英语 英语 日语 日语 韩语 韩语 法语 法语 德语 德语 西班牙语 西班牙语 意大利语 意大利语 阿拉伯语 阿拉伯语 葡萄牙语 葡萄牙语 越南语 越南语 俄语 俄语 芬兰语 芬兰语 泰语 泰语 泰语 丹麦语 泰语 对外汉语

英语语法:222 Swearing

时间:2010-11-19 02:09来源:互联网 提供网友:jk6218   字体: [ ]
特别声明:本栏目内容均从网络收集或者网友提供,供仅参考试用,我们无法保证内容完整和正确。如果资料损害了您的权益,请与站长联系,我们将及时删除并致以歉意。
    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)

Today’s episode is about swearing.
The podcast edition of this article was sponsored by GoToAssist Express. You can instantly connect with customers to solve their technical issues. TryGo to Assist Express for free for 30 days. VisitGoToAssist.com/techpodcast for details on this free, 30-day trial.
Swearing has been in the news a lot lately, especially since a U.S. Court of Appeals struck down the longstanding FCC ban on vulgar language on radio and network television. Reader Michael Oberdacker wonders what makes a word vulgar. He wrote in an e-mail, “Who decides that? I mean it’s just a word like any other; who has the authority to say it’s not polite to say [it] in public, or polite company?”
Swearing Packs an Emotional Punch
Strange as it may seem, as speakers of any language intuitively know, a swear word is NOT just “a word like any other.” People who suffer a loss of speech because of damage to the language-processing parts of their brain often retain the ability to curse, for example, because swear words are processed in the brain’s limbic system, the area responsible for emotions.
Experiments have shown that hearing or reading dirty words affects people emotionally, as indicated by an increase in their Galvanic skin response. Obscenity or profanity truly does have the power to shock people at an emotional level.
Taboo1 Is the Source of Swearing's Power
What gives swearing this power? In short, a society’s taboos2. “Taboo” in this sense covers not just the forbidden, but any domain3 of activity or social interaction where social norms regulate behavior (4, 5). Whatever a society deems taboo is a wellspring of words deemed obscene or profane—as well as euphemisms4 for those words.
Changing Taboos: Religion
Taboos vary over time, and as they change, so do the words that are considered socially unacceptable. Several hundred years ago, the strongest taboos among English-speakers were religious in nature (6). During Shakespeare’s times, expressions like “Zounds!” were considered vulgar, because they were shortened versions of (in this case) “God’s wounds.” If you wonder why saying “God’s wounds” would have been offensive, that just shows how much more secular5 English-speaking society is today than it was back then. This taboo weakened further even in the 20th century, with words like “hell” and “damn” losing their offensiveness only in the past generation or so (although they are still offensive to older or more religious speakers).
From the Victorian Era: Taboos on Sex and Bodily Functions
In the Victorian Era, sex and bodily functions of elimination6 became strong taboos. The taboos were strengthened in the United States by the self-imposed restrictions7 in the movie industry in the 1930s and ‘40s (7). The bodily-function taboos have been weakening over the last few decades, though, and more recently, so has the sex taboo. In the introduction to his book The F Word, lexicographer8 Jesse Sheidlower devotes almost a dozen pages to tracing the weakening of the taboo against this word in virtually every medium.
Even so, other sexual taboo words are still considered extremely offensive. In particular, the word commonly referred to as the C-word is considered so offensive in English that when the movie Kick-Ass came out in May, it generated controversy9 not so much because of its title, or even its abundance of violence, but for having 13-year-old actor Chloe Grace Moretz say that word.
Different Cultures, Different Types of Swearing
Taboos also vary from culture to culture. For example, in French- and Spanish-speaking countries, where the Catholic church has had a strong influence, religion-based swearing packs more of a punch than it does in English (8). In contrast, their equivalent of the C-word is only mildly offensive.
The Most Powerful Current Swear Words
These days, the truly potent10 taboos in American society concern traits that have been the basis of prejudice and discrimination: disability, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation11. Last August, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel used “retarded” (along with the F-word) in a private meeting, but when his comments became public, there were calls for his resignation.
Actor and director Mel Gibson’s latest tirade12, in which he used the N-word, coupled with his remarks about Jews in 2006, have some predicting the end of his career.
In 2007, Isaiah Washington lost his role on the TV show Grey’s Anatomy13 after calling a fellow castmember an offensive term for homosexual.
Swearing in Your Writing
With all this in mind, here is my Quick and Dirty guide for deciding whether to use obscenity or profanity in your writing.
The first question, for any kind of writing, is “Will my audience appreciate this kind of language?” Actually, this goes for speaking, too. Relaxing taboos can be a sign of closeness and camaraderie14, but if the atmosphere isn’t right, it’s just awkward. So if the answer is no, then don’t use vulgar language. If yes, continue to the next questions.
Second: Is swearing part of your voice, or your character’s voice if you’re writing fiction? (Check the article on “Understanding Voice and Tone in Writing” for more on this.) If no, then don’t use it. If yes, continue to the next question.
Third: Are you writing fiction or nonfiction? If you’re writing fiction, use obscenity or profanity only if it will sound stranger for your character to avoid it than to say it. I've had editors tell me that a common mistake new fiction writers make is to use too much swearing, and that it’s very off-putting.
If you’re writing nonfiction, use a swear word only if the emotion you’re conveying is strong enough to merit violating a taboo. Otherwise, you weaken its power for other situations.
If you need to quote someone else’s vulgar language, follow the style sheet for your employer or client, whether it calls for an “expletive deleted,” dashes, deleted vowels15, or a creative circumlocution16. Although readers will probably figure out what the word is, most understand that this is a compromise that allows everyone to respect societal norms.
Literal Minded and Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing
This article was written by Neal Whitman, who has a doctoral degree in linguistics17 and blogs at literalminded.wordpress.com. The article was edited and read in the podcast by Mignon Fogarty, author of the New York Times bestseller Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing.
 


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 taboo aqBwg     
n.禁忌,禁止接近,禁止使用;adj.禁忌的;v.禁忌,禁制,禁止
参考例句:
  • The rude words are taboo in ordinary conversation.这些粗野的字眼在日常谈话中是禁忌的。
  • Is there a taboo against sex before marriage in your society?在你们的社会里,婚前的性行为犯禁吗?
2 taboos 6a690451c8c44df41d89927fdad5692d     
禁忌( taboo的名词复数 ); 忌讳; 戒律; 禁忌的事物(或行为)
参考例句:
  • She was unhorsed by fences, laws and alien taboos. 她被藩蓠、法律及外来的戒律赶下了马。
  • His mind was charged with taboos. 他头脑里忌讳很多。
3 domain ys8xC     
n.(活动等)领域,范围;领地,势力范围
参考例句:
  • This information should be in the public domain.这一消息应该为公众所知。
  • This question comes into the domain of philosophy.这一问题属于哲学范畴。
4 euphemisms 2e52618fe6be3b868598f3bec8c0161d     
n.委婉语,委婉说法( euphemism的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • No point is in mincing words or hiding behind euphemisms. 没有必要闪烁其词或者羞羞答答。 来自辞典例句
  • No point in mincing words or hiding behind euphemisms. 没必要闪烁其词或者羞羞答答。 来自辞典例句
5 secular GZmxM     
n.牧师,凡人;adj.世俗的,现世的,不朽的
参考例句:
  • We live in an increasingly secular society.我们生活在一个日益非宗教的社会。
  • Britain is a plural society in which the secular predominates.英国是个世俗主导的多元社会。
6 elimination 3qexM     
n.排除,消除,消灭
参考例句:
  • Their elimination from the competition was a great surprise.他们在比赛中遭到淘汰是个很大的意外。
  • I was eliminated from the 400 metres in the semi-finals.我在400米半决赛中被淘汰。
7 restrictions 81e12dac658cfd4c590486dd6f7523cf     
约束( restriction的名词复数 ); 管制; 制约因素; 带限制性的条件(或规则)
参考例句:
  • I found the restrictions irksome. 我对那些限制感到很烦。
  • a snaggle of restrictions 杂乱无章的种种限制
8 lexicographer M1kxC     
n.辞典编纂人
参考例句:
  • A lexicographer's job is to describe the language.词典编纂者的工作就是对语言加以描述。
  • The lexicographer knew that the English lexis was changing. 字典编纂者知道英语词汇在不断变化。
9 controversy 6Z9y0     
n.争论,辩论,争吵
参考例句:
  • That is a fact beyond controversy.那是一个无可争论的事实。
  • We ran the risk of becoming the butt of every controversy.我们要冒使自己在所有的纷争中都成为众矢之的的风险。
10 potent C1uzk     
adj.强有力的,有权势的;有效力的
参考例句:
  • The medicine had a potent effect on your disease.这药物对你的病疗效很大。
  • We must account of his potent influence.我们必须考虑他的强有力的影响。
11 orientation IJ4xo     
n.方向,目标;熟悉,适应,情况介绍
参考例句:
  • Children need some orientation when they go to school.小孩子上学时需要适应。
  • The traveller found his orientation with the aid of a good map.旅行者借助一幅好地图得知自己的方向。
12 tirade TJKzt     
n.冗长的攻击性演说
参考例句:
  • Her tirade provoked a counterblast from her husband.她的长篇大论激起了她丈夫的强烈反对。
  • He delivered a long tirade against the government.他发表了反政府的长篇演说。
13 anatomy Cwgzh     
n.解剖学,解剖;功能,结构,组织
参考例句:
  • He found out a great deal about the anatomy of animals.在动物解剖学方面,他有过许多发现。
  • The hurricane's anatomy was powerful and complex.对飓风的剖析是一项庞大而复杂的工作。
14 camaraderie EspzQ     
n.同志之爱,友情
参考例句:
  • The camaraderie among fellow employees made the tedious work just bearable.同事之间的情谊使枯燥乏味的工作变得还能忍受。
  • Some bosses are formal and have occasional interactions,while others prefer continual camaraderie.有些老板很刻板,偶尔才和下属互动一下;有些则喜欢和下属打成一片。
15 vowels 6c36433ab3f13c49838853205179fe8b     
n.元音,元音字母( vowel的名词复数 )
参考例句:
  • Vowels possess greater sonority than consonants. 元音比辅音响亮。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
  • Note the various sounds of vowels followed by r. 注意r跟随的各种元音的发音。 来自超越目标英语 第3册
16 circumlocution 2XKz1     
n. 绕圈子的话,迂回累赘的陈述
参考例句:
  • He is a master at circumlocution.他讲话很会兜圈子。
  • This sort of ritual circumlocution is common to many parts of mathematics.这种繁冗的遁辞常见于数学的许多部分分式中。
17 linguistics f0Gxm     
n.语言学
参考例句:
  • She plans to take a course in applied linguistics.她打算学习应用语言学课程。
  • Linguistics is a scientific study of the property of language.语言学是指对语言的性质所作的系统研究。
本文本内容来源于互联网抓取和网友提交,仅供参考,部分栏目没有内容,如果您有更合适的内容,欢迎点击提交分享给大家。
------分隔线----------------------------
顶一下
(0)
0%
踩一下
(0)
0%
最新评论 查看所有评论
发表评论 查看所有评论
请自觉遵守互联网相关的政策法规,严禁发布色情、暴力、反动的言论。
评价:
表情:
验证码:
听力搜索
推荐频道
论坛新贴