09 September 2006

#%@&$!*%!!!

I don't like obscene language. Oh, I acknowledge that on rare occasions of extreme anger, it can be a legitimate and even therapeutic means of venting one's feelings. But casual use of it in everyday speech, or to ratchet up the intensity of an insult, is just tiresome.

I attribute this phenomenon largely to the pervasiveness and popularity of [c]rap "music" and its gangrenous influence on popular language, which has now spread to ill-raised people of all kinds throughout society, who give themselves a frisson of fake daring by publicly lacing their conversation with "forbidden" and "shocking" words.

The irony is that overuse of even the most potent obscenities quickly robs them of what power they might originally have been felt to have. Take, for example, a certain twelve-letter word beginning with "M" which is a staple of the "lyrics", if that is the correct term for them, of the above-cited "musical" genre. I will not sully my website by typing the word here, but suffice to say that if interpreted literally, it would refer to an individual whose relationship with his mother is far, far more intimate than our society finds acceptable. There was a time when this word was among the most shocking and agitating insults in the language. But as used in its "musical" context, it has become so common that it has devolved into a mere synonym for "person", often with no insulting intent at all. A similar casual usage also occurs in the speech of some m*****f*****s -- sorry, I mean "persons".

Thus the obscenity-laced conversation overheard on the bus or in the mall now has about the same effect as the sudden realization that the drunk sitting next to you has finally passed out and defecated in his pants. It is not shocking or daring or provocative. It is merely disgusting.

1 Comments:

Blogger Elizabeth said...

Hey, Infidel, I'm exploring your archives (enjoying it very much, too) and have come upon this:

it would refer to an individual whose relationship with his mother is far, far more intimate than our society finds acceptable

What a nice way to put it! (LMAO -- oops! Sorry about that! ;)

27 August, 2009 14:59  

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