Well, it seems that someone has nuked Free Republic, so instead of writing my “A Case Against The Cases Against Obama’s ‘Birth Certificate'” thread, I thought I’d talk about “swear words.”

In a comment in the “Again, I say Polarik is full of shit” thread below, Polarik goes on a self-righteous rant about “swear words.”

Just a few snippets:

Inside my class, you would never hear the filth that seems to give you a kind of perverse pleasure — much like a serial killer feels after mutilating a body. No, they were a lot more mature than this bunch of potty mouths.

However, the person I hold responsible for taking an open forum down to the depths of depravity, as if he thinks that he can score debating points by showing off his repetoire of excrement euphemisms.

No one is going to seriously take anything you have to say when it is peppered with curse words…

The truth is that I have answered him every time, EXCEPT, when he resorts back to his nasty habit of using swear words.

Let me just start by saying Polarik, you’re a fucking hypocrite!

If you check out his latest post on his blog, it begins with this:

What’s This, FactCheck??

WTF? Gee, what’s that mean?

Of course anyone who’s been online for any length of time will come to know that “WTF” is an acronym for “What The Fuck?”

Polarik would likely try to weasel out with the excuse of “But I didn’t actually say ‘fuck’.” While technically true, it’s ultimately a distinction without a difference. Anyone cluing in on the “WTF” (which is clearly what Polarik intended) who knows what it means will have “What the fuck?” conjured up in their minds, making it fundamentally no different than if he had literally said “What the fuck?”

Again, you’re a fucking hypocrite. If you’re going to get all high and mighty about “swear words,” you don’t use acronyms like “WTF” which contains not only an implicit “swear word,” but the worst “swear word” of all.

Moving on…

I don’t believe in “swear words,” or “curse words,” or “bad words,” or whatever you would like to call them. They’re just words. Believing in “bad words” is about as irrational as believing in the Tooth Fairy.

Many times I have tried to engage in rational discussion with those who do believe in them. Why exactly is a particular word a “bad word” I’ll ask. “Because it is” is the most common first response. Ok. But why? “Because many people find them offensive.” Ok. But why exactly do they find them offensive?

It’s usually at this point that most will become frustrated, defensive, and end the discussion. Becuase the “why” is something they don’t want to come to grips with, much as the child often resists coming to grips with the fact that there is no Tooth Fairy, there is no Santa Claus, and there is no Easter Bunny.

The “why” is simply that others have tried to condition us to be offended by certain words. Just like so many Pavlov’s dogs. And some to the point that they’ll never even stop to question their conditioning and become irrational about it.

It’s also highly hypocritical (which is really just another form of irrationality).

If you say for example, “I fucked up,” many will shriek in horror. However if you say “I screwed up,” most of those same people would hardly raise an eyebrow. Hell, you can even hear people say “I screwed up” on primetime broadcast television.

Why is that? Screw means the exact same thing as fuck and is used the exact same way. Yet fuck is “the mother of all bad words” while screw is pretty much ok.

Well, put simply, screw just doesn’t have the hundreds of years of Pavlovian conditioning behind it that fuck has. Fuck has been around since about the 16th century. Screw, when used as a euphemism for fuck, hasn’t been around nearly so long.

You see, whenever the status quo firmly establishes a given word as a “bad word,” others find ways around it. Loopholes if you will. The status quo is so distracted freaking out over words like fuck, words like “screw” tends to escape their notice and hence the same level of Pavlovian conditioning.

Same thing with shit and crap, damn and darn, hell and heck, etc.

Hypocritical and irrational.

And the irrationality goes beyond just the words themselves. For example, dismissing an argument because the person making the argument used a “bad word.” As if should Einstein have said “E equals MC fuckin’ squared,” it would have invalidated it.

There is no Tooth Fairy and there are no “bad words.” Our language is a rich and dynamic one. Words like “fuck,” “shit,” are just words. They can be used to provide a little seasoning, or to more succinctly express how we feel at the time. Like anything else they can be overused, but the words themselves are harmless.

And on that note, allow me end this post by saying…