroom' and not 'toilet', or '****' instead of 'f**k'.

So now we have a, what used to be, perfectly innocuous word - shit - used as a swear word and the original swear word - drat - cheerfully used by your maiden aunt, nuns etc!

BTW in my opinion the Geordies had it coming to them in AD479:E

24th Oct 2004, 06:19
I had been taught that "drat" was a contraction of the Elizabethan slang, od rat it, an oath of the times fairly loosely translated as "God rot it." Similar to "gadzooks" which was a contraction of "God's hooks" which apparently referred to the nails used for the cross.

Your definition pre-dates that obviously, allan907 ... is there somewhere I could read about it? These things fascinate me.

24th Oct 2004, 08:49
''The bane of society Lewis, the self-educated with their half understood theories...''

Inspector Morse c1990

14th Dec 2004, 22:18
This is one subject I have never been able to fully understand... Who decides what is an acceptable 'word' and what is not? As far as I can tell most swear words arrive from foreign languages and are adapted to offer insult.

End of the day if someone does not like it then dont use it - if you do not know if the person dont swear. That way you won't offend!

Anyway - thats my question / opinion.

tony draper
14th Dec 2004, 22:25
I read that oaths or taboo words were originally a means of remembering the names of great men(sorry Flappy,and women) after their death.
On the death of a great warrior say, it was forbidden to ever speak the name aloud again on pain of death, ergo they are only used in the direst of circumstances.

14th Dec 2004, 22:33
Can anyone explain to me why c**t is considered so bad by people who routinely use F**k, sh*t, W**K, tw*t, etc, etc in their normal everyday speech? It's of Old Norse origin according to the dictionary.

15th Dec 2004, 00:09
... and also explain why such words are considered 'naughty' when they refer to very nice things.


Constable Clipcock
15th Dec 2004, 10:40
Offensive? It depends upon the audience and the circumstances.

Normally, I've made a special effort to refrain from using profanity, however there are certain less-eduacted, uncultured ones who will fail to give heed to simple instructions unless words no more erudite than s*** and f*** occur in one's discourse.

When dealing with those whose educational and cultural level is above that sort of thing, I personally find it offensive. But in circumstances in which the audience does not find it offensive and that happens to be their manner of everyday speech, I don't have a problem using it most eloquently.

15th Dec 2004, 10:52
I most definitely cannot claim 'holier than thou', and I do swear to add extra emphasis to what I am saying at times, but I do despair sometimes.

In my local there are a few people (mainly blokes but at least one woman) who consider that f*** should be used every third word at a minimum. Considering the richness of the English language and the variety of words available their lack of imagination is worrying. Also, if you use a word so frequently, it loses any impact so what can they say when they are really surprised/angry etc. that will add sufficient emphasis.

15th Dec 2004, 10:54
Can anyone explain to me why c**t is considered so bad by people who routinely use F**k, sh*t, W**K, tw*t, etc,

Just one of those things I suppose. The other night in chat we had a visitor who I think was new to the room. As usual, we tried to include the stranger into the discussion but soon the profanity started, and ultimatly the C word was used. At that the on duty mod was requested by some of us to remove the person from the board - but before she had chance, the visitor departed.

It's a word I'm personally embarrased to hear in the company of people who would'nt dream of using the word themselves - and woe betide anyone who used it in front of my wife, or worse, my younger children, even though I know they are exposed to it at school, I'm sure,

I suppose I still havent really answered the posters question. I've just been brought up in a society that finds the use of the word unacceptable.

15th Dec 2004, 12:29
Yes, the c word is an interesting case isn't it? Considering Chaucer used it, why would it be so offensive these days when other terms of the period seem faintly ridiculous.

Personally I do find it offensive, though wouldn't go as far as to say "deeply" offensive. I've only heard it uttered in total and utter desperation and frustration in these parts in, ooh, 5 years I'd say.

Except in the bedroom, that is - yeah! Talk dirty to me baby!

Ahem (regains compsure).

I don't understand it either, especially as other European languages don't really have such "grades" of swearing - one word is not really any worse than any other.

15th Dec 2004, 14:06
panda I think you'll find most languages have particularly offensive phrases. It's just that, when translated, they aren't such in English.

The whole point about 'offensiveness' is interesting though. The 'C' word is the one that thou may not use in a newspaper (a couple of papers have, on rare occasions, but that merely served to add emphasis to the occasion). Other words with the same understood meaning are used frequently.

One example would be the prohibition of the word 'F*kc' is prohibited (in the main 'red tops' anyway) whereas the word 'bonk' (which, from my understanding anyway, was merely invented as a replacement) is used in headlines. Of the two twins one is forbidden the other isn't. Why?

(The only reason I can think of is to make us tickle our sense of prurience - we are dong things forbidden and getting away with it, like a three year old sayin 'pooh' to disapproving glances but no actual censure).

(Edirted to replace '****' with 'F*kc').

Alpha Leader
15th Dec 2004, 15:29
What the f%&* is this thread about??

Lance Murdoch
15th Dec 2004, 18:39
Although I dont find swearing offensive in itself, I do not appreciate being sworn at. I try to refrain from swearing because people do get an impression of you from what you say. Also if I swore casually in front of my friends I may slip in a more formal situation.
The other reason I try to avoid swearing is because it signals a loss of control, be it in a confrontational situation (you intimidate the other person far more by not swearing at them), or a potentially dangerous situation, say when flying or climbing.

15th Dec 2004, 19:14
We don't think it's f***ing offensive.........

12th Jan 2005, 21:32
They are just words. Hate and war are vile words, but **** isn't.

12th Jan 2005, 22:57
Can anyone explain to me why c**t is considered so bad by people who routinely use F**k, sh*t, W**K, tw*t, etc,

I used to think dropping the C-word was always taboo, certainly in the company of the fairer sex. However a few years back an ex girlfriend and her female flatmate used to drop it on a fairly regular basis. Given that the individuals they were referring to were indeed C-words i found it highly appropriate.

Again i suppose circumstance proves acceptability in some cases.

Doesnt say much about their friends though.

On another note, i tend to alter words as appropriate. Eg a well placed "aaah F-F-F-Fudgesicles" or something to that effect works. Certain doesnt teach my young fella the bad ones.

12th Jan 2005, 23:03
Swearing- Is it always offensive?

It is if you are doing it right.:mad: :mad: :mad:

Pappa Smurf
12th Jan 2005, 23:43
Remember once when i mentioned to a loverly barmaid that i wouldnt mind getting into her pants-------she replied F--OFF ,theres already one C---. in them already.

12th Jan 2005, 23:51
One good reading suggestion is Fermata by Nicholson Baker - lots of those :mad: :mad: :mad: words :ok:

I do swear a lot when I'm driving :\

"F*ck all that we gotta get on with this" Pinkzzz Floydzzz :E


13th Jan 2005, 11:52

Not sure I'm with you on that one. I spend a lot of time with Germans and French, the odd Italian, Portuguese and Spaniard as well and, to a man, they all fail to comprehend that in English some swear words are worse than others - to the extent that they have to be clearly instructed NOT to use the F or c word ever - not ever! It simply isn't so in their own languages to any great extent - a swear word is a swear word. I don't know how it is in the furthest northern reaches or further east, though.

Double Echo
13th Jan 2005, 12:00
Monty Python had quite a good take on this one.. apologies for nicking the idea..

why is the word "Fcuk" is so versatile?

A transitive verb - Ian fcuked lesley

An intransitive verb - lesley fcuks

An adjective - Lesley is doing all the fcuking work

An adverb - Ian talks too fcuking much

An adverb enhancing an adjective - Linda is fcuking beautiful

A noun - I don't give a fcuk

Part of a word - Absofcukinglutely! or infcukingcredible!

Or almost every word in the sentence - Fcuk the fcuking fcukers!

It can be used to express dismay - Oh fcuk it

trouble - I'm really fcuked now

Enquiry - Who the fcuk are you?

Dismissal - Why don't you go outside and play hide and go fcuk yourself?

13th Jan 2005, 13:36
Swearing is part of the language. People who can't handle it are like those who have to switch the light out before having sex.

Now I'll qualify this statement: Obviously there is a time and a place for everything. Under relaxed cicumstances, when letting your hair down with friends/acquaintances no problem whatsoever. In an interview situation for employment perhaps not a good idea to show how relaxed you can be and how many words you know for parts of the anatomy or toilet events.

The higher your social status and/or excentricity the more you can get away with because those below you accept your speech as a privelege of rank. If your job depends on the person who is swearing like a trooper you are unlikely to complain about it. Your swearing would not be accepted by the higher ranking individual because he/she would feel that they didn't give you permission to get chummy. If you observe drunken idiots at Stansted Airport flying out to Magaluf (no idea if spelled correctly) you would probably move away from them and mutter under your breath about peasants being allowed to fly at all etc.. It all depends on the moment.

Swearing used to refer only to the taking of oaths to secure allegiance to worldly or otherwordly overlords. This is why for some people, especially americans, use of the words "Oh my God" is a thousand times worse than muthafxcka or shit. Work it out because I can't. Perhaps swearing has taken on the modern meaning because the words are words not normally used in "normal" conversation.

The usual about the pipe and smoking.

Rwy in Sight
13th Jan 2005, 22:54
Always is only a brand of a certain product and not a part of my vocabulary.

So depending the circumstances swearing is a painless way out of a lot of cases. Even the most sensitive individuals that get easily offended, I bet they feel much much better to have to cope with an insult or a bad word rather than a fist or a Magnum!

Obviously the best is to never have to cope with a bad situation, but I think when pressure builds up swearing might be a good idea..

In a more personal note a lot of friends and myself (included) do not consider f*&k you a swear word. We rather see it as a wish.
"Thank you I will do it with a beautifull lady"

Thank you for your attention

Rwy in Sight