Yesterday we were discussing profanity in the media in my Journalism lecture. The question was raised, 'What is offensive about profanity?' Is the word itself offensive? Or maybe are the connontations we associate with the word offensive?
Even if we think about cultural differences...Words like 'kak' or 'kaffir' don't really offend the Americans, but mean the same as 'shit' and 'nigger'. In South Africa 'moer' is the equivalant to 'f-k' and yet you were probably not offended by seeing it typed out.
When you read my blog, do you feel more offended seeing 'Fuck society' or 'F*** Society'? What is the difference? I feel angry when papers block those three letters- Am I so stupid that I don't really know what you are referring to? Do the children who read that not understanding that stars after a letter means a bad word? Are those three letters what makes readers uncomfortable?
My thoughts? no ways. A word is a word is a word. It is the meaning behind those words that make what you are saying offensive. Whether you say, 'screw you' or the more 'profane' version you are conveying the same meaning. Whether you say Damn it, Dang it or something more original, the meaning is the same.
This alludes to the question then, If my word choice don't affect the offensive level and rather what makes me offended the meaning behind the words, then why choose a less expressive tone? Simple. There is no reason at all. Except connontations don't just apply to words. The people who use these profane words are usually associated with the stereotyped. Profanity is sometimes seen as cheap, unintellegent, and down right grotestque. Is this fair to yourself? Is it acceptable to be judged like this in society? If no what are you doing to do about it?
Ok, so weigh in. What do you think? Tell me your views on profanity...