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The art of swearing

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 13 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. Not everything that is old is bad. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured.

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might very well have changed in the 13 years since I wrote this post. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find pretty embarrassing today.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

The art of swearing

It would help me a lot in the struggle to retain my sanity if people would kindly wait until they have seen Jerry Springer: The Opera to comment on it. And as for the Christian complaints, doesn’t Christianity forbid prejudice?

The reason I chose this particular piece to link to was purely for the following quote:

The Sun – headlines yesterday included “I had sex with chatline girl – and her boyfriend” – doesn’t always spring to mind as custodian of the nation’s morals, though it does insert asterisks in swear word so readers are not shocked by full-frontal contact with missing vowels and consonants.

I’ll be watching tonight and, no doubt, commenting on it at some point.

And, as a side-note, if you’re wondering about The Guardian’s position on swearing after its criticism of The Sun:

We are more liberal than any other newspaper, using words such as cunt and fuck that most of our competitors would not use.

The editor’s guidelines are straightforward:

First, remember the reader, and respect demands that we should not casually use words that are likely to offend.

Second, use such words only when absolutely necessary to the facts of a piece, or to portray a character in an article; there is almost never a case in which we need to use a swearword outside direct quotes.

Third, the stronger the swearword, the harder we ought to think about using it.

Finally, never use asterisks, which are just a copout.

This 174th post was filed under: Headliner.

More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 1st April 2018)

World TB Day (published 24th March 2018)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 5th March 2018)

Diary for 25th May 2008 (published 25th May 2008)

One of those perfect political phrases (published 12th October 2005)

It’s December (published 2nd December 2004)

Photo-a-day 23: King’s Cross (published 23rd January 2014)


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