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« Skeptics' Circle #53 The RantsBeating Sylvia Browne About the Head and Neck With the Tack Hammer of Reality »

Putting the "Fan" in "Profanity"
2007.02.06 (Tue) 01:35

Okay, we admit it: we swear. A lot. Sometimes, perhaps, even more than is precisely necessary. But, in all sincerity, who the fuck cares?

Apparently the majority of folks that Jocelyn Noveck talks to do:

Nearly three-quarters of Americans questioned last week 74 percent [sic] said they encounter profanity in public frequently or occasionally, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll. Two-thirds said they think people swear more than they did 20 years ago. And as for, well, the gold standard of foul words, a healthy 64 percent said they use the F-word ranging from several times a day (8 percent) to a few times a year (15 percent).

Oh, horrors; oh heavens to Betsy...whoever the fuck she is. Stuff costs more than it used to, porn is freely available on the Internet to anyone with enough brains and/or savvy to click "I Am Over 18," and young people use curse words. Pardon us, but grow the fuck up.

Even Miss Manners feels the need to weigh in on this — though, to be fair, this is right in her wheelhouse:

The problem, she says, is that people who are offended aren't speaking up about it.

"Everybody is pretending they aren't shocked," Martin says, "and gradually people WON'T be shocked. And then those who want to be offensive will find another way."

Wait...gradually people won't be shocked — and this is a bad thing? People shouldn't be shocked. People should get over themselves. Besides, if people think we're swearing to be offensive, that misses the point of our usage of profanity so wildly, all we can say is: damn. (Change-up! You thought we'd say "fuck," didn't you?) Quite honestly, if we were using profanity purely for shock value, we'd use it far less than we do, since the occasional F-bomb from people who otherwise don't engage in profanity is far more shocking than the regular way in which we use the word.

But apparently, that lack of offense hasn't made its way to all segments of society. Between the FCC and the attitude of political correctness running rampant in the United States, a person who utters a swear in a public place can be made to feel like a criminal. Literally. There are many groups around the country who are actively trying to kill off swearing in one form or another (though Ginny Foster of hush-up.com seems to have folded up her amazingly hypocritical tents — she's the one who would practically criminalize taking Jesus' name in vane, but had no problem invoking Buddha for any old bullshit incident that might crop up). These fools incorrectly paint swearing as a violent, ignorant habit. And, in spite of the First Amendment, the government continues to try to ban or criminalize swearing in some contexts. A now-repealed 1998 Colorado law actually did make swearing in bars and restaurants illegal, even for the owners. Before the law was challenged by the ACLU and subsequently repealed, Colorado police had charged 18 people with...wait for it...using swear words. (How dare they?!) Want a more recent example? How about Thomas Leonard, who was arrested in Michigan in 2002. What did he do?

"All our client did was get up at a public meeting and express himself vigorously, and he was arrested for it," said Glen Lenhoff, Leonard's attorney.

At the time, Leonard's wife, Sarah, was suing the township over a towing contract. Thomas Leonard accused the board members in the meeting of cheating his family and saying, "That's why you're in a goddamn lawsuit."

Robinson [the cop] arrested Leonard, charging him with disorderly conduct and using obscene language. He was held in jail for an hour, and the charges were dismissed a month later.

Leonard is suing for violations of his constitutional rights, and the case is ongoing. The really sad part is that the district court that initially heard the case found that the officer did have probable cause to arrest Leonard, and it took an appeal to overturn that nonsensical decision.

Similarly, if you make the mistake of uttering the wrong word on television or on the radio, then get ready for a slew of complaints, fines, and legal actions. And all for uttering words that cause harm to no one. This shit is out of control.

Listen, here's the point we constantly find ourselves having to explain: swears, like all words, convey several layers of meaning which cannot be conveyed by the use of other words. This is easily illustrated: if we say that Jim is a jerk and John is a motherfucking cocksucker, you can readily understand the not-so-subtle difference in our opinions of Jim and John. It is a simple fact of the English language — and, in fact, language in general — that approximate or even exact synonyms, through common usage, take on their own uniquely varying flavors which entirely color our perceptions of phrases that contain those words. We're talking about all words, here; it's the same story if we say that Dapper Dan in the fourth race at Preakness is "excellent," while Goes The Mile in the second is "magnificent" — again, there is a difference that is conveyed by the use of the two different words. The difference itself may be interpreted differently by different listeners, depending on their own past experience with such words, but it's clearly there.

It isn't about being offensive (though sometimes we do mean to offend), it's about conveying the proper meaning and emotion behind our words. It's that simple.

But apparently, it's not that simple. Over the two-plus years that our site has been in operation, we've had countless comments, both public and private, chastising us for our liberal use of profanity. In addition, the recent explosive popularity of one of our Rants on Sylvia Browne has drawn the credulous crowd out in record numbers, and since they can't counter our actual rational arguments against psychics, they simply resort to calling us rude, mean pottymouths (in so many words). So here's a Rant that's been two years in the making — an answer to every lurking (or de-lurked) dipshit that has problems with our language. We'll address the more common complaints below; then, whenever someone drops a comment on our site that is comprised solely of a complaint about our use of profanity, we'll simply pick it up, and drop it here, where a ready-made answer already exists. Voilà! No further need to waste time giving them the same old answers. So without further ado, here are the most frequently heard assertions about our use of profanity, and our responses to each of them.

— • —

1) Profanity is a sign of a lack of intelligence or education.

Feel free to judge for yourself what our level of intelligence and education is (Zeus knows we'll be doing that to you), but if you are using our liberal use of profanity as a guide, then you're barking up the wrong tree. We have no idea where this idea comes from, but it's patently incorrect. Anyone can use profanity, from the highly intelligent to the outrageously stupid; from PhDs to high school dropouts. We've seen profanity from both ends of those spectrums, as well as most points in between. The fact is that there is no correlation whatsoever between the use of profanity and the level of intelligence or education of the person using the profanity. If you are aware of a study showing a different result, please, by all means, let us know. Otherwise, please stop repeating this asinine and demonstrably inaccurate claim.

We're pretty confident — hell, make that fucking confident — that our level of intelligence and education is showcased on this site via our arguments, our writing style, our creative endeavors, and our humor. While you may not like everything we do or say, we submit that it is simply incorrect to refer to us as either uneducated or unintelligent. If you want to refer to us as such, we simply ask that you make your case by attacking our logic, our arguments, or our conclusions — something that most people who complain about our language seem unwilling or, far more likely, unable to do.


2) There are children reading this site.

Yes, there may be children reading this site. Wise people know that their children already know these words, and they teach them the appropriate usage of such words — that is, emphasizing that they are not used in "polite conversation." Trying to keep children ignorant of such words — in addition to being an exercise in extreme futility, no matter what time and place you're living in — only hurts them in the long run, as they will obtain such vocabulary informally in other venues, and will then not be properly educated as to its appropriate use. Understanding these facts means that you are living in the real world, rather than the pristine fantasy with which many people choose to blind themselves.

Further, since they already know these words, it's important to note what children can gain by reading this website. They can learn valuable critical thinking skills, which are woefully lacking in today's schools. They can learn about science and technology — two more subjects that, in our opinion, are not taught correctly or emphasized enough in school. They can learn how to argue their points, and how to defend their own positions. So even if a child finds one or two colorful phrases on this site that they hadn't heard before (we're willing to agree that's a distinct possibility, given how colorful we sometimes get), we believe that the benefits of being exposed to the content of our site far outweigh the perhaps unwanted expansion of their vocabulary.

Of course, parents are free to block our site, and those like it, if they so choose. There are plenty of technological tools available to parents for just this purpose — it doesn't have to apply strictly to pornography, folks. And in our opinion, active parenting is another skill that is missing from too many homes. Don't count on us (or anyone else) to refrain from publishing content that you don't like, and don't turn to the government to mandate that your personal views are codified as law. Instead, be a parent, and take responsibility for raising your own children.


3) Profanity detracts from or renders moot the arguments being made.

Some people seem to believe that the presence of emotion negates reason, and that our use of profanity shows that we are emotionally involved in the topics we write about. That's half true — we are emotionally involved in the topics we write about, and that's one reason why we write about them, and why we use profanity so much. However — and this is the important bit — our emotions do not color our logical analysis of a given subject. We look at an issue rationally, applying scientific inquiry, rational thought, and logic to it; we think through our point of view, construct our arguments, test our assertions, and reach our conclusions. Then, if we find we've come across a topic that still pisses us off — or excites us, or worries us, or cheers us up, or emotionally affects us in any other way — we write about it, often emotionally and with great passion.

But the emotion, the passion, and the profanity (and, yes, the frequent use of italics and/or bold for proper emphasis) are our style — not our substance. The style is how we express ourselves, almost as an afterthought, to accurately convey our strong opinions on these subjects; the substance itself is thought out and carefully considered for hours (rarely), days (frequently), weeks, or even months before we publish a final draft (this very Rant has been in one draft form or another for nearly two years!).

By all means, though, don't take our word for this — test us. You can do this easily by testing our arguments and countering our conclusions. If you find that they hold up to scrutiny, then chances are pretty good that we are successfully withholding emotional attachment when we form our positions (no matter how emotionally we present those positions in their final form). If you find that our logic flounders, then it's a good bet that we aren't keeping our emotions in check. Of course, everybody's prone to occasional slips where emotion trumps logic, and we're no different — we are humans, after all — but we'd submit that such instances are the exception for us, and not the rule.

All that said, we have no idea where people get the idea that emotions — especially anger — somehow negate an argument. That's blatantly incorrect. In fact, it's bullshit. Scientists and critical thinkers can and do get passionate, even angry; and, in fact, they should get angry when confronted with people who are trying to hurt others by advancing their own asinine agendas (be it ideological, financial, or whatever). Quite simply, anger, just because of its presence and expression, doesn't in any way detract from the points being made; and if you can't get past our language (or our anger) to see our actual arguments, then that's a shortcoming that you need to work on...not a problem somehow inherent to us.

It could happen, and probably did...


4) There's no reason to be so rude to psychics, religious nutbags, crooked politicians, my favorite celebrity, my pet woo organization, me, et cetera, et cetera...

Bullshit. No, worse than that: bull-fucking-shit. Let's look at the people that we are routinely rude to, shall we?

We are rude to self-proclaimed psychics. Why? Because they leverage the pain and suffering of others to make a buck. They are leeches on society, and they deserve every ounce of anger that we can send their way. Imagine someone charging a grieving husband $3,000 for a funeral for his wife, then absconding with the money, without providing any funeral services. Talk about kicking a person when they're down. That's a good analog to what the popular so-called "psychics" of today are doing. Not to mention warping their victims' true memories and experiences of a lost loved one, and completely replacing their real final moments with some fucking bullshit they pull out of their asses, which — however potentially comforting, temporarily, to the credulous — is simply untrue. These fucking fiends are disgusting, and frankly deserve far worse than what we do to them.

We are also rude to religious nutbags; like Pat Robertson, as a perfect example. Pat routinely makes statements condemning those who don't agree with or comply with his totally twisted worldview (like feminists, homosexuals, non-Christians, and, oh, anybody else who isn't in his particular fold). He is on the record making incredibly rude and even physically threatening statements (sometimes directly, sometimes hiding behind his magical superdaddy) about other people, and he spends his time trying to get people mobilized to codify bigotry, hatred and narrowmindedness into law. Please, in all honesty, tell us: how is someone like this not worthy of rudeness or, especially, outright loathing?

Similarly, the politicians who try to legislate the same bigotry and intolerance offered by assholes like Pat also draw our ire, and rightfully so. Politicians are also, by and large, greedy, corrupt liars with no thought whatsoever put toward what they're supposed to be representing (like, oh, maybe their constituents and the principles of law and liberty?), but plenty of thought and effort put into their own personal beliefs and political needs. They're voted in for a reason — how many of them live up to the promise of those reasons? We don't even feel the need to delve too deeply into today's most shining example of egocentric, delusional, dishonest, avaricious idiocy (and yes, the man isn't remotely intelligent by our standards): that pathetic fuck sitting in the White House, hell-bent on destroying what's left of national achievement and international relations.

All of these people absolutely do cause harm. They hurt individuals (financially, psychologically, physically — in any way), they dismantle basic civil liberties (and/or exhibit a complete disregard for them), and they set back the progress of civilization and the human species by generations, if not centuries. That's why we can't understand the people who seem surprised by how angry we are at these pricks. From our perspective, anger is the natural and, more importantly, appropriate response to these kinds of behavior, and we can't fathom how any rational and caring person could feel otherwise. Frankly, the anger that we feel toward people like these absolutely warrants the language that we use, even if we weren't in the habit of using it so freely. They are vile individuals who willingly exploit others in order to advance their own agenda and/or to make a buck. Anger is the appropriate response to these people, and we have to question both the intellect and, even more tragically, the compassion and humanity of anyone who feels differently.


5) I'm offended by your profanity.

First and foremost, let's make this clear: you do not have the right to "not be offended." Being offended doesn't cause you harm, and it doesn't infringe on your rights in any way. Sorry, that's just a fucking fact of life. Just like how you're free to change the channel when you come across a television show that offends you (or one you simply don't like), you are free to surf to another site if you are offended by our writing. Remember: we didn't thrust our site on you — you came to us.

In addition, what so many people don't seem to grasp is that what is or is not considered offensive differs widely by geography, background, and personal values, and even changes wildly over time. For example, in some parts of the United Kingdom, the term "bloody sod" is considered offensive. In the United States, it conjures up a mental image of a sanguinated roll of grass. And for those who believe in the Judeo-Christian God, the term "God darn it" is highly offensive, as it takes the lord's name in vain, while to those who do not subscribe to that particular fantasy, it is nothing but a (very) watered down exclamation. Come on, folks, just a while back, a "tart" was a whore, while today it's a yummy breakfast treat (which, admittedly, isn't much of a change for some of us). Here are some more examples, from an article on CBS News:

For example the s-h word - "shoot." "Shoot" used to be a swear word - "shucks," too. In the early 1900s, you weren't supposed to say "Gee" or "Jeepers." For crying out loud you couldn't even say "for crying out loud!" - it was a euphemism for Christ.

In the 1800s, the big swear words were "drat," "doggone" and - cover the kids' ears! - "Jiminy Crickets."

When early settlers came to America and stubbed their toe getting off the ship, they would have said, "Odsbodikins!" - a swear word that meant God's little body.

So who's to judge which terms are offensive enough to not be used, and which are okay? At the end of the day, people who are attempting to do so are merely trying to make their idea of what is offensive apply to everyone, which is both self-centered and exceedingly ineffective. Hell, we could say we're offended by constant invocations of mythological deities (we're not — we just find them stupid, silly, and counterproductive), but that doesn't mean that our idea of "offense" should dictate what everybody else has to do and say. The bottom line is that a conversation's context (including the setting, participants, and purpose) and the intent of all involved parties are the sum total of factors that should dictate what words you use...not the whimsical or fanatical conventions of any person or persons who may be observing, particularly those who contribute nothing of value to the conversation itself (we're looking at...oh, fuck it, most of the idiots who complain about profanity on our site).

— • —

So, boys and girls, that's the lowdown. Our "frequently asked swearing questions" — our FUQ, if you will. But there's still a bit more to say.

Language is meant to be used, folks. It develops and changes as society changes, and an intelligent, rational person simply adapts to this change — those who cannot adapt just fall behind, and we personally make fun of them mercilessly...the stupid fuckwits.

Hey, we feel for Miss Manners, we really do; she's got a thankless job, simply because, honestly, who the fuck cares what she thinks? The people who actually need her to tell them what to do are the same nitwits who need someone to tell them everything they do, think or say; and the rest of us are going to ignore her. Has she got any point whatsoever? Sure! It's absolutely fair to say that an "educated" or "polite" person would be wise to refrain from swearing in a "formal" setting; but this is simply due to common etiquette and an understanding of interpersonal relations, which should be practiced as a matter of course in all of your relationships with other people in your community (at the local, national, and global levels). There are certainly times when it is appropriate to swear, and times when it is decidedly not. The well-adjusted individual comprehends the difference between these instances, and behaves accordingly.

Here, on our own blog, we're on our own virtual property. We do whatever the fuck we like, and the prudes can just suck it up. Funny thing: when we comment on other folks' blogs — even folks who are like-minded and wouldn't give a shit — we actually tend not to swear (go ahead and check up on us...it's true). That's our own idiosyncrasy, a simple acknowledgement of the fact that we're not "on our own turf," and we should behave accordingly. Similarly, we tone ourselves down in a public restaurant or store, because there's no need to impose our own modus operandi on someone else's turf. We'd expect the same courtesy of folks treading on our property (though, of course, we don't give a fuck if they feel like swearing).

The bottom line (yeah, we've always got one of those, haven't we?): swears are just words. They convey specific meanings that simply cannot be conveyed by other words. We don't use them solely to offend, but when we do use them in that way, it's because the target of our verbal salvo is wholeheartedly deserving of being offended. And if you can't see the merits of our arguments because you are unable to get past the colorful language, then that's your problem, not ours.

We don't imagine that it will take very long for this Rant to have its first involuntary commenter — the one we take out of another thread and place here, as we've already warned above. And to that pioneer of idiocy, and his or her eventual companions, all we can say is that we're disappointed that the only thing that you took away from our site was...offense. Whatever you may mean by that. Maybe someday you'll be ready to look past your preconceived notions of impropriety and offense, and take part in the larger debates on issues that actually make a difference to anybody outside of your own tiny little box.

But we aren't holding our fucking breath.


— • —
[  Filed under: % Bullshit  % Greatest Hits  % Two Percent Company  % Two Percent Toons  ]

TrackBack URL for this entry: http://www.twopercentco.com/rants/tpc-trkbk.cgi/424

Comments (64)

John Morales, 2007.02.06 (Tue) 03:13 [Link] »

Damn! This is an exceptional post.

I certainly would not know where to begin if I were to attempt to refute your conclusions argumentatively.

I'm happy now.



Phony Montana, 2007.02.06 (Tue) 06:36 [Link] »

I feel compelled to point out that being called a "bloody sod" is extremely unlikely to cause offence snywhere in the UK. Its the kind of thing a pensioner might say to you if he caught you smoking in his allotment. Its innocousness is actually quite remarkable considering its direct link to being a fan of anal sex (sodomite). Bugger is also a very mild term with the same connotation. We obviously just dont think its anything to be ashamed of!



Bronze Dog, 2007.02.06 (Tue) 09:04 [Link] »

Included this post as a "see also" on the Doggerel Index.



The Two Percent Company, 2007.02.06 (Tue) 10:18 [Link] »

Yeah, we're hazily aware that "bloody sod" isn't all that terrible an utterance anymore, Phony Montana — we were just tossing out some random possibilities. Mostly, we're just pointing out that in the UK such phrases are at least recognized as an attempt at "coarse language," no matter how innocuous they are now considered, while in the US they have next to no meaning, let alone any derogatory or offensive context. Full disclosure: we really just picked it because of the "sanguinated roll of grass" angle; we couldn't shake that mental image ourselves, and wanted to inflict it on as many others as possible.

Out of curiosity, what are the current offensive phrases du jour across the pond? "Fuck," we're sure, is still in effect, but given the frequent use of the word "feck" on Father Ted, we tend to think that it may be somewhat less terrible over there than it is over here.

And thanks for the nod, BD. It always amazes us how many of the "arguments" from the Doggerel list we hear on a regular basis. At last we can put this one to bed! From now on every moron that leaves a comment about our language will be moved here where we have already answered them. We're feeling happier already.



ed, 2007.02.06 (Tue) 10:34 [Link] »

Actually, 'feck' is considered a mild euphemism for 'fuck', sorth of like 'darn', but a but stronger. 'Fuck' is still considered obscene in Eire.

I'm surprised she called 'fuck' the gold standard; I would have thought it was 'cunt', the one to say when you REALLY want to be heard.

You might be interested in LanguageLog's work on Taboo Avoidance (that is, why printing 'f*ck' is okay, but not 'fuck').

http://itre.cis.upenn.edu/moveabletype/mt-search.cgi?IncludeBlogs=2&search=taboo

Well worth a read.



Todd Sayre, 2007.02.06 (Tue) 11:11 [Link] »

I think it's only fair that if prudes get to make a list of words and phrases that offend them that everyone should get to make a list of words and phrases that offend them. Here is my list.

1. Gubernatorial
2. Centrist
3. Quadrangle
4. Spatula
5. Aubergine
6. post 9/11 world
7. the

I expect all of you to immidiately stop using all those listed above.



Bronze Dog, 2007.02.06 (Tue) 13:52 [Link] »

As a member of The Gubernatorial Quadrangle of Centrists for Aubergine Spatulas, it's hard enough surviving in a post 9/11 world without all of our speech being labeled as "politically incorrect" and such. Thanks a lot, Todd.



PoolGuy, 2007.02.06 (Tue) 13:58 [Link] »

I guess this would fall under the category of "Having Creative Fun with Profanity". At work we seem to have a profanity editor in our email system. This is generally no problem, because we are all expected to be professional in our emails at work. However, I have a friend that occasionally emails me at work (It's not a lot. Maybe once or twice a month.) and we converse in a very casual and occasionally inventively profane give and take.

Given the restrictions in my email system we have had to become somewhat stealthy in maintaining our desired level of banter, so we decided that "giggle" would become the replacement base noun for the F--- word. This soon turned into huge fun. It essentially added a completely new dimension to double-entendre (triple-entendre?). The term mother-giggler makes you jump through some heretofore unknown logical hoops.

In any event, besides being a lot of fun, actually, this type of twist to the profanity game emphasizes that, as TPC said, they're only words. If you have a group of people that assigns totally different meanings to innocuous words, your group can offend everybody else without their knowledge. Uh-oh, I think I'm getting a little existential here.

In any event, I'd like to complete Todd's list with:

8. God
9. Religion



Rockstar Ryan, 2007.02.06 (Tue) 15:43 [Link] »

BronzeDog:

Is that The Gubernatorial Quadrangle of Centrists for Aubergine Spatulas Council of 1879 or The Gubernatorial Quadrangle of Centrists for Aubergine Spatulas Council of 1912?



Bagheera, 2007.02.06 (Tue) 19:02 [Link] »

Great post, guys. While I personally think you over-use the profanity from time to time, I recognize it as part of your unique style. The only argument I could possiby make against your "over-use of profanity" is that it somewhat dilutes the words contextural power. After all, if (stretching for an analogy) spilling some milk elicits a "fucking hell!" what do you have left when you drop a tire iron on your foot?

Wait. No. Don't answer that. Surprise me.

Cheers



Jason Spicer, 2007.02.06 (Tue) 23:53 [Link] »

Uh, do you have to be a gubernor to join the Quadrangle? Or can any eggplant-flipping moderate sign up?

And wouldn't a transitive verb be a better substitute than "giggle"? Or is that half the fun of the game?

Just throwing out a few semi-entendres.



Phony Montana, 2007.02.07 (Wed) 07:25 [Link] »

To be honest 2% the subject of this rant is not a particular problem in the UK. Profanity's just part of the landscape. Fuck, motherfucker and cocksucker still retain a mediocre capacity to offend. Anything less may as well be in the OED. The one term that remains reliably shocking is the grandaddy of swearwords: cunt (here only applied to men although i gather the reverse is true in the US?).
Expect that to lose its force through overexposure soon though. Its enough to bring any true red-blooded foulmouth to tears.



dikkii, 2007.02.07 (Wed) 08:23 [Link] »

I don't know what all the fuss is about.

After all, everyone knows that "felch" is the most offensive word in the English language.



PoolGuy, 2007.02.07 (Wed) 10:42 [Link] »

I swore on my mother's grave that, no matter how desperate I became, no matter what life threw at me, I would never, ever became a pedant, but, Jason, giggle can be both transitive and intransitive.

I apologize in advance, asshole.



MuzakBox, 2007.02.07 (Wed) 10:55 [Link] »

Well, as someone who doesn't swear very much at all in a work like setting or when surrounded by small children, I say 'fudge' and 'oh shoot' a lot, and at home I like to call my husband 'my fuckalicious cockmonster', I love this rant. They're just words. And all the colorful things that come out of my mouth at home, at the bar, and when I am onstage are on my own turf and terms.

I think its so silly when they bleep the Daily Show. I mean everyone knows what he just said and if they don't like it then they can just change the fucking channel and watch something else. I'm not offended. Stewart's live audience isn't offended. And I'd say the huge bulk of his tv audience is not offended either.

I think the most ridiculous thing was that Stewart and his guest could say bullshit on the program when referencing the book On Bullshit. But later in the program when he wanted to describe that rule as bullshit he was bleeped. Like suddenly in that context virgins would faint, ears would bleed, dogs would be sleeping with cats.... I get carried away but you see my point.

And all of this ramble just to say to you...

Fuck yeah.



Tom Foss, 2007.02.07 (Wed) 11:13 [Link] »
I don't know what all the fuss is about.

After all, everyone knows that "felch" is the most offensive word in the English language.


Not anymore. Try looking up the definition of "Santorum." It's what makes felching so offensive.

Fantastic rant, by the way. I can't wait to see the language czars start popping in.



Phony Montana, 2007.02.07 (Wed) 12:06 [Link] »

Check out george carlins stance. Classic stuff.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOFEZ6o-Poo



Arren Frank, 2007.02.07 (Wed) 13:00 [Link] »

Great rant. Two years might be a bit long for the gestation period....

It's exceptionally rare for me to read an opinion piece all the way through absent disagreement -- fuckin' A.

Nice absurdism from Bronze Dog & co. in the comments.



dikkii, 2007.02.07 (Wed) 17:03 [Link] »
Not anymore. Try looking up the definition of "Santorum." It's what makes felching so offensive.

I stand corrected. Well spotted, Tom.



Jason Spicer, 2007.02.08 (Thu) 00:34 [Link] »

No, no, PoolGuy, I apologize. I didn't know I was trampling on a sacred vow. And I was definitely flirting with pedantry, if not fully in flagrante delicto.

But I was genuinely curious. After your post I looked around a bit. www.m-w.com shows giggle as both transitive and intransitive, where www.wiktionary.org only has it as intransitive. No example of transitive usage was given, so it still seems weird to me. Does this count? "I giggled my reply."

And yet, it doesn't seem as forcefully transitive as fuck: "They fucked us." Then again, fuck has that sort of thrusting machismo that giggle could never aspire to. Perhaps we need a dictionary distinction between weakly transitive and strongly transitive verbs.

Of course, Santorum would be even more offensive as a transitive verb.



Tom from the Two Percent Company, 2007.02.08 (Thu) 05:30 [Link] »

Bagheera said:

While I personally think you over-use the profanity from time to time...

No doubt about that. As long as people recognize that it's our style, and as long as they look past all aspects of our style when it comes to assessing our points (both of which we know you do, Bagheera), that's all we can ask.

Phony Montana said:

To be honest 2% the subject of this rant is not a particular problem in the UK. Profanity's just part of the landscape.

Yet another way in which the UK is ahead of the US, it seems.

MuzakBox said:

Well, as someone who doesn't swear very much at all in a work like setting or when surrounded by small children, I say 'fudge' and 'oh shoot' a lot, and at home I like to call my husband 'my fuckalicious cockmonster', I love this rant. They're just words. And all the colorful things that come out of my mouth at home, at the bar, and when I am onstage are on my own turf and terms.

First off, I love the term "fuckalicious cockmonster." Yet another strong point against the asinine argument that profanity shows a lack of imagination. But I digress. It seems so simple to use profanity where appropriate, and to avoid it where it's inappropriate that we are constantly amazed by those who don't understand this simple approach.

Tom Foss said:

Try looking up the definition of "Santorum." It's what makes felching so offensive.

Oh, that's excellent! How the hell did I miss that when it happened?! I would post the definition, but it's much more fun to Google "Santorum" and see what the first link is. Outstanding!

Arren Frank said:

Two years might be a bit long for the gestation period....

Er, yeah. You might say that. We could show you the e-mails that we sent to each other every time someone made one of the above assertions about our swearing ("We have to finish that Rant!"), but it would just depress you. Or us. Hey, we got it done eventually!



PoolGuy, 2007.02.08 (Thu) 16:05 [Link] »

Jason, your point is taken. I agree that, at best, giggle in its transitive form is weakly transitive. And your example is exactly what I understand the transitive usage to be.

It wasn't like I spent days trying to come up with a substitute for fuck that I could use in my occasional emails to my buddy. It just sort of popped into my head. The point is that I thought it was an inspired choice because of the feeling of light-hearted playfulness of the substitute for the, in your words, thrusting machismo of the original.

Also, although I don't think I have to explain this because I've seen you in here before, that last line was in keeping with the subject of the rant. It was most certainly not an ad hominem attack on you.



TGHO, 2007.02.08 (Thu) 23:50 [Link] »

You guys are fucking excellent.

An interesting point to consider - the usage of swearwords differs greatly between countries. I myself am Australian, and live in Sydney. Here we swear regularly, it's like punctuation. As a collar and tie professional, it's very common to say "fuck" in a business meeting and not even blink.

Cheers,
TGHO



Jason Spicer, 2007.02.11 (Sun) 00:24 [Link] »

Poolguy, I kinda figured you were using the word asshole as part of the thread motif. Anyhow, I don't think it's possible to survive for long on 2%Co without a thick hide.

I'm very pleased with the spread of santorum. Er, as a word, of course. What better, uh, comeuppance than to have the name of a holier-than-thou jackass eternally enshrined in the vernacular as shorthand for everything he stood against.



Akusai, 2007.02.11 (Sun) 01:29 [Link] »

I an avid reader of Dan Savage's column at The Onion, and I sent a letter of congratulations to when Santorum lost in November. He was fairly modest about it, but to deny the power of his awesomely gross neologism is difficult.



Maronan, 2007.02.17 (Sat) 15:08 [Link] »

Why do you have any need to swear? It's not necessary. You don't need to use the word "dickhead," when "jerk" would do just as well. If that's not strong enough, you can say "plusjerk," or "doubleplusjerk" if you want to go stronger still.

Anyway, nice rant. As a frequent-swearer, I really enjoyed it.



TimmyAnn, 2007.02.17 (Sat) 16:38 [Link] »

"Doubleplusjerk"? Oh, I do hope you are joking. You are, right? (By the way, "jerk" used to be considered offensive since it refers to male masturbation!)



PoolGuy, 2007.02.17 (Sat) 20:14 [Link] »

Maronan,

The one problem I see with ascribing integral increments of jerkiness to the people we're discussing here is that once we agree that Sylvia Browne is an infiniteplusjerk, what are we left with when we want to weigh in on Allison DuBois?

I submit that dickhead and asswipe are exactly the words we want to use when we are talking about dickheads and asswipes.



ohiocitygirl, 2007.02.18 (Sun) 05:45 [Link] »

I got the same speil from my father that swearing was used by people with no imagination and limited vocabulary. However, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one of seven siblings to use the word "fuck" or "dickhead" or "asswipe" when appropriate. And yes, "cunt" is still pretty bad, especially when directed at a woman. "Cunt" pretty much crosses the line from flowery description of someone's assholiness to convicting them of being mean and cruel "as only a woman can be." Be vewy, vewy careful when using that word on a woman. As for "santorum", I thank Dan Savage and his contributors for that word whose definition still sticks in my head almost verbatim: "The frothy mixture of" .....well, you know the rest.

And, although Dad's admonitions didn't quite take hold, we seven children never ever said the f-word in front of our parents or elders. It was a big day when we said "damn" - kind of like our bar/batmitzvah, only for Catholics.



ohiocitygirl, 2007.02.18 (Sun) 05:48 [Link] »

Crap! I meant, "spiel", so any m-fuckers out there ready to correct me, I KNOW.



TimmyAnn, 2007.02.18 (Sun) 18:17 [Link] »

People on here don't usually jump on things that could be a simple typo since there is no "edit" option once you've hit "post". The things people correct are usually things that are obviously wrong for reasons other than a couple of transposed letters.



GOD777, 2007.02.22 (Thu) 20:14 [Link] »

Using the F-word is not offensive at all. I have proof. http://www.killsometime.com/animations/animation.asp?ID=47



TimmyAnn, 2007.02.22 (Thu) 20:56 [Link] »

I had seen that a long time ago and forgotten about it. Thanks for the reminder, GOD777. It's pretty funny. Unfortunately, I couldn't help noticing a few flaws in it (starting with a spelling error before it even started!), but it was still pretty damn good...Oh, sorry, make that "pretty FUCKING good!"



Jason Spicer, 2007.02.22 (Thu) 23:05 [Link] »

Actually, I believe that Dick Cheney's use of "fuck" on the Senate floor means that it is officially OK for everybody to use now. Or possibly it just means that he's a dick. Senate rules are tricky.



TimmyAnn, 2007.02.22 (Thu) 23:08 [Link] »

Ew, if Cheney said it, it almost makes me not want to say it anymore! Oh, well, I guess I can't boycott every word that comes out of his mouth or I'd have a pretty small vocabulary.



Jeff from the Two Percent Company, 2007.02.22 (Thu) 23:54 [Link] »

Yeah, TimmyAnn, but I believe you'd still be able to say "lesbian." And it's such a great word, with so many uses — a question, an accusation, a declarative, a request, an offer...



PoolGuy, 2007.02.23 (Fri) 10:58 [Link] »

TimmyAnn and Jeff,
You would also be able to use the word "mistake", because no one in this administration has ever made one of those.



Maar, 2007.02.25 (Sun) 12:35 [Link] »

I'm sorry to say, but you're very rude and offensive people here - I mean the disbelievers mainly.

[...and stop the clock. Maar is the first commenter across the finish line, and it only took nineteen days from the time of our post! Actually, that's longer than we thought it would take for someone to make the same, tired comment about how rude we are without bothering to include any substance or original thought whatsoever. Anyway, welcome, Maar, to your new home. The pre-written responses to all of your stupid, stupid thoughts are above — Ed.]



Randy Kirk, 2007.03.11 (Sun) 13:09 [Link] »

Used to feel exactly like you, and sword like a drunkin' sailor. One day I came to this practical decision. I wondered whether I had one friend, associate, business client, or other person in my life who would no longer be associated with me if I stopped swearing. In other words, was I gaining something by swearing. Would I lose anything by not.. I didn't think there were any who would be walking away.

Then I contemplated whether there might be folks who had left off relating with me at any level because they were offended (no matter the reason) by my off color language or jokes. I could easily imagine that there were those who would not wish to associate with me because of these reasons.

I stopped swearing and telling adult jokes. No one missed my old ways. Imprically proven.



TimmyAnn, 2007.03.11 (Sun) 14:41 [Link] »

You skipped an important question: Would any of the people who would not want to associate with me simply because of my swearing in appropriate situations be anyone that I would want to associate with in the first fucking place? (If you actually read the post, then you know that they admit there are places in which swearing is inappropriate, but they don't feel that their own goddamned site is one of them.)



The Two Percent Company, 2007.03.11 (Sun) 19:38 [Link] »

You are, of course, free to make such a decision in your own life, Randy. We have made our own choices, and we are quite happy with them. As we've said, there are situations in which we feel profanity is appropriate, and situations in which we feel it is not. We are quite perceptive enough to understand the difference and act accordingly, as any specific situation warrants, rather than making a sweeping unilateral decision and simply never using profanity at all.

Further, if there are people who are so offended by our use of profanity in what we see as appropriate situations for using it, then we really, truly don't mind losing them as acquaintances or associates. As we said above, they are just words, and anyone who judges us harshly (or, as we think they're doing, nonsensically) for using them isn't really worth our time in the first place.

Plenty of people are offended by, for example, nudity in any form. In enacting laws against public exposure in order to appease them (laws which are not the same in all nations or time periods, we would point out), should we also destroy or cover up the countless works of fine art that depict nudity in public fora? Michelangelo's David, for instance? How about Goya's La Maja, which already takes our approach by offering different versions for different situations? Would Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase be good to go, since nobody could possibly make out any nudity, or is the mere implication that it contains nudity enough to censor it? Is Giorgione's Tempesta okay, or should we also be pandering to the folks who want us outlawing public breastfeeding...and those scary folks who think that naked toddlers constitute some kind of offensive, suggestive, or sexual imagery? There's no use arguing that "profanity is not art," because the fact remains that some people would consider specific uses of profanity to be art — or at least valuable and useful (from a communications perspective, if not an artistic one) — and some people deny that any visual depiction of nudity is art. The parallel holds up quite well, as a matter of fact.

We would be remiss if we didn't also point out that we disagree with your logic. Some people may lose respect for one who swears in certain circumstances, sure — just as some people may indeed lose respect for someone who habitually doesn't swear under any circumstances. If you're concerned about what people think, then you'd be wise to consider that "teetotaling," from a language perspective, might easily cost you the respect of others who could see you as a puritanical prude instead of "one of the guys/gals." Again, this isn't something that factors into our decision, but based on your comment, it should certainly factor into yours, if you're really trying to take an "empirical" approach to this.

In addition, there are other things to be gained or lost through the use of profanity besides acquaintances. As we've spelled out above, we feel that the use of profanity allows us to convey the intended meaning of what we want to say far better than if we abstained from using profanity, particularly when it comes to the passionate positions we so often present. So in using profanity, we've gained clarity and precision in our spoken and written words — even some who might be "offended" are suddenly extremely aware of precisely what we mean to say. We're happy to weigh that linguistic precision against losing the dubious "respect" of someone who doesn't like swearing in general.

So you're free to abstain from profanity, Randy, if that's your choice. But we hope that you weren't trying to make a case for why we would want to do the same. There's nothing empirical about your decision — it is a personal choice, based on one person's anecdotal observation, and it is one that, for us, would be exactly the wrong choice.



Randy Kirk, 2007.03.13 (Tue) 02:06 [Link] »

Logic, if you don't swear and don't make an issue of it, I think it is unlikely you will be perceived as puritanical. I do agree that there might be a very, very small group of people who would only want to hang around with folks who swear a bunch.

I certainly don't want to tell you how to run your store or your life. I think we all do this bloggiing and commenting to provide points of view that might cause someone to take another look and consider options from outside thier normal box.

My only serious question with your logic is that you don't care if you lose the respect of some group, maybe even a large one, who might otherwise find your blog useful, if, in order to gain their respect, you would have to give up "linguistic precision."



Tom Foss, 2007.03.13 (Tue) 03:45 [Link] »
Logic, if you don't swear and don't make an issue of it, I think it is unlikely you will be perceived as puritanical. I do agree that there might be a very, very small group of people who would only want to hang around with folks who swear a bunch.
There is a nice middle ground between the puritans and the "folks who swear a bunch," which I like to call "most people." But if you say "fiddlesticks" when you stub your toe, and "golly," and think "biscuits" is appropriate for use as an interjection, then people would be neither wrong nor rare in thinking you a pollyanna.
My only serious question with your logic is that you don't care if you lose the respect of some group, maybe even a large one, who might otherwise find your blog useful, if, in order to gain their respect, you would have to give up "linguistic precision."
A person who is more swayed by the words one uses than the argument one makes is not thinking very logically.


The Two Percent Company, 2007.03.13 (Tue) 15:15 [Link] »

...and Tom Foss nails it in one.

As Tom said, the number of people who would think less of a habitual non-swearer (we were also referring to the "oh, biscuits" variety above) is not "very, very small." This number can also vary greatly depending on the company you keep. If you work in construction, for example, we imagine that "oh, biscuits" and "golly gee" aren't well-respected phrases at all, and may lead to regular harassment, or, at the very least, social ostracization. We could throw many more examples on the pile, but we think the basic point has been made.

We analogized profanity with nudity in art, above. Perhaps you thought that was too much of a stretch (we don't think it is, and you didn't mention it in your reply, so we're just speculating here). But how about comparing profanity to the consumption of alcohol? That is another form of indulgence that some of us don't see as "bad." For our part, and like many other adults in this world, we enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage...and even enjoy getting completely blitzed when we're up for it. We are able to do this successfully because we can perceive the difference between situations where it is acceptable or appropriate to drink — or even to get wildly drunk — and situations where it is simply not. And just as with swearing, a teetotaler here runs the risk of losing out on certain social and/or business opportunities; we've seen this happen — sometimes subtly, sometimes not, but it has certainly happened on many occasions (particularly in cultures where heavy or even just social drinking is a method of networking). We tend to think that a wise approach to drinking is a better option than swearing it off entirely. We feel the same way about profanity.

We'd also be remiss if we didn't point out the folks who've openly embraced our anger and our profanity. We've been told on more than a few occasions that we are quite appropriately angry — we agree — and that we should keep up the good work. Can there be any doubt that our use of profanity played no small part in conveying our anger to these people, and that it resonated with them? Again, and as we've explained on numerous occasions, we don't write our posts to cater to other people; but since you brought this up, we feel we should point out where we think your logic has gone astray.

My only serious question with your logic is that you don't care if you lose the respect of some group, maybe even a large one, who might otherwise find your blog useful, if, in order to gain their respect, you would have to give up "linguistic precision."

And our answer, as we said above, is that we didn't create our site to make everyone happy — we created it to express our positions, and our emotions about those positions, as directly and clearly as possible. We are, quite simply, who we are; and the genuine friends we've made as a result of this approach are far more valuable to us than having a larger number of "supporters" (who would, logically, not actually agree with us on at least several key issues) based on not saying everything we've wanted to say, in the mode in which we've felt it must be said. To water down our emotions would be, to us, completely antithetical to everything that made us want to create the site in the first place. And as we said in the post above, if people can't get past our profanity, then that's their problem. We mean that quite literally, Randy, and we have no desire to cater to someone whose fear and/or hatred of certain words renders them unable to comprehend the logic of our statements. It's really that simple for us.

In addition to this (and to Tom's points just above, which we very much agree with), we'd like to raise another question. We've visited your blog, and we've noticed that you are a Christian. So we'll turn your question around — do you care if you lose the respect of some group, maybe even a large one, who might otherwise find your blog useful, if, in order to gain their respect, you would have to give up your belief in Jesus? We suspect that we know the answer, and we wonder why you'd expect us to answer any differently.



Rockstar Ryan, 2007.03.13 (Tue) 18:49 [Link] »

As far as my business goes, I'd be looked on as quite a puss if I said "golly gee that's hunky dory" instead of "fuck yeah".

I'm with the Two Percenters when it comes to not giving a shit who likes/reads my blog. I have trolls on there now who prefer "wanker" over "complete drizzling bag of monkey shit" and feel the need to tell me.

And I would swear a lot less if there weren't millions of morons out there who let their imaginary friends/pretend magic powers take the blame for everything.



Jason Spicer, 2007.03.14 (Wed) 00:19 [Link] »

First let me say that the highly imaginative swearing on this site is one of the things I find amusing and appealing about it. Very creative and entertaining.

But it does seem to me that there is a third option somewhere between swearing like a sailor and euphemisming like a milquetoast. I'd venture that the strong silent type would not be shunned at a construction site. People might never even notice that somebody never swore if they weren't given to voluble exclamations of any sort. Though, as noted, this is a limitation on expressiveness.

And of course, you can certainly swear up and down like a mofo without being creative or interesting in the slightest. More people should smoke pipes, as Twain hinted at.



Randy Kirk, 2007.03.14 (Wed) 01:19 [Link] »

I used to swear for almost all the reasons you sight, and I think you should keep on doing it, based on your POV. I'm actually not very passionate about my opinion on this, compared to others that I'm involved with elsewhere. Thanks for the spirited discussion.



Tom Foss, 2007.03.14 (Wed) 02:12 [Link] »
But how about comparing profanity to the consumption of alcohol? That is another form of indulgence that some of us don't see as "bad." For our part, and like many other adults in this world, we enjoy an occasional alcoholic beverage...and even enjoy getting completely blitzed when we're up for it. We are able to do this successfully because we can perceive the difference between situations where it is acceptable or appropriate to drink — or even to get wildly drunk — and situations where it is simply not. And just as with swearing, a teetotaler here runs the risk of losing out on certain social and/or business opportunities; we've seen this happen — sometimes subtly, sometimes not, but it has certainly happened on many occasions (particularly in cultures where heavy or even just social drinking is a method of networking). We tend to think that a wise approach to drinking is a better option than swearing it off entirely. We feel the same way about profanity.
As something of a teetotaler myself (though I can't stand tea...maybe a poptotaler?) I can totally attest to this. Being a non-smoker, non-drinker means that bars are significantly less than entertaining to me, and it means facing a moderate amount of pressure from my friends. I don't have any moral compunctions against drinking; for me, it's mostly psychological. Nothing causes me quite so much stress and anxiety as feeling like I'm not in control of a given situation, so the prospect of losing my inhibitions and being unaware of what's going on around me is not a pleasant one. When I do something stupid, I want to remember it in the morning. There are other reasons too; I spent a good deal of my childhood suffering from frequent migraines, so I don't look forward to hangovers, there's a history of alcoholism in my family, and I'd prefer to avoid that, and the simplest reason is just that alcohol really doesn't appeal to me. So, while I have absolutely no problem with anyone else putting whatever they want into their bodies (quite the contrary), I personally don't drink.

The absolute hardest thing about my situation, however, is keeping it from becoming some "moral" issue, from making that tiny step from "I don't do it" to "you shouldn't do it." I wouldn't be surprised if there isn't a kind of psychological coping mechanism involved in this: I feel left out when everyone around me is drinking, so I try to justify it to myself by saying "it's okay, because I'm superior for not doing it." It would sure explain why so many of those people who want to ban sex are people who can't get laid (I'm looking at you, St. Jerome). Overcoming that impulse is a difficult and ongoing task, but a necessary one. After all, it's my problem that I choose not to drink, not anyone else's. I can't, and I shouldn't, expect other people to make the same decision I made when they don't have the experiences and factors which led to my decision, and I certainly can't look down on anyone for that.

The profanity/alcohol comparison goes the other way, too. I remember when I first started openly cursing, back in seventh grade. I hid it from my family (to avoid getting in trouble), but with friends or at school, a stubbed toe would result in a thirty-second-long stream of random, haphazard four-letter words. I used "fuck" like a comma. And one day I realized that I'd rendered the words utterly meaningless. They didn't have any effect anymore, they'd become watered down. I'd built up a tolerance, so to speak. So I cut back, and learned to curse in moderation. That way, they retain their punch, their shock value, their meaning. And sometimes, more often than I'd expect, I say something particularly salty, and I hear "wow, I don't think I've ever heard you swear before!" In those cases, those particular words carry an intensity which other words simply cannot achieve.

And that's the real problem with cursing too much, or cursing sloppily. There is an art to cursing, and it requires thought and precision. The right word (or chain of words arranged cleverly) at the right point will convey the intentions perfectly. You might achieve the same effect with a string of thoughtless, artless f-bombs, but it's the difference between hitting someone with a baseball bat, and hitting them with a feather pillow. If you're trying to knock the wind out of someone, you're going to have to work a lot harder with the pillow.

That's something I admire about the swearing here: the Two Percenters are masters of the art. There is a simple elegance to their use of these verbal daggers, and there are times when reading this site is like watching a particularly talented knife-thrower at work.

Beauty from vulgarity. Fuckin' fantastic.



dikkii, 2007.03.14 (Wed) 04:13 [Link] »

RRyan wrote:

I'm with the Two Percenters when it comes to not giving a shit who likes/reads my blog. I have trolls on there now who prefer "wanker" over "complete drizzling bag of monkey shit" and feel the need to tell me.

Ryan, I'm from Australia where those terms are NOT interchangeable. I suspect that this is the case in Britain and Ireland as well.

In the context of Commonwealth English where the word "wank" is considered a crude way of saying "to masturbate", one would use the phrase "complete drizzling bag of monkey shit" to describe someone like, oh I dunno, Fred Phelps or Kent Hovind, you know, someone who's essentially contemptuous.

But a "wanker", on the other hand, this connotes pretence, artiness and/or affectation, along with blonde-style brainlessness and/or fatuousness and, possibly, a propensity for bullshitting. It is said that there are two types of wanker: the arty wanker and the yuppie wanker. Examples of wankers under this definition include: Bono, Morrissey, and any French philosopher.

Hope this helps.



dikkii, 2007.03.14 (Wed) 04:18 [Link] »

Woh forgot to put the [blockquote] thingy around Ryan's quote.

Well, you get the idea, I hope.

[Tag fixed. You apparently used a "blogspot" tag instead of "blockquote." What would Freud say about that, we wonder? Maybe: "I'm dead, and I over-analyzed everything!" Can someone ask Allison DuBois to clear this up for us? — Ed.]



Bronze Dog, 2007.03.14 (Wed) 12:04 [Link] »

I remember an Orbitz commercial featuring a game in some Eastern country (I'm guessing China, and I think it was indoor volleyball). One player missed, and over the crowd shouts out a single word. Everyone goes silent and just stares at her.

"Dirty mouth? Clean it up with Orbitz gum!"

I decided to largely self-censor so that hopefully, when I do go on an extra-foulmouthed rant, people will notice and be in awe.



Jeff from the Two Percent Company, 2007.03.14 (Wed) 14:33 [Link] »

And also, BD, you might get some free gum.



Ã…smund Skjæveland, 2007.03.28 (Wed) 21:40 [Link] »

It makes for rather, um, interesting language, if nothing else, to replace offensive words with more... technical words. It certainly makes it more amusing to discuss that intercoursing vulva Mrs. Browne.



Maronan, 2007.06.30 (Sat) 05:16 [Link] »

TimmyAnn:

This is a multiple months old necropost (didn't check back, just found a link to this rant), in the off-chance you read this: Yes, I was joking. Obviously. Duh. I would have thought the Newspeak reference would make it self-evident (since Newspeak is all about limiting the range of thought that can be expressed by limiting the available words), and I still remarked that I'm a freqeunt-swearer in case you hadn't read Nineteen Eighty-Four.



TimmyAnn, 2007.06.30 (Sat) 05:26 [Link] »

Oh, okay. I was pretty sure you were (in fact, I thought I had made that fairly clear, but obviously typing on a message board has limitations in terms of conveying tone), but there have been posts on here that you would SWEAR had to be a joke that turned out to be deadly serious, so I wasn't quite 100% sure.



cmartinez, 2008.07.28 (Mon) 13:40 [Link] »

[Since the sum total of this comment is little more than "why are you so angry at people like Allison DuBois?" and "you use bad language," we decided to move the comment here since we answered both comments in this post. It originally appeared on Allison DuBois: Dead Wrong Yet Again. The comment, in its entirety, appears below. These dipshits must have a script they read from, right? — the Management.]

— • —

Geez, so much anger about a suppossed psychic and her abilities.
And the lanquage!
But then again this is a Ranting page.

Really, though- Give it a rest, Go get a life.



Tammy, 2009.09.03 (Thu) 02:06 [Link] »

I think I'm in love.

I was called a conversational cripple today because I used ONE "curse word." They completely ignored the paragraphs about the actual topic. I'm part of a group of women bloggers that routinely get chided for our profanity. I'm linking them up to this blog because you pretty much said it all :)

Sincerely,
The Girl Who Says Fuck a Lot



GeorgeRic, 2009.10.08 (Thu) 21:59 [Link] »

[Since GeorgeRic has been peppering the skeptical Interwebs with his bullshit, we're not sure if we should be offended or proud that he was so daunted by our profanity he didn't feel he could make a dent in our site. No, wait — proud. Yes, most definitely proud. His silly twitspeak originally appeared over in Really, Catholics?, but is far more suited to this thread. Enjoy your new home here in the place where idiots who think "bad words" detract from a sound argument go to languish, dipshit. — the Management.]

I visited your site to challenge you to learn about 'contiguous dimensional worlds' and how they show Christian belief to be understandable, logical and evidenced in a technical sense. But your site uses vulgarities and slogans indicative of anger and not of reasonable thinking. ''Techie Worlds', available at Amazon.com, explains the 'contiguous dimensional worlds' concept in detail. But some sites like yours are set up to attack the computers of those who wish to comment, so I will hit delete and shut down my system as quickly as possible.
GeorgeRic



The Two Percent Company, 2009.10.08 (Thu) 22:03 [Link] »

We explored your advocacy of "contiguous dimensional worlds" and your claim that they show Christian belief to be understandable, logical, and evidenced in a technical sense. But your claims, your evidence, and your logic are indicative of credulity (and a fervent desire to fit your explorations into your predetermined conclusions) and not of reasonable thinking. You have an inability to comprehend that profanity does not detract from a sound argument (nor does any similarly irrelevant trait of written or spoken language) and you demonstrate an incredibly inane level of paranoia (even if it were technologically practical, why would we "attack the computers of those who wish to comment" — including those who might offer something relevant and cogent to the conversation?), so we'll hit "Approve," shove you over into a more appropriate thread, and commence ignoring your comment as quickly as possible.



Jason Spicer, 2009.10.10 (Sat) 15:10 [Link] »

"I will hit delete and shut down my system as quickly as possible."

Too late. See, the thing about malware is that the little cows get out of the barn really fast. By the time you can say "three megahertz", the damage is done. But go ahead with your crusade, GeorgeRic. TwoPercentCo is a trustworthy site, but I'm sure spreading your gospel is worth a few malware scans. And hey, the more time you spend shutting your machine down out of futile paranoia, the less time you have to fertilize the internet.



mark, 2009.10.14 (Wed) 11:00 [Link] »

Tee-hee...GeorgeRic left the same comment at my site. I think he prefers lies to profanity.



donna, 2010.05.14 (Fri) 11:26 [Link] »

[Since the totality of donna's most recent comment is "Eek, more swears!", and since it's apparent that she isn't interested in actually reading anything before she comments (like the refutations we provided for her original, weak assertions), we've moved her here. Her original comment remains on the Reiki Rant, where this one was posted before the big move. No, donna, ignorance is not bliss — the Management.]

Your rude language is proof in the pudding you have serious anger and mental health issues. Get some help!

You are a waste of space!



Peter, 2010.05.14 (Fri) 14:48 [Link] »

[You know, Peter, we'll never quite understand why someone like you comes to a web site and leaves a comment on a post without ever bothering to read the post you are commenting on. Just scroll up, and you'd see that we already addressed your intensely pathetic attempt at critique. What possesses you to do this? Is it rock-headed stubbornness? Abject ignorance? Total lack of education? No sense of the normative trends of social interaction in human civilization? We suspect all of the above.

Really, we're incredibly interested in what you have to say for yourself. As a note, we're especially interested since you are a psychoanalyst, attorney, and urologist all in one. We love those guys! C'mon, Peter. Inquiring minds want to know.

On a minor tangent, as people who have close relationships with actually mentally ill individuals, we find donna's implication and your own that profanity would have anything to do with mental illness quite startling, incredibly ignorant, and downright fucking cruel. Yet we're the insensitive "mean" guys, huh? You both just bitchslapped thousands of folks you've never even interacted with; we bitchslapped her for being a twat, and you for being a twit.

Now either bring the lawsuit you threaten, or piss off. What's the suit entail, Big Pete? Violation of the "potty mouth" laws? Or will it be "excessive not tolerating assholes with nothing substantive to say" charges? Oh, yeah, bring it on, please, you stump-fucking simpleton. — the Management.]

Hey Donna, you're right this site is operated by loosers and they have no class!!! They all have problems in their manhood dept too! lol

And I agree with you as far as I'm concern their rude comments to you suggest the operators of this site do have mental problems!

I'm a lawyer, sue their tiny little ass's lol Or I will launch a suit for you free it would be my pleasure!



Ryan W., 2010.05.18 (Tue) 12:50 [Link] »

I should point out that Peter isn't threatening to sue you guys. According to his syntax, he's suggesting a totally real I'm sure pro-bono lawsuit against the "lol" posessed by one of your "tiny little" asses. So whichever of you has a small donkey holding a lol, you had better warn him of the impending doom being brought upon him by the Internet Freedom Fighting Expert Penis-Size Judging Expert in Internet Colloquialisms Attorney/Psychiatrist Indomitable Douchebag Peter the Terrible, IFFEPSJEICLLMMDID.

That's one hell of an imaginary business card you must have Pete.




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