Swearing is fucking beautiful, man!

December 28, 2008

English comic Frank Skinner is no stranger to the usage of  “dirty words” and has even defended swearing as a necessary part of comedy and language.  (As well he should – he’s absolutely right. )

Recently, however, he’s taken to removing swearing from his stand up act – not on moral grounds, he insists, but in an attempt to “freshen up” his act.  As a result of his experiment, he suddenly seems to have found a new appreciation for swearing, rather than a revulsion for it.  He told the BBC that he thought “there was now too much swearing on TV”.  OK, that doesn’t sound good, but he goes on to say that “I don’t want people using so much swearing that there’s a blanket ban because there won’t be then any room for the clever swearing – the beautiful, eloquent swearing.”

The old “less is more” adage.  I can agree with him to a point.  But, where do you draw the line, Frank?  Do you keep a staff of TV censors on hand to make sure that certain words aren’t uttered more than a certain quota?  Can you see these poor bastards, prepping the cast?  “OK, it says here you can only say ‘shit’ 4 times in the course of an hour, so you gotta keep track of that… oh, and try to keep the F-bomb to a minimum, too.”

Oh, but we’ll have to wait on that F-bomb.  According to a BBC article, “[a] poll for The Sunday Times found 30% of people believed the F-word should be banned while 55% thought the C-word should not be allowed. But 49% of the viewers said there should be a place for swearing on television.”

So fuck and cunt have no place on TV?  Those 2 little syllables, eh?  They’re enough, apparently, to keep sponsors and viewers away.  But other swear words, like “asshole” and “cocksucker”, apparently, do have a place on TV?

I know I’ve said this before, but isn’t this all rather ridiculous?  Certain syllables are OK while others are not?

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2 Responses to “Swearing is fucking beautiful, man!”

  1. Mardé Says:

    Yes, it seems that the British public is approaching the American in puritanicalness! But there’s still almost a majority (49% as you quote above)of Brits who say there should be a place for swearing on TV. I wonder if the same would be true in America? I doubt it. I see our FCC is still splitting hairs over the use of even isolated swear words.


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