Profanity Incognito Really Isn’t

July 03, 2011

WARNING: Profanity will run rampant in this post.  Easily offended is fair warned.

On Twitter, Facebook and in blogs I see swear words disguised as: a$$, effing, f**k, Shiz, mofo, beeotch, mugger fugger, sh**, or WTF.  Just to name a few.  I understand that the purpose of disguising a swear word is to try to come off less offensive and/or to keep your tweets, blogs, status rated PG.   I’ve done it myself. And I have no problem with people disguising their words for whatever reason they see fit.

But I have to tell ya, when I read a$$, I still read “ass” not “a money money.”  Or if you write WTF, I read “what the fuck” and not “double-u tee eff.” 

Who are we really fooling?  Do dollar signs really censor the word or more importantly the meaning?  Even using darn instead of damn, is still considered cursing, according to (verb 2. to curse; damn/ idiom 3. give a darn. damn.)

I’ve never had a problem with cursing, among adults.  To me, it’s the meaning/emotion behind the words I put value on.  For instance, which do you find more to be more hateful?

                “This is the best fucking writing ever!”
                “Your fucking writing sucks like a vacuum!”

(For the record, I appreciate some censorship, especially in music.  I always buy the clean version when available or I can’t listen to it around my children.)

I know a lot of people find profanity offensive, so I will continue to disguise my words, occasionally.  But I have to ask, does sprinkling colored sugar on a pile shit make it a chocolate cupcake?

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  1. Honestly, I usually chortle at disguised profanity. People go to such lengths, and I totally still read it/hear it as exactly what it's supposed to mean. I censor myself almost automatically a lot of the time, since I'm used to being around relatively conservative folks (yay North Carolina!), but still. Doesn't mean I don't think it's a little silly, at heart.

    That said, when it's publicly accessible, I appreciate the effort to shelter us innocent kids and all that. =P

    Although there is some music on the radio that's technically curse-free that I think is WILDLY inappropriate. Rihanna's S&M shocks me every time I hear the chorus. I'm like, any 8-year-old could turn on the radio and hear this! Good Lord!

  2. You know my feelings on the matter :)... That being said, I prefer disguised cursing with asterisks as opposed to disguised cursing w/ fake words.

    A guy I used to play basketball with often called people 'fetchers' -- with pure 'asshole' vehemence. Made me laugh, but also kinda pissed me off.

  3. I grew up in a home where profanity wasn't gasp worthy and the harshness of swear words have lost their meaning to me, but I know some people don't feel this way so when I'm around others that's when I disguise my words.

  4. Oh man, I am so guilty of using asterisks when I feel the urge to curse-- I don't really curse out loud though unless I'm absolutely passionately upset, because I'm WEIRD not out of any moral thing. I just feel like........ I dunno! I feel the words sharply against my tongue. If you hear me curse out loud, or see me cursing in my emails/posts/tweets you can bet it's for a REAL good reason!

    I do say arse, freakin', shoot, dang, and crap all the time, though. :P

  5. Riley, I hear ya, I censor myself too just for you innocent babes out there. I am writing YA, so I expect my future fans will check out my blog and I need to have it say probably delete this post.

    Joshua, I agree. Made up words are I say around my kids. I don't want to baby talk (so to speak) my blog audience too.

    Nicole - Some people would say screw it, you don't like the language I use follow someone else because by sugar coating it they feel like they are not being their true self. Just like you, I'm indifferent so why not appeal to a few more people. You know.

    Diana - I guilty of disguising my words too (most of the time) but I do think it's a little silly because we all know what we are saying. And I think it is totally hilarious you don't curse because the words are sharp against your tongue. That's so funny.


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