It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

The Taboo of Swearing

page: 1
2

log in

join
share:

posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 04:29 AM
link   
Hi guys, first thread here - woot.

I’ve often pondered how certain words are considered taboo, they are only words after all. Most of these involve the genitals or the actual act of sex - which by whoever’s design, is not only natural and common in people, but much of the life forms on the planet. I find it bizarre, that these words (along with the ‘s-word’) are considered so vulgar, as they are necessary aspects to human existence.

I recently found this thought expressed (much better mind you) and expanded by my Mecca for casual enlightenment; Stephen Fry.



Interested to hear you thoughts
edit on 17/2/2011 by BombDefined because: (no reason given)

edit on 17/2/2011 by BombDefined because: (no reason given)




posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 04:55 AM
link   
reply to post by BombDefined
 


Vulgarity and profanity is regional base too. French people are more offended by being called a "cochon" (pig) than if you were to suggest they enjoyed liaisons with their mothers.

I think slowly some words are becoming less taboo. Scientists have even conducted studies to show that using profanity can increase your pain endurance.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 05:07 AM
link   
reply to post by Dendro
 


I read something about that study too. Apparently the more you use swear words in common speech, the less effective they will be at reducing pain/stress when you use them in context. Like you build up an immunity to their powers.

I think words are just words and people who get offended by swearing are over sensitive idiots. Children should not be sheltered from swear words, they should understand their correct use and use appropriately.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 05:14 AM
link   
reply to post by March of the Fire Ants
 


That doesn't surprise me that we start to desensitize over time.

I usually censor myself around children just because I don't want the grief of their parents, but kids can be very mature. I dropped the "F-Bomb" in front of a classmate's 4 year old son and when I was apologizing the kid turned to me and said "It's okay, I know not to use that word. Mommy told me."



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 05:20 AM
link   
reply to post by BombDefined
 



Most of these involve the genitals or the actual act of sex

Another way of phrasing that might be that most of these words involve lower chakral function.



Interested to hear you thoughts

I can give some very good reasons why swearing is unhealthy.


Focus on your mouth.




Now, think of a juicy lemon.




Are you salivating? Do you taste lemon? You probably do. Isn't that interesting? There's no lemon in your mouth to taste. There's no food to cause you to salivate. But you are experencing a phsyiological reaction in response to me using a word.

The brain works by association. Words don't have fundamental meaning. It's not the sounds or the letters of a "swear word" that make it "bad." It's the association. Mental associations can be extremely powerful things. Ask anyone who was bitten by an animal as a child, or got lost in the mall, or fell and hurt themselves...ask anyone who had some sort of traumatic experience which caused them to learn by association that these things should cause them to experience fear. A trained, emotional response like fear is no different than the salivation you experienced just a moment ago when you read the word lemon.

So, let me ask: if something as simple as you reading the word lemon can cause a biological response in your body because of an association that you have learned...how will it affect you if you and others around you use words with powerful survival, biological and pleasure significance in purely metaphorical ways?

For example, I see that the word filter does not filter crap. So let's use that. Have you ever known anyone in the habit of referring to their possesions or the possessions of others as crap? "Just toss it over there with the rest your crap." Have you ever considered how the association-machine that is your brain might internalize that? Crap is smelly, unwanted waste material to be disposed of. When you use the word crap, or perhaps the other, more common metaphor with the same meaning to refer to personal belongings, you are sending a message to your brain, and the brains of you speak to that those possessions are worthless, unwanted trash to be disposed of.

Do you see how that might create problems?

Here's another one. With apologies to moderators, as I'm about to circumvent the word filter. But given the context of the discussion, I think it's appropriate.

"F. you" is a verbal attack. "This is F'd up" is used to describe something that is bad or unpleasant. This is common use. So...what happens when you, for example, tell a girl literally that you're going to F. her? What happens in her brain? Being a creature of association, some part of brain associates the sex act with badness and unpleasantness. Just like you've learned to associate the word lemon with the sour taste that cause you to salivate. What happens when a girl learns that sex is bad? Does she internalize that as that sex is bad and so she should avoid it? Does she internalize it as sex is bad, she likes sex, and so therefore she must be bad? Do you see the danger in this?

What about sucking? "This sucks" is a metaphorical reference to oral sex. And yet, the expression "this sucks" is used to describe things that are bad, or unpleasant.

Every time you use the expression "this sucks" to describe something you dislike, you are reinforcing into the subconscious mind of every woman who hears you that she should dislike performing oral sex,

Is that really something you want?

Swearing can be psychologically unhealthy, both for individuals and society as whole.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 05:51 AM
link   
You might like this, they have some really good points in it.

www.220.ro...#-Profainity/bOSnUR756k/



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 06:03 AM
link   
I reckon its the people who choose to be offended by certain words that cause there to be so much swearing. The words wouldn't be used if they didn't get a reaction any more. Then vocabs would be expanded and English would evolve more.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 06:13 AM
link   
Funny thing swearing. Some places it is fine and in others it's not.

I swear when angry.. and sometimes if I injure myself.. and when with the boys, with the exception of the C-word.

I've often wondered why people don't just use the correct words... it's Excrement, Fornicate You!!, You Vagina\Penis... etc, It takes the EXACT same amount of Effort to say. Funny that.

The thing with Swearing is it's Coarseness compared to the use of the correct words. It displays a person's LACK of Self Respect in that they display their Coarseness to the world.

The ones who offend me are those who will string 6 F or C words into a 12 word sentence!! This displays small-mindedness, Laziness and the lack of Interest in improving ones ability to express themselves through Vocabulary.

The "it's only words" argument is a position of the Lazy, those who don't care about their Display of Coarseness to the world around them... and thus show some lack of Self Respect.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 07:37 AM
link   
Swearing... I swear like a sailor. I have the worst potty mouth and my sense of humor is crude at best. The most offensive things make me laugh. Does that make me a bad person? Nah, I don't think so.

I find nothing wrong with swearing in general but I think some people forget that there is a time and place for everything. I am all for inappropriate talk in an appropriate situation if that makes sense. I mean, i don't think you should walk through the grocery store or some other such public place shouting the F-bomb and other expletives non-stop. But, around you friends or other like minded people why not say what you want?



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 08:53 AM
link   
reply to post by undiscoveredsoul
 



why not say what you want?

Ok. Why do you want to swear? Why do you want to use words that mean human excrement when you're talking about something totally else? How does calling a wrench a F'ing wrench instead of a wrench add to the quality of your speech?

These are serious questions. You say you want to. Ok. That's fine. And you don't need anyone's approval.

But why do you want to?



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 08:54 AM
link   

Originally posted by undiscoveredsoul
Swearing... I swear like a sailor. I have the worst potty mouth and my sense of humor is crude at best. The most offensive things make me laugh.


Me, too!


I do censor myself in public out of respect for other people, but in the privacy of my home or with close friends, I let it all out.

I don't think there's any harm in it, as it's just letters put together in a string. I could take other letters and make my own swear word. Stip. That's a good one. What the stip? But if a child were taught that 'stip' was one of the deadly swear words, I believe they would grow up with the same feeling around that as other swear words.

It's just words.



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 09:23 AM
link   
Those interested in this topic should look up Lenny Bruce. Much of his career was spent discussing how silly it is to call one word "profane", and another word for the same thing "acceptable".



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 10:09 AM
link   
reply to post by LordBucket
 


Wow, very insightful.

I must say though, I think I disagree about swearing being unhealthy. Using a curse word in its literal sense or as a verbal attack may well be, but when using it as in "put your crap over there" seems the exception. Whilst some people would have the conscious or subconscious association with excrement, I think many (myself included) have just been conditioned to accept the secondary meaning in that context, not thinking about the original meaning.


PS, that Pavlovian lemon thing is very effective



posted on Feb, 17 2011 @ 02:15 PM
link   
I only have 2 words for this topic:

George Carlin

(Friend of Lenny Bruce)



posted on Feb, 21 2011 @ 12:06 AM
link   
reply to post by LordBucket
 



why do you want to?

It's been a few days, and no answer. I don't think we'll be getting one.

I don't think many people swear because they "want" to. More like, that's just how they learned to speak, and some feel the need to justify it by claming that they "want to" or that it makes language more "colorful" or similar nonsense.

I suppose people who swear just don't understand how they sound to those of us who don't.

Imagine vomit someone randomly puke felt the vomit need to insert vomiting words where they puking don't belong. And puking just spoke that vomiting way. Just vomit because.

Doesn't that sound odd? It adds nothing to the conversation. The words don't make sense in the context of the statements, and they don't make it more "colorful" or "interesting." It's simply filling space with unpleasantness.

You wouldn't go out in public with a steaming pile of crap that you didn't wipe soaked into your pants. Why? Out of courtesy to others who don't want to see or smell it, and out of a desire to present yourself in a pleasing manner that won't cause people to think you're a filthy wretch and avoid you because of it.

So why would you talk that way?

Do you bathe regularly? Do you brush your hair? These are things we do as a matter of presentation. Appearances do matter. And speech is part of your presentation.



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 07:01 AM
link   
reply to post by LordBucket
 


I'm sorry I didn't reply right away. You see, I don't spend every waking hour sitting on ATS. I have a life....erm I mean KIDS and responsibilities and.... ok, ok HOUSEWORK! ugh!

No seriously, why do I want to?

You know what, I never really thought about it. I don't know how or why I "learned to swear" and how it became second nature to me is beyond me as well. My parents didn't swear a whole lot when I was growing up so I didn't learn it there. Maybe it was my teen years ya know everyone's doing it so I will too. Now, it's just the way I talk when I am with my peers.

I certainly know how to communicate without vulgarity as you can see from my posts. I guess "I want to swear" just means that I think its silly how some words are so taboo, they really shouldn't be I mean the word SH-- means the same as poop or defecate but we can say poop or defecate and no one gets offended. I mean think about it

"Oh, look! The dog just Sh-- on the floor!"
"Oh look! The dog just pooped on the floor!"

these both mean the same thing, so why is one bad and one not???? Kinda silly in my opinion.

So in answer to the question, I guess I don't really WANT to swear, I just do swear.



posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 07:01 AM
link   
reply to post by LordBucket
 


I'm sorry I didn't reply right away. You see, I don't spend every waking hour sitting on ATS. I have a life....erm I mean KIDS and responsibilities and.... ok, ok HOUSEWORK! ugh!

No seriously, why do I want to?

You know what, I never really thought about it. I don't know how or why I "learned to swear" and how it became second nature to me is beyond me as well. My parents didn't swear a whole lot when I was growing up so I didn't learn it there. Maybe it was my teen years ya know everyone's doing it so I will too. Now, it's just the way I talk when I am with my peers.

I certainly know how to communicate without vulgarity as you can see from my posts. I guess "I want to swear" just means that I think its silly how some words are so taboo, they really shouldn't be I mean the word SH-- means the same as poop or defecate but we can say poop or defecate and no one gets offended. I mean think about it

"Oh, look! The dog just Sh-- on the floor!"
"Oh look! The dog just pooped on the floor!"

these both mean the same thing, so why is one bad and one not???? Kinda silly in my opinion.

So in answer to the question, I guess I don't really WANT to swear, I just do swear.



new topics

top topics



 
2

log in

join