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Boston Area Malls Implement No Swearing Policy

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posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 12:07 AM
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Personally, I curse like a sailor sometimes. To me they are just expressions. My friend and I used to have sort of a game of curse words, we just had fun with just spitting tons of them out sometimes. Curse words are just slang type stuff, sometimes they help to express a stronger emotion. Honestly, you can use curse words to enrich your vocabulary, just as any onther word.

But, some people are offended. Some people like to associate these words with "bad" and "evil." This is tough territory, because on one hand you are dealing with freedom of expression, but on the other hand you still have a thing called decency. The business owner is there to make sales, and he doesn't want anything in the way of that. There is a difference in trying to create trouble, and just hanging out with friends.


Troy




posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 01:25 AM
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Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic

Originally posted by jsobecky
Either you were brought up to express yourself without using profanity or you weren't.


I was, but I put all that behind me. I love profanity. I am a potty mouth. And I'm fine with it. I don't shout it from the rooftops or cause traffic to stop, but what people call profanity is a part of my everyday vocabulary.

You "put all that behind you?" Efforts to help you get along in polite society? I would never have thunk it, judging by your posts.



I find it hard to think of an instance that would cause me to use profanity in a mall. Because they were out of my size of Birkenstocks?



You don't wear Birks!
And people who wear sneakers swear, too!

No, I don't wear Birks.



Originally posted by Rasobasi420
I don't know about you, but I've gotten mall security to back down with a stern voice, and proffesional tone, much like a barking dog.

We definitely live in different worlds.

Once again, I find it difficult to imagine a situation where I would get into such a conflict with mall security. Unless I were very young and very undisciplined.



Originally posted by WyrdeOne
Anyway, I don't have a problem with profanity. I use it extensively. But of course there's a time and a place for everything.
:
Doesn't it bother anybody else that there are so-called 'obscene' words? They're just words, they can't hurt you. What it boils down to is obscenity of thought, and controls on speech are just ways to control the public pronouncement of unpopular thoughts.


And that is your right, to use it extensively. Adults should realize that the use of profanity is due to either a desire to shock, or a very limited vocabulary. And use it accordingly.

Lumping it in with thought control is a bit overreaching, don't you think?


Furthermore, if something is obscene to someone, it's because they were trained by their parents to recognize it that way.

Their parents, their grandparents, their teachers, etc. And what is wrong with that....?


There's nothing inherently obscene about a collection of letters, or a sound made by the human vocal chords.
:
Point being, it ceases to become offensive if you're no longer offended by it, and then everyone wins, people can speak as they please, and you don't have to concern yourself so much.

The way I express myself in public is of very little concern to me, because I made a choice long ago to speak a certain way. And I didn't include profanity in my choice.

You say everybody wins, I say society loses, because we've dumbed down our language to accomodate the least desirable expression of it.


Say what? I've been called plenty of nasty things in my lifetime, and not once did I suffer permanent damage. Maybe I'm superhuman? Nah...

More likely, some people are entirely too sensitive, and don't know how to avoid internalizing the hurtful comments made by others.

Ahh, if only everyone were the same as you. If only everyone of us had the same life experiences, religion (or lack of it), race, ethnicity, and color of eyes. Then we could say with certainty that a particular person is too easily offended by something. It would make people so much easier to.... control.


[edit on 22-12-2006 by jsobecky]



posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 01:34 AM
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It probably really about social class, when you get down to it.

Types with less education less exposure to situatkons where your supposed to conduct yourself with a certain standard. whats ok in a macdonalds is not ok in a six star restaurant.



posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 02:15 AM
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jsobecky


And that is your right, to use it extensively. Adults should realize that the use of profanity is due to either a desire to shock, or a very limited vocabulary. And use it accordingly.


On the contrary, curse words are not just useful to simpletons and anti-social types, a point illustrated by the fact that Shakespeare tells us brevity is the soul of wit, and if one can condense an entire string of words, ie: "oh no, I've gone and dropped this hammer on my foot, and now it hurts an awful lot", into one syllable ie:"crap" (by another name) - that's not profanity, that's poetry.




Their parents, their grandparents, their teachers, etc. And what is wrong with that....?


Nothing is wrong with that, as long as it serves a purpose. I don't see what purpose it serves - so as far as I'm concerned, that's what's wrong with it. It serves no purpose in a rational, thinking society.

Do you know the origin of curse words? I suspect you can guess even if you don't know.

Are we really so primitive that we fear certain enunciations are going to invoke evil spirits or wither crops or induce seizures? Of course not; so the stigma is no longer justified and should be done away with by mutual agreement, IMO.

There's a difference between an insult and a randomly ejaculated profanity. The former is hurtful and leads to confrontations for obvious reasons, the latter poses no threat to anyone. Why should we harp on the latter? To reinforce the boundaries we've erected regarding the former? Once again, that's like criminalizing guns in an effort to punish criminals who use them improperly.

It's not logical to attack and criminalize a tool, and language is arguably one of our oldest and most indispensable tools.



You say everybody wins, I say society loses, because we've dumbed down our language to accomodate the least desirable expression of it.


:shk:

Why is it the least desirable? Why is it dumbing down the language? Can you back up these ideas with any sort of logical reasoning? What objective factors make them least desirable? Where does the boundary sit, between 'smart' language and 'dumb' language? Is it the number of syllables? I don't think so, seeing as our most used words, and our most necessary words are one syllable - words like 'we' and 'I' and 'and' and 'to' and the list goes on and on.

It appears, to me, that the boundary between 'smart' language and 'dumb' language is entirely dependent on the context in which the language is used, and the intent of the person using it - neither one of which can be affected in the slightest by making certain words taboo.

So what's the point? Seriously, if you or anyone else, can explain to me why I ought to find these words bad like the rest of you, I'll be very appreciative. I want to understand, really I do.




Ahh, if only everyone were the same as you. If only everyone of us had the same life experiences, religion (or lack of it), race, ethnicity, and color of eyes. Then we could say with certainty that a particular person is too easily offended by something. It would make people so much easier to.... control.


Interesting diversionary tactic.


I thank God that everyone is not the same as me, because if that were the case, I'd never learn anything.

Do you have a response for the questions I've raised, or is it an all-sarcasm buffet on the menu this evening?

Have you got any logical reasoning behind your distaste for these words? Or does your aversion, and everyone else's, have more to do with the fact that you got punished for using them when you were a child? Did our parents have a logical reason, or were they indoctrinated by their parents for the same reason? And on and on it goes, all the way back, to a time when people thought storm clouds were a sign that the invisible man in the clouds was angry.

If you don't have a logical reason for your disdain, have you got any logical justification for imposing your illogical disdain on the rest of us? I don't like brussel sprouts, but I could care less if other people eat them, and it doesn't affect me if they do. Isn't the same true of curse words?

[edit on 22-12-2006 by WyrdeOne]



posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 03:51 AM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
On the contrary, curse words are not just useful to simpletons and anti-social types, a point illustrated by the fact that Shakespeare tells us brevity is the soul of wit, and if one can condense an entire string of words, ie: "oh no, I've gone and dropped this hammer on my foot, and now it hurts an awful lot", into one syllable ie:"crap" (by another name) - that's not profanity, that's poetry.


I doubt very much that he equated an economy of words with an endorsement of profanity.




Are we really so primitive that we fear certain enunciations are going to invoke evil spirits or wither crops or induce seizures? Of course not; so the stigma is no longer justified and should be done away with by mutual agreement, IMO.

Some people find scatalogical references distasteful not because of evil spirits, but because they don't belong in polite conversation.


There's a difference between an insult and a randomly ejaculated profanity. The former is hurtful and leads to confrontations for obvious reasons, the latter poses no threat to anyone. Why should we harp on the latter? To reinforce the boundaries we've erected regarding the former?

And who will decide the difference between a potty mouth and a racial insult? Your solution is to use them to the point where they lose their shock value. It won't work; people will always come up with another way to shock/hurt/insult people.

The only solution - and I admit it doesn't fix all problems - is consideration of the fact that what you say might be inappropriate.

Use a simple test, like would you use those words in front of your 3 yr old, or your granny. And I realize that I'll be hearing from people whose grandmother would make a sailor blush.




You say everybody wins, I say society loses, because we've dumbed down our language to accomodate the least desirable expression of it.



:shk:

Why is it the least desirable? Why is it dumbing down the language?

Well, you tell me, what's more undesirable? And how does profanity advance society?


So what's the point? Seriously, if you or anyone else, can explain to me why I ought to find these words bad like the rest of you, I'll be very appreciative. I want to understand, really I do.


I don't find them "bad". I find them distasteful. Cuss to your hearts content; I don't care.

When a stranger immediately curses in my company, I immediately peg him in a certain way.


Interesting diversionary tactic.


I thank God that everyone is not the same as me, because if that were the case, I'd never learn anything.

I was simply responding to your claim to be superhuman (facetious, I know) or your conclusion that some people are too sensitive. That was the diversion, not my response.


Do you have a response for the questions I've raised, or is it an all-sarcasm buffet on the menu this evening?

Ahh, see the power of words? You did exactly what you accused me of.

And I wasn't being sarcastic at all.


Have you got any logical reasoning behind your distaste for these words? Or does your aversion, and everyone else's, have more to do with the fact that you got punished for using them when you were a child?

Now you know how I was raised, eh? You really are superhuman!


I think it's time for me to walk away from this conversation until you cool down a bit.

Later.



posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 04:23 AM
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I think we're talking about legislated morality here. I grew up in a world where "damn" was never used on tv. Now I've even heard the "F" bomb dropped on some tv talk shows.



pl. pro·fan·i·ties

The condition or quality of being profane.

Abusive, vulgar, or irreverent language.
The use of such language.
Source


I don't think that morality should be legislated. It was annoying to listen to tenns talk back when every third word was "like". Now every third word is the "f" bomb and the other two are usually gender obscenities.

I believe that everyone should be able to speak in any way they wish, but it should be done in context. Most teens today sound like they have a 20 word vocabulary. That's fine. I don't mind. But please lower your voice to the level where only your companions can hear your. When you start shouting about the bitches and hos, and I can hear you from three blocks away, you have encroached on my rights.



posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 07:08 AM
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jsobecky


I doubt very much that he equated an economy of words with an endorsement of profanity.


Doubt it if you like, but the fact remains, a single syllable of profanity can functionally replace whole sentences of exposition, effortlessly, elegantly.



Some people find scatalogical references distasteful not because of evil spirits, but because they don't belong in polite conversation.


Have you ever been hammering something, driving nails in, and you get that one nail that gets bent, and just turns around in circles every time you hit it? The damn thing is mocking you, and no matter how many times you hit it, no matter how hard you hit, no matter what angle you hit it from, the nail will not go in.

That's how I'm starting to feel, but I'm really very persistent when I want to be, so I'm going to keep hammering away, in hopes my point will sink in.

WHY is it impolite to say certain words in polite company? Is there a reason behind this stigma, or is it just something we learned as children (from people who learned it as children)? What will happen to us if we disobey, now that there is no authority figure save our own collective will?

In my household, we don't throw things at the table. There are reasons why we don't throw things at the table - someone could get hurt, and it's a waste of perfectly good food and/or dishware, plus it's an inconvenience for the person who has to clean it up. I would consider it very impolite if someone were to throw something while eating dinner at my table, as would most other people. And see, I can explain WHY it's impolite, which doesn't seem to be the case with this business about 'bad' words.

Do you see the difference I'm trying to illustrate? Both behaviors (cursing and throwing things) are considered rude by society at large. One (throwing things) is rude for a reason we can all readily understand and explain, and the other (cursing) is rude simply because people have been told it's rude, and now believe it for reasons that are, apparently, unknown even to them. There doesn't seem to be any logic behind it.

It's impolite to talk loudly late at night, when you're walking down the street in a residential neighborhood. People have to work in the morning, and they don't need to be raised from their sleep just because you felt like having a few too many shooters at the bar. There's a reason not to do that - right? It's widely considered impolite, and it ought to be.

It's rude to throw your trash on someone else's lawn, because they have to pick it up. It's rude to let your dog run free because it could bite someone or leave a big mess. It's rude to pick someone else's vegetables or flowers, because they put the effort in and deserve the reward. It's rude to put your feet up on the table in restaurants because it's unsanitary, people have to eat there and that means someone is going to have to clean up your leavings. There are thousands of behaviors that considered rude for a reason, and I'm not suggesting we do away with our manners. What I'm suggesting is that we ought to have a reason if we're going to consider something rude.

I'm posting these examples in hopes that they will either spur you to provide a logical reason why we shouldn't curse, or accept that there simply isn't one. Honestly, I'd be happy with either outcome - I don't know if you believe that or not, but it's the truth. I take the site's motto pretty seriously in my own life, before I ever found this place. I desperately want to dispel my own ignorance whenever I can, so, the question remains, can you help me do that?

Or can I help you?




And who will decide the difference between a potty mouth and a racial insult?


The community will decide through common usage. If some racists decided that 'blanket' or 'popwizzle' was an adequate substitute for some racial slur, and they all started using it in a derogatory and offensive manner, then it would be considered a racial slur.

What's the difference between gibberish and popular slang? Usage. What the Hell did 'bling' mean before it meant visible wealth? It was an onomatopoeia for that sound the hose outside a gas station makes after you've run over it, as near as I can tell.



It's utter nonsense without the usage backing it up. Usage is God when it comes to the shaping of our common lexicon.



Use a simple test, like would you use those words in front of your 3 yr old, or your granny. And I realize that I'll be hearing from people whose grandmother would make a sailor blush.


In the current situation, no, but I think that ought to change. Not saying it will, or even can, but there doesn't seem to be any reason to maintain the status quo. Would it be bad to use 'the forbidden words' around a 3 yr old, if most of the other parents were doing so also, and there were no teachers or principles or bus drivers or coaches or preachers to berate the kid and punish them for no good reason?

Would they be bad, in and of themselves, if we didn't drum that notion into the heads of our children at an early age? I don't see any reason why they would be, do you?



And how does profanity advance society?


Profanity doesn't advance society, but I'll tell you what does: Having rules and morals that are not arbitrary and irrational, having standards that are determined using logic and reason, and constantly re-evaulating our learned behaviors to prune the dead branches. That most definitely advances society.



I don't find them "bad". I find them distasteful.


Distasteful, unpleasant, odious, etc., it doesn't matter what word you choose, I want to know why you feel that way, and whether or not there's any logical basis for that feeling.

:bnghd:



When a stranger immediately curses in my company, I immediately peg him in a certain way.


Well, you're not alone at least. Most people seem to do this, as well as judge based on clothing, hair..skin color. Do you see where this leads? Just because all people who curse are bad by this arbitrary standard we're all expected to maintain, and just because some people who curse are actually bad people, that's no reason to pass judgement on all people who curse, any more than meeting a mean old woman or a thuggish black man is any reason to pass judgement on the enormous demographics with which they can be associated.



And I wasn't being sarcastic at all.


Hold on a second, you've given me an idea. Maybe this is a breakthrough. How's this for a reason not to curse - curses might be too vague and too easily misunderstood when one is amongst strangers. It's a start anyway...



Now you know how I was raised, eh? You really are superhuman!


You were allowed/encouraged to curse as a child? I've never met someone who had this upbringing, but I'm willing to accept it as a possibility if you tell me that's how you were raised.

I, myself, was not encouraged to curse when I was young. But I was never given a reason, and that's always bothered me. I understand the practical reasons not to talk like a sailor in polite company, but I've always wondered WHY 'polite company' had such an aversion to curse words. There doesn't seem to be any reason behind it, no reason that was ever explained to me anyhow.



I think it's time for me to walk away from this conversation until you cool down a bit.


Are you joking or being serious? It's so hard to tell in this medium...

I just looked back through my postings on this thread and I can't, for the life of me, see one instance where I lost my cool. Point it out, won't you, so I can avoid making that mistake again.

If I argue with passion, please don't mistake that for a personal attack. You can be sure I didn't mean to offend you. I'm interested, always, in learning through discussion, and I hope you are as well.



[edit on 22-12-2006 by WyrdeOne]

[edit on 22-12-2006 by WyrdeOne]



posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 08:00 AM
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Lovely rules.

How will they be enforced? By Taser Gun?

And what's with the rule U group 5+?



posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 09:42 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
You "put all that behind you?" Efforts to help you get along in polite society? I would never have thunk it, judging by your posts.


My parents didn't teach me not to swear in order to get along in a polite society, they did it in order to get me into heaven, but that's another story. And I get along quite well in a polite society. I'm very polite, friendly and people like me.
(Or else they hate me) And that's ok.



Adults should realize that the use of profanity is due to either a desire to shock, or a very limited vocabulary.


This is simply not true. Maybe if you used profanity, these are the reasons you'd use it, but it's not the case with me. My vocabulary is larger than most and when I want to shock people (which I sometimes do) I use that vocabulary. If people are shocked by profanity, they need to get out more.



Lumping it in with thought control is a bit overreaching, don't you think?


I don't think so. Little by little, step by step, this kind of 'management' of morality, controlling how people behave, setting limits on how much people are allowed to offend other people... it's the slippery slope to thought control AND breach of the first amendment.

It puts the power to offend on the speaker instead of the power to take offense on the listener where it belongs. You can take offense at something or not. It's the listener's choice.

It's not going to happen POW! all at once. The powers aren't that stupid. They will (and are) make little steps, getting us used to the idea of behavior control and then they take another step.



And I didn't include profanity in my choice.


I did. Why is your choice more valid than mine? I don't care if you use profanity or not. Why do you care if I do?

*jsobecky, you're one of my favorite debators!



posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 10:15 AM
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WyrdeOne

Your posts are always such a pleasure to read.


In my book, you're good people.


On the subject of profanity, let me say that I too am fairly profane when around those I know well. Some profane words just provide the right amount of intensity...or convenience...or meaning necessary for the context of a particular situation.

But with regard to the following, I think I can provide a simple explanation.


Originally posted by WyrdeOne
WHY is it impolite to say certain words in polite company?

...

I'm posting these examples in hopes that they will either spur you to provide a logical reason why we shouldn't curse, or accept that there simply isn't one. Honestly, I'd be happy with either outcome - I don't know if you believe that or not, but it's the truth. I take the site's motto pretty seriously in my own life, before I ever found this place. I desperately want to dispel my own ignorance whenever I can, so, the question remains, can you help me do that?


I believe in most instances the forbearance of profane usage offers a sign of one's willingness to engage in non-hostile social interaction. To some degree, it signals one's general intention. Granted, it is a construct no less manufactured than the use of the word "please", but it *does* serve a purpose.

I have a friend, who for some irrational reason, dislikes the word "liquor". The word "alcohol" is ok, but for whatever reason, the sound of the word "liquor" causes this friend discomfort. I don't understand it, and even find the aversion quite hilarious! But I always make a special effort to avoid the word when in this friend's presence. I do it out of simple respect and affection for the individual in question.

Is it rational? No.

But many things in life aren't.

In the end, it's not about the words, it's about how you intend to make other people feel.

I have no desire to create unnecessary discomfort for those around me on such a simple matter.

Do I have the right to be profane? Of course. But having a right and exercising a right are two different matters, imo. They are different topics of conversation.


[edit on 22-12-2006 by loam]



posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 10:34 AM
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First of all WyrdeOne, thank you for your thoughtful reply.


Originally posted by WyrdeOne

I dislike crude and thoughtless people as much as anyone (and more than most), but I think the way to change that is through education, not legislation.


And I agree, from an ideal perspective. But we're talking about a mall policy, not legislation. At this point, it's about a business on private property attempting to control what goes on within their boundaries. If the education option was working, either at home or at school, this wouldn't be necessary.

I don't believe they're attempting to listen in and harrass people who use a swear word in private conversation.

Have you ever been in a mall, maybe with your own children or your mom and heard some exchange where one teen is yelling to another one 100' away: "Hey you !@% get your $@!* back here before I @#$* Your $#*&". Then the other one screams back: "@#*& my @#$()^ you @*&*�!" And you're standing there with your kids or mom or whatever. Now I've been in that situation and done a little freelance "educating", but my preference would be to not be in a place where that was necessary.

Yes it would be great if these types of situations could be handled at an individual level (and even greater if the situation never arose). But the fact is, they do arise. And the Simons being the mega-billionaires they are, have a team of lawyers that would fill a stadium. And you know what? The first time the mall ejects someone for something that isn't illegal or posted policy, there's a lawsuit. because you can't single out someone for legal behavior when you don't have an expressed policy against it. And the lawyers are looking for the deep pockets in these situations in our overly-litigious society (another topic altogether).

So the savvy mall owners maintain the attractiveness of their venue and protect themselves from lawsuits by posting a rule which in a decent society should be so obvious that it shouldn't be necessary to address. But it is.




Originally posted by WyrdeOne
I understand that people are offended by these words, I just don't think they have any logical reason to be - that's what I'm saying.


Yes, there isn't much logic in a mere word being offensive. I agree. But it's the reality, whether it's logical or not.


Originally posted by WyrdeOne
I also see a big difference between using curse words to attack someone, and using them in a general, un-targeted fashion to express emotion.


I agree to a point, but the fallacy I see in this argument is why the "curse" word would be relevant, if you don't believe they should be considered offensive in and of themselves? I can verbally attack someone very proficiently without using a curse word. Why isn't the curse word irrelevant in this context, if they're not in and of themselves offensive? Are curse words magically imbued with more power if they're used to attack?

By the way, if there was a Nobel Prize for swearing, I'd be a multiple winner. But I'm capable of restraint.

Thanks for the input.



posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 11:18 AM
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loam


In my book, you're good people.


The feeling is definitely mutual.




I believe in most instances the forbearance of profane usage offers a sign of one's willingness to engage in non-hostile social interaction. To some degree, it signals one's general intention. Granted, it is a construct no less manufactured than the use of the word "please", but it *does* serve a purpose.


This is exactly what I was after - thank you.

Thinking about it, I find myself unable to remember an instance where I cursed profusely or loudly in an unfamiliar social setting.

If you're in a bar, or at a sports event, or something similar, you can usually get the feel of the place pretty quickly and know what level of profanity is acceptable (even expected).

I also can't remember a time when I've cursed as a new guest in another's home. It's so much better to be open and receptive, taking the host's lead when it comes to acceptable behavior. You get comfortable after a while, watching the host, and you pick up on their mannerisms and their expectations.

So, the taboo against cursing springs from the same font that gives us our mimic nature in social situations? You know, a respected person or a leader clasps his arms across his chest, and most men will naturally do the same without even thinking about it. If the one being watched rests chin on fist, or nods a bit, same deal - the watchers mime the gestures. It's very interesting to me to watch people, now that I have some notion of the level of unconscious body language we display, so I see it a lot.

I think this idea you bring up is a good one - it makes sense that we would have an aversion to cursing if we're being nudged by our instincts to grease the wheels of social intercourse by using language similar to the people with whom we're interacting. Perfectly logical, since it costs us nothing, and can gain us so much.

It is almost always necessary to get other people to bounce ideas back and forth, before you can see the things right under your nose. I mean, here I am, very interested in the subject of evolutionary psychology, and I hadn't even thought of this subject in those terms.

That's why it's so vital to have discussions, to see the things that should be obvious to us, but for whatever reason are not, and to gain perspective we might not be privvy to otherwise.

Thanks for shedding some light on my question.


yeahright


And I agree, from an ideal perspective.


I only ever want to deal in possibilities these days, probabilities are too depressing.




At this point, it's about a business on private property attempting to control what goes on within their boundaries. If the education option was working, either at home or at school, this wouldn't be necessary.


I agree completely, and I believe the mall operators should be within their rights to set limits on dress, behavior, speech, demonstrations, solicitations, and so on. They don't have any obligation to sell anything to anyone, nor should they.

On the issue of education, I don't have any solutions, I wish I did. I think we all see the problems well enough, so that's well-handled. I think a lot about what parents can do, what teachers can do, even what legislators can do - and even when I find a glimmer of an idea, I get discouraged, because nobody seems willing to do anything, even if it has a chance of success.



Have you ever been in a mall, maybe with your own children or your mom and heard some exchange where one teen is yelling to another one 100' away: "Hey you !@% get your $@!* back here before I @#$* Your $#*&". Then the other one screams back: "@#*& my @#$()^ you @*&*�!" And you're standing there with your kids or mom or whatever. Now I've been in that situation and done a little freelance "educating", but my preference would be to not be in a place where that was necessary.


I don't think I've stepped foot in a mall in half a decade or more - they give me the creeps. But yeah, I remember exhanges like that, and I remember wondering to myself the same thing I'm wondering now - where do these kids get their values, and who is teaching them to be so thoughtless and crude? Part of it is youth and a lack of experience, but I think a lot of it has to do with influences at home (or pronounced lack thereof in most instances), and of course the media plays a part.

You get a few popular kids acting badly around their peers, and it spreads pretty quickly if left unchecked, I know that from personal experience. It's like a snowball heading downhill.

This is just my observation, but it appears to me that in many, if not most cases, the media sets the snowball rolling, the parents pass up their chance to prevent the minor annoyance from becoming a serious problem, and then the groupthink mentality exacerbates the problem until it eventually collapses under its own weight, allowing new problems to arise.

Does that strike you as an apt observation/analogy?

I don't think we should control the media for the benefit of kids, when the parents are perfectly capable of restricting access and providing a countering influence (if they would only put in the massive amount of effort required to raise a good child). And we can't control the social behaviors once they enter that sphere - it's only natural for them to act that way, we do it too.

So the best place to control the problem appears to be at home. What do you think?



Yes, there isn't much logic in a mere word being offensive. I agree. But it's the reality, whether it's logical or not.


Yeah, no doubt. We have to live with the laws and codes of conduct, even when they don't make sense, until we can change them.



I agree to a point, but the fallacy I see in this argument is why the "curse" word would be relevant, if you don't believe they should be considered offensive in and of themselves? I can verbally attack someone very proficiently without using a curse word. Why isn't the curse word irrelevant in this context, if they're not in and of themselves offensive? Are curse words magically imbued with more power if they're used to attack?


Basically what I meant is that an insult is an insult with or without a curse word, and 'regular' words are regular words until they are used to assault someone, at which point it becomes a confrontation. Curse words, like regular words, are not necessarily combative, depending on the context.

Does this make sense, or did I misunderstand that point you were making?



Thanks for the input.


Right back at ya' - I love a good discussion.


[edit on 22-12-2006 by WyrdeOne]



posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 12:27 PM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
This is just my observation, but it appears to me that in many, if not most cases, the media sets the snowball rolling, the parents pass up their chance to prevent the minor annoyance from becoming a serious problem, and then the groupthink mentality exacerbates the problem until it eventually collapses under its own weight, allowing new problems to arise.

Does that strike you as an apt observation/analogy?


Absolutely. And that's the crux of the issue - real and virtual exposure to a variety of anti-social behaviors with no mitigating influence at school or at home. In other words, the deck's stacked against anyone attempting to raise their children in a positive, civilized manner. And anyone who doubts that is either childless, unaware, or living in a magical kingdom.


Originally posted by WyrdeOne
I don't think we should control the media for the benefit of kids, when the parents are perfectly capable of restricting access and providing a countering influence (if they would only put in the massive amount of effort required to raise a good child).


Big IF there, bud.


Originally posted by WyrdeOne
So the best place to control the problem appears to be at home. What do you think?


Best, optimal, ideal place absolutely. But when there are parents who completely abrogate this responsibility (and there are many,many who unfortunately do) then it becomes incumbent upon the rest of society as a whole to create and maintain the social environment in which we wish to live. The Simons wouldn't dream of attempting it if it wasn't hitting them in the wallet. Hey, you can't maintain a place where I want to go and spend my money? I'll go elsewhere. I have to think that's happened to a significant degre in Boston or we wouldn't be havig this discussion.


Originally posted by WyrdeOne
Basically what I meant is that an insult is an insult with or without a curse word, and 'regular' words are regular words until they are used to assault someone, at which point it becomes a confrontation. Curse words, like regular words, are not necessarily combative, depending on the context.

Does this make sense, or did I misunderstand that point you were making?


Yes it makes sense. The way I read your original comment was that a verbal assault was more abusive/insulting if it contained curse words. Which seemed to be diametrically opposed to the position that words are words without respect to the societal "curse word" tag.


Originally posted by WyrdeOne
I love a good discussion.


And I hope someday someone will give you one.



posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 02:32 PM
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i think its stupid becuase whoever sees old people at the mall and offensive clothing what does that mean shirts that say f#$% u ive never seen anyone wear a shirt like that all the wear are shirts like the fagit heights and all the old people are like thats offensive thats offensive the teenagers say its a band and the old people are like no its not its means you r a fagit. and it angers the teenagers even more so they do wear shirts that say f@#$% you. you try to stop something it makes ithe teenagers do it to the extreme. the goverment and parents will never learn.

[edit on 22-12-2006 by theconspiracyisherenow]



posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 04:37 PM
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Penn and Teller had a good point on this very subject. Many people try to say things like "Holy Cow!" Instead of "Jesus Christ!" because its irreverant and considered a curse. But Holy Cow is also irreverant to those of Hindu faith. We are the ones that put meanings behind words. You hear in a word solely what you want to hear, or what you've been trained to here. A group of African Americans can fling around the "n" word all they want, it doesnt effect them, because they have a general culture acceptance on the word when they use it. They put theyre own meaning behind the word. But if a white person were to say it, that meaning was changed, because the very same person who hears it sees the word differently now.

but in the end, its all that person's perspectives. There was nothing more or less vulgar in its usage in either scenerios.



posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 08:36 PM
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I've been away from this topic most of the day, and these are just a few thoughts I had after skimming the latest responses. I'll address individual questions to me later.


This is not intended for any particular member, but I feel like I'm listening to points extracted from a high school debating course, e.g., "Why is a certain combination of letters and vowels considered offensive?"

Would any of you walk in the door and say to your wife, with your children present, "Hey you skanky c***, what the f*** is for supper tonight?" If not, why not?

Maybe because you love your wife, and would never refer to her that way? Or maybe because you love your kids, and don't want to hear that trash come out of their mouths?

Loam came closest when he said


I believe in most instances the forbearance of profane usage offers a sign of one's willingness to engage in non-hostile social interaction.


Consider going for a job interview. How far do you think you'd get in the hiring process if you introduced yourself with a profanity-laden tirade? There's a reason why candidates are urged to leave slang and whatever-speak at the door when interviewing.

Consider representing your family, your company, or your country to a foreign person, company, or gov't. What impression will profanity leave?

There's no food wasted, no mess to clean up. Except for the distasteful impression that is left in the receiver's mouth or mind.

Words and they way they are conveyed are the key to our evolution. They are all that we have here on ATS (except for smilies and punctuation) to communicate with each other. There must be a reason for their prohibition here, and it's got to be more than the desire not to be rated an adult site.

Profanity is meant to shock or hurt, in most cases. Not all cases. And diluting their effect by overuse will not stop that hurt, because not everybody will buy into that theory, if only because every person is unique.

You have to be for it all the way, or not at all.

Edit: Typos

[edit on 22-12-2006 by jsobecky]



posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 11:26 PM
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WyrdeOne


Originally posted by WyrdeOne
jsobecky


I doubt very much that he equated an economy of words with an endorsement of profanity.


Doubt it if you like, but the fact remains, a single syllable of profanity can functionally replace whole sentences of exposition, effortlessly, elegantly.

Well I agree that it can be functional but I disagree with your choice of adverbs.


Have you ever been hammering something, driving nails in, and you get that one nail that gets bent, and just turns around in circles every time you hit it? The damn thing is mocking you, and no matter how many times you hit it, no matter how hard you hit, no matter what angle you hit it from, the nail will not go in.

That's how I'm starting to feel, but I'm really very persistent when I want to be, so I'm going to keep hammering away, in hopes my point will sink in.

That's what happens when two ideologies clash. I don't see your point as much as you don't see mine.


WHY is it impolite to say certain words in polite company? Is there a reason behind this stigma, or is it just something we learned as children (from people who learned it as children)? What will happen to us if we disobey, now that there is no authority figure save our own collective will?

It's much the same reason we are taught not to call people "four-eyes" or "spaz" or "crip".


Do you see the difference I'm trying to illustrate? Both behaviors (cursing and throwing things) are considered rude by society at large. One (throwing things) is rude for a reason we can all readily understand and explain, and the other (cursing) is rude simply because people have been told it's rude, and now believe it for reasons that are, apparently, unknown even to them. There doesn't seem to be any logic behind it.

Why don't we use the streets whenever we have to relieve ourself? Because of physical health reasons. Well, there are other types of health, such as spiritual and mental/emotional, and we need to nurture them also.


It's rude to throw your trash on someone else's lawn, because they have to pick it up. It's rude to let your dog run free because it could bite someone or leave a big mess. It's rude to pick someone else's vegetables or flowers, because they put the effort in and deserve the reward. It's rude to put your feet up on the table in restaurants because it's unsanitary, people have to eat there and that means someone is going to have to clean up your leavings. There are thousands of behaviors that considered rude for a reason, and I'm not suggesting we do away with our manners. What I'm suggesting is that we ought to have a reason if we're going to consider something rude.

We need to consider the intangibles also, not just what we can physically touch. Liken it to the atmosphere that makes one restaurant more desirable than another.



Use a simple test, like would you use those words in front of your 3 yr old, or your granny. And I realize that I'll be hearing from people whose grandmother would make a sailor blush.



In the current situation, no, but I think that ought to change.

This is the crux of our disagreement



When a stranger immediately curses in my company, I immediately peg him in a certain way.



Well, you're not alone at least. Most people seem to do this, as well as judge based on clothing, hair..skin color. Do you see where this leads?

No, I'm not buying the slippery slope argument, unless you can prove that people who dislike profanity are also judgemental on all those other criteria you mentioned.


Just because all people who curse are bad by this arbitrary standard we're all expected to maintain, and just because some people who curse are actually bad people, that's no reason to pass judgement on all people who curse, any more than meeting a mean old woman or a thuggish black man is any reason to pass judgement on the enormous demographics with which they can be associated.

Huh? Where did this come from? Who judged them as bad, and who further lumped them into one big "bad" category?



Now you know how I was raised, eh? You really are superhuman!



You were allowed/encouraged to curse as a child? I've never met someone who had this upbringing, but I'm willing to accept it as a possibility if you tell me that's how you were raised.

First it was because I was punished, now it's because I wasn't punished? Are you trying to get me to talk about my childhood?




I think it's time for me to walk away from this conversation until you cool down a bit.



Are you joking or being serious? It's so hard to tell in this medium...

I just looked back through my postings on this thread and I can't, for the life of me, see one instance where I lost my cool. Point it out, won't you, so I can avoid making that mistake again.

It was the "sarcasm on the menu" comment. It came out of the blue, which usually portends similar comments, in my experience.


If I argue with passion, please don't mistake that for a personal attack. You can be sure I didn't mean to offend you. I'm interested, always, in learning through discussion, and I hope you are as well.

I too am interested in learning. I don't appear as passionate as some, and that gives the appearance of aloofness. But it isn't; it's just a guy thing.



posted on Dec, 22 2006 @ 11:53 PM
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Benevolent Heretic


Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
My parents didn't teach me not to swear in order to get along in a polite society, they did it in order to get me into heaven, but that's another story.

I knew there was a story behind that username!


And I get along quite well in a polite society. I'm very polite, friendly and people like me.
(Or else they hate me) And that's ok.

Too polite, sometimes. I've seen you raked over the coals in threads where you refused to rise to the bait.

Maybe that's why you cuss so much offline. j/k



Adults should realize that the use of profanity is due to either a desire to shock, or a very limited vocabulary.



This is simply not true. Maybe if you used profanity, these are the reasons you'd use it, but it's not the case with me. My vocabulary is larger than most and when I want to shock people (which I sometimes do) I use that vocabulary. If people are shocked by profanity, they need to get out more.

We're talking about undisciplined teenagers here. People that have no consideration for those around them.


I don't think so. Little by little, step by step, this kind of 'management' of morality, controlling how people behave, setting limits on how much people are allowed to offend other people... it's the slippery slope to thought control AND breach of the first amendment.

If it were in the public domain, or if a law were passed restricting it, then I'd agree with you. But we're talking private property here.


It puts the power to offend on the speaker instead of the power to take offense on the listener where it belongs. You can take offense at something or not. It's the listener's choice.

I can choose not to take heed when someone threatens to murder me, or yells "Fire" in a theater?


It's not going to happen POW! all at once. The powers aren't that stupid. They will (and are) make little steps, getting us used to the idea of behavior control and then they take another step.

It's a property investment and management group, not a gov't agency. Big difference.



And I didn't include profanity in my choice.



I did. Why is your choice more valid than mine? I don't care if you use profanity or not. Why do you care if I do?

My choice is no more valid than yours. And I don't care if you cuss, because I doubt it that you'd be among that group of teens I mentioned earlier.

Just remember, every time you cuss, a kitten dies and the terrorists win.



posted on Dec, 23 2006 @ 10:19 AM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
I knew there was a story behind that username!


Yup.




We're talking about undisciplined teenagers here. People that have no consideration for those around them.


Right. I do tend to smear the line between teens and adults. That's because I remember what it was like to be one and some of my favorite people are in their late teens and early 20s.



I can choose not to take heed when someone threatens to murder me, or yells "Fire" in a theater?


Don't you smear the line, now. We're taling about "bad words" not a threat on your life. There's a big difference.




Just remember, every time you cuss, a kitten dies and the terrorists win.


And I hear baby Santa cries...





posted on Dec, 23 2006 @ 01:33 PM
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jsobecky


This is not intended for any particular member, but I feel like I'm listening to points extracted from a high school debating course, e.g., "Why is a certain combination of letters and vowels considered offensive?"

Would any of you walk in the door and say to your wife, with your children present, "Hey you skanky c***, what the f*** is for supper tonight?" If not, why not?




Have I not, on multiple occasions throughout this thread, made a point of differentiating between insults and profanity? Once more, for good measure, an insult is an insult whether or not you decide to use profanity, but using profanity does not necessarily mean you're insulting someone.

Personally, I find myself using profanity most often to describe inanimate objects that are giving me trouble, things like computers, VCRs, and big rocks when they're being stubborn.

I would not refer to the woman I love as a skanky c***, because it would be innacurate, mean-spirited, and insulting. On the other hand, "what the f*** are we gonna eat tonight" is something I've said before, and I'm sure I'll say it again. The profanity serves to communicate my displeasure at the lack of diversity in the cupboard, without me having to say that exactly.

Big difference between insulting someone, and using profanity in that way.



Maybe because you love your wife, and would never refer to her that way? Or maybe because you love your kids, and don't want to hear that trash come out of their mouths?


I wouldn't want my kids hearing me insult my wife under any circumstances. I wouldn't mind my kids hearing me curse if we didn't have a cultural stigma against certain words. As it is, I wouldn't want them cursing, because I know there are a multitude of authority figures who would punish them for it.



That's what happens when two ideologies clash. I don't see your point as much as you don't see mine.


Actually, I see your point, and have gone on to disagree with it. You don't seem to see my point, judging by your responses, which means you can't very well agree or disagree with it in any meaningful way.



It's much the same reason we are taught not to call people "four-eyes" or "spaz" or "crip".


So you're saying every profanity in every situation is an insult? How is that the case?



Why don't we use the streets whenever we have to relieve ourself? Because of physical health reasons. Well, there are other types of health, such as spiritual and mental/emotional, and we need to nurture them also.


Can you qualify that a bit? How does cursing negatively affect my spiritual, mental, and emotional health? Those who constantly insult others and use profanity to that end, sure, I can see that being a negative influence. What I don't see is the harm in using profanity outside the context of an insult.



No, I'm not buying the slippery slope argument, unless you can prove that people who dislike profanity are also judgemental on all those other criteria you mentioned.


I wasn't trying to make the argument you suggested (that one leads to the other), I was trying to illustrate the similarity between people who judge others for different superficial reasons.

Is someone who curses habitually really so different than one who twiddles his fingers or bites his nails?



Who judged them as bad, and who further lumped them into one big "bad" category?


Our society judged them as bad, and many people hold up that judgement. Last I checked, just about every parent in this country will tell their children 'don't say that, it's a bad word' when they reiterate the curse words they hear at school or on television or from grandpa.



First it was because I was punished, now it's because I wasn't punished? Are you trying to get me to talk about my childhood?


I made a point about why people think the way they do about curse words - it's because we learn they're bad when we're children. You countered by saying I didn't know how you were raised, which to me seemed to indicate that maybe your parents were different than nearly every other set of parents in this country (more likely you just didn't feel like agreeing with me). So I questioned you about your parents' stance on profanity.

Most parents don't encourage profanity, and in fact punish their children for using it. Maybe you were raised by circus people or a pride of lions, I don't know and I don't care. If you can't dispute the point I've made, then don't try.



It was the "sarcasm on the menu" comment. It came out of the blue, which usually portends similar comments, in my experience.


It didn't come out of the blue, it was in response to this:



Ahh, if only everyone were the same as you. If only everyone of us had the same life experiences, religion (or lack of it), race, ethnicity, and color of eyes. Then we could say with certainty that a particular person is too easily offended by something. It would make people so much easier to.... control.



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