Bad words.
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22-08-2011, 08:49 PM
RE: Bad words.
(22-08-2011 06:51 PM)sy2502 Wrote:  Which opens a whole new can of worms on the subject of "words". Why would one word be acceptable or not acceptable depending on who says it? Why isn't it depending on the meaning only, like... well... every other word?

As you say, different can of worms. The first set is words that are bad according to a whole society - at least across a social class. It's either acceptable or unacceptable use, for everyone (though not equally in all situations).
The second set - pejoratives used to denote a specific sub-group separated out by genetic accident - is about power relationships: the name-callers feel superior by belittling or demonizing the named. When First Nations people take back the right - the sole right to name themselves - if they want to say Injun as a joke or an insult or or code word or never at all, is up to them, and to nobody else.
The pejorative didn't start out as a taboo word, but becomes one when the rest of society recognizes that group's right to autonomy and pride and forbids the majority to express contempt for a minority.

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22-08-2011, 09:01 PM
RE: Bad words.
(22-08-2011 06:19 PM)sy2502 Wrote:  For me, I find it particularly aggravating when hearing people use the word "nigger" as punctuation. It's not funny, and it's not cool.

(22-08-2011 06:41 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  That's a whole different ballgame. It's out of bounds for caucasians unless you're looking to get your ass kicked.

(22-08-2011 06:51 PM)sy2502 Wrote:  Which opens a whole new can of worms on the subject of "words". Why would one word be acceptable or not acceptable depending on who says it? Why isn't it depending on the meaning only, like... well... every other word?

(22-08-2011 08:49 PM)Peterkin Wrote:  The second set - pejoratives used to denote a specific sub-group separated out by genetic accident - is about power relationships: the name-callers feel superior by belittling or demonizing the named. When First Nations people take back the right - the sole right to name themselves - if they want to say Injun as a joke or an insult or or code word or never at all, is up to them, and to nobody else. The pejorative didn't start out as a taboo word, but becomes one when the rest of society recognizes that group's right to autonomy and pride and forbids the majority to express contempt for a minority.

That is an exceptional answer. From a pragmatic point of view, some words are imbued with such a history as Peterkin describes that you will get your ass kicked if you don't realize you are not allowed to use them.

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23-08-2011, 10:49 AM
 
RE: Bad words.
There is a delightful episode in "Boston Legal" where one of the male lawyers is VERY uncomfortable with the word 'vagina'. He is trying to use a euphemism but he can't find anything acceptable in mixed company, even though, as his girlfriend points out, there are many acceptable ones for the male organ. Is it possible that some of the words designated as 'dirty' have a sexual connotation? Could it be a Victorian squeamishness about the female body?
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23-08-2011, 11:23 AM
RE: Bad words.
Here are some nice bad words for you, this is the normal English language...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4er5eEMGrFQ

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23-08-2011, 12:04 PM
RE: Bad words.
I was told by someone who could know it that the worst swear word in Chinese is "turtle-egg". Huh

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Disclaimer: Don’t mix the personal opinion above with the absolute and objective truth. Remember to think for yourself. Thank you.
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23-08-2011, 01:07 PM
RE: Bad words.
(23-08-2011 12:04 PM)The_observer Wrote:  I was told by someone who could know it that the worst swear word in Chinese is "turtle-egg". Huh

Found this explanation:

Turtle as Term of Abuse in China. In China, the term “turtle egg” is equivalent to calling someone a “bastard.” The reasoning is simple. Turtles crawl out of the ocean, dig a hole in the sand, and with their backs to the hole, they lay their eggs. The turtle then pushes the sand back over the eggs and returns to the ocean. The eggs are left to fend for themselves. Furthermore, islanders can stand behind the turtle as it lays its eggs and catch the eggs in their hands. The turtle does not even notice. The turtle fills the empty hole -- never once looking back -- and returns to the ocean.

Source: http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/ssu-ling.shtml

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23-08-2011, 06:15 PM
RE: Bad words.
(23-08-2011 01:07 PM)cufflink Wrote:  
(23-08-2011 12:04 PM)The_observer Wrote:  I was told by someone who could know it that the worst swear word in Chinese is "turtle-egg". Huh

Found this explanation:

Turtle as Term of Abuse in China. In China, the term “turtle egg” is equivalent to calling someone a “bastard.” The reasoning is simple. Turtles crawl out of the ocean, dig a hole in the sand, and with their backs to the hole, they lay their eggs. The turtle then pushes the sand back over the eggs and returns to the ocean. The eggs are left to fend for themselves. Furthermore, islanders can stand behind the turtle as it lays its eggs and catch the eggs in their hands. The turtle does not even notice. The turtle fills the empty hole -- never once looking back -- and returns to the ocean.

Source: http://www.onmarkproductions.com/html/ssu-ling.shtml

Shit, surviving that would seem like a compliment to me.

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