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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 14 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 14 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

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

  • My views may well have changed in the last 14 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and 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 173rd post was filed under: Headliner.

Some recently published posts

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A flying visit to Copenhagen / July 2019, 9 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / June 2019, 6 minutes long

Reflecting on my first ten years as a doctor / June 2019, 8 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / June 2019, 6 minutes long

Some random old posts

To speculate or not to speculate? / September 2006, Less than a minute long

Raising children as vegans ‘unethical’, says professor / February 2005, 3 minutes long

National shock as 75% fail A-Levels / August 2006, 2 minutes long

Desperate TV chef leaps aboard bandwagon / May 2005, 1 minute long

ID Cards and the Constitution / April 2004, 3 minutes long

My first Conservative email / April 2005, 8 minutes long


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