Figures of Speech
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21-08-2010, 11:56 AM
 
Figures of Speech
Every now and then, through the course of a conversation, I may say things like "I swear to God" or "Jesus Christ" or "For God's Sake" to express frustration. Having grown up in the US (a basically Christian society), things like this are naturally picked up because they are part of the dialect. Language is learned through observation and listening, and these just happen to be some of the phrases that I have listened to over and over through the years. After saying them however, I always contemplate the irony of my saying them.

What about you guys? Do you ever find yourselves using these phrases? Does it really matter? Do they even have a religious significance anymore? Do you guys use an "atheist" alternative to them?
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21-08-2010, 12:59 PM
RE: Figures of Speech
Yeah, I use them all the time. I could care less what religious meaning they carry among others. They've become part of the social fabric, and they're about the only way to express really strong feelings without resorting to swearing.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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21-08-2010, 01:26 PM
RE: Figures of Speech
The one I struggle with is when you have a situation where someone is sick, hurt, has a tough situation and it is fairly commonplace in the US to say someone will be in your prayers. I don't pray and this always makes me feel awkward.

I'll usually try to say something along the lines of offering my best wishes, and leave it at that. It's almost silly, though, as it's really more of a figure of speech even for religious folks. I'm sure there are people who do actually pray for others, but I think more often people say that as an almost throw away line.

It's probably a small nit with me but I always found it hypocritical to say I'd do something I had no intention of doing. It's like saying I'll make a donation in your name to "The Human Fund" or something. I've no intention of doing it, so why say it?

Shackle their minds when they're bent on the cross
When ignorance reigns, life is lost
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22-08-2010, 01:15 AM
RE: Figures of Speech
Where I grew up, such phrases were actually thought of as offensive to the Christian community. I was raised not to say them (for not taking the Lord's name in vain), and still don't say them out of just pure courtesy around my Christian friends. But when I know I won't be stirring up an unnecessary can of trouble, I say them for sure. =P

"It does feel like something to be wrong; it feels like being right." -Kathryn Schulz
I am 100% certain that I am wrong about something I am certain about right now. Because even if everything I stand for turns out to be completely true, I was still wrong about being wrong.
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23-08-2010, 12:00 AM
 
RE: Figures of Speech
hi..
I say them for sure. =P
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23-08-2010, 07:44 AM
 
RE: Figures of Speech
I'm afraid mine lean more toward swearing. "God damn it" and " Jesus H f**king Christ" are the two I use almost exclusively. They are normally used after I've banged myself with a hammer or similar item. I've used them so long now they're now almost like a neurological response to sudden pain. I'll really have to watch myself now that I have a 18 month old granddaughter around the house. My son's first phrase was "oh shit" and I don't want my granddaughter's first phrase to be one of the two listed above...my wife would kill me.
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23-08-2010, 12:25 PM
 
RE: Figures of Speech
I always 'blaspheme' as it were. I usually do so without any thought unless Im with a christian and then I do feel bad for a bit incase ive offened them...then i just forget about it again because it usually doesn't.
Christians, i find, arnt usually offened...perhaps because im British...or just our age! So it doesn't really affect me
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23-08-2010, 01:34 PM
RE: Figures of Speech
(23-08-2010 07:44 AM)Michael R Wrote:  My son's first phrase was "oh shit"

I lol'd.

"Owl," said Rabbit shortly, "you and I have brains. The others have fluff. If there is any thinking to be done in this Forest - and when I say thinking I mean thinking - you and I must do it."
- A. A. Milne, The House at Pooh Corner
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23-08-2010, 07:31 PM
 
RE: Figures of Speech
I do my best to take the lord's name in vain as often as humanly possible. It makes me tingle.


I watched 'A Serious Man' the other day. It struck me how often a script about Jewish people resorted to the term "jesus christ" as an epithet in casual conversation.
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23-08-2010, 11:54 PM
RE: Figures of Speech
Hmm, the summer 2009 when I had my confirmation camp, they teached us weird stuff about the ten commandments. ''Thou shalt not take the lords name in vain'' was told to mean no profanity, even though people usually use only one coarseword about god. Also the commandment ''thou shalt not kill'' somehow means that you must not hurt anybody, physically or by making fun of someone.

Correct me when I'm wrong.
Accept me or go to hell.
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