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The art of swearing

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Warning: This post was published more than 12 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my 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 have changed in the 12 years since I wrote this post.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Many thanks for your understanding.

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 10th July 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 2nd June 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 7th May 2017)

Daily Mail’s biggest non-story yet? (published 2nd November 2006)

Clinical OSCE (published 18th May 2004)

Review: The Undercover Economist by Tim Harford (published 22nd January 2014)

Photo-a-day 80: Egg stood on its end (published 20th March 2012)


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