Sunday, December 11, 2016

LANGUAGE POLICE

                                                               





What is it with swearing?   I've written about this topic before, mostly with regard to verbal swearing by individuals in public place.     The internet has its own rules (or lack of them--incidently what happened to netiquette?) and this has spilled over into print journalism)  Perhaps it annoys me because I can recall a time when published swearing in magazines, journals and newspapers did not exist.   I don't think it was that long ago, either.    In the past few years it is as if a magic fairy waved a wand and pronounced, "Go to it!"   The New Yorker magazine to name one of many publications has apparently made an editorial decision that expletives make fine copy.  Today, I've been reading blog posts by an intelligent, educated woman with strong opinions on many subjects.   I just wish she could stop dropping F bombs in most posts.    

After a while, it is easy to think, 'It must be me.   Nobody else seems bothered.'   I try to reason my annoyance out and  consider whether in was the eleventh grade English teacher who opined that people who swear a lot are deficient in vocabulary skills (who wants to be like that?) or whether it was articles in women's magazines of the past that declared that swearing was 'unladylike'.  I'm a product of another generation.  But after all, what's in a word?

Swearing used to be something that was done for effect.   You really meant it if you added an expletive.   It was saved for heinous crimes not hangnails.  Surely, swearing must be losing its effect as shock value;  new words will have to be invented.

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