Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Don't say it

In the English language there are hundreds of words that are considered to be "bad" words. I'm sure you can think of a few now that would likely cause you a bit of trouble if you said them to a client or to your parents. Uttering these words will not make the world fall apart, nor will these words conjure up a demon that eats your eyeballs. So what defines them as "bad"?

In short, society...specifically the one you are living in. If i use the phrase "bloody hell" in front of my grandmother-in-law, i should be prepared to kiss my ears goodbye because i am in for a discussion about how "bloody" is really unacceptable language for a christian to use. If i use the same phrase to my father he won't blink an eye. Yet if i say the word "fuck", I'll likely get my face hit for using such 'strong language'.

The words and phrases that are socially acceptable to use seem to cause more hurt though. "you're only trouble" can have infinitely more negative impact than uttering an 'f' word. "You don't really know who you are" can be more damaging than a brick falling on your head, and feel just about as good.

Why aren't these sentences deemed "unacceptable" for social speaking? Can we really be so callus that a verbal asterisk is more of a concern than the sentence it comes in?

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