- This is in answer to:
- Swear words: Are you pro or con? See all answers
- November 2, 2010 by assentia
- Pardon My Klatchian
Sod this bloody debate, already.
I admit, one has to love the euphemisms for swearing. 'Pardon my French' - very language-specific, isn't it? Smacks of English native speakers who can't (be bothered to) master another language; hardly suitable for someone like me, and my fluent French, for which I won't apologise to anyone, thankyouverymuch. 'Colourful language' makes it sound like normal, polite speech is ho-hum and colourless. I very much doubt extra swearing would have improved most works of literature, which count as prime examples of vibrant, living language.
Where do I stand in the 'colourful language' debate? Like in so many other things, smack in the middle. (Cookie to those who caught the Pratchett reference in the title, by the way.)
I do think there's too much swearing in the media (read: TV) that doesn't need to be there. Nothing like a good expletive or five to add force to your point. Too many, though, detract from your point, because there's nothing special about them any more. If beeping out the swear words makes you sound like you're talking Morse code, you're doing it wrong. (Jerry, Gordon, do you copy?)
On the other hand, I definitely don't want public language sanitised. That doesn't only mean media language (where would we be without comedy shows, Quentin Tarantino and South Park?), but whatever common people are allowed to say, since conversation is inherently a social thing - unless one only talks to themselves, in which case allow me to sidle away now.
Perhaps I'm inured and just block out most of the F-bombs; after all, they're overused and don't nearly have the effect one would want, not beyond wasting breath and saliva. But I don't want society at large to end up like the one depicted in Demolition Man, where every word is watched and every swear word penalised. It looks like a long way there from having some old biddy overhearing a four-letter word and looking daggers your way, but by no means impossible. Go Google Mary Whitehouse. I'll wait.