Comments about ‘Profanity still isn't norm for TV or society, BYU professor says’

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Published: Tuesday, Nov. 4 2008 12:00 a.m. MST

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I find it interesting that FOX TV is the one sueing to be able to use the F word.

Correct me if I am wrong but didn't our family values Vice President with in the past two years use the F word on the floor of the United States Senate?

I have always thought that profanity is the crutch of the inarticulate.


We empower profanity with our prudishness. George carlin forced us to realise that we create profanity by giving it definition. And we continue to do so.


hear, hear


Well if its "the norm," then it ain't profanity, right?


Wow, I think the previous three comments are kind of weird and basically meaningless. And I don't think George Carlin added anything whatsoever to public discourse.


It would be in very poor taste to call your grandmother a dirty old hag. It would be in poor taste, but not illegal -- nor should it be. If you are offended by the content of a television program, the solution is very simple: turn it off. The broadcasters will soon get the message.


Is "frickin" the F-word?


The same also goes for the word "freakin'" in everyday use. This word has become a "cover-up" word for when the speaker/writer really intends it to convey the same intent as the infamous "f-word." All too often, even in church settings, people have used the cover-up word not really thinking about what it is they are saying. This has become merely a synonym for the offensive, just as "flip" was often used. Think about it, it sounds like a duck, walks like a duck, and has nothing to do with the actual definition of "freak." It's inappropriate to use, in any context, just as is the "f-bomb."


Anytime I hear someone resort to dropping the F-bomb, they are telling me and anyone else listening that they suffer from a lack of intelligence and/or education, either of which has sorely inhibited the extent of their vocabulary. Such linguistically challenged individuals are becoming increasingly commonplace; nevertheless, this is no valid justification for the rest of us to stoop to their lower standard of communication.


It is pretty normal to hear that word when you're out and about. Which is exactly why those of us who don't WANT to hear it shouldn't be forced to do so in the privacy of our own homes. Yet another reason why I almost never watch tv anymore.


What would church baseketball be without profanity?


"Profanity is the language of the uneducated" - Mark Twain

Just words

It's all just words and it is the norm. Outside of religious contexts and places where kids are present, profanity is the norm. I've worked with people educated at the best universities throughout the world and almost all of them use profanity. I'll let others decide what that says about society, but from my experience the use of "profanity" is absolutely normal and common.


Just like it said in the article, there is a difference between free speech and what you hear on public TV. If you make it ok for the F-word to be on TV then soon regular TV shows that don't currently use those words will start to because it's ok. We won't be able to watch a lot of shows that we do because of the language that is used. My children already live in a world where they hear swear words at school, at a friends house, at the playground, at the movies and restraunts because people have the right to say what they please, but my home is a place where they shouldn't have to hear those things. Me and my husband should be able to watch TV without my children hearing the "bad words" that they say. But I also do not want to be the mother that doesn't let her kids watch TV because the language is unacceptable. The F word should remain in the mouths of those that choose to say it, not on public television accessable by children.

to proud

I have an overabundance of intelligence and education, yet sometimes I still use the f-bomb. I also have a large vocabulary. I disagree that using ANY words is somehow a "lower standard of communication".

Dave M

Though turning the TV off or changing the channel helps us individually, it has proven largely ineffective for the industry as a whole. When a program pushes the boundaries just a bit it passes by being noticed but not widely protested. Only the most egregious stuff gets protested and changed but each push at the wall moves it ever so much. Incrementalism means that the boundaries move each year and it is really tough to fight. A little help from the FCC would be welcome indeed.


It depends on the situation, but I do not believe that using the "F-word" every once in a while is a sign of lower intelligence and/or education. In fact, a well-placed "F-word" can be quite effective. But those who use it frequently (such as in every sentence) are probably not among the most educated individuals.

On the other hand, I don't necessarily think it's lazy for a filmmaker or writer to create characters who rely on such foul language - for it is a fact that such people do exist, and the fact that they created those characters does not necessarily mean they support their actions or manners of speaking. Most of the time it is gratuitous, but some do in fact have a greater purpose. However, I have no problem with such stuff being kept of public television. The lazy writing of a vast majority of sitcoms won't be made any better by throwing in a few more swear words.

And I'm rambling. Sorry.


Our society as a whole is just getting dumber by the minute. Using the F-Bomb just shows a lack of intelligence that seems to be growing.


Unfortunately it is not education that determines ones language. I have worked both blue collar and white collar jobs and more often it is the "well-educated" who feel they must spice up their language with profanities. The average, hard-working American is too busy earning a living to worry about these things. They still wash their kids mouths out with soap and know that there are times and places where such words are not appropriate -- places like the public airways.


I encourage individuals who use such profanity to rise above it.
There are some Individuals who seem to have command of the English language and are able to speak freely and clearly with tremendous powers of expression. I have also heard others who are not articulate, but are able to communicate without profanity. Sadly I have heard and listned to some who seem to be unable to communicate without profanity, which I believe exposes a lack of willingness and perhaps self control to better learn the English language.

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