So this is the second instalment in my stream of consciousness, in this edition I decided to cover my thoughts on text language and swearing. Text language was brought up recently by a couple of friends of mine and I also felt like it linked quite nicely to the previous Facebook stream. The swearing topic came up after I watched Russell Howard’s Good News, in which he covered a story about the “No cussing” organization at some high school in the US.
Firstly to qualify my oncoming rant about text language, I do understand it in certain circumstances and have utilized it on occasion as well; however that doesn’t mean I use it all the time. So call me hypocritical if you wish but I’m sure I’m not the first Englishman to make promises I can’t keep (isn’t that right Mr. Clegg). With the advent of cellular phones and the brutally competitive nature of the companies that provide us with a bounty of free texts and calls per month every man and his dog has a mobile phone, unfortunately this means that every man and his dog has taken to talking like a window licker on a regular basis (I am aware that most dogs can’t talk or operate a phone for that matter but stick with me for now). I do understand that if you don’t want your text message ramped up to the price of sending two texts then you may be a little more liberal with abbreviations, however as I mentioned previously most folks have a load of free texts so going over any limits really shouldn’t bother you. I suppose there is also the argument of time constraints but in my opinion it should be the priority of most folks to take the time to use correct and proper grammar (I can hear the blue bloods giving a hearty hoorah already). It’s not necessarily the use of text language that gets me all in a tizzy it’s the frequency and fear that common usage is the very way in which language evolves and I do so love my mother tongue. Text language is undeniably becoming more and more frequently due to the fact that folks are using it.
That brings me rather nicely onto another aspect of my beloved mother tongue. Swearing. Now I enjoy a good swear when I drop something or hurt myself as much as the next man but like any word in the glorious behemoth of the English language overuse is offensive (unless you get to the point whereby swearing replaces commas and other forms of punctuation much like some folks I know). From one extreme to another, there are those who (pardon the pun) swear off swearing. This act in itself I have no problem at all with, in fact I find it quite a feat, loving a good swear on occasion myself. The problem I have is with people, like the chap from the “No cussing” organization featured in Russell Howard’s Good New, replacing swear words with other made up words. The example that the young fellow gave on the show was (spelling to the best of my miniscule ability) “Farfignugen”, when you pledge to not swear surely you’re expected not to make up a word to use as a replacement. That word just becomes your personal swear word and takes up exactly the same function as any other curse word. Anyway why make up a word when there are perfectly good acceptable substitutes for swears already in existence, if I hear a man shout “Blast” or “Dash it all” I’m far more likely to pat him on the back than I am to reprimand him.
To conclude beloved reader, the English language is a beautiful and complicated thing and it’s one of the aspects of Great Britain that made us great in the first place. Look after it and treasure it because any language spoken well and with a diverse tongue is a wonderfully beautiful thing and no language is more diverse and (in my opinion) more beautiful. Secondly, “Farfignugen” seriously? For fuck’s sake.
Thank you very much for reading.
-The Stormy One