|English: "No Swearing" sign along Atlantic Avenue in Virginia Beach, Virginia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Now that we've got the A to Z Challenge out of the way, we can settle back into the regular routine. In case you are new to Tossing It Out, the typical Monday post concerns matters that might be considered controversial. For me they are things that have crossed my mind and I'd like to get some other thoughts about them. I may have already drawn my own conclusions or I could be trying to come up with an answer. I'm not trying to start a fight, but an intelligent discussion. I'm tossing some ideas out to you and hoping you'll be willing to engage in some mental juggling.
The Topic of Swearing
The topic of using "blue language" as it pertains to ones writing has been tackled previously on Tossing It Out in a guest post from Bridget Straub and a post of my own. I've also seen other blogs address the topic. There are varying opinions on this, but the most common defense is that profanity is most often used in writing in order to create realistic characters. I won't argue the point again and if you're interested in knowing my views you can click on the above links.
In this first of three posts concerning swearing on a personal level in everyday life, I basically want to get your thoughts on the subject. I will be asking a few questions for you to answer in the comments. My response will be low to none for the comments for this post as I will be addressing the ideas you bring up here in my next two posts.
For those who may be wondering what happened with the series about gun control and violence that we left off with back in March, this mini-series will be actually related to that one in a sense and will be connected later on. For those who dislike my debate features on Mondays, you can also let me know in the comments.
Terms of Debate
If you're wondering why I'm discussing this particular topic now, I will explain. During the A to Z there was some concern about the AC (Adult Content) labeling of certain blogs. I was not thrilled about labeling, but after some complaints last year there was a general agreement among the majority of the A to Z Team members that a warning was needed if a blog could be deemed particularly offensive due to language or content. Some bloggers felt that this was unfair and they should be able to write what they wanted without labels. Now I'd like to get some feedback concerning this and the use of language that might be deemed offensive.
The language that I'm dealing with includes blasphemy (offensive to a religion), vulgarity (crude language), cursing/swearing (oaths of a traditionally offensive nature), profanity (cuss words), and obscenity (unscientific words of a sexual or scatological nature). Generally speaking this will be what might be called bad words or foul language.
In the next two Monday posts I want to look at a few aspects of the everyday use of blue language on an individual basis. Some of the questions I plan to address:
Why Do People Swear?
- Intent of the action
- Background of the users
- The language filter depending on circumstances
- The effect on society
What's So Funny About Swearing?
- The humorous aspect
- Devaluation of the impact of words
- Degradation of the language
- First amendment defense of swearing
Do you swear? To what extent?
If swearing bothers you, why?
Should there be an age limit on swearing?
Is swearing constructive or useful in any way?
Why do you think swearing is important?
I hope you will help me with this so I can get better clarification for my upcoming posts and to find the best solutions for the content labeling issues for Blogging from A to Z.