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May 14th, 2011

Cover your eyes if cursing offends you. @ 08:37 pm

Plenty of people chose not to swear. Good for them. I only care when they say some judgmental bullshit about how this makes them a better person than me and then act all feigned innocent when they stir up a shit storm.

Beg your pardon, poop storm.

I've heard the hackneyed cliche many times that cursing is the refuge of unimaginative people with no better way to express themselves. Oh REALLY?

I say, why is using the word with a latinate root that means the same thing morally superior to using the germanic or anglo-saxon word? Why would God, for example, who is arguably responsible for all human languages, have a preference in this matter? Unless you assume God is white and speaks English, or you conflate the tradition of church-goers with actual doctrine.

Does it take discipline to remove powerful words from your vocabulary? Sure. Is that a spiritual discipline? As much as refusing to eat potatoes, or chocolate, or coffee for 40 days out of the calendar year. Words have meaning because we agree that they do, not because God with his almighty Bic pen created the English language and then set some words aside as naughty. If we arbitrarily designate germanic-sounding words with hard consonants as "bad words" and stop using them, will that stop us from offending other people or saying or thinking hurtful things? No, of course it won't.

It does take a more powerful imagination than my own to believe censoring 10-20 words in the English language is a valuable contribution to world peace, or to equate expressing pain and frustration with a hearty "Damnit!" with beating a child or killing other people. So maybe, in the end, I lack imagination. But I do get to say what I damn well please and fucking mean it.
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Date:May 15th, 2011 01:24 am (UTC)
As a confessed history geek, I am of the opinion that a lot of it really does originate in racism/classism. Because, once upon a time, yes, Latin-speakers considered themselves superior in every way. Does that make it right? Hell no. Personally, I like to swear in every language I can learn to swear in. My profanity is equal opportunity. =p
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Date:May 15th, 2011 01:49 am (UTC)
I'd love to engage in this line of discussion with people who argue that cursing is "violent" speech. Why? Because it has hard consonants and peasants used it?

It reminds me of watching Firefly and how it was immediately apparent that they were cursing in Chinese despite knowing not one word of the language. It is the intent of the thing that matters, not the delivery. I could get behind someone who makes it a spiritual practice to avoid expressing themselves violently, but that would go far beyond bleeping and blooping a few words.
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Date:May 15th, 2011 03:12 pm (UTC)
I agree with macguillicutty. It's bias against the natives of the British Isles by the Romans. It's why French or Italian sounds so much more "romantic" than English. Fromaggio - Fromage - Cheese.

It matters because so many millions of people *want* it to matter because they need to have some kind of sense of superiority to make sense of their lives. It's a bias that has become so ingrained over hundreds of years that it has become a taboo. And this century is all about breaking taboos. mcmiller, you're right. The intent counts which means that cussing will never go away. We'll just use different words to cuss with.

Edited at 2011-05-15 03:29 pm (UTC)

All wisdom is plagiarism

Everything else is studipity