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Old 04-03-2006, 02:49 PM
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What makes a bad word bad?

WARNING: The following discussion may not be accepted by all, and would suggest that if you are offended by swear words or the discussion of such, please leave this thread



Ok, before I get ripped for this here me out. I have had this approved by gertrude, however this needs to stay civil. This is not a thread where you are allowed to simply sit around and curse but discuss a serious topic. The reason I am posting this is to discuss a point of view that I have had for some time.

Ok, so, here is the topic, what makes a bad word bad? Well I have always looked at "bad" words as being a very hypocritical area. Someone will say hey this word is bad, however will turn around and say the word crap or poo which has the same exact definition as the "bad" word that they previously stated. So, if the definition is not what defines a word as bad, what is?

Please, like I said, gertrude stated that this topic is on a fine line, so please keep this civil, and simply discuss what could be the cause of a word being bad. Also, if in a point or something, you are needing to use a word that will be **** out, allow it to be, and let the community figure the word out for themselves, don't find a way around it like using all cap's or something.

The following is a list of words that are considered bad by most of the general public, as well as publicly accepted words with the same definition.

1. **** = poop, crap, fecal matter, etc.
2. damn = darn
3. **** = sex, freaking, intercourse
4. *** = anus, hind end, butt, buns,donkey
5. ***** = female dog

Please discuss, and again, keep this civilized and serious, if this gets off topic, I will request it be deleted.
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Old 04-03-2006, 03:01 PM
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F.*.*.*. = Fornicating Under Consent of King

the word began its life in the middle ages when kings would try to limit the popuation and those who got cuaght doing the deed without a F.*.*.*. sign on the door would be punished. thats the story i was told anyway. so its not truely a bad word its just saying you have the right to **** whenever you want.
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Old 04-03-2006, 03:40 PM
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i think it is just on the way you say it
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Old 04-03-2006, 03:40 PM
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Hopefully one of my questions will be answered, me going to a private school they talk alot about religon obviously, and from my understanding the bible is the only thing that says you cant use the words. Now why in a public school you cant say them and noone makes a issue of it, but when we said the pledge it had the word God in it so parents rose hell. Little off topic, but just my thoughts.
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Old 04-03-2006, 03:40 PM
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I hope you dont get slammed for that Dante, because that is interesting, I have never heard that.
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Old 04-03-2006, 03:42 PM
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Uhhhh, this just went WAY downhill. Not sure if this one is really appropriate discussion as there are underaged kids who frequent the forums. Sure many of them are going to say "oh, I know all of those words already", but it still doesn't make it okay to discuss them publicly.

While I understand your desire to have a civil discussion about bad words, even the off-topic forum probably isn't going to be the best place for it. I would recommend the moderators take this thread down before someone gets offended.

Darkstar out.
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Old 04-03-2006, 03:48 PM
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Ok, that is fine, I completely understand. I did ask gertrude before I posted this about it, and she said it was ok, but to tread softly, but if you feel it should be taken down, please one of the mods do so. I do not want to offend anyone or step on their toes. Gertrude said she may not be online until tomorrow, so if one of the other mods would like, they can remove this. Thank you, and sorry if I have upset anyone. Simply trying to have a serious discussion, and I hoped the warning on the top would have been enough.

However Darkstar you are reinforcing my side of the argument a little. Why is it that when such a descussion comes up, people are offended? What is it that offends these people. It can't be the definition becuase if it where, they would be offended by this entire site. I have seen numorous times in just about every thread words such as crap, dang, darn, etc. used regularly. I am not stating that the site should be changed, simply using it as an example, so please do not take it as such. So, why does this descusion offend people? Why do certain words offend people when a similar word with the same definition does not? Ok, last little speal, sorry, if you deem it as necisary, mods please close this up.
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Old 04-03-2006, 05:53 PM
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Its the hypocrisy of the system Blackhawk

Its a Ying, and Yang thing.. If you didn't have words that meant "so bad" you wouldnt have words that meant "so good" like love, and peace. This is needed to be able to express ourselves with emotion.

What emotion/words are acceptable seems to be attached to religon.
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Old 04-03-2006, 06:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dante
F.*.*.*. = Fornicating Under Consent of King

the word began its life in the middle ages when kings would try to limit the popuation and those who got cuaght doing the deed without a F.U.C.K. sign on the door would be punished. thats the story i was told anyway. so its not truely a bad word its just saying you have the right to **** whenever you want.
Funny, but not true:

CLICK ME

EDIT: Due to our glorious language filter, the link I provided is "clensed". To access the link, replace the ****.html with f u c k.html, obviously omitting the spaces
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Old 04-03-2006, 06:16 PM
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Steamer I see, and this is understandable, however, if it is religion based, one(not myself) could argue that the FCC is therefore forcing christianity/the bible upon the public by referring to the words said to be cursed by such religion and not allowing them on public television. It could be argued the same way the pledge of allegiance was with the sentence one nation under god.

I do understand that those certain words could express extreme emotion such as severe anger, or severe dislike, or something of that nature, but even in that respect such words are still looked down upon by most of society. And that is what I do not understand.

If religion says that certain words are cursed, why? I would like to know why a certain word is cursed and yet another with the same meaning is not. You would think that if the reasoning behind the word being a curse word is religion based, it would be because the religion does not approve of the definition, however if that is so, then why are other words accepted and those that are "bad" are not?

Also D Man I believe the link is a bad link, it took me to a page that said the url could not be found.
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Old 04-03-2006, 06:29 PM
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Cool link Dman!

Blackhawk, search the acronym at that site. Seems to help answer some of your interesting questions.

For me those words in society that are "taboo" give it more strength emotionally because of its "ban". Which only stops me from using them in certain company.
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Old 04-03-2006, 06:41 PM
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Agreed Steamer, I to try to watch the language in certain company due to the fact that I know some may take it the wrong way. And yes the link did help, thank you D Man, it is greatly appreciated. This is the discussion I was looking for when I started this thread, I am glad to have serious posters such as Steamer, D Man, and others discuss this topic.

My entire point behind this topic is, why are the words so taboo, and the link does help some with the explanation, however it still doesn't answer my question about, why it is that some will use words that have the same exact meaning as those they deem unfit and "bad". Yes it is like you said Steamer, it is the hypocrisy of it, however I would like to bring this to peoples attention, because I know for atleast my parents and their friends, they where unaware that they where even being hypocritical in this way until I brought it to their attention, now it is not such a big deal to use such language, atleast in certain situations that call for such, in their presence.

Take for example yesterday, I found out that my brand new KJ glock is not with my stuff after Op: Bermuda, and I am very mad about that. When I first found out about it I was furious and did not care to watch my language, because I felt it was needed to use such words to express my true feelings. If I had simply sat back and said, aww man I am so angry, I am so darn mad, I don't seem to furious, however replace angry and darn and mad with a few certain words, and the sentance is more intense and gets my point across that I am very angry.
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Old 04-03-2006, 06:42 PM
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I would guess that some words are "bad" or "taboo" has more to do with their history than with their definition. For instance, some racial words are considered "bad" because of the history of their application. Of course, many of those racial words are becoming less "bad" simply because people are starting to use them in less negative ways recently.

So I would guess that curse words were at some point applied in a negative way and have therefore remained "bad" today.
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Old 04-03-2006, 06:55 PM
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Yes it is understandable that racial words would be considered taboo, because they have a bad definition. However, if a word was bad at a point in time and was unaccepted it would have been because of it's definition and meaning. However in current times, it is not the definition that is considered taboo or bad, but it is simply the word itself. If you look farther back in time, the entire definition was looked down uppon, and any word referring to such definition was considered bad, however in current times the definition is not bad, and most of the words that mean such that used to be considered taboo are more widely accepted accept for those select few. And that is where I ask why.
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:05 PM
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My nephews birthday party was a few weeks ago, one of the kids(9 years old) turned to my nephew, and said "fo shizzle my nizzle". Now, I dont know if any other adult caught it or not, but I know what he said, and I found it unacceptable. Why? Most likely because I didnt feel he understood the gravity of what he said being 9 years old, not enough respect for the words he choose. This comes with maturity, and understanding of the "taboo", and is earned. Its an unspoken right of passage, once you are able to understand, and own the emotion behind such words you are then allowed to use them.
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:12 PM
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Steamer, I agree with you 100%, and feel the same way. I to have heard/seen such things and agree, it is just not right for someone who does not understand what they are saying to say it. However once they are old enough and do have the responsability and maturity to use such words in the correct format, why is it wrong? And we are back to square 1 . No but seriously though, I do fully agree with you.
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:26 PM
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hehe I hear you bro...

An effort to protect the innocent, in religious terms? Hypocrisy? Sensorship?

Yes I say.

I do feel the taboo gives definition, and meaning. Without it they lose there gravity.
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Old 04-03-2006, 07:31 PM
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absolutely, in younger people, if they did not have that taboo, then they would not have that "gravity" and would not understand that what they are saying is severe, or extreme. However once they come of age, and can understand the responsibilities of such words, I don't see what the big deal is with them saying them. I don't see why so many people see it as wrong for grown men and women to use such words if the time and place calls for it. But when it comes to the younger generation, I do agree that we should keep such words as seeming taboo atleast until they can completely comprehend what is being said.
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:00 PM
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But who says its bad; it’s just a word anyways isn’t it???

Well, I’m a firm believer in tell-it-how-it-is. Don’t beat around the bush, get straight to the point. However, because of societies constraints (hehe) one can’t do that all the time. Words are words to me, nothing more, nothing less. Someone can tell me over and over that they love me, adore me, etc. Someone can tell me over and over how much they hate, want to beat me up, etc. All using words, “words that mean “good” like love, and peace. This is needed to be able to express ourselves with emotion.” Or using words from the other side of the spectrum. It neither hurts me or moves me if someone tells me, **** you or I love you. They are words to me whether they are “good” or “bad”, which is label put on them by society. Because it is deemed a bad word, it’s still a word. An action is where true feelings are portrayed.

I can’t tell you from a first hand experience, maybe someone older could comment, but bad words have been used more loosely in dialogue then they were 15 years ago… At least in my life bad words are used without any too much of any emotion attached to them. They are just another word in the vast English vocabulary to say something.

However, it is all too sad to come across little children, 4-7, cussing you out, dropping the F-bomb every other word…. But who says its bad; it’s just a word anyways isn’t it???
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Old 04-03-2006, 10:17 PM
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Yes, it is just a word, however words are used to express emotion. A young child who says something along the lines of **** you does not comprehend what is truly being said. He/she doesn't understand that that is a very strong way of saying things. It is just like them yelling at their parents when they are mad at them and saying that they hate them. They don't realize that what they just said hits deep inside and hurts their parents feelings, and it is that lack of comprehension that makes me say such words should stay taboo for the younger community, however once they have matured, and can understand the correct time's to use harsher words, maybe when truly upset or something, than they should not be looked at as cursing, but simply expressing their true feeling, wether it be rage, pain, sadness, etc.
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Old 04-03-2006, 11:50 PM
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Funny thing is I really rarely use curse words to show actual anger, but way more often for emphasis in normal conversation (obviously just with friends, not around family or in a professional setting). Maybe this is a development of the last few decades, I'm not sure. But it might be worth asking if this sort of use lowers the impact of the same words used to demonstrate true anger or dislike.
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Old 04-04-2006, 06:17 AM
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Well, how does **** translate to the middle finger? Thats all I really want to know...
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:36 AM
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Gmaximus, that is a very good point, and I would have to agree with you. I would think that with people hearing it more it will lesten the impact of it's severity. I am not completely opposed to this, seeing as how such words do have the same exact definition as others that are commonly used, so it would only make sense for these words to be commonly used as substiutes for the ones that are already used. However I do believe that once this happens, we will have to find new words to express our anger, rage, sadness, etc. because once these final few get to the point where they are used regularly and have lost their impact, we are out of words to express the extreme's.


Ohhhhhh, we may have an answer to my question . These words are kept taboo, and tryed to keep out of everyday speech due to the fact that they are the last words we have that will express an extreme of a certain feeling. If these words are to become common like dang, darn, poo, etc., then we will have to invent new words. The reasons the current words are called bad is just people over reacting to a word that they are not used to hearing. Possible answer anyone?

And The CGS, I agree, I have no idea how the middle finger translates to that.
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:34 AM
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Honestly, I think the middle finger may come be the symbol for, well you know, in sign language. - At least that's what I've always thought.

To me, it's the meaning behind the word that makes it bad. It also depends on how it is used. Especially if directed specifically toward someone to insult them when used.

I try not to use foul language (I'm a Christian) but I use " Holy Crap " and " Oh frick! " alot in battle
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:42 AM
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The middle finger originated in the middle ages (time of Braveheart, castles, etc.) and vikings. When the castles captured enemies, they would cut off their middle finger so that they couldnt fire off arrows anymore. The opposite side who still had their middle fingers would show them to the opposing castles kinda like a "Ha ha, I still have my finger" type of thing. Or at least thats what I was taught.
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