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Expletives, swearing, oaths, profanity, vulgarity, cursing, obscenity and scatology

It's a lot in the ear of the listener. An anecdote-

I once had a very dear friend online, a Southern Baptist, so strict she didn't even believe in dancing as it led to fornication. Now as you all know I am very fond of swearing in conversation (and in poetry and feedback) and I occasionally let slip an expletive during our often heated debates on religion. She gently reprimanded me and asked me to mind my language. Once, however, on the subject of 'original sin' I got so angry I had to swear and choosing the mildest I could think of I said "damn you". She literally burst into tears, cut off all communication and never spoke to me again.

Everyone has their own boundaries too, of course. Damn you was the height of vicious abuse to Marge. A Neopoet member who used the word fuck in his signature objected to me using the word cunt in a poem. Who says 'friggin' and 'fecking' but objects to 'fucking'? Which to me is pure hypocrisy, the first two are just euphemisms of the last.

On a scientific level. Swearing helps deal with pain. Subjects were asked to hold their hand in a tub of iced water and hold it there as long as possible whilst repeating a bland, emotively neutral word. Then the experiment was repeated but they were allowed to swear, using the worst profanity they were capable of. While swearing they were able to hold their hand in for 45-75 % longer. There was an exception. Those subjects who were in the habit of swearing on a regular basis had their tolerance time reduced while swearing! Profanity, like chemical painkillers develops tolerance!

I do like the shock value, the honest descriptiveness and often the very sound of a lot of swearing. If anyone crits one of my poems just for containing profanity they can get fucked. Although I am open to suggestions for a more apposite alternative.

Oh, one dictionary gives the following definition of 'expletive'
expletive [ɪkˈspliːtɪv]
n
1. (Linguistics) most common usage, an exclamation or swearword; an oath or a sound expressing an emotional reaction rather than any particular meaning
2. (Linguistics) any syllable, word, or phrase conveying no independent meaning, esp one inserted in a line of verse for the sake of the metre

I know many of you would rather I said of your poem "This is fucking brilliant!" than "Quite nice, dear"

Have a bloody brilliant day,
cheers
Jess

Comments

The fact that you use Anglo Saxon and other hard languages to comment should be OK, I rarely use those words but I do get more attention when I do, I wonder why lol.
Good to visualise you sat there cross legged giving it shit trying not to fall off of your seat, just stay as you are, but should you get out of line I shall talk with another tongue. lol
Good to have a Blog on this it may stop some frail creatures becoming offended, I spent many years in the forces and in strange places where the words were few but pointed...
Take care young Elf, we have a long journey to do, so lets keep a few secrets.
Yours Ian.T

.
There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

How the hell did I get sandwiched between these two statements, do me a favour move your asses and let me out of here.. Yours Passerine.
Still loves you both though xxx

.
There are a million reasons to believe in yourself,
So find more reasons to believe in others..

as a good ole aussie shiela I’m used to bloody havin’ the males around me use fuckin’ colourful language
lol – colourful, blue…. it is an ideology of its own…

me mum always said that we girls had a better command of the queen’s bloody english and so we didn’t need to fuckin’ swear our way through a bloody sentence to make our fuckin' point.
and you’ll never fuckin’ find me bloody using it… no fuckin’ way
its just not bloody ladylike
fuck no

love judy
xxx

'Each for the joy of the working, and each, in his separate star,
shall draw the Thing as he sees It, for the God of Things as They are.'
(Rudyard Kipling)

or is that the drugs?
xox

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

I get the impression that you are clueless as to why the Baptist member so strongly objected to "Damn you". Totell a deeply religious person this and to be taken seriously in the implied wish is to suggest that they actually be cast into hell for eternity. They would probably have preferred to be told fuck you or called a cunt or whore as such gives a chance for redemption. This is why I always urge care in language use in commentary. One can never know how language which is considered appropriate in one culture will be taken in another.
Shortly after the war between the states, a southern ex -Conferderate officer told an occupying union officer he thought his wife was a peach. Meant as a compliment. It was taken as meaning her complection was yellow and fuzzy. The union officer shot the confderate down for so badly insulting his wife.
Now my opinion about the use of profanity is quite different as poetry should seldom be taken personally by the reader. Thus an explective in poetry when not used out of character to the overall poem is not only acceptable but at times needed.
But:
Mary had a little lamb fuck
whose fleece was white as snow bitch
now that's just trying to get attention via shock value
And of course I harly expect this to actually make any difference in others' use of profanity, I just posted so as to explain my own feelings about it..............stan

And regretted it. I did not mean to cause harm.

My point is though that poetry is the most un-censorable of artforms. Your statement "poetry should seldom be taken personally by the reader" is utterly ludicrous! Stupid! Damn you! Stupid cunt! If poetry is not taken personally by the reader it is only taken personally by the writer and is therefore pure literary. masturbation.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

that was a superb transliteration of my tagline!
Kudos.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

Guess I misspoke. The Poetry should be taken personally, but any harsh language within a poem is seldom taken as a personal affront to a reader (at least not This one). Another reason to use profanity sparingly is that over use dulls it's shock value................stan

does not dull its shock value.

People who don't use it also can write well. Both are perfectly acceptable.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

part of using it well is not over using it......................stan

your moral imperatives are disguised by reasoableness, but they show. That is sneaky, I disrespect it,.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

Does the fact that I only apply my morality upon myself make me sneaky? I might well make my opinions known but seldom do I force them or attempt to force them on others. Neither do I demand others to respect them, just that they respect my right to voice them.........................stan

I read a tubtext that wasn't there, sorry

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

When I Try for multiple levels in poetry I fail and when I Don't in communications they flourish lmao. no worries............stan

need Ron's upcoming workshop
"Mindful Memorable Freeform: The Challenge" (coming soon)

There is meaning, subtext and value in every word we utter. And an equal number of mistakes! [grins]

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

How dare you think STAN THE MAGNIFICENT could ever benefit from a workshop.............pause to let incredulous laughter die down. lol. I've already stated in his shop announcement that I'm considering it if for no other reason to see how open form can be made memorable. Heck I can barely even remember my own attempts at it lol................stan Ps the tough part about conveying subtext in writing is the body language and vocal inflection which so often convey deeper meanings in speech are not available..................stan

You nailed it, my friend. "the tough part about conveying subtext in writing is the body language and vocal inflection which so often convey deeper meanings in speech are not available"

That is the challenge.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment

I feel I'm being recruited abain lol. The REAL challenge is in conveying multiple levels without being as obvious as an elephant in the dining room. By trying for subtlty I too often miss out................stan

you do.

That's why this workshop should help

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

author comment
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