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Comments about ‘Viral video demonstrates impact of swearing in media on families’

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Published: Monday, Aug. 11 2014 11:55 p.m. MDT

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Go Big Blue!!!
Bountiful, UT

That's a very creative way to highlight the increasing use of swearing in cinema.

The other day we rented a Robert Redford movie where he was the only actor and there were less than 2 dozen words spoken, and yet one of those words was a swear word. Foul language is hard to avoid without tuning out all mainstream media.

Curmudgeon
Salt Lake City, UT

Use of vulgar or profane language has multiplied because the users seek to shock and awe their audiences, not realizing that the use of such language only exposes their woefully inept command of the English language. Just like addictive drugs, the increasing use of foul language has a diminishing effect, so the dosage has to be ever increased to achieve the same level of revulsion. John Donne wisely observed: "Vice is a monster of such frightful mien, as to be hated needs but to be seen; yet seen too often, familiar with her face, we first endure, then pity, then embrace." And as Jesus observed, "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man." Joseph Smith stood up to the foul-mouthed jailers in Liberty; so should we. Yet we continue to watch and listen to the whirlwind of vulgarity all around us, which only reinforces its continued and expanded use.

[climbing down from soap-box]

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

They're just words. We own any power they might have over us.

Anonyme
Orem, UT

Are racial or sexual epithets "just words"? Are slander and libel "just words"? Is verbal abuse of a child "just words"? Does the law not agree that some words have power in and of themselves?

Hutterite
American Fork, UT

Yes, they're just words. Slander and libel almost always consist of words that are not 'swear' words. Offensive as they are, neither are racial epithets. Verbal abuse of a child can and usually does exist totally outside the realm of the dreaded swear terminology, yet it is otherwise reprehensible, and often reflects physical abuse of a child. Again, reprehensible, but religion can be used to excuse it. Terminology people find offensive is so because people find it offensive. More often, it's intent rather than simply the lexicon that is meant to, and does, offend. But those words, those seven words that George Carlin identified that can get people so atwist, well they're still just words. There are sentiments and intent that are offensive because they're meant to be. But those words, well, they're just words. If I hear one in the media I take it for what it is. A word. Slander or child abuse are slander or child abuse of their own merit. So called 'swearing', on the other hand, is just words.

Maudine
SLC, UT

Clark Gable may have uttered the first swear word in a movie, but Shakespeare has plenty in his plays - they are just so common that their history has been lost and we no longer consider them offensive.

And for the record, the whole PC movement started with concern over swear words.

Noodlekaboodle
Poplar Grove, UT

@Curmudgeon
I always find this to be a spurious argument. Plenty of eloquent people swear, I mean isn't it just 7-60(depending on what you consider swearing) words I have in my vocabulary that you don't use? Sure some people overuse swear words, but people also overuse "like", "ummmm", "ya" and "huh", and I find that either way it means that they aren't incredibly smart. I'd bet that Mark Twain, Hemingway and Shakespeare wouldn't agree that swearing automatically means less intelligence or a small vocabulary.

OnlyInUtah
Cottonwood Heights, UT

@Hutterite: You lose your so called power the minute you accept and allow movie producers or others to bombard you with these words.

Language and nudity are the two main reasons I rarely go to the movies. My real power is in being able to refuse to listen to this smut. I have walked out of business meetings when the language becomes less than professional. Using foul, dirty language is not creative, shows a lack of intelligence, and alienates the majority of any listening audience.

Anonyme
Orem, UT

So in other words, Hutterite, “Words don't hurt people; people hurt people?” Hmm. I just don't think you can separate a word from its intent. All words intend a message for the hearer. Swear (no scare quotes necessary! It's a bona fide word!) words are intended to be offensive; that's their definition. Just because they don't offend you doesn't mean they don't produce in others the response that they were intended to. It would be arrogant to prescribe to others what their experience should be when they hear a certain word.

You neatly sidestepped the issue of sexual epithets (but still managed to work in a dig at religion). I'm thinking of a particular “swear” word which most people would find degrading to women no matter how it was used, because it attempts to reduce women to their physiology. Racial epithets are so rife with negative connotations that even in an academic context they are abbreviated. Even in neutral circumstances, words have power.

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