Language Timothy!

DeathOwl’s DireRead – Language Timothy

The PDF of the research done on swearing in the media was great reading, but I especially like some of the quotes. Here a few of my favourites:

‘I think it is everyday life now, isn’t it, swearing. I think it is accepted now. I think it isjust part of the culture or whatever, you know.’

(Group 9, male with older children, C2D, South Wales)

‘Like I swear and I don’t mind swearing. But as you said, I’d never swear at my child, like I’ve heard parents swearing at their children and it’s just awful. They call him the f-ing this and I literally like, my God, I wouldn’t even call him a bugger or anything,

you know I wouldn’t do it.’


(Group 2, single female, aged 18-24, C2D, South Wales)

‘Well, I don’t like women swearing to be honest … women and girls swearing. That is a lot worse than if you hear blokes swearing.’

(Group 9, male with older children, C2D, South Wales)

Participants in all the groups were clear about the perceived severity of words. What was labelled ‘baby talk’ was thought least offensive – words such as ‘poo’. Puns, rhyming slang and double entendres formed another group. Much of the acceptance of these came from a belief that children would not understand their meaning.

‘I think the racial comments are far more offensive than sexual innuendo.’

(Group 10, female empty nesters, C2D, Aberdeen)

‘You don’t want to switch on the TV and expect to have a true reflection of everyday life. People know that that is not the case. If you want that to be a reflection of everyday life and hear a swear word every other minute, then go outside your door instead of sitting in your front room.’

(Depth 4, Black British family with young children, North London)

‘Everyone knows what Channel 5 is good for.’

(Group 12, gay men, single/partnered, C1C2, Manchester)

And now, for the top 20 swear words by severity:

Cunt

Motherfucker

Fuck

Wanker

Nigger

Bastard

Prick

Bollocks

Arsehole

Paki

Shag

Whore

Twat

Piss off

Spastic

Slag

Shit

Dickhead

Pissed off

Arse

Apparently one of the samples of swearing shown to the test subjects (would that make them the testes?) was from the Rugby World Cup where someone was described as a “stroppy little frog”. That amused me immensely.

Phew! I actually got all the way through all of that! (Still not enough work to do)