Monday, December 31, 2012

Ass

In a recent post I wanted to use the word ass. But that is an American word for what we say, arse. I should have used the Australian word arse. Arse, ass, what's the diff?

Arse and ass are surely interchangeable, but I cannot interchange them. Arse is a swear word and ass is naughty word, like bum.(The exception to this is when Eliza Dolittle says, 'move your bloomin' arse'.)

I have recently been listening to podcasts of I Love Green Guide Letters. Green Guide is a weekly supplement in our our daily newspaper The Age. GG covers tv, technology, space and photography. Its raison d'etre is a tv programme listing. It has a page for reader's letters, usually complaints and this is what the afore mentioned podcast focuses upon. The podcast is quite amusing, but last week's episode had one or more of the participants using fuck in almost every sentence.

The podcast has tackled in depth the disappearance of the staples that held our GG together, and that the green pages, the ones relevant to tv, now have a white border, making them difficult to find. Also, there have been complaints about Tom Waterhouse appearing left, right and centre on our tvs. Each week, when an anti Tom Waterhouse letter was published, the GG letters editor would place increasingly large photos of Tom Waterhouse, further aggravating people and stimulating them to write even more anti Tom Waterhouse letters. Very amusing.

This week's guest was Sam Pang, who hosts our coverage of Eurovision, along with the gorgeous Julia Zemiro. ILGGL dug out letters criticising Pang and Zemiro for their coverage of Eurovision. This week, there was not excessive swearing, just a couple of times and easy to ignore.

I made a Face Book comment about the swearing on the site, but instead of being called a stupid old retentive fart, I was ignored. Perhaps my comment was valid. The offending episode reminded me of how I thought the brilliant Tim Michin's performances were spoilt by the excessive use of of swearing.

I truly don't mind the words fuck or arse, but talking specifically about fuck, why does it have to punctuate every sentence by some people. Isn't it a swear word best kept for when something terrible happens, or the very least, dramatic effect?

Gosh, I feel very very old and out of touch at times.

18 comments:

  1. Overuse of any swear word is boring, becomes tiresome and reduces its impact.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Victor, without a word to express anger, they punch.

      Delete
  2. So the overuse of a word causes it to lose its meaning? I think so, but I also have no problem whatsoever with people using foul language. Better them than me when it comes to a lack of imagination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rubye, sometimes it just gets too much, to the point where you really feel uncomfortable, especially as the less fortunate in society are prone to doing it.

      Delete
  3. I agree, f*** should not be a common usage word, it isn't nice and makes it hard to focus on what the speaker is really saying. Having to filter out every second word makes following a conversation (or rant) quite difficult. It's like when, like, teenagers, like, use the word like, all the time, like, to the point where you haven't got a clue, like, what they're actually talking about.
    And I didn't know that arse is/was a swear word. To me it's just the Aussie slang for bum or bottom, the part you sit down on. In America a bum is what we Aussies call a hobo or tramp. Again, tramp is something different in America. Getting back to the F word, when little kids are heard peppering their language with it and other not so nice words, then something is clearly wrong with society.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River, I expect a rant punctuated like that is not worth listening to anyway. Surely arse was not a word you could bandy about when you were growing up? Although, you parents first language was not English? Perhaps they did not pick up the nuance of the word? In NZ, tramp means something again. If you go for a walk in the bush, you go for a tramp. I can't say I have heard little kids swearing, but it must be awful, and you know what sort of lives they are going to have.

      Delete
    2. We grew up rough, Andrew, working class people and in spite of the first language being German, my parents assimilated fairly quickly and although we weren't crude, we kids all knew that when someone said arse, they meant bum. As in a dad shouting at his kid if he left the hose running again he'd get a kick up the arse. Or get a belt around the ear. none of these things actually happened, it was just dad (not mine) shouting and the kids scampering off out of his reach so he could watch the footy and drink his beer.

      Delete
    3. River, I only suggested that because my stepmother had a female Dutch friend who's English was poor, but she was understandable enough. She would use the eff word quite a lot in normal conversation. Eventually my step mother told her that it was one of our worst swear words. She took that on board and did not then use it in normal conversation.

      Delete
  4. Me too :(
    Pissed is what drinkers become... it does NOT mean angry. Stupid stupid television programme gggrrrrrr

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Hels, where did that come from? It really pisses me off.

      Delete
    2. It's a dual meaning. Women get pissed off at their men for getting pissed all the time.

      Delete
    3. River, I think Hels mean the way you here in the US? 'I am really pissed with you man'.

      Delete
  5. I watch a lot of British TV and the C-word flows quite freely on some shows. I'm not adverse to using the odd swear word but that's one word I can't use.

    I think swearing is overused these days. A well placed swear word can be used for comic effect or to highlight an argument but swearing for the sake of it or for the shock factor gets tiresome and shows a lack of imagination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wombat, I guess we don't get those shows on free to air tv. Mind you, I don't stay up late watching commercial tv. Tiresome indeed.

      Delete
  6. I like a good bit of arse, however overuse of swears gets annoying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah Fen, appreciating one is another matter. I was just reading your stats post.

      Delete
  7. Here in Franger the Phuck word often seems to be conversational spakfilla - a kind of 'umm' for people who don't have a vocabulary. Well, perhaps 'conversational' is too strong a word.

    Tone and context are part of swearing - as in parent to five year old at Safeway "don't you ****ingwell talk to me like that you little *%$#'.
    It's the sentiment rather than the words that I find really offensive.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. FC, I know exactly the type. Badly bleached hair, unflattering clothing on a skinny body and a fag in her hand as soon as she is out the door. You just know the kids haven't got a chance in hell.

      Delete

Whenever I wish I was young again, I am sobered by memories of algebra.