Since I was quite apalled by the AN staff to enforce profanity on groups and such, I would just like to arise the question why swearing is bad at all, and why particularly children must be protected.

Is it because they can hear "nasty" words connected to the human organs? I tell you, by the time a child is 13 they know most common swearing words. They didn't get it from TV or internet. They got it from their parents and friends. And what is the bad thing knowing the offensive version of male genitalia?

In themselves, swearing words are harmless. Swearing words are in fact, good words as such when we want to show that we are angry or put extra weight and importance to what we say. Sure, some of them are offensive, but that is only because we make them so. Eupheisms are made all the time. Look at the word toilet for example. At first it was water closet, then lavatory, now it's toilet.

Personally, language is language. You can do as much harm using no swearing words than if you do (sarcasm anyone?). I remember that when I was 4 or 5, I already knew words such as dick and cock. I also knew the meaning of it, in the harmless ways children know things at such ages. Instead of personally trying to hide such words for your children, you should probably discuss them as soon you find out they know them. As I said, words themselves are completely harmless. They are just abstract things in our heads. The more we try to hide and avoid certain words, the worse connotations they will get.

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Yeah, I really don't like that. We shouldn't have to worry about other peoples' kids. It should be the parent's job to make sure their kid doesn't come across a website with a lot of cursing. Nor should we have to worry about offending adults who don't like certain words. Censorship sucks. I understand toning it down and being reasonable, but banning it? Ridiculous. But, that's just my opinion.
Andrew and for anyone else that hasn't see the issue that brought this on you can find it here

Mistakes were definitely made. I don't think anyone is talking about prohibiting profanity. We'll have to wait and see.
Thanks for the link.
I got "this page was not found"
I am appalled! Eliminating free speech is a big step toward eliminating free thought. Everyone here should know better!
Exactly. I would think most people here would cherish free speech.
I don't think, and I'm sure most folks here would agree, that profanity is a bad thing. However, perhaps we should consider that many schools and even some libraries (especially in the places where younger people need AN most) have website filters, and an "F-Bomb" here and there may hinder their ability to access this site. If that's the case, then I'll deal with the filter here, and cuss extra in the physical world to make up for it.
I suppose you're right in that respect. I hadn't thought about school and library filters. Even so, I have a feeling that many of us are mature enough to moderate ourselves.
Many maybe, but certainly not all. But that's why some basic rules need to be spelled out. I don't think there should be censoring but a base line of what is acceptable or not should be established.
This is an interesting question in itself because I am also a WoW player, so I have some input on the matter and about the profanity filter. First of all, if you take offense from a word it is completely dependent on the person saying it and the way it is said. I have the profanity filler turned off, because the profanity filter in WoW is rediculous. The word hentai is filtered out, because it means anime porn.

I don't think excessive use of swearing is a good thing, and it certianly doesn't promote an advanced form of language, but to prohibit swearing or offensive words never work, we will just find other ways to swear. Language is never static but rather in a constant evolution. Everytime we interact with someone else who can speak and write our language will change. Our langauge changes just by thinking alone, because it is proven we think in languages.

I think that particularly "kids" as in the sense of being in the early teens and below think it's cool to write all things in caps, overuse leet speak, excessive amounts of exclamation marks and overuse swearing.

Although, the "defend SP u idiots!" is rather common in AV battles among many other examples. And I think that's a huge issue with the younger ones in our internet culture in general. It should be noted that not all of the ones using such language are under 18. Many of them are way over 25.

Well, I just think it's better trying to state and look as a good example. Whether you think it's cool to call everyone noobs, idiots, cunts, dickheads or not is probably a maturity question.

As for someone asking hwo to explain the word fuck. Children at the age 5 do have a sort of sense of intercourse, and you could just explain it's a bad word and use examples which are easy for the kid to understand, and give examples of words you would then be preferred to hear.

Aslo, the example with the father who used excessive amount of swearing at home around his daughter (?) who used less swearing later in life is interesting. It should also be noted that swearing itself is also highly connected to which social group you belong to. Working class people tend to swear and use worse "swearing" words than middle and upper class. Upper class people tend to use "nice" swear words, ie, swear words with very little power behind them.
Language is language? No. Language imparts meaning and context to ideas, thought, philosophy, mathematics, science and all of those things that are held in highest regard by the literate inhabitants of earth. Language also allows us to convey our deepest contempt, hatred, revilement and disgust.

Whether one realizes it or not, the choice of language or particular words leave an impression on the audience. I don't think this is really "about the children".

The impression I am left with upon seeing a group entitled "Fnck Islam" or "Fnck Christianity" is that of hatred, anger, and abuse. I don't want to be associated with racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, culturalism, or ethnicism. Religious hate is not within my realm of comfort either. I think it is unjust for people to hate me for my lack of religious beliefs and I extend them the same courtesy.

That said, I don't condone censorship of speech or thought. Where I live cursing or swearing is not socially acceptable. When I do it, I KNOW it's not acceptable. I have never said "fnck you" to a loved one. I would find that abusive. I think, though, that the more frequently one drops the "F Bomb" the less it's impact. Here, if you say it, you had better really mean it. Other places, it's as common as breath itself.

In written language, I find the usage of profanity to be a distraction which cheapens the author's meaning in some cases. In other cases, it's humorous. In still other cases, profanity punches between dull lines of prose.

Words are not harmless in my opinion. They have teeth. A well crafted insult will deliver its bite regardless of sticks and stones. Laws and constitutions, poetry, music, philosophies and beliefs are also transcribed into reality via the written word. Peers identify one another through their words. So yes, I think words matter.

Children have at birth no inkling of the impact of language. We learn along the way. Knowing the "bad words" for male genitalia as you mentioned isn't the problem. The problem is where the child USES the word. Don't call grandma a c@cksucker, ok?
I speak of language in completely other terms than you do. That it is artificual, that it is originally as neutral as the machine you sit in front everyday, may it be the TV or a computer. What you speak of is of cultural influences of the language. Sure, language is a part of culture, but language is also language in its own rights. A language is an artificial means of communication. A language can as thus reflect a culture just like turning on the TV and watching the news can, but the TV itself is harmless. It is the people who use the language and give words connotations that gives it subjective meanings.

Do you think the word värmlänning says something to you as a non-Swede? It is a word, but for you it is neutral because you don't know its meaning. The people give words meanings. This is very true in the case of eupheisms. Now the word black is almost becoming offensive and the word colored is preferred (as in speaking of other ethnical groups than people originally born in the West).

Of course certain words have certain powerful meanings, but it only depends on your own subjective exposement to the word. As you stated yourself, the word fuck might mean far less to someone else than it does to you. You find it yourself a highly aggressive word. Indeed, aggression is one of the main reasons we use swearing words today. We would have serious troubles showing the exact position of our aggressions without swearings.

Compare to "I'm gonna kill you!" to "I'm gonna kill you you bastard!" to "I'm gonna kill you idiot!". They all show different levels of aggression, some very thin, some with huge gaps. When one word becomes worn out, we replace it with something else.

I reiterate, words in themselves, words as just being words are harmless. Humans give them meanings, words don't carry meanings on their own. Words are due to subjective interpretations, and subjective exposement. But if we speak of words as just being words, they are all neutral. I am not saying words don't matter, language is useless, I should more than anyone, understand the importance of language and its limitations as a person who has studied linguistics, even on a more basic level. But you seem to have issues separating that language forms after its user, not the other way around. Langauge is a tool, just like a knife. You can use a knife for all kind of purposes, like cutting vegetables. Still in the hand of a murderer, a knife can become tool to kill with.

That is the difference I wanted to state out.

Which also think I stated out further down in the discussion, is that when the child does indeed call their grandma a cocksucker, it's to the grown-ups to explain why it isn't allowed.


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