Download e-book for kindle: In praise of profanity by Michael Adams

By Michael Adams

ISBN-10: 0199337586

ISBN-13: 9780199337583

ISBN-10: 0199337594

ISBN-13: 9780199337590

ISBN-10: 0199337608

ISBN-13: 9780199337606

"When President Obama signed the cheap overall healthiness care act in 2009, the vice chairman used to be overheard to utter an enthusiastic "This is a giant f****** deal!" A city in Massachusetts levies $20 fines on swearing in public. not anything is as paradoxical as our perspective towards swearing and "bad language": how will we pass judgement on profanity so harshly in precept, but use it so usually in perform? although profanity is more Read more...


In In compliment of Profanity, Michael Adams deals a provocative, unapologetic safeguard of profanity, arguing that we have oversimplified profanity through labeling it as taboo, and we constantly fail to Read more...

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Extra resources for In praise of profanity

Example text

If you wrote slang—let alone profanity—into an essay, your English teacher would object in brightest red, echoing O’Connor. Using such words, you were told, is sloppy or lazy—it’s an escape from finding the “right” word, the one with a precise meaning. ” Note from teacher: “What kind of shambles, Michael? Fucking is such an imprecise word. I’m not even sure if it functions as an adjective in your sentence. ” Never mind that Holden and Salinger would love my sentence—they’re just a troubled kid and a reclusive writer, not English teachers.

The first profanity debate is noisy, and the second is academic, but the third is insidious—largely unremarked, but dehumanizing. Here’s an idea: maybe it’s time to stop thinking about language in terms of class. I’ve asked myself on occasion why I’m writing a book about profanity, what makes my perspective so clear and informative, if that’s what it is. It’s occurred to me—not as a precondition, but while writing—that I’ve witnessed the devulgarization of most profanity during my lifetime. Were I a bit older, I might find it hard to shake 33 I n P r a i s e o f P ro fa n i t y off earlier attitudes toward swearing, and were I younger, I might not think to examine the problem of vulgarity at all, because I wouldn’t see it—it really isn’t there anymore.

Consider exclamations: if you need to fire off something to relieve your profound frustration, it will be profanity, by definition; if the word you use misfires, or if it fires but fails to express the profundity of your emotion, it doesn’t matter what the 30 P r o f a n i t y : T h e G r e at D e b at e ( s ) word is, it’s not profanity. However, in use, profanity—or more precisely, what we call profanity—is a much vaguer category of speech than what responds directly to Moore’s prototype, and there’s no way, really, to flip profanity or obscenity or slang on or off.

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In praise of profanity by Michael Adams

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