Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What the f*#k?

Last night on Channel 10's new show "Can of Worms" the question was asked "Do Australians swear too much?". It just so happened that 2 of the guests had opinions at opposite ends of the scale where this subject was concerned, and it made for hilarious television. (You can view the segment here. It does contain swearing!)

I'd also noticed similar discussions on Twitter over the last few days regarding acceptable or unacceptable swearing. It's interesting to see where people's thoughts differ on the subject. At a brief glance there doesn't seem to be any pattern with regard to acceptability, aside from, what is generally regarded as the worst, the C-word. Generally speaking, it seems that women have a bigger problem with that word than men, although many men find it offensive too.

Personally, I don't have a problem with swearing. I do draw the line at the C-word though. But even there the line has blurred a little. I still won't say it, nor probably even write it, but some of the people I follow on Twitter do use it, some frequently, and I've become accustomed to seeing it used. Sometimes the context is even funny. I'm not so keen on hearing it, however.

Having spent most of my adult life working mainly alongside males of varying ages, sometimes in relatively high pressure situations & often being the sole female, I've gotten used to people swearing a lot. And consequently I probably swear far too much now. The F-word comes out often, as well as shit, crap and other less offensive words. I do struggle to keep the swearing under wraps when I'm dealing with the kids, not always successfully. I'm sure many parents have had "those" days, where they've let the odd inappropriate word out when totally frustrated with their offspring. I'm not proud of it, but it happens.

Where do you draw the line? Is "bother" the extent of your swearing? Maybe you're comfortable with the C-word? If you don't swear does it bother you if others do? It will be interesting to see how feelings differ!


  1. I was in a class in the mid 80's, and this same thing came up... not as a subject, just as a chat. and one Woman said she hated the c-word. I have to say I do too. It's funny how put down words are often genitals, which are good, pleasurable things.

  2. First of all, I don't think frequent swearing is limited to Australia, you certainly hear your share of it right here in NYC and the rest of the US.

    I am curious though what makes one word more inflammatory than another - or even at all. The C word is just as bad here, though you really don't hear it as a swear word very often. However, "twat" almost seems quite acceptable on some British shows I have seen (on cable - more about that in a moment). Here, that is as bad - or worse - than the C word.

    Watching that clip I was reminded that some of the language on there (the f-word in particular) would never be allowed on US TV. As you know I was at a taping of a show yesterday and there was quite a bit of use of the f word along with a few other less drastic language. When I watched the show broadcast last night, there was quite a bit of bleeping being done to cover those words. I wonder if when it was broadcast in Aus (or other places) if that was the case?

  3. The temptation to start this comment with "Shit!" is killing me. Sorry - that was lame. But I have no huge issue with swearing - other than the C-word (and I would bet my house that most people are the same). Sometimes only an appropriately timed swear word will do the job. Unless one of the kids is using it. x

  4. I'm not sure why, but I don't really have a problem with the C word. Why should I? It's the equivalent of 'dick' in terms of meaning isn't it, yet we associate it with something really bad.

    That said, I'm not about to go down the street shouting it and I rarely use it...but if the situation calls for it, I may drop the C bomb!

    I think like anything in life, there's a time and a place for what's appropriate and what's not, and I never like to see people swearing AT someone, but swearing about something can be cathartic and can add to a story or situation.

    When used well, I don't have a problem with any swearing.