I was just re-reading the last What Makes a Post Freshly Press-able: Bacon In a Toaster and at one point in the article the question of four letter words came up. I was surprised.
I mean, we are all adults here right? Now unless the words are so socially unacceptable (let’s face it a few are), like the notorious C-word that has been banned from my house for years, that not only do we blush a bit when encountering them we also feel slightly (or not so slightly) offended.
But getting right down to where the carpet meets the floor, who decides what is an acceptable four letter word? Like I surmised earlier, are we not all adults? Surely we’ve heard enough ‘damns’ and ‘hells’ in our short lifetime that we’ve grown accustomed to the more ‘colourful’ aspects of speech and the written word.
The esteemed George Carlin (May 12, 1937 – June 22, 2008) used to have a list of words that you could not say on television. I do believe that the list originally consisted of just seven words and were actually words you could not say on stage. Carlin, for those of you who don’t remember or were not around back in the day, was removed from a Las Vegas stage for saying the word ‘shit’ onstage.
Now gentle reader (or the editorial staff at WordPress) if that word just shocked and offended you, might I suggest reading something that is less likely to offend? Like the many editions of Dick and Jane primers or perhaps any Dr Seuss book laying around out there in book land.
The very fact that the editor, who was helpfully pointing out that the ‘four letter words’ used in the post were in keeping with the “blunt humour” of the post itself, felt he had to justify the four letter words is disturbing. Not to mention erudite. I’ve not encountered the phrase ‘blunt humour’ before.
Blunt Humour? I’ll have to look that one up. Perhaps if I hadn’t been so busy using four letter expletives in my own blog posts I would be more familiar with that term.
It is scary that the editor had to ‘justify’ the use of everyday words that might just offend somebody. It’s like the world is full of Annie Wilkes‘s who despise the use of the four letter language that quite a few of us use on a daily basis. I’m not saying that we all walk around talking or writing like the world’s worst potty mouth, but come on.
Do I really have to continually substitute darn for damn or heck for hell? Maybe I should just be a cock-a-doodie brat and not substitute any of those oogy old swear words. What’s the worst that can happen? Will some bitching mean fundamentalist break into my house and hobble me?
I suppose I could get a visit from the Good Word Fairy who just might wash out my mouth with soap and make me write a 1000 times on my blog that I will not use dirty four letter words in my posts again.
I might even decide to use the more offensive words of the four letter variety in my future posts! I mean, why the hell not.
I’d write some more on this business of offensive language and it’s tendency to offend folks who still suffer from the ‘vapors’ but I’ll have to stop.
Someone’s just knocked on the door…
- 5-Letter Word Mom Won’t Allow (aol.com)
- A Four letter word less common than other four letter words (ralphbraseth.com)
- Words from the letter “C” (ttboy28.com)
- BBC says sorry after voice is heard saying ‘What the f*** is that’ during Breakfast show (standard.co.uk)
- Tis but a dream. (blindfoldz.wordpress.com)
- I Google It So You Don’t Have To, Episode 7 – Two Letter Words (orangespicedrop.wordpress.com)