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[Rant] Dirty Words - F*cking with Clusters

About [Rant] Dirty Words

Previous Entry [Rant] Dirty Words Apr. 28th, 2029 @ 01:08 pm Next Entry
Yesterday's Supreme Court decision supporting the FCC ban on ``fleeting expletives'' seems unreal to me. I have trouble believing that 5 mature, blindingly intelligent adults really believe there exist magic words that zap away little pieces of children's brains and fill them with butter (it's surprisingly hard to think of something to put into kids brains that isn't delicious). Their argument is essentially "kids mimic what they hear, and so they'll be harmed by hearing bad words and saying them to each other". I will admit that every coarse English word I know I learned on the school bus, but I'll also point out that kids are just as excited to call each other 'boogers' as 'shitheads'. The sentiment doesn't go away if you change the words they say to words you were brainwashed into thinking are less dirty[*]. If you don't want your kid to be comparing items to excrement, you tell them what it means, and you discipline them if they continue using it. This protects children so much more than blanket regulations. For example, I'd much prefer my future children swear like sailors but never hear them say ``that's gay'' or even ``meh'' or ``I dunno''.

It's like a hard to believe science fiction society where you're allowed to talk about anything except exploding hippopotami, because the king's mother finds them gross and would rather everyone just talk about beheadings like good little children.

This is degenerating quickly. I may expand this into a real essay when I have time.


[*]
I make a slight exception for swear words with a religious background. At least they honestly believe that their children will go to hell if they ``take the lord's name in vain'' (in quotes because I'm not 100% sure what actually constitutes in vain). This is inconsistent of me and I haven't quite resolved it in my head yet.



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From:amoken
Date:April 29th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
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I knew all the swear words before I got on a school bus...probably some combination of movies I watched while Mom wasn't around and three teenage brothers. They didn't really interest me until I was about 10 and started reading Stephen King.

There are so many worse things for children to hear. You know, like content.

Also, most of them find it far more fun to yell "penis" than any expletive. This is probably because they get a stronger reaction from adults.
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From:paperclippy
Date:April 29th, 2009 06:13 pm (UTC)
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Personally I find it ridiculous that you're allowed to say "bitch" on TV but not "shit." Seriously, which of those two words is more offensive?
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From:bonboard
Date:April 30th, 2009 07:32 pm (UTC)
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This was an amusing choice of user icon with which to make this distinction, I thought.
From:iainuki
Date:April 29th, 2009 06:59 pm (UTC)
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FWIW, the SCOTUS made this decision on the basis of what changes federal bureaucracies are allowed to make in policy without court review and remanded the First-Amendment issue to the lower court to consider again. So, the case isn't over at this point.

I agree with your general thrust though. Americans are a bunch of fucking Puritans who get upset out of all proportion about sex, yet not about violence.
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From:avani
Date:April 29th, 2009 08:46 pm (UTC)
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I realize that, but in their decision they expressly refer to the 'save the children' rhetoric as a motivation:

"Scalia, joined by his four conservative colleagues, said the FCC "could reasonably conclude that the pervasiveness of foul language, and the coarsening of public entertainment in other media" justified a stricter policy "so as to give conscientious parents a relatively safe haven for their children." [link]

I do expect the first amendment case to go better, but I don't expect it to overturn the federal definition of decency. I expect the resolution to be something stupid like mandating all TVs have V-Chips instead.

Edited at 2009-04-29 08:47 pm (UTC)
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From:maggiedacatt
Date:April 29th, 2009 11:23 pm (UTC)
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I liked “Even when used as an expletive, the F-word's power to insult and offend derives from its sexual meaning.” Like it's a given that sex is inherently offensive.
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From:bonboard
Date:April 30th, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
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>so as to give conscientious parents a relatively safe haven for their children.

If I ever decide to open a bar or nightclub, "Dangerous Haven" is right up there on my list for names.

I can't believe they let some law clerk slip "safe haven" into a decision in 2009.
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From:krchicken
Date:April 29th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
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from http://people.howstuffworks.com/swearing.htm

"While spoken swearwords from different languages don't sound alike, they generally fall into one of two categories. Most of the time, they are either deistic (related to religion) or visceral (related to the human body and its functions)."

so, its not strange that you categorize the two
differently.. racial/cultural slurs aren't really swearing as i see them, and thus are more offensive and to be avoided (assuming they are done on purpose, if you don't know that gyping someone is a racial slur, you can't really be blamed)

more interesting stuff in this article- http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE4DD1630F933A1575AC0A9639C8B63

my fav quote-
"By the same token, he said, nothing is more deadly than a person who is too enraged for expletives -- who cleanly and quietly picks up a gun and starts shooting."

anyway, i was trying to find a link to something i read about how when someone slams a hammer on their thumb and yell "frick!" they activate all the same brain bits as when they yell "fuck!" so, really, its something we kinda have to do, and it really is more important to teach children to use language appropriately than to try to stop swearing. and its probably best to not swear at kids, as its kinda earth shattering for them to get sworn at by their parents when they are young. learning things on the school bus- not so shattering.
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From:maggiedacatt
Date:April 29th, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
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I haven't read those two articles, so this might be redundant, but Steven Pinker has some great articles about the cognitive science of swearing.
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From:fabricant
Date:April 29th, 2009 08:51 pm (UTC)
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Entirely unrelated - why is your computer convinced its 2029?
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From:avani
Date:April 29th, 2009 10:18 pm (UTC)
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One day back in 2002 my computer decided it would rather be in 2014, and I'd made several entries before I noticed. Not wanting to backdate, thus removing the entries from friends pages, I just went ahead and kept it in 2014. In 2004, my finger slipped and made it 2024, and i've been too lazy to change it back :P
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From:bonboard
Date:April 30th, 2009 07:36 pm (UTC)
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You are never, ever permitted to run the U.S. Naval Observatory.

Just, you know, in case that was on your list of things to run.
(take a penny)
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