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Old 2015-01-17, 18:37   #1
Stargate38
 
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Question Seven words averted

I chose to put this in the Soap Box because of the subject.

I don't understand it! Why on Earth do we consider these 7 words swear words? If someone says one of these words, it bothers people. But if someone says one of the following synonyms, they don't get scolded as much:

Feces
Urine
Reproduction
Birth Canal
[can't find a good enough synonym for #5]
Worst Possible Type Of Inbreeder
Breast

WHY?! And why is the 7th word even considered profane? It just means "breast", and coincidentally, it's a palindromic prime in base-36 (base-10 value is 38261), a property that 2 other (non-palindromic) profanities have (620303 and 19353617 in base-10).

Base-10 values of all 7, with factors:

1329077=17*37*2113
1190764=2*2*297691
739172=2*2*7*26399
599609=109*5501
1287411767223539=23*173*229*1412889029
2986419641532587091=3*3*13*25524954201133223
38261=38261

Please tell me why!
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Old 2015-01-17, 18:56   #2
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Quote:
Please tell me why!
There are plenty of other taboo words, of different
degree of tabooity. Are all words equal in
connotational value, or even denotational complexity?
The special characteristic of these seven is they are
based on simple, short, sharp sounds which are
frequently used as aggressive expressions of emotion
or as insults, whether in accord with their meanings or not.
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Old 2015-01-17, 19:29   #3
only_human
 
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I went through a rough patch when I was 16 in which I didn't speak much over the summer vacation to my age peers and was shocked by the language that I heard upon returning to school. This experience has made me more sympathetic toward people uncomfortable with swearing.

Much more recently I watched The Aristocrats (film) with my sweetheart. It was corrosive in that it took over a year for our swearing to return to a normal well-mannered style.

The Aristocrats - Wikipedia
Quote:
"The Aristocrats" (also known as "The Debonaires" or "The Sophisticates" in some tellings) is a taboo-defying dirty joke that has been told by numerous stand-up comedians since the vaudeville era. Over time it has evolved from a clichéd staple of vaudevillian humor into a postmodern anti-joke. Steven Wright has likened it to a secret handshake among comedians, and it is seen as something of a game in which those who tell it try to top each other in terms of shock value. It is thought of as a badge of honor among expert comedians and is notoriously hard to perform successfully. It is rarely told the same way twice, often improvised.
I emphasized "shock value" because cursing is connected with frontal lobe inhibition and social conventions. It is important to understand that the presentation is far more significant than merely the conveyance of meaning.

Can swearing help diagnose dementia?
Quote:
I have what you could call a professional interest in swearing, or cursing, or profanity, or whatever you like to call it. My psychobiology lab at Keele University was the first to provide evidence showing that swearing helps most people to be able to withstand pain for longer. We have several other exciting studies underway looking at the role of the emotional response to swearing in producing the pain protective effect, as well as looking at how quickly we become used to swearing. When I have given talks on the psychology of swearing at universities and science festivals, one of the things I say is that swearing is fascinating because it involves an implied social contract. At an unspoken level, there is general agreement not to swear most of the time.

That we don’t swear very much is backed up by evidence from Professor Timothy Jay of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. From years of sitting in cafeterias taking careful notes while eavesdropping on conversations, Professor Jay has come up with some interesting estimates of the percentage of the daily spoken corpus taken up by swearing. His estimate is that swear words make up less than 1% of all the words people say in a day. Now, for us to be effective at not swearing, we all must learn the swear words that we are then supposed not to say. This means that as you walk around seeing different people from all walks of life, the rich, the poor, the old, the young, women and men, etc., you can tell yourself that it is most likely that every person you see will know some truly appallingly offensive swear words! Even, most probably, that lovely, sweet little old lady who you have seen about town.
Quote:
They suggest that the underlying reason for the increased frequency of swear word responses reflects a diminished concern for social propriety and constrained verbal abilities, both of which can be associated with the frontal lobe impairment that is characteristic of fronto-temporal dementia. So, overall, this paper presents an interesting phenomenon, but the overall conclusion is that swearing can assist with diagnosing dementia only to a limited extent.

Nevertheless, this paper makes the cool psychology blog for several reasons. I like that the idea behind it stems from the researchers noticing that something interesting was happening in their clinics, and that they followed up those observations to produce a piece of research. I also like the idea that something as simple and everyday as swearing can reveal so much about a person, to the extent that it can indicate one kind of brain damage over another. Of course, dementia is very sad in all circumstances, but it must be particularly hard to watch a close relative succumb to fronto-temporal dementia and perhaps start to swear inappropriately and quite out of character. This would be particularly so if the patient was that lovely, sweet little old lady who I mentioned earlier on. In providing context and information this research may offer comfort to patients’ family members and friends.

Last fiddled with by only_human on 2015-01-17 at 19:41
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Old 2015-01-17, 21:29   #4
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stargate38 View Post
I chose to put this in the Soap Box because of the subject.

I don't understand it! Why on Earth do we consider these 7 words swear words? If someone says one of these words, it bothers people. But if someone says one of the following synonyms, they don't get scolded as much:

Feces
Urine
Reproduction
Birth Canal
[can't find a good enough synonym for #5]
Worst Possible Type Of Inbreeder
Breast

WHY?! And why is the 7th word even considered profane? It just means "breast"
...

Please tell me why!
The third is much better defined as "copulation" as the act described plays only a part, and not an essential one at that, in human reproduction. It plays no part at all in many other forms of reproduction.

A much better definition of the fourth is "vagina and/or vulva".

Perfectly good synomyms for #5 are "fellationer" and "fellationist".

It's not clear to me that your sixth is a particularly accurate definition either. Why is it worse than father/daughter or brother/sister inbreeding? Regardless, stock breeders use it all the time, and the others just mentioned, to improve the qualities of the offspring.

Further, the seventh is an alternative spelling of "teat" and its original meaning (and one of its current meanings for that matter) is "nipple".


Please tell me why so many people today have such poor vocabularies!
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Old 2015-01-17, 21:34   #5
Batalov
 
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George Carlin was a great (cunning!) linguist and classifier of all things human.
He simplified the 10 commandments and the 7 deadly sins to just two, and he had a very special opinion about the seven words. It would be hard to expand on his treatise; it is very worth listening to any interested party and easily youtube'd.
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Old 2015-01-17, 21:39   #6
only_human
 
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One of my Japanese teachers complained to me once about the students always being unfamiliar with a copula. "Everyone knows what copulation means" he said. I feel that he should have made that comparison in class. It would have helped people remember the term and the concept. It was college after all.
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Old 2015-01-20, 20:58   #7
davar55
 
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Of all things, let's not do a poll on which of the seven dirty words
(which I will NOT label one,two,three,four,five,six, and seven) is
your most favorite and least favorite.swear word of the seven.

And why are we restricted to seven? I mean really.
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Old 2015-01-20, 23:41   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davar55 View Post
Of all things, let's not do a poll on which of the seven dirty words
(which I will NOT label one,two,three,four,five,six, and seven) is
your most favorite and least favorite.swear word of the seven.

And why are we restricted to seven? I mean really.
Where in this thread was it implied that we were going to do a poll?

Who said that we were restricted to seven? The OP just asked why THESE seven words were considered swear words. He didn't say that there weren't others.

Good gawd!
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Old 2015-01-21, 00:19   #9
Batalov
 
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Lightbulb Captain Obvious to the rescue:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stargate38 View Post
I chose to put this in the Soap Box because of the subject.

I don't understand it! Why on Earth do we consider these 7 words swear words? If someone says one of these words, it bothers people the radio station gets slapped with a hefty fine by FCC.

Please tell me why!
Quite literally because there was an FCC regulation for THE particular seven words. I you not.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_d...Words_WBAI.jpg

It's not rocket surgery. Easily googled.
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Old 2015-01-21, 00:25   #10
only_human
 
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And it isn't going to change any time soon because SCOTUS is not a rocket docket.
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Old 2015-01-21, 02:02   #11
ewmayer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stargate38 View Post
Why on Earth do we consider these 7 words swear words?
Nary a fucking clue, mate. But then again, I'm similarly baffled as to why beer (and other booze) ads on American TV still aren't allowed to show the actors actually drinking (or even pretend-drinking) the stuff. I mean, really, is the aim to keep us, the mentally and morally fragile rabble, in the dark about what people actually do with the stuff?

[Hint: If so, at least in my case, the strategy has failed rather miserably. But hey, I realize that 'anecdotes are not data', statistically speaking. Perhaps I - and nearly every other adult I've ever known - are all statistical anomalies, and all the purveyors of such ads are simply wasting huge amounts of money in their continuing efforts to get folks to "do the unthinkable" with their products.]
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