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Insights: Culture

The prudes have to face it: swearing is fun
Sterling Johnson
From the Print Edition:
The Sopranos, Mar/Apr 01

(continued from page 3)

"They'll think you taught us to swear?" I said.

"No," she said. "They'll think I didn't teach you to respect others."

It sounded reasonable then and still does. Context is all. You don't say "bastard" in front of your father when you're 5 years old. You don't say "asshole" in front of a live microphone when you're running for political office.

But in a newspaper, magazine, book or movie, why hedge? Why not use the right word? Put it on the table and let the reader decide if it's appropriate.

There's enough bullshit in the world -- why shovel more?

 

Sterling Johnson wrote English as a Second F*cking Language (St. Martin's Press). He swears by the First Amendment.


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