Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Express Yourself

A recent study showed that nine out of ten British adults swear everyday, with the average adult swearing fourteen times a day. The study also showed that ninety-four percent of eighteen to thirty year olds don’t mind swearing. But what’s with all the profuse swearing?

I personally don’t swear, I just think there are better words to use than the F-word, S-word, two B-words, or the M’ing-‘effing word. I mean, why use those words when you can say something more intelligent? For example, instead of screaming the F-word if something drops on your foot, why not say ‘balderdash’ instead? Ok I joke, that is a bit impractical, but on a serious note, even in today’s society, swearing still offends many and still makes a bad impression. It’s also displays a lack of command over the English language, as swearing is lazy and abrasive. I think it also restricts coherent expression, instead of telling someone to ‘eff off,’ why not kindly ask them to ‘remove their disposition from the atmosphere as it is adding to carbon dioxide levels and melting the polar ice caps.’ This a) makes you sound more intelligent and b) completely discombobulates the person you are talking to. You could also say ‘go take yourself off a bridge’; this also has the same effect (without making you sound slightly arrogant).

Although I don’t like swearing, I do think Preston have taken it too far. There if you’re caught swearing, they will hand you a fine of eighty pounds. In these times of economic downturn and mass unemployment, a fine of eighty pounds is enough to make anyone scream a few expletives.

But if you do use a plentiful amount of swearwords, try to replace this maladaptive behaviour (psychology term, sorry) with new, inventive ways of expressing yourself.


Another thing that really irritates me is the poor spelling, punctuation and grammar that people my age use. Here are the problems with all three:

1) Spelling
Now, I know that many people (including myself) use abbreviated words or phrases to save space on a text message, or simply because it’s quicker to type, but some people go overboard on this, so much so that even I am having trouble reading what someone is trying to say. ‘Can’ and ‘not’ have only three letters so is it really necessary to shorten it to ‘cn’ and ‘nt’? And is it also necessary to replace‘s’ with ‘z’ at the end of words (e.g. iz instead of is)? Another irritating habit among the social networking youth is to drop letters from words, like the ‘h’ from ‘her’, which makes it just ‘er,’ which is…nonsense. An average sentence may look like this: ‘Ey hwz u? im gd hv u spkn 2 er?’ This, over a number of sentences becomes ridiculous and it takes a lot longer to read than it would reading standard English (because your brain is trying to fill in the missing letters like a game of Hangman).

2) Punctuation…
Or rather the excess of it. It’s all over social networking sites. You know what I’m talking about, you see a comment that has an ellipsis that has fifteen dots too many or the really excited person who puts a million exclamation marks after their sentence. This makes the person just look a bit thick. Don’t do it.

3) Grammar
Why is it people insist on capitalising random letters in a word? What does this achieve? A worn down caps lock button? And what’s with the addition of letters to a word? I know someone that adds another ‘i’ to an existing one in a word (so ‘in’ becomes ‘iin’ and so on). When I asked her why she does this, she simply shrugged. It takes extra effort to randomly capitalise letters, or to add another ‘i’. Extra effort to be grammatically incorrect? How backwards is that?

ii mEN hw ard iiz it 2 yoOouSe ******* prpr wrdz????????????????? n nT SwR?????????? ii fiink we shld al tRii ToOo…………………………………………………………SpK BTtA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you can read that, you’re either bordering on genius status, or you actually type like this.