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.
Post Reply
Nkoo
Posts: 457
Joined: 24 May 2019, 08:32
Currently Reading: The Blue Sea Monster
Bookshelf Size: 92
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-nkoo.html
Latest Review: The Mindset by Ace Bowers

What is Profanity?

Post by Nkoo »

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:

User avatar
Denejja
Posts: 1
Joined: 01 Oct 2019, 12:31
Bookshelf Size: 0

Post by Denejja »

blasphemous or obscene language.

User avatar
unamilagra
Previous Member of the Month
Posts: 1152
Joined: 07 Feb 2019, 22:57
2019 Reading Goal: 20
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 245
Currently Reading: The Explosive Child
Bookshelf Size: 69
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-unamilagra.html
Latest Review: Ferret by L.K. Samuels
Reading Device: B00JG8GOWU

Post by unamilagra »

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.
Latest Review: Ferret by L.K. Samuels

User avatar
CataclysmicKnight
Posts: 904
Joined: 26 Jan 2015, 19:51
2019 Reading Goal: 100
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 106
2018 Reading Goal: 100
2018 Reading Goal Completion: 68
2017 Reading Goal: 150
2017 Reading Goal Completion: 61
Favorite Book: Ready Player One
Currently Reading: The Banned Book about Love
Bookshelf Size: 951
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-cataclysmicknight.html
Latest Review: A Twenty Five Cent Investment by Hartley Connett

Post by CataclysmicKnight »

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
Nothing is true, everything is permitted.

Nickolas Farmakis
Posts: 428
Joined: 29 Sep 2019, 04:18
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 118
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-nickolas-farmakis.html
Latest Review: 27 Amazing Windows 10 Performance Boosting Tips by Craig The Tech Teacher

Post by Nickolas Farmakis »

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.

Nickolas Farmakis
Posts: 428
Joined: 29 Sep 2019, 04:18
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 118
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-nickolas-farmakis.html
Latest Review: 27 Amazing Windows 10 Performance Boosting Tips by Craig The Tech Teacher

Post by Nickolas Farmakis »

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

User avatar
LauraLeeWasHere
Posts: 242
Joined: 18 Aug 2019, 11:39
2019 Reading Goal: 25
2019 Reading Goal Completion: 316
Favorite Author: Jess Lederman
Favorite Book: David Copperfield
Currently Reading: Relentless
Bookshelf Size: 182
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-lauraleewashere.html
Latest Review: Island Games by Caleb J. Boyer
fav_author_id: 164792

Post by LauraLeeWasHere »

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.

LLR
And they sang a new song saying,
"You are worthy to take the book,
and to open its to seals,
for You were slain and have redeemed us to God,
by your blood, out of every tribe and tongue and people and Nation." Rev. 5:9
NKJ & KJV

Syson Dolph
Posts: 59
Joined: 13 Sep 2019, 05:02
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 24
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-syson-dolph.html
Latest Review: Cynthia and Dan by Dorothy May Mercer

Post by Syson Dolph »

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.

User avatar
Phyllis Anne
Posts: 17
Joined: 17 Oct 2019, 21:42
Currently Reading: Deadly Waters
Bookshelf Size: 22
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-phyllis-anne.html
Latest Review: Zelspar and the Magicians by Cheryl Rush Cowperthwait

Post by Phyllis Anne »

To add to this question: Are substituted phrases considered profanity? Especially in the instances where you can clearly deduce what they are replacing?
~Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality~
Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland

User avatar
grace11cephas
Posts: 6
Joined: 12 Oct 2019, 02:19
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 6

Post by grace11cephas »

I personally think that anything unfit for public discussion,that can apply to a language one uses both verbally or in any written form that brings about embarrassment,shame,degradation can all be considered as profanity.

I normally tell my self that if i cannot say it or write and send it to my mother or father or my mentor then its worth not fitting for public usage.Why?This is simply because it is vulgar and profane.
Anything i don't wish others to say to me or write me in this case-i would as well not do it to others.

Lets try to be good mannered and respectful.

User avatar
TerrifiedTaylor
Posts: 32
Joined: 28 Nov 2019, 07:55
Currently Reading: The Girl Who Loved Caravaggio
Bookshelf Size: 7
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-terrifiedtaylor.html
Latest Review: Dagger's Destiny by Linnea Tanner

Post by TerrifiedTaylor »

CataclysmicKnight wrote: ↑
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

So wouldn't that mean b**** would be non-borderline? There are somethings I understand some I don't.

User avatar
raylenejanice
Posts: 18
Joined: 01 Feb 2020, 18:49
Currently Reading:
Bookshelf Size: 5
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-raylenejanice.html
Latest Review: Debt Cleanse by Jorge P. Newbery

Post by raylenejanice »

What a great discussion! I was wondering the same thing. My mother told me when I was very young that hell and damn are gentlemen's swear words, and that has stuck in my mind, obviously, so those seem borderline to me. Interestingly, "Jesus" and "Jesus Christ" as oaths are not borderline to me, but "Oh my God" is borderline to me because of its common usage even in polite company. The book I'm currently reading likes to spell out dialect pronunciations, e.g. "Jaysus" and "Feck." To my American ears, those seem much tamer than their American English counterparts, but I still counted them as obscene.

User avatar
Amanda-Elin G
Posts: 10
Joined: 28 Oct 2019, 21:25
Currently Reading: Valiant Young Men
Bookshelf Size: 314
Reviewer Page: onlinebookclub.org/reviews/by-singinggenius05.html
Latest Review: André's Reboot by Steve Coleman
Reading Device: B00IKPYKWG

Post by Amanda-Elin G »

Phyllis Anne wrote: ↑
17 Dec 2019, 00:46
To add to this question: Are substituted phrases considered profanity? Especially in the instances where you can clearly deduce what they are replacing?
Substitutions that are more common don't necessarily make us think of what they are replacing. For example, when someone says "dang" I hardly ever think, "d**n" when they are saying it. So, although you definitely know what this is substituting, is it really profanity if it doesn't make you think of the original word? This would be an interesting topic to see debated.

The point is: Thoughtcrime is punishable by vaporization. Don't think swear words :wink2: Reply with a wink if you get the reference.

Post Reply

Return to “International Grammar”