By Simonbook - 06 Mar 2015 in
One day someone cut me off so bad in traffic I was lost for a decent swear word to use - in a split second my brain engaged my mouth at full volume with "Muppetfucker!" - and so a new phrase was born.
Thinking back on this as I recently used it again, I pondered the loss of some other great words as they have seemingly dropped out of circulation, other creative or new words/phrases, then further into it, why are some word considered "naughty" or "anti-social"?
Lets bring back these positives:
If you are currently using these words, you get a point for each.
Abuse invented by me:
- Super Duper
- Cool Beans
Swearing - Why not?
- Ass Helmet (expansion on asshat)
- Muppet Fucker
- Dick Lips
- Fist Magnet
- Goldfish Brain
The pre-warning to a TV show that contains swearing often states something like "This presentation (or whatever) contains language." I find this quite a strange way to describe swearing - Unless whatever is about to start contains absolutely no talking at all, then it certainly contains "language". If swearing is, within this context, part of the "language", then what the fuck is the problem?
About Swearing/Cursing/Profanity (I borrowed the following as I'm lazy today)
I have pondered, in the past, whether the phonetic makeup of swear words triggers distaste in our minds in some way. After all, the most abhorred of English words (and a firm favourite of mine) – cunt – is made up of two hard, plosive sounds and a short, back-of-the-mouth vowel, and is one of those words that is capable of being spat rather than said. Of course, the variation in syllabic makeup of swear words means that this theory is easily rebuffed – but there is some linguistic merit in investigating the shape of taboo words.
Timothy Jay (1992) gave 49 students a list of 120 words that could be considered taboo, and asked the subjects to rank them on a scale of ‘offensiveness’. He found that shorter words of Anglo-Saxon origin (fuck, hump, screw) were considered more offensive than longer, Latinate words (copulation, coitus, intercourse). Naturally, many of us wouldn't consider the Latinate examples to be swear words at all; perhaps it was the short, blunt sounds of the Anglo-Saxon words that encouraged their adoption as taboo variants in the first place. This is an interesting thought, and one which might go some way to explaining why my mother hates it when we use the word twat, because she ‘just doesn't like the sound of it’. (Additionally, the Romance languages – Latin and French – were used in the courts and by the gentry, while Old English was used by us peasants, again perhaps contributing to the former’s prestige and the latter’s lack thereof.)
Maybe it's not what you say but how you say it, maybe it's an engrained learning, maybe we should stop being offended by things that actually, when you stop and think about it, do not hurt, affect nor cause any actual interruption to our lives, other than a slight heightened awareness of something we may not agree with.
The bottom line is, its part of the language, part of all languages in fact - don't like it? Move to Mars.