A Mythunderstanding of Slang and the Morality of Profanity

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by gendanken, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member


    Control and protection are crucial to entertainment - without feeling safe and in control, people can't have fun.

    An awareness of risk, danger and helplessness diminishes fun, and if a person still pursues the activity, then their attitude toward it changes (such as from fun to gambling).

    For starters, knowing that there are terrorists out there, but that the US Army is making an effort to keep US territory safe from them gives US citizens an essential sense of feeling protected.
    In fact, some US citizens feel so protected by the US Army that they forget they are being protected like that!

    And you would suppose wrongly.

    I think your understanding of protection and control are very superficial.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I'm not denying that. What I'm arguing against is your emphasis. You place disproportionate importance on control and protection. It's just as correct to say that without creativity, language and love, people can't have fun either.
    There are many things that diminish fun. Having a loved one in the hospital dying of old age makes it difficult to have fun. There is no amount of control or protection that can prevent that situation, so I guess in your model you'd say that freeing ourselves from our loving and caring nature would be a step toward getting more out of our entertainment.
    What a fucking hoax!!! The nefarious government, in order to make us feel afraid and give up more of our civil rights, has convinced us that terrorism is a major risk that must be mitigated no matter what the cost. In reality, terrorists kill Americans at the same rate as peanut allergies. Where is the hatemongering against peanut farmers? Why aren't the Homeland Gestapo spraying our peanut crop with Agent Orange?

    In reality, drunk drivers kill us at fifty times the rate of terrorists. Where is the outrage over these assholes? Since we all know who they are and where they live (we've even ridden in their cars), why aren't the Homeland Gestapo breaking down their doors and hauling them off to Guantanamo? Less polemically, why isn't there a law requiring a breathalyzer ignition interlock in every new car? The fleet turns over every ten years and the total cost would be a paltry few billion dollars, during which time we'd save more than a million lives.

    Instead, we've spent trillions of dollars that we borrowed from China, and forced Al Qaeda to move their headquarters into a country that has nuclear weapons, a dysfunctional government, and no love for America, in a quixotic attempt to prevent attacks which, if left unchecked, would take another three thousand lives.

    This has nothing to do with protection or security. But it is indeed all about control. Frightened people are easier to fool and abuse: to control.

    This control does in fact not increase our enjoyment of entertainment or anything else. It gives us nightmares, makes us edgy, causes family disharmony, and the anxiety and preoccupation lower productivity at work. This form of control is detrimental to society.
    I spent most of my 44-year career in government service so I know much more about control than you do. Several of those years were in a security specialty so I also have expertise in that discipline.

    You are completely out of your league here. There are many things in life that are just as important as control and security, and (to get back on topic before I have to slap my own hand for trolling) they play just as important a role in our languages.
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

    Higher states of consciousness is nothing but brainwave woo. Language processing takes place in the cerebral cortex, but the lower brain functions associated with instinct and emotion create the emotional content of language.

    Profanity is not just for plebeians, the uneducated, or the uncivilized. It has no social boundaries. Some studies have shown that swearing is linked to structures buried deep within the right hemisphere. One such structure is the amygdala, which stores memories associated with emotional events, thereby making bad words easier to use and recall.

    Richard Stephens believes that it can also reduce our perception of pain. However, his study showed habitual cursing reduced this benefit. It diminishes your emotional response, leaving you with nothing but a word. Steven Pinker said, “Swearing reduced the perception of pain more strongly in women than in men. That may be because in daily life "men swear more than women, which could have the unfortunate side effect of dulling the natural painkiller.”

    Steven Pinker - Swearing 1/2

    Steven Pinker - Swearing 2/2
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

    This thread is all those orifices you were punished for rubbing.
    Just like those pubescent yesterdays, I'm dying to play but can't today.

    The conversation has taken an interesting turn, but I won't have time to reply until all this Kiss My Overpaid Asshole farce with the backslapping, mouth breathing, throat cackling, teeth grinding, grub hugging, eggnog sipping snot that is pretentious mingling with a room full of cutthroats for Christmas is over.

    Earliest time will be Monday or late Sunday-- I'll also have my books.

    A quick fondle:
    I thought those were something called "false friends" : two words in two different languages, that look the same but mean different things.

    German has a word for gift, "Geschenk". That it has a German word resembling one in English doesn't make the meanings similar. No?


    Off Topic:
    (Whatever happened to that Bebelina woman?)
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  8. gendanken Ruler of All the Lands Valued Senior Member

    Forgot to mention,



    Pinker's the sex.

  9. Spud Emperor solanaceous common tater Registered Senior Member

    Yeah Gender, let her out. Bring back Boobelina.
  10. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    I guess then the difference between eating shit and eating fresh clean apples is also "nothing but brainwave woo".
  11. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    If you don't see factors of control and protection in everything you do in your daily life ... then I don't know what to say.
  12. wynn ˙ Valued Senior Member

    On categorization:

    Take a large number of people who refrain from swearing, place them in the same room: and you will likely see subgroups form.
    Not every person who refrains from swearing does so for the same reason. Which is why people who superficially may seem the same (in that they characteristically refrain from swearing) don't get along.

    For example, both the prudish socialite as well as the Buddhist practitioner on principle refrain from using any harsh language - and yet they have vastly different reasons for doing so.
  13. RichW9090 Evolutionist Registered Senior Member

    Language rules are always, in every language community, context sensitive, if not context specific.

    There are contexts within modern American society, in its widest sense, where profanity is simply not appropriate. There are contexts wherein it surely is appropriate.

    It is the gratuitous use of profanity which most offends me, for it bespeaks of an impoverished vocabulary and a relative unfamiliarity with good - that is to say classical - English.


Share This Page