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Dispreferred words and offence escalation

(6 Posts)
thatbags Sat 16-Apr-16 07:42:12

Or, to put it another way: Where does swearing get its power? by Rebecca Roache. A long but very interesting analysis of swearing behaviour and swear words.

Grannyknot Sat 16-Apr-16 08:04:25

I had never seen (heard) the word "dispreferred" before, so was completely distracted by that and I didn't get to the article on swearing grin


Grannyknot Sat 16-Apr-16 08:05:09


janeainsworth Sat 16-Apr-16 08:29:25

Thanks for the link Bags.
Swearing, then, is as offensive as it is ...............but because when we swear, our audience knows that we do so in the knowledge that they will find it offensive

I'm not quite sure about this bit. If I'm on a bus and a young adult someone is alternating every word with the f-word or the c-word, then I would consider that swearing, and offensive.
But I really think that people who speak like this, increasingly don't actually realise that their audience (me) finds it offensive.
Offence de-escalation perhaps, from their point of view!

thatbags Sat 16-Apr-16 12:09:36

Yes, I'd agree with that, janea, at least up to a point. I suspect that many habitual swearers (the ones who litter everything they say with fucks) started out knowing that their speech was offensive but who, because of the perople they mix with, become habituated to it and don't really think about their diction.

I think Roache is talking about your average swearer, who uses swear words discriminately rather than indiscriminately, which is what you're describing. I can't actually say whether I find such indiscriminate use offensive because I can't actually recall ever hearing anyone talk like that. I imagine I would find it tiresome and 'ignorant' rather than offensive, which probably makes me a bit of a language snob!

Or perhaps a dictionist or language-ist!!

janeainsworth Sat 16-Apr-16 20:08:27

Bags I agree about swearing becoming a habit.

I can assure you though that indiscriminate swearing is not uncommon in these parts and it's usually younger people who are the perpetrators.

One of our near neighbours employed some builders to carry out extensive changes to his house, which went on for months. Another neighbour who has small children had to go round and 'speak' to them about their inappropriate language, the meanings of which she didn't want to have to explain to her 5 year-olds. shockshock