"Mild" Profanities?

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Two and a half months ago I wrote a post where I mentioned a blog I thought was funny due to "mild profanity" and ever since then it's bugged me. In fact, even when I typed the words way back then I knew I would have to revisit the concept. And the day has come.

What makes today the day?

First, I haven't run into anything more pressing to blog about.

Second, Shannon* wrote a great post on the subject. (You can read it here if you missed it in my "Other Posts of Note" ...which you all read all the time, right? <wink>).

My first thought is: What makes a profanity "mild" and what difference does that make? I mean, this goes back to the whole "a sin is a sin" issue, right? But before I can answer my own question, I have to answer a more basic question: What is a profanity, and why is it wrong to use them?

Thankfully, Shannon's husband has already told us that the "thing about bad words isn’t so much the word itself, it’s the motive and heart behind it." With that being the case, even euphemisms can be a problem. And I completely agree: The intent, more than content, determines the morality of something.

But content does matter. That's why some words in our culture are plain old profanities while others are "mild." That is culturally defined, which is why in Europe people say "bum" for the derriere, because they find "butt" offensive; the same is true of households as well: what is okay to say depends on the home.

And, yes, a "sin is a sin," but different sins have different consequences. So while it is equally sinful to hate your brother as to kill him, the consequences of murder are far more tangible and irreversible. So, a mild profanity has less of a negative impact than something more venomous.

I believe that there are three factors to determining the morality of something, and I've given you two: Intent and Content.

You'll have to wait for the third: Response. It couldn't get it to fit well in this post.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

*After much sleuthing, I think her name is Shannon.

But I just gotta say this: Not giving me at least a pseudonym drives me crazy! It's a pet peeve of mine. I hate having to refer to people with: "Why, yes, I-Am-a-Mother-of-Two-and-Own-a-Dog, I agree."

For cryin' out loud! If'n you're paranoid, at least use Elle G or something.

And maybe it's just me, but LAH doesn't cut it either. I guess my brain can't make enough of a distinction between GW and CM to be an effective nomenclature.

Rant over.

Forgive me, Woman-Wanting-What-the-Word-Welcomes; I love you dearly, but please give me something more personable to use in reference to you.

Thank you.

Your Friend and Blogger,
~Luke

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