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Source: (consider it) Thread: How bad is bad language?
mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Code switching, as I understand it, is done within a conversation or situation, not across different ones.

That is the linguistic definition. It's not how sociologists use the term.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Code switching, as I understand it, is done within a conversation or situation, not across different ones.

That is the linguistic definition. It's not how sociologists use the term.
I'd like to see a link with that context.
However Gene Demby, in my link, does hint at a broader definition; so fair dos.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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mousethief

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This isn't scholarly but it shows how the term is used, and gives a nod to the linguists' definition.

This is a scholarly article. The important part for our purposes begins with section 1.2.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
This isn't scholarly but it shows how the term is used, and gives a nod to the linguists' definition.

This is a scholarly article. The important part for our purposes begins with section 1.2.

Thank you. I fully do both types of code switching, but never considered the sociological definition as code switching. Though it makes perfect sense that it is an extension of the linguistic definition.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Tubbs

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quote:
Originally posted by cliffdweller:
Reminds me of the almost-apocryphal Tony Campolo story of when he was preaching at a conservative Christian college and said "10 million children will go to bed hungry tonight and most of you don't give a shit"

Then he went on to say, "but that's not what really bothers me. What really bothers me is that most of you are more upset that I just said 'shit' than that I just said 10 million children go to bed hungry"

I heard him preach this at Spring Harvest and Greenbelt. Spring Harvest got told they didn't give a shit whilst Greenbelt got told they didn't give a fuck.

Swearing has power if it's used properly. [Big Grin] What's really sad is that he's right. A large section of the church would be more upset by the swears than the hunger. Which is truly sad.

Tubbs

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"It's better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than open it up and remove all doubt" - Dennis Thatcher. My blog. Decide for yourself which I am

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Patdys
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quote:
Originally posted by Callan:
I don't claim to be purer than the driven snow on this issue,*

*I do.
I reckon swearing because life is shit is ok.
I reckon swearing at me because I have wronged you, less so.

The words, meh- the intent is what can harm.

Patdys: Pure as the driven yellow snow.

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Marathon run. Next Dream. Australian this time.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Thank you. I fully do both types of code switching, but never considered the sociological definition as code switching. Though it makes perfect sense that it is an extension of the linguistic definition.

The sociological definition was the first one I encountered, in readings about the African American subcultures in America and how code switching is a normal and everyday part (burden) of life.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Thank you. I fully do both types of code switching, but never considered the sociological definition as code switching. Though it makes perfect sense that it is an extension of the linguistic definition.

The sociological definition was the first one I encountered, in readings about the African American subcultures in America and how code switching is a normal and everyday part (burden) of life.
The sociological was also the first one I encountered, but I didn’t define it as such. Most people of colour in Europe and America will have this experience to some degree.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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keibat
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Sundry shipmates have been making use of the term code (-) switching, eg:
quote:
I fully do both types of code switching, but never considered the sociological definition as code switching. Though it makes perfect sense that it is an extension of the linguistic definition.
For (socio)linguists, code-switching, in that compounded (hyphenated) always primarily means 'alternating between two or more distinct languages within the same flow of speech'. But it did strike me, when I first encountered the term, as not entirely a happy choice of term. The use of code to refer to a distinctive style of discourse was used heavily by the educational sociolinguist Basil Bernstein back in the '60s, esp his distinction between elaborated and restricted codes, but the research about differentiated discourse codes has moved ahead massively since then and code isn't used very often in that sense today (sociolinguists typically talk about discourse styles or registers or [social, usually class-based dialects]). But I guess code is also useful as an ultra-neutral term.

However, I think most (socio)linguists today would avoid using the term code-switching for alternation between, for example, African-American Vernacular English [AAVE] and standard (ie white middle-class) General American – or, in my birth family's case, East Yorkshire urban vernacular [from 'Ull] and standard educated RP – even if they spoke about 'switching codes', since the hyphenated term has acquired such a definite more precise meaning.

The social and cultural implications of alternating between sociolects and standard within one language, and between two languages, are drastically different – you might say, one involves vertical switching and the other involves horizontal switching. Also, switching between sociolects to talk with different individuals is very different from deploying more than one language in talking with the same individual.

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keibat from the finnish north and the lincs east rim

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mousethief

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Did you read the second article I posted?

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by keibat:

However, I think most (socio)linguists today would avoid using the term code-switching for alternation between, for example, African-American Vernacular English [AAVE] and standard (ie white middle-class) General American – or, in my birth family's case, East Yorkshire urban vernacular [from 'Ull] and standard educated RP – even if they spoke about 'switching codes', since the hyphenated term has acquired such a definite more precise meaning.

Could you link something? Because bith my and mt's links imply otherwise.
quote:

The social and cultural implications of alternating between sociolects and standard within one language, and between two languages, are drastically different – you might say, one involves vertical switching and the other involves horizontal switching. Also, switching between sociolects to talk with different individuals is very different from deploying more than one language in talking with the same individual.

Language is about communication. Sociolects are also about communication. They both transmit culture as well, the difference is degree.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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mr cheesy
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I'm not sure it really matters, does it? I've described the thing here, I wasn't aware that there was a term.

I'm quite willing to believe that different fields of study use it in different ways - to me that doesn't change the reality that I perceive; namely that people often find it necessary to change their forms of language depending on who it is that they're talking to.

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arse

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I'm not sure it really matters, does it? I've described the thing here, I wasn't aware that there was a term.

I'm quite willing to believe that different fields of study use it in different ways - to me that doesn't change the reality that I perceive; namely that people often find it necessary to change their forms of language depending on who it is that they're talking to.

Me too. I like your summary.

A classic example of a clash between technical and colloquial definitions. A general exegetical issue as well. Without dialogue, the specific meaning of a word in a text or a speech may not be completely clear. It's one of the ways in which misunderstandings arise.

And then there is also this factor

“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”
(Robert McCloskey)

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Sighthound
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What does "swearing" actually mean? "I swear by Almighty God that I shall tell the truth" is swearing, and I believe that Quakers find such oaths (note the true sense of the word) offensive to God.

Much so-called swearing is just plain Anglo-Saxon. "Shit", for example. Just a word that Anglo-Saxons would have used day in, day out, for faeces. Someone, somewhere along the line decided it wasn't polite.That ladies' ears might be hurt by the word. Or children led astray.

Personally I think God is too big and powerful to worry if I say a few words that some Victorian thought were naughty.

[ 21. September 2017, 10:37: Message edited by: Sighthound ]

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Boogie

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In Germany they have 'High German' the formal language and colloquial German spoken in informal situations. High German is nation wide and the accent is too.

My German friends, who speak perfect English, laugh when I use colloquial, Northern, terms when in a semi-formal situation. I explain that there is no 'High English' or common accent for us all to learn and use [Smile]

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Kittyville
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Sorry to be a pedant, but there isn't a universal German accent, even when speaking high German, as anyone who's ever heard someone from Saxony speak could tell you.
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Forthview
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Boogie may be thinking of the difference between 'High German' and 'Low German'
Particularly since Luther's translation of the Bible was into 'High German' and since Luther's bible was generally used in the north of the German speaking areas,Low German has come to be seen as a form of dialect.In certain areas of North Germany people would like to use 'Low German' for some words or indeed complete sentences or conversations. English,like Dutch is another form of Low German (Plattdeutsch)

Of course High German is spoken and written all over the German speaking areas with quite marked differences in pronunciation from one area to another.

Most Swiss German speakers can easily switch from Swiss German to High German,albeit with an easily recognisable Swiss pronunciation of High German.

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Baptist Trainfan
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One might dare to venture the suggestion that, whilst noting the striking heterogeneity that is all-too-clearly apparent between the various expressions of the German language, it would be egregious to postulate much linguistic similitude - beyond, that is, the most generalised - between the many diverse linguistic variations occasioned by both geographical and social dispersion and ethnic origin that are to be found within the British realm.

[ 22. September 2017, 09:54: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by Kittyville:
Sorry to be a pedant, but there isn't a universal German accent, even when speaking high German, as anyone who's ever heard someone from Saxony speak could tell you.

I stand corrected, my German is appalling, as is my understanding of languages. I thought they'd said that, when using High German, they tried to use a common accent.

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Baptist Trainfan
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Mind you, that's assuming they can read that Gothic script!
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rolyn
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Do Germans swear like Brits?
Pig Dog was always the held up as the limit of German bad language in the old war films.
Even the classic Downfall bunker rant appeared devoid of swear words. Maybe they didn't translate very well.

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Change is the only certainty of existence

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Moo

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I lived in Swabia for a year, and the dialect there is very different from High German.

High German:Ich habe ihn nicht gesehen.*
Swabian: I hab ihn net gsehe.


*I have not seen him.

Moo

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Kerygmania host
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See you later, alligator.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
Do Germans swear like Brits?
Pig Dog was always the held up as the limit of German bad language in the old war films.
Even the classic Downfall bunker rant appeared devoid of swear words. Maybe they didn't translate very well.

Mark Twain didn't think so. In his essay "The Awful German Language" he makes this observation:

quote:
"Verdammt," and its variations and enlargements, are words which have plenty of meaning, but the sounds are so mild and ineffectual that German ladies can use them without sin. German ladies who could not be induced to commit a sin by any persuasion or compulsion, promptly rip out one of these harmless little words when they tear their dresses or don't like the soup. It sounds about as wicked as our "My gracious."
_____
*verdammt=damned

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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no prophet's flag is set so...

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quote:
Originally posted by rolyn:
Do Germans swear like Brits?
Pig Dog was always the held up as the limit of German bad language in the old war films.
Even the classic Downfall bunker rant appeared devoid of swear words. Maybe they didn't translate very well.

My relatives are likely to say "f---ing schweinehund" (pigdog ~ a-hole) where f--- doesn't have much potency. At the level of damn. English's gift to the world is the f word.
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Twilight

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When I was about twelve, my father heard my girlfriend and me saying, "Well, shoot-fire." We thought it was funny. He then gave me a lecture on swearing: "It's a bad habit. Don't do it."

That still seems like good advice to me. The people I know who swear a lot, swear a lot until it becomes boring and truly does seem like a bad verbal tic. It's now so prevalent among young people that I can't understand half of what the reality show contestants are saying because every other word is bleeped. Older people do it with a slightly self-conscious, "Aren't I shocking?" slant, as if their audience is a clutch of Victorian ladies and not their own bored peer group. Worse to me, it often stands in substitute for what could have been much more descriptive terms, as in, "That movie was shit."

For me it's not, how bad is bad language, but, why bad language?

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:


For me it's not, how bad is bad language, but, why bad language?

Just because you don't like it, can't understand the rhythm of it, can't be bothered with it - doesn't mean that others shouldn't. Or that it is "bad".

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arse

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
When I was about twelve, my father heard my girlfriend and me saying, "Well, shoot-fire." We thought it was funny. He then gave me a lecture on swearing: "It's a bad habit. Don't do it."

When I was in boarding school, saying the f word was 10 swats. If you said it to a master (teacher) it was 10 then and 10 again later from the head master at study hall in front of the entire student body. There was a wee line-up sometimes.

(Swats: you bent over, hands to knees and they used a 30" long 3" wide swat stick to deliver punishment, always in front of the class. Canada was a backward country back a ways.)

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:


For me it's not, how bad is bad language, but, why bad language?

Just because you don't like it, can't understand the rhythm of it, can't be bothered with it - doesn't mean that others shouldn't. Or that it is "bad".
I'm with Twilight. Regular use means that swearing has lost its potency and shock value. Why use it when there are a range of substitutes?

The other point is that of context. If you wouldn't swear in front of children or when leading service, why do it elsewhere? Do you suddenly lose the power of choice dependant on the company you keep?

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Language is about communication. Sociolects are also about communication. They both transmit culture as well, the difference is degree.

Sure. I think keibat was pointing at the difference between using a different language/dialect/accent in different contexts (for example, using regional dialect at home vs. a high-status formal dialect at work) or with different people (using a dialect or vernacular with another speaker of that dialect, but using "standard" language with a non-dialect speaker in the same conversation) on the one hand, and "dual-band" communication using two languages at the same time between speakers of both languages/dialects on the other.
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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
I'm with Twilight. Regular use means that swearing has lost its potency and shock value. Why use it when there are a range of substitutes?

Because it is a dialect. You don't use it, but why should you tell other people what language to use?

quote:
The other point is that of context. If you wouldn't swear in front of children or when leading service, why do it elsewhere? Do you suddenly lose the power of choice dependant on the company you keep?
Because almost everyone talks differently to different people. It's not about choice, it is simply about talking in a way that people are comfortable with.

Because talking is a two-way process, and because it isn't just about you and your qualms.

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arse

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Leorning Cniht
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:

The other point is that of context. If you wouldn't swear in front of children or when leading service, why do it elsewhere? Do you suddenly lose the power of choice dependant on the company you keep?

Different language registers are appropriate to different contexts. If I'm giving a formal talk to a group of people, I use a different register from that that I would use if I was conveying the same information to a small group of colleagues, which is different again from the register that I would use telling a couple of mates over a few beers in the pub.

The Anglo-Saxon words in question don't belong in the formal register, but might in the informal.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:


The Anglo-Saxon words in question don't belong in the formal register, but might in the informal.

I think that the interesting thing is that language is constantly changing - and that things that once were the worst-possible and most common (in both senses) swear-words become extremely mild and inoffensive in time.

It seems to me to parallel changes in clothing - I was just thinking about the clothes that people were wearing last century in the labour exchange queue. The standard uniform for the working (or rather non-working) man used to consist of a tie, shirt, hat and overcoat.

It is hard to say that this has really stood the test of time. Whilst suits are still working uniforms for many office workers, it is hard to believe that many going to the job centre to look for work today would be wearing a shirt and tie.

Clothing which once would have been considered under-clothing is now fairly standard wear for most occasions.

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arse

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I think that the interesting thing is that language is constantly changing - and that things that once were the worst-possible and most common (in both senses) swear-words become extremely mild and inoffensive in time.

And vice-versa: words that used to be commonplace become beyond the pale.
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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
I think that the interesting thing is that language is constantly changing - and that things that once were the worst-possible and most common (in both senses) swear-words become extremely mild and inoffensive in time.

And vice-versa: words that used to be commonplace become beyond the pale.
Two different mechanisms, though. General swearwords lose their potency and taboo because of their commonality and society becoming less formal.
Other swearwords gain censure for the specific nature of their targets.

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So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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no prophet's flag is set so...

Proceed to see sea
# 15560

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
Different language registers are appropriate to different contexts. If I'm giving a formal talk to a group of people, I use a different register from that that I would use if I was conveying the same information to a small group of colleagues, which is different again from the register that I would use telling a couple of mates over a few beers in the pub.

The Anglo-Saxon words in question don't belong in the formal register, but might in the informal.

And then we have people in positions of power who violate all of it. It appears that people with very high status can get away with profanity and more than, be praised for it.
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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:


For me it's not, how bad is bad language, but, why bad language?

Just because you don't like it, can't understand the rhythm of it, can't be bothered with it - doesn't mean that others shouldn't. Or that it is "bad".
I'm calling it "bad" language because the title of thread calls it "bad" language.

Nowhere have I told anyone else they shouldn't use it. The whole point of thread is for we ourselves to say what we think of it. Do you think we should all be forced to like it? Should those of us who are fucking tone deaf to the beautiful cock thrusting rhythms of the language be forced to use it even if we aren't fucking feeling it?

Only you, Cheeesy, could sound all pearl clutching and huffy over someone not liking strong language.

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Russ
Old salt
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
almost everyone talks differently to different people.

That's right. It seems to me very commonplace for men of my generation to use politer forms of expression when talking to their wives and mothers than when talking to groups of male friends.

And I don't see that as a bad thing, as a lack of integrity. It's just about being aware of your audience.

"Bad language" doesn't mean anything to the speaker - it's just an expression of strong feeling. If you say "Christ!" as an exclamation you are not in your mind calling on Our Lord and Saviour to witness your strength of feeling; you're just saying it because that's what people say (in your subculture).

But there are people who will hear it differently. People to whom that Name is sacred.

And it seems to me normal and healthy that there is give-and-take on both sides. That there's no rule that says you have to abide by their usage or that they have to suffer your usage. But rather that out of mutual respect we all both try not to offend and equally try not to take offense where none is intended.

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
I'm calling it "bad" language because the title of thread calls it "bad" language.

OK, and I'm discussing whether it is actually bad language.

quote:
Nowhere have I told anyone else they shouldn't use it. The whole point of thread is for we ourselves to say what we think of it. Do you think we should all be forced to like it?
Nope. But I do think that there is a veneer of racism, classism and other-isms when people paint the way that others speak as "bad". That might not be you, I have no idea.

But it does seem to me that when people complain about excess use of Anglo-saxon, they're often actually complaining about patter and patterns of language they associate with particular racial groups.

quote:
Should those of us who are fucking tone deaf to the beautiful cock thrusting rhythms of the language be forced to use it even if we aren't fucking feeling it?

Only you, Cheeesy, could sound all pearl clutching and huffy over someone not liking strong language.

I don't feel like I'm being huffy, I'm just saying that one doesn't have to get annoyed at the way other people speak and one doesn't have to use descriptors like bad to describe a whole pattern of language.

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arse

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
That's right. It seems to me very commonplace for men of my generation to use politer forms of expression when talking to their wives and mothers than when talking to groups of male friends.

And I don't see that as a bad thing, as a lack of integrity. It's just about being aware of your audience.

"Bad language" doesn't mean anything to the speaker - it's just an expression of strong feeling. If you say "Christ!" as an exclamation you are not in your mind calling on Our Lord and Saviour to witness your strength of feeling; you're just saying it because that's what people say (in your subculture).

But there are people who will hear it differently. People to whom that Name is sacred.

And it seems to me normal and healthy that there is give-and-take on both sides. That there's no rule that says you have to abide by their usage or that they have to suffer your usage. But rather that out of mutual respect we all both try not to offend and equally try not to take offense where none is intended.

Well yes - I don't believe that people should feel forced to use language that they don't want to.

But here's the thing: if one is offended by casual blasphemy (even when the person using the word is not intending it to be blasphemous, it is just punctuation and part of their verbal tics), then it is going to be hard to be around people who speak like that.

Which in a place like Ireland, where it is a common part of the dialect, it is going to be a large proportion of the population.

There aren't really "two-sides" to this. Those for whom individual words are religiously offensive are in a minority. So if the words are spoken without any intention to be offensive or threatening (which I'd argue is probably the majority of the time for this kind of blasphemy or the most common swearwords), then the minority has limited power in the situation.

In an ideal world, people who talk like that will realise and moderate their language if they know that an individual has a problem with blasphemy. But by the same token, the person who is so ultra-sensitive that they make a point of trying to get other people to moderate their language that they've not even met or barely know is very often being unreasonable.

It seems to me that people who react badly to other people's vocabulary and/or language are being ultra-sensitive, often as a form of spiritual or virtue signalling. When that tips into the use of phrases like "people who talk like that have a small vocabulary" or "and that just shows how ignorant those people are", it becomes a form of passive-aggression and a way to belittle others.

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arse

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Barnabas62
Host
# 9110

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quote:
Originally posted by Twilight:
Only you, Cheeesy, could sound all pearl clutching and huffy over someone not liking strong language.

That's clearly a personal dig, not a criticism of a post, or series of posts. No more here, please. Hell is available if you are sufficiently pissed off to take it further.

Barnabas62
Purgatory Host

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

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Martin60
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# 368

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I was blessed to be in a cult for nearly twenty years that deeply effected my thinking for nearly forty. Swearing was deeply repressed and that caused me for one - and every one else - a lot of harm. Remember never EVER even THINK the word hippopotamus. It means that you are not in control of your own mind and that the demonic has a foothold. So, every combination of profanity and blasphemy - against the Holy Spirit no less - in words, double entendres AND images WILL come to mind and rob you of your salvation.

Fuck that.

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Love wins

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

But it does seem to me that when people complain about excess use of Anglo-saxon, they're often actually complaining about patter and patterns of language they associate with particular racial groups.

I think this is bollocks. I think people who complain about Anglo-Saxon (particularly the case where every noun is preceded by an Anglo-Saxon adjective that seems to be there for no purpose other than to add rhythm to the sentence) don't like to hear that word. They're not objecting to the language because it's used by people they disparage - they're disparaging the people because of the way they're using the language.
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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Leorning Cniht:
I think this is bollocks. I think people who complain about Anglo-Saxon (particularly the case where every noun is preceded by an Anglo-Saxon adjective that seems to be there for no purpose other than to add rhythm to the sentence) don't like to hear that word. They're not objecting to the language because it's used by people they disparage - they're disparaging the people because of the way they're using the language.

I think the things are wrapped up together. There is general hatred of the poor by the wealthier classes and disparaging language is part of a repeated historical pattern.

The "wrong" language here in Wales (which at the time was Welsh) was a sign of ignorance, stupidity, low caste, low education and low aspiration. The "noble" worker would rise beyond his humble abode, learn to use English properly - and along with that would come a rejection of his wicked ways, alcoholism, fighting and gambling.

Meanwhile, then as now, the wealthier classes felt superior as they made liberal use of "fuck" at the races and filled their children's minds with classical examples of child abuse and patricide.

Today a particular target seems to be various forms of black culture - which often seems to have these kinds of words embedded within the punctuation and rhythm of the dialect, so that saying "I don't like hearing those words all the time" is actually code for saying "I don't like hearing black people speaking like that".

I don't think it always is that - it is absolutely true that there are forms of white trash talk that includes a lot of anglo-saxon words. But I think this is definitely a thing.

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arse

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Augustine the Aleut
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# 1472

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Many years ago, when working in Circumlocution Canada, we had a Director-General who, raised in 1960s Québec and educated in (private and expensive) convent schools, was a frequent swearer to emphasize her authority and to remind us that she was a tough and vigorous administrator.

The Jesus-***ing-Christs got to be a bit too much for those of us who like a more professional discourse at meetings-- it particularly bothered two seriously practising officers of Caribbean origin. Other church-going staffers (there were rather more than she thought) just raised their eyebrows figuratively and tried to ignore it.

Another manager had spoken with her privately on this and was dismissed from her presence with the advice that nobody cared, but with more syllables. However, one of our Ismaili colleagues decided to deal with it and privately spoke with the offending DG to let her know how upset some of the Muslim staff were that she used offensive language of the prophet. She said that she was certain that she never referred to Mohammed at all; he replied that Jesus was revered as a prophet by Muslims. She grew pale at the implications and apologized profusely. Language changed at meetings thereafter.

I would also note that a friend whose volunteer work focusses on women survivors of abuse tells me that the f-word can be a triggering factor as its use often figures in both physical and mental abusive behaviour. When it was pointed out to her that it was often used carelessly, she suggested that we take more care.

[ 23. September 2017, 16:11: Message edited by: Augustine the Aleut ]

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Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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I see no rhythm in swearing. For me, spoken or written, it breaks the rhythm and detracts from the meaning.

I dislike it. I don't think it's 'bad' but I do think it's pointless and sloppy - similar to using 'like' or 'y'know' every other word.

Swearing in extreme pain/anger etc is fine and very useful imo. In everyday language? Nope.

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Garden. Room. Walk

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mr cheesy
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# 3330

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
I see no rhythm in swearing. For me, spoken or written, it breaks the rhythm and detracts from the meaning.

I dislike it. I don't think it's 'bad' but I do think it's pointless and sloppy - similar to using 'like' or 'y'know' every other word.

Swearing in extreme pain/anger etc is fine and very useful imo. In everyday language? Nope.

OK, but is that anything more than your (and actually my) cultural background? Where we have different types of acceptable punctuation words and where our patter does not sound like other people's?

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arse

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Leorning Cniht
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# 17564

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

Today a particular target seems to be various forms of black culture - which often seems to have these kinds of words embedded within the punctuation and rhythm of the dialect,

I don't think it always is that - it is absolutely true that there are forms of white trash talk that includes a lot of anglo-saxon words. But I think this is definitely a thing.

I don't see Anglo-Saxon-as-verbal-punctuation as a black thing particularly, although perhaps the use of such speech patterns in rap, a predominantly black musical form, gives that impression. But the main reason I don't think it's so much a race thing is that there are plenty of distinctive features of racial/ethnic minority speech that are not objected to.

I'll agree that you'll find some people who complain about any form of dialect speech, and bemoan the fact that "those people" don't learn proper English and so on, but I don't think the distaste for one particular Anglo-Saxon expletive and its many variants showing up as every third word in someone's speech is quite an example of that. (The latter is far more widespread.)

You'll point out that it's all related, and that's true, but everything is related. Nobody has pure untainted motives for anything.

If you want an example of widespread racial bias in the way people think about speech, you'd do better to look at the way people feel compelled to remark on how well-spoken a particular black politician is, but feel no need to make a similar comment about his white colleague who speaks in the same way.

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SvitlanaV2
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# 16967

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:

Today a particular target seems to be various forms of black culture - which often seems to have these kinds of words embedded within the punctuation and rhythm of the dialect, so that saying "I don't like hearing those words all the time" is actually code for saying "I don't like hearing black people speaking like that".


Do black people swear more than white people? That's an interesting thought. Which black communities are you thinking of? American, British, etc?

If you're referring to the n-word, there are many black people who disapprove of that. Even among those who use it there's an acceptance that it's problematic, since it clearly has a different significance depending on who's using it.

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Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
I see no rhythm in swearing. For me, spoken or written, it breaks the rhythm and detracts from the meaning.

I dislike it. I don't think it's 'bad' but I do think it's pointless and sloppy - similar to using 'like' or 'y'know' every other word.

Swearing in extreme pain/anger etc is fine and very useful imo. In everyday language? Nope.

OK, but is that anything more than your (and actually my) cultural background? Where we have different types of acceptable punctuation words and where our patter does not sound like other people's?
I don't know.

I've been thinking about this for days now and I still can't work it out.

I don't mind at all when people in my family swear because - in my view - they use the words sparingly and appropriately. But if I read a piece which is smattered with swear words I simply lose all the meaning and give up. Maybe a link there with my dyslexia too? It distracts too much for me. When I read 'cunt' or such in a piece - or repeated 'fuck this; 'fuck that' (where no real strong feelings are expressed) I find myself stopping and losing my thread, starting again and giving up

If I'm on the bus and I hear someone swearing every other word I'm not offended. But, at the same time, I'm very glad they are not part of my family/circle of friends! Why? Because it sounds so angry and aggressive to me.

Cultural? I don't know, possibly - but we are all a product of our upbringing and shouting 'cultural' at every honest reaction isn't helpful.

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Garden. Room. Walk

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Gramps49
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# 16378

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Goerge Carlin had a great routine on The Seven Dirty Words. As he said, the list changes from day to day, from situation to situation.

And even old words get new life from time to time.

How many of you had to look up the word "dotard" this past week?

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