Foul Language

My friend Dora recently undertook a scientific poll (she posted on Facebook) about whether or not women are offended by being called “gal”. For some reason this brought to my mind the power of words or at least the power that we give them. Be warned, the post is going to contain some pretty vile words so if you’re easily offended, read no more.

Why are words so hurtful to us? They are just words after all, not fists and feet. First, I think we need to dismiss the idea that words are not hurtful, because they most certainly are and it is not just us “letting” them hurt us. “I hate you”, “I don’t love you anymore”, “I just used you to get what I wanted”, these are all examples of words that can be devastatingly painful and I’m sure we’ve all experienced anguish because of words in the past.

So, words can cause pain.

Words are our way of expressing ideas. The words themselves are just conglomerations of sounds but we give them meaning. So, when someone says “Go fuck yourself” it isn’t the same as “I’m a little busy right now, could you get back to me with that later.”

The person expressing the words is trying to convey meaning and foul words convey meaning quite strongly. That’s why they are so prevalent.

Nigger, Spick, Hymie, Wop, Mick, Chink, these are words used to convey hatred and they are effective. I think it’s pointless to pretend that they don’t have meaning.

Now I’m going to get to the point of this blog. I’m tired of people pretending that they are not saying vile words by using euphemisms for those words.

How many times do we hear someone say “the f-word”. Fucking hell. If you want to say “Fuck” then say “Fuck”. Don’t pretend you’re not saying “Fuck” by saying “the f-word”. It’s a way that people get to say what they want to say while pretending that they are too good to actually say it. Fuck that.

The “n-word”. It’s vile, its derogatory, it’s cruel, it harkens back to a time when one group of people enslaved another.  But, don’t say, “I never say the n-word”. Say, “Nigger is a vile term. I don’t use it except to denounce its use.”

I don’t think hiding something is a good way to educate people. Bring it into the light of day. Show what it means. Tell people what it means.

I tend not use vile words except as part of a joke. I’ll refer to myself as a Kike or Hymie not because I think it’s true but to illustrate the stupidity of the word and the idiocy of the people who use it in its proper, vile, context.

My point, I guess, we can’t pretend words don’t have meaning nor we can we be so afraid of them that we hide them away. They have meaning and strong meaning at that. Use the proper words to convey what you mean. If you mean “Fuck you” then say it. If your parents taught you manners, then say, “I’m sorry but I can’t deal with that right now.”

Tell me what you think.

Tom
Sword and sorcery fantasy with a Libertarian twist

2 thoughts on “Foul Language

  1. Thanks for the reference Tom. While my word wasn’t what most would term offensive, I found out there was a very negative connotation to it in some circles. I got educated and agree with you – you can’t pretend words don’t have meaning. Realize what they mean to you is not what they mean to others.

    Dora

    • I probably shouldn’t have dragged you into the topic at all! Your post just started me thinking. It does become a difficult question when the common usage of a word is inoffensive but a particular group thinks of it in less common, and offensive, terms.

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