March 30, 2006

We are the Problem

More on the decline of Western civilazation:

We are swearing more:

Nearly three-quarters of Americans questioned last week -- 74 percent -- said they encounter profanity in public frequently or occasionally, according to an Associated Press-Ipsos poll. Two-thirds said they think people swear more than they did 20 years ago. And as for, well, the gold standard of foul words, a healthy 64 percent said they use the F-word -- ranging from several times a day (8 percent) to a few times a year (15 percent).

I wish to do my part, but this is a family blog. So go here.


larry said...

The poll is definitely right. I indicate my age by being amazed at the kind of language that is accepted in public and even in print (including the web) these days. It is definitely different than 20-30, maybe even 10 years ago.

A more interesting question is, why is there profanity? What is it about our society that such words exist and actually offend people? Why is it that a show like Battlestar Galactica can easily get away with characters who exclaim "frak" when it is clear that the meaning and intention is exactly the same as that other four-letter f-word in the real world? And if meaning and intent don't define profanity, what does?

larry said...

I should add that said language doesn't offend me. Maybe the more common acceptance of such language is a sign of the maturity of Western civilization, not its decline.

Tyler said...

It's all that mother fucking rap music, man. I mean, shit! You know. It's filled with 'fuck,' 'shit,' 'bitch.'

And don't be gettin' me started on the mah-fuckin slang, beeeatch.

Its the media. Rap music, movies, the Sappraons....It correlates pretty well with what's been considered an acceptable amount of sex to show on TV over the years too.

And I agree with Larry: New slang, more swear words (more importantly different uses for them), along with the creation of new words (such as 'diss', 'blog', 'detox', etc.) advance the language to some degree.

I think it would be worse to have a stagnant language with no profanity than an evolving language with a few swear words.