Talk:Profanity

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Is there any chance that some of these words can be mentioned in the article? I know we need to be family-friendly, but it would be helpful for the article not to have to tiptoe around the words it attempts to discuss. If anything, placing words in historical and educational context tends to take the sting out of them. It is the refusal to mention them that gives the words their power in the first place.

For example, there is one word (four letters long, begins with a C, signifies a part of the female anatomy, generally regarded as highly offensive), which has been in use for centuries, though it was not always a swear-word. It appears in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales with several different spellings but the same meaning, albeit in a manner not intended to shock, and survives as part of the name of a well-known London street. Its etymology is derived from a Latin root word, there are several other inoffensive words in the English language (and other languages) derived from the same root. Nonetheless, it is considered so offensive in modern times that it did not appear in a newspaper until as recently as 1988; compare this with the most famous four-letter word (the one beginning with F), which had appeared in print over a hundred years earlier.

I think that information like this is interesting and of good educational value. Are there any objections? Eoinc 17:01, 4 June 2008 (EDT)

NO! There are objections to it, and chief among them is the fact that Conservapedia is family-friendly, and we are not going to have a child sit here and read the garbage of a four-letter-word obsenity dictionary. We have stated that postition many times in the past, and as far as we're concerned, discussion about it is terminated. Karajou 17:06, 4 June 2008 (EDT)
Thank you. I understand your objection. Similarly, though, I hope you can see where I'm coming from. I do not for a moment advocate creating an obscenity dictionary, or tacking on a long list of offensive words to the article. But would you not agree that the refusal to utter certain words is exactly what makes them offensive? By discussing them in a mature, sober manner, they lose their power to shock and offend. By treating the words as if they were dangerous, we exacerbate the problem. Eoinc 17:46, 4 June 2008 (EDT)
Interestingly enough, I came across this page just the other day and wasn't quite sure what to think. Wandering 17:56, 4 June 2008 (EDT)
My goodness, that's bizarre. It took me a moment to see what you were referring to. But that's a good example of immature usage of swearing, intended purely to shock. Clearly, he thought of the name first and that spectacularly weak backronym is the best he could come up with. Eoinc 18:02, 4 June 2008 (EDT)
I think that the people who read this encyclopedia (including the young ones) know what the words are! "But would you not agree that the refusal to utter certain words is exactly what makes them offensive?" Yes, it's also what makes them fun and, personally, I think it's better to get fun out of illicit use of a few ripe syllables than other, more serious, ways. Keep swearwords where they belong: in the bar, behind the bikesheds at school and on that internet chat site you think your parents don't see.--Toffeeman 17:34, 31 August 2008 (EDT)

Not euphemisms

I reverted one edit which had changed "mock swear words" to "euphamisms" [sic], because the words are not quite euphemisms. A euphemism is a word or expression which is used in place of a less acceptable synonym. For example, "restroom" instead of "toilet". In the case of a mock swear word like dang or gosh (replacing damn and God, respectively), the new words don't actually mean the same thing as the ones they replace. Eoinc 20:23, 10 June 2008 (EDT)

Agreed but I can't, for the life of me, think of the right term. "Mock swear words" sounds a bit clunky to me and doesn't speak of the connection between the "real" and the "fake". "Naff" is a true "mock swear word" having been made up anew for a TV comedy about prisons (the characters had to swear all the time because it was set in prison, but couldn't because it was on TV). But "dang" and "gosh" actually derive from "damn" and "God". If you can think of anything, there are two usages of "euphamism" (one from me) just waiting for the right term!--Toffeeman 17:23, 31 August 2008 (EDT)
I would consider these euphemisms. They don't have the same literal meaning as the words they replace, but they have the same function (e.g. expressing surprise, annoyance, used for emphasis, etc.) so they mean the same thing in the context in which they are used. Sideways 17:30, 31 August 2008 (EDT)
"Frap"??? Isn't that a kind of milkshake? Sideways 17:36, 31 August 2008 (EDT)
A chilled coffee milkshake. Being a strict Macchiatto/Espresso man I shudder at the mere mention of it. --Toffeeman 17:39, 31 August 2008 (EDT)
Am I sure? yeah. Most "soft" curse words actually become soft because 200 years ago they were teh F-you of their time. Dang, Fop, Bugger, arse, (gosh, i don't know about, admittedly) were found in 12th century writing and were the equivalent of today's "you said WHAT" words). But take it out if you wish. --MHayes 18:05, 31 August 2008 (EDT)
Oh my basis for questioning it is just some vague feeling. If you have any basis for it then it's better than mine. I just thought that, for example, "arse" always meant "arse" but has got less offensive as the years went on but "dang" was said because people wanted to say "damn", couldn't, and so said "dang" so they could say-it-without-saying-it. --Toffeeman 18:16, 31 August 2008 (EDT)
Toffeeman is correct. Sometimes a strong expletive like "oh f---!" or "oh sh--!" is replaced with a milder expletive such as "bugger!" or "arse!", which may once have been considered more offensive, but the examples given (gosh, darn, dang, etc.) are euphemistic nonsense words rather than actual swearwords at all. Sideways 12:25, 1 September 2008 (EDT)