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Thread: By Godís Nails! Careful how your curse

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    Moderator NYCKY's Avatar
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    Default By Godís Nails! Careful how your curse

    I came across this interesting article about swear/curse words and how they change over the ages. It’s something a bit more lighthearted than some of the threads from the past week. That said, it is relevant given that this is a discussion site that has strict rules on language and it’s usage.

    By God's Nails! A History of Cursing - WSJ.com

    In the Middle Ages, cultural taboos were such that words we consider to be obscene today were perfectly acceptable, if direct. The c-word, for example, was found in medical texts, in literature, in the names of common plants and animals, in the names of streets and even in surnames. Sard and swive were the medieval equivalents of the f-word—direct, non-euphemistic words for copulation. Far from being feared and censored, though, sard appears in a 950 translation from the Lindisfarne Gospels, in which Christ commands "Don't sin, and don't sard another man's wife" (Matthew 5:27).
    The real medieval obscenities were religious oaths. A phrase such as "by God's nails" was one of the most shocking and indeed most dangerous things a person could say in this era. Oaths by God's body parts, such as "by God's arms" or "by the blood of Christ," were thought to be able to injure Christ's physical body as he sat at the right hand of God in heaven.
    While the shock value of some words is declining today, our repertoire of epithets will probably expand. In America it is becoming increasingly taboo to sum up or "essentialize" people, as epithets do, whether by size (fat), disability (cripple), or mental acuity (retard).
    I can’t see the old ones coming back as in, go sard yourself or you motherswiver. That said I fee there are two issues here, the increased prevalence of swearing in general discourse. I noticed that swearing is much more common than ever on the broadcast media but gets censored on sites like p.ie. The second issue is the influence of political correctness, in that many words we used to use like retard, mongol, dummy etc are now off limits. Years, ago if you called someone a fcking retard, it was the f-bomb that was offensive, nowadays it is the retard part that is offensive.

    Is the social media behind on this? In the future could we see p.ie and others censoring words like retard and not censoring the f-bombs?
    Last edited by NYCKY; 22nd April 2013 at 04:30 AM.

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    First they came for gÄÄbag, and because I wasn't a gÄÄbag, I did nothing...

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    The swear-filter on p.ie exists in order to make the site accessible given that some software prevents people from accessing pages with certain words.
    Repeal the 27th.

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    Once upon a time a man excused himself if he swore in front of women or children, and there was something sweet and chivalrous about that I think. I've never heard my Mother utter a swear word in my life.
    Swearing was loutish, and considered only for 'Navvies'.

    Now everyone lets rip everywhere with obscenities, and they have no impact any more, or shock value.

    Taboos have changed completely; TV and Cinema might have something to do with it, I don't know.

    Mrs. Browne's Boys (may God forgive me for saying those words) is on every schoolchild's Facebook favourites list today.
    Their favourite signature is 'Fukk knows, Google it'

    Just a coarsening of Society and general Yobbism I suppose....

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    Politics.ie Member stopdoingstuff's Avatar
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    Faoi mhůid bheith saor

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    Quote Originally Posted by Deep Blue View Post
    Once upon a time a man excused himself if he swore in front of women or children, and there was something sweet and chivalrous about that I think. I've never heard my Mother utter a swear word in my life.
    Swearing was loutish, and considered only for 'Navvies'.
    100% agree...and I use bad language all the time! It's only when I hear others using it that I realise how unattractive it is.

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    Years, ago if you called someone a fcking retard, it was the f-bomb that was offensive, nowadays it is the retard part is offensive.
    "Ya dirty Arab" was a great one where I grew up...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramps View Post
    100% agree...and I use bad language all the time! It's only when I hear others using it that I realise how unattractive it is.
    Have to admit I swear too, but only when really stressed or annoyed which in fairness is too, too often.

    In the UK they use the 'twat' word as a term of endearment almost, whereas here...

    Never cursed as a child or teenager; but driving does it to you also I think....you're cocooned in the car and can give vent to it all, and it becomes a habit....

    And like you, especially when I hear mothers do it in front of kids, I feel ashamed of myself !

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    This puzzles me:

    Americans never, ever swear in general converstion like we do, yet their films are peppered with 'Muthafukka' etc.

    Why are they (generally) so much less profane than we are?

    English Catholics are also very proper, and are mortified by public cursing; so what is it with us?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ShoutingIsLeadership View Post
    First they came for g€€bag, and because I wasn't a g€€bag, I did nothing...
    Who said you weren't?

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