Opinion

Letter: Foul language

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  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    April 22, 2017 10:44 p.m.

    Profanity is does not have to be cuss words. I have a few buzz words that sicken me to my stomach. May I share those with you;

    1. "Surreal."
    2. "Got-cha."
    3. "I-know."
    4. "Ya Ya Ya."
    5. "Spot-on."
    6. "Nice."
    7. "Man Cave."
    8. "Not my job."
    9. "I don't know."
    10. "Tax breaks for the rich."

  • hbeckett Colfax, CA
    April 22, 2017 5:37 p.m.

    to me it is ugly and offensive it is not necessary nor does thinking about that type of word phrases improve your life or your goals of communicating a clear thought nor does it elevate anyoneincluding yourself

  • LOU Montana Pueblo, CO
    April 22, 2017 8:48 a.m.

    Acceptable or not profanity has it's place in society. It is used to punctuate a moment or express a deeper feeling about something.

    Take for instance the day Trump won the election. Billion's of people around the world said, "YOU have to be ______ kidding me?"

    Profanity when used properly puts a deeper expression on the subject matter.

    It is the over use of profanity that degrades the content and the person.

    Profanity has a place in our world like it or not.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    April 21, 2017 4:49 p.m.

    Why use a lot of words when one says it all in voicing frustration.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 21, 2017 12:23 p.m.

    @sbaggs
    RE: "Offensive language of any kind shows a great lack of imagination"...
    ---
    Oh I don't know. I've seen some people use great imagination in their use of profanity.

    ===

    RE: "lack of character"...
    ---
    Have to agree there. Most of the expert profanity I've heard has been from people with little education, drunks, poor people, homeless people, etc, not the professionals I work with. Some professionals indulge in it after hours, but not many. Lots of kids like profanity though (especially Jr High). Don't know why.

    ===

    RE: "To me it shows that they have a low opinion of themselves"...
    ---
    IMO it shows they have a low opinion of their listener. Assumes their listener comes from a background where that language is common, listener is used to that language and would appreciate you using that kind of language. It's condescending IMO.

    ===

    RE: "trying to appear better than the person that they are talking to"
    ---
    I think the opposite. I think they are trying to get on their listener's level. When they use profanity they are trying to lower themselves to what they think their listener is used too, enjoys, appreciates, or expects.

  • sbaggs south jordan, UT
    April 21, 2017 9:59 a.m.

    Offensive language of any kind shows a great lack of imagination and character. To me it shows that they have a low opinion of themselves and are trying to appear better than the person that they are talking to or about. It's a bad habit that can be broken but it takes hard work just like any other bad habit.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 21, 2017 9:20 a.m.

    I think some people use profanity to be funny, or shocking. They use it for the shock affect. And I'm not just talking about comedians. People who can't say a sentence without one profanity in it like the little grin it gets from their friends too.

    It's a cheap trick. It gets your audience laughing, even if what you said wasn't all that funny, but the random use of profanity sure was. Especially if they think what they said or heard would make some people uncomfortable.

    Some people just think it's funny to throw profanity into every day conversation and see what reaction they can get. Especially homeless people conversing on their cell phones intentionally loud enough that everybody on the train can hear what they are saying (as they watch to see what reaction they get).

    Some in Hollywood use it for comic effect too. And it works. They know it works. Carlin knows it works too. He used it to a great degree. Most comedians do. They know it gets a reaction.

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 21, 2017 8:30 a.m.

    @Hutterite
    RE: "Carlin knew. They're just words. Whatever meaning they take on is provided by us"...
    ---

    So... what about the N-word?

    OK to use it, because it's their fault if they decide to attribute offensive meaning to it and become offended. So it's the receiver's fault... not the sender's?

    I doubt you would say or think that. So why so cavalier about other offensive words, and just blowing them off as Carlin believes... just words, assemblages of letters. Nothing to be offended by.

    Obviously words CAN be offensive (like the N-word, and some other foul words in our vocabulary).

    So I think we should rise above Carlin, and just not use them. For me and my family of course, yours may be different. It's up to each individual. But I discourage their use. Not just dismiss it, as mere assemblage of letters or words with no meaning. They have meaning. And sometimes it's offensive. Yes, based on the meaning society attaches to the word (like the N-word and other offensive words). Sorry Carlin fans... some words are offensive and should not be used.

    And I have never approved of Trump's use of profanity OMM. In fact I've called him out on it on several occasions.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    April 21, 2017 7:59 a.m.

    I've battled my own cussing my whole life. I can guarantee you that things work better when I don't use the more colorful metaphors and use normal grammatically correct English. By current favorite expression is one I learned in Texas, "golly bum". That pretty much describes everything.

  • Edgar Samaria, ID
    April 21, 2017 7:12 a.m.

    Amen Miriam. Thanks for your letter. Certainly the world would be more acceptable for all ages and backgrounds if we eliminated foul language from our discourse.

    But I'm also reminded of an interview I saw more than forty years ago where Johnny Carson was being interviewed on a late, late night talk show and, unlike his usual demeanor on his own show, he was very serious. He told of the advice he gave his own sons about 'dirty words" which was that when we think of dirty words we most often think of the four letter words used by so many. He acknowledged that for some, those words are just part of their vocabulary because they use them so often, but for most of us in polite society, those words are offensive.

    But the words that should be offensive to everyone in every circumstance are the words that are always meant to demean, hurt or offend others - words that I can't print here but they are used to describe those who are different than us. One word is often referred to as "the 'N' word but there are words for virtually every ethnic group different than our own. These are the words that are always inappropriate.

  • Melanna Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 20, 2017 7:11 p.m.

    I'd have an easier time believing the use of curse words is lazy and uncultured if those who profess not to use them didn't just substitute one s word for another. Sugar? Seriously? Like we don't all know what you really mean.

    Put some effort into coming up with a truly unique, meaningful expression and then maybe I'll buy that you don't curse because you're not lazy.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    April 20, 2017 5:41 p.m.

    @Hutterite: "Carlin knew. They're just words. Whatever meaning they take on is provided by us."

    Isn't exactly the same thing true of the unspeakable "N-word" and other racial epithets including those used to deride persons of black, Hispanic, Asian, or Jewish descent? And exactly the same as offensive names for homosexual or transgendered persons? Or persons with physical, mental, or emotional handicaps?

    Would you accept that a rope hanging from a tree, tied into a certain executioner's knot is just a rope in a tree?

    What about a couple of sticks tied together to form a "plus sign" and then set afire? Just a couple of burning sticks? Or something more serious?

    It is the meaning one desires to convey (or that a reasonable person receives) that is the problem with certain words.

    Always interesting to me that those who defend profanity, vulgarity, and blaspheme the strongest are the very persons who turn around and demand criminal penalties for "hate speech".

    @Tolstoy: Overcoming our first impulse is often what separates the cultured and disciplined from the uncivilized.

  • Open Minded Mormon Everett, 00
    April 20, 2017 3:54 p.m.

    “Foul language is lazy, uncultured expression,”

    ======

    Anyone who complains about “Foul language"
    and voted for Donald Trump,
    should not be taken seriously.

  • Danny Chipman Lehi, UT
    April 20, 2017 3:16 p.m.

    It isn't the syllables being used that makes language offensive but the point you're trying to get across. Rather than trying to rid our language of arbitrary groupings of syllables that will mean different things to people speaking different tongues, maybe we should work on refining respect and love in people's hearts.

    Though we'll always need some kind of forceful expression for all those stubbed toes...

  • 2 bits Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 20, 2017 2:48 p.m.

    I don't know if it's lazy or low class. I think it's habit. Especially when they are in certain crowds (who also tend to communicate with profanity).

    I've noticed some people who speak perfectly normal in some groups, but when they get with certain other groups, they can't get a sentence out without profanity. And the profanity seems so useless. It's just they way they talk when they get together.

    What's embarrassing is when they slip into their inability to say a sentence without profanity around their boss or their parents. It sometimes happens.

    Then they apologize and start talking normally again (I mean the way civilized people talk).

    It sometimes becomes such a habit that it accidentally pops out in job interviews, etc. That can be a pretty devastating faux pas. Hard to recover from.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    April 20, 2017 1:07 p.m.

    Contrary to the oft spouted "cussing is lazy" philosophy, scientific studies have shown that many who swear are actually more intelligent and have higher levels of creativity.

    Shakespeare for example.

  • Tolstoy salt lake, UT
    April 20, 2017 12:16 p.m.

    so thinking a "cuss word then substituting a nonsense phrase like "oh sugar makes one "more cultured"?

    as has been pointed out before research clearly shows people who "cuss" actual have a larger vocabulary (excluding "cuss words") and high intelligence then those that do not "cuss."

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    April 20, 2017 10:34 a.m.

    Carlin knew. They're just words. Whatever meaning they take on is provided by us.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    April 20, 2017 10:34 a.m.

    "oh sugar" Seriously?

    Sorry but it's a lazy mans justification to say all inclusively that profanity is inappropriate, and or lazy itself.

    I would also suggest that you would have a hard time finding a standard for what is profanity. That being said I do think language should be rich, creative, and varied. That standard would exclude any and all simplistic and restricted speech such as the rhetoric of Donald Trump (never exceeds the limits of a 12 year old), and some popular cultures where obvious (today) profanity is the core of the vocabulary.

    Often the purpose of profanity is to shock and offend and I'm sorry "oh sugar" is lazy, lazy, lazy.

    If you choose to never shock or offend, fine your choice, but many would find your language poor and ineffective.