Saturday, May 26, 2007

Are expletives okay?

Apparently British TV shows are so full of them that David Munk, deputy foreign editor of Guardian, wonders whether we are overdosing on expletives.

"In context it sounds natural - almost needed,"
he says. "But the way it seems to be thrown into casual conversations about anything from courgettes to croquet seems to me a bit odd. But then again maybe I'm getting old; or maybe our TV shows have been too old for too long. Maybe it's just television catching up with the society it is supposed to reflect..."

"... Our language has moved on. Words that once shocked and surprised have become standard expressions.... Try expressing your surprise/joy/anger using other imaginative descriptions.
There could then come a time when the word will once again regain its power to shock," he suggests.

The other day, I heard a 8-year old boy in my apartment complex say, "I don't like Shakira's a**." I was initially startled, but then I wondered: Why be so surprised and shocked? Times have changed, haven't they.

As David Munk says, what used to shock us, no longer do.


  1. So true, and its not just a UK issue too..While some expletives may be ok in some contexts, some of them really do make me cringe. Guess I am just old fashioned.

  2. We hear it so much all around. I don't think it is unnatural. It is just a stress buster for some..