Archive for Four Letter Words

Oh My Land

Posted in Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , on April 18, 2010 by Jordan

Who decided swear words were bad?

Growing up I wouldn’t dare swear around my parents nor did I ever really hear swearing on T. V. or in any other aspect of my life.  However, as I get a little older and dictate my own rules I swear quite a bit and incorporate swearing in my daily conversations.  What I don’t get is why swearing offends anyone at all.

When you were a kid and someone called you a “doo doo head” or something stupid like that at school, a teacher would say, “sticks and stones cam break your bones but names will never hurt you.”  So if this is the case, why does a simple four-letter word get some people’s delicates in such a bunch?

I work with a church going women who wouldn’t say shit if her mouth was full of it.  She also wouldn’t swear if her life depended on it.  Me being the courteous young man I am, I watch my tongue as a means of not offending her.  However, this woman may not swear in the traditional sense but she has alternative words that she uses to swear on a daily basis.  For example, shit is replaced by stink, fuck is replaced by frick and oh my god is replaced by oh my land.

Why are these synonyms acceptable but the versions I want to use are not?  This woman’s alternatives annoy me because I know what she means and I am bothered that she just doesn’t say “SHIT” when she accidently deletes a file instead of “STINK”.  “STINK,” sounds stupid, it’s irritating and it bugs me.

The power and meaning of words in such trivial circumstances are way to overrated.  Four-letter words carry no hate towards distinct groups and are little more than words society has historically deemed as inappropriate.  The meaning of words has evolved since language was created ions ago.  I think it’s time society relaxes its stance on “four-letter” words and concerns itself with words that actually carry harmful and hurtful meaning.

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