What is Profanity?

Some grammar rules (and embarrassing mistakes!) transcend the uniqueness of different regions and style guides. This new International Grammar section by OnlineBookClub.org ultimately identifies those rules thus providing a simple, flexible rule-set, respecting the differences between regions and style guides. You can feel free to ask general questions about spelling and grammar. You can also provide example sentences for other members to proofread and inform you of any grammar mistakes.
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What is Profanity?

Post by Nkoo » 01 Oct 2019, 12:01

With respect to OBC, what exactly is profanity and which words/group of words can be classified as profanity? Can the use of these words in a review book be ignored or classified as profanity?
The follwing are the words: the f-word, holy hell, what the hell, sh*t, holy crap, etc.
I need clarifications. Apologies for using such words here. :tiphat:

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Post by Denejja » 01 Oct 2019, 12:35

blasphemous or obscene language.

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Post by unamilagra » 01 Oct 2019, 21:56

My rule of thumb is that if I wouldn't say it while speaking to a class of kindergarteners, then it is at least borderline profanity. If I wouldn't say it while speaking to a class of high schoolers, it's probably non-borderline profanity.

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Post by CataclysmicKnight » 15 Oct 2019, 13:50

I've always gone by:

D*mn, A*s, p*ss, and other body parts that would typically be raunchy that are used as an insult are borderline

non-borderline = any racial slur, sh*t and f*ck

But with that said, I don't think there's a list of words and what they count as, so it's up to your discression I'd think. How it's used matters a lot to me too, like "h*ll" and "d*mn" can be fine or they can be considered borderline depending on the sentence:

"I'm afraid of going to h*ll" = totally normal use
"Go to h*ll!" = borderline
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Post by Nickolas Farmakis » 08 Nov 2019, 15:09

Yes, I think all these words are profane. I think the words using 'hell' can be considered borderline profanity, while the rest of the words are clearly swear words, so they are non-borderline profanity.

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Post by Nickolas Farmakis » 08 Nov 2019, 15:10

In general, profane words are words that can be considered offensive or swear words, that are not considered appropriate.

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Post by LauraLeeWasHere » 17 Nov 2019, 01:21

The main problem with classifying profanity is that it is so subjective and can vary radically depending on who you're communicating with.

As a Christian, many of my companions, readers and authors I read are also Christians. If I merely write the three letters, "OMG", I have gone way past profanity. In the eyes of Christians and Jews I have just broken the third Commandment and committed blaspheme!

Even among different cultures the definitions are vastly different. Before I had even heard of Austin Powers the only definition of the word shag I knew had to do with a type of carpet.

The best conclusion I have come up with is, " when in doubt" classify it as profanity. Then decide if it's "borderline". But if you're still unsure just be honest in your review and explain your dilemma or predicament to your readers. I'm sure that they'll appreciate your efforts to protect their sensibilities.

But I am new to the Review Team and bow to the greater wisdom of other members.

And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. John 21:25 KJV

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Post by Syson Dolph » 01 Dec 2019, 07:27

Profanity is a word that expresses dissatisfaction in an unpleasant way. Nkoo the examples you stated indicate profanity. That is to say hell is a place where punishment is administered, F-word in full is the f**k word and I would to think that you know what 'f**k' means, sh*t is ambiguous I advise that you it in the dictionary or google search and crap might as well mean rubbish.

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