Expletives

Whato chaps! While going for a reflective jaunt across the IrishBlogs.ie estate, I happened upon a post from a blogger who, while not taking umbrage with the way I carry and present myself, did helpfully point out that some of my inflections and tone could be on the coarse side. Rather.

It would seem that I am creating uncircumventable or near-uncircumventable language impediments into my communication flow which trouble him. Now, in plan english and in my natural voice:

Michele has an interesting post about people that use expletives in blog posts. Such as Twenty Major and of course myself. He doesn’t like them or use them at all on his blog, like many people, but I do use expletives as do many people around me, both friends and family. I don’t think Michele and I are going to agree on this or other things (bless lack of sycophancy), much the same way I think ads on personal blogs are vulgar and he, who liberally uses ads on his blog as liberally as I use expletives here, does not think that ads are vulgar.

There’s only one small part of the post that bothers me and kind of locks in on why I am against those that try and impose rules on how others communicate, either directly or in an off-handed alternative way:

other bloggers make use of expletives when they don’t need to.

I genuinely think attitudes like that are dangerous. The need is defined by the person that does the writing and communicating. If people are going to second guess themselves for the sake of others, I think this is unwelcome. Like I don’t think there should be a bloggers code of conduct, I’d worry that faux rules of civility would start to be imposed on others if we critique the choice of words someone uses, ignoring the overall message.

I don’t change the way I write from the way I talk. My blog posts are exactly how I communicate with others, expletives and all. I think if you expect people to change an essential, though small part of their character for the sake of constructed rules then it is the same as telling people to change their accent to something more “mid-Atlantic” because you find it harsh on your ear or brain.

Expletives are an essential part of all communication and language and if you remove some words, others will just take their place. That vacuum will be filled. You can express one word in 10 sentences or you can express 10 sentences in a single short sharp shock.

W.C. Fields said never trust someone who doesn’t drink, should you trust someone who has a disconnect between the way he blogs and the way he is in person? I talk about my natural voice when I blog and this is how I am in person.

What say you? Expletives, should we check ourselves before we wreck ourselves?

Update: Just to clarify a point in case someone got the wrong end of the Damien stick, I respect Michele and his opinion and if I didn’t I wouldn’t have given his post the time of day. We often argue and often agree and I like the fact that his post yesterday actually got my brain to work and to reflect on what I do. Also, one hundred euro reward for anyone that sends an mp3 of him cursing. :)

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28 Responses to “Expletives”

  1. 73man says:

    Pomposity dosage this morning for Michele. Phoenetically spelling out your name at the beginning of your online presence is so anal, sorry uptight, tells me more about him than his objections to using the words titty, ass or big dog’s cock in blogs.

  2. Twenty Major says:

    Swearing is big and it is clever. You’re right about using your real voice though. I’m as foul mouthed in ‘real’ life as I am on the blog.

  3. Matt says:

    Personally, I don’t try limit my use of expletives in my blog posts, or indeed in my general language. Neither do I deliberately try to offend anyone with my language. There are places that these words can and should be used, and places where they shouldn’t.

    Trying to limit their use because it might offend someone can negatively affect the point of a post. Saying something is FUCKING AWFUL isn’t the same as saying something is totally, very, completely of awfully awful. These ‘offensive’ words are now a part of the language of modern society, and the sooner people realise that, the better.

  4. WC Fields also said he wouldn’t drink water on account of how “fish fuck in it”.

  5. Niall O'K says:

    I’d have to side with Damien on this one although I Presume you wouldn’t use these expletives in a newspaper article, – but would the reason for not doing so under such circumstances be to do with the sensibilities or sensitivity of the reading audience as well as the rules of the publisher?

    Who was it that said there was no such thing as bad language unless you count just using the language badly (i.e.: bad grammar, spelling, etc.)… fucked if I can remember… ;)

  6. manuel says:

    I can’t swear at work obviously, so my blog helps to release all the foul language that builds up during a shift. If I didn’t have the blog to swear on where would all the nasty words go? My girlfriend doesn’t want to hear them anymore…

    So I swear online for the good of my relationship….

  7. [...] see that Damien has posted about the usage of bad language in blogging. I really don’t have a problem reading posts that [...]

  8. Niall O'K says:

    “[He] did helpfully point out that some of my infections and tone could be on the coarse side. Rather.”

    Er… don’t you mean inflections?… or do you have some coarse infections we don’t know about? :p

  9. derfen says:

    “What say you? Expletives, should we check ourselves before we wreck ourselves?”

    Fuck, no !

  10. James says:

    I quote: ‘Once we get to Hollywood and find those Mirimax –expletive deleted– who are making the ‘Bluntman and Chronic’ movie we’re gonna make them eat our –expletive deleted– then –expletive deleted– out our –expletive deleted– then eat their –expletive deleted– which is made up of our –expletive deleted– that we made them eat.’ Unquote.

  11. [...] at ten paces, by jove… Michele and Damien are having a(nother) disagreement – this time over the use of "bad" language in [...]

  12. Hmmm. Quoting a good friend of mine, an Irishman based in the UK; when bearded about his occasional use of expletives, he kindly explained to the PC cretin who was bearding him that this wasn’t swearing – it was punctuation. He also offered to demonstrate real swearing to the PC cretin, an offer which I understand was declined.

    Quoting Tommy Tiernan, who is often bearded on this topic. He says that a wall exists between him and his audience and that the word “Fuck” is his chisel …

    Nice.

  13. @73man: If people kept calling you ‘Michelle’, you’d be anal about it too.

  14. Damien says:

    @Niall: In a newspaper article I am a guest of the paper and so the whole “living room” rules apply. I wouldn’t curse in a friend’s house if their folks or kin were about and the same applies for a newspaper. I almost fully control this platform so feel most free here. Now, if I had my own newspaper like Twenty is going to fund, that would be different. Oh and typo fixed.

  15. CyberScribe says:

    The ‘angry all the time blogger’ who naturally uses swear words I’d read a couple of times and then not bother with. It’s not the language but the attitude that I find hard to deal with. Blog posts are bit like TV programmes to me, if the title and the first line doesn’t look like it’ll be informative or entertaining I’ll not read it.

    You mentioned ads on personal blogs…
    I’ve put ads on my blog mainly for my own amusement, to see if anyone responds to them. I haven’t made much money on any of the variety of ads that I’ve had displayed. The ads that I know are money making ads that advertise gambling and adult dating sites I wouldn’t display as I wouldn’t like to be responsible for someone getting hooked on, or falling deeper into a gambling problem. Or someone meeting a date from hell who swore continuously.

  16. Will says:

    I just wanted to find out what Richard Dean Anderson was like in person.

    Sorry, Richard Dean (expletive) MacGyver!!! Anderson.

  17. lexia says:

    Met you tonight and not an expletive. I demand my money back.

  18. Damien, I could probably get that for you. In face, I could probably get you a full eight-hours’ worth… ;-)

  19. Macdara says:

    One of the major factors that make blogs as popular and wide spread is that they are individual. That means they should not have to conform to a set of rules restricting the type of langauge or what is said or not said.

    Using langauge is what makes comunication great bad langauge is just like bad weather without it we could not survive so its not really bad at all.

  20. manuel says:

    Is Mr Mulley sick? A whole day without a post, how odd……

  21. Le Catch says:

    Yes, strange indeed!

  22. Michael says:

    I reckon he might have run away with MacGuyver?

  23. 73man says:

    I reckon he was giving Berie a digout and whispering in backbenchers’ ears yesterday.

  24. arcadezen says:

    just thought of sharing this link with you fellas. Its this weekend big match

    http://mundoalbiceleste.blogspot.com/2007/09/pumasireland-rivalry-resume.html

  25. I’m with Michele on this one ; Don’t think the swearing is needed – I’ve met you both online and in person (and would recommend you) but the swearing thing doesn’t really enhance the image.

    You wouldn’t swear in the first meeting you had with a client, so why do it online? Yep, it makes it more boring. Yep you’re probably swearing with (or perhaps at) the client by meeting number 4. But online, you can’t control who reads it.

    There again, it’s your blog , your profile , your choice. Nobody is making me read it :-)

  26. [...] about a couple of posts Damien Mulley posted aboutpeople being killed in Burma and also the use of expletives in blog [...]

  27. Laura says:

    Nicely fucking said :)

  28. [...] see that Damien has posted about the usage of bad language in blogging. I really don’t have a problem reading posts that use [...]