Thursday, 7 April 2011


People swear. And Blaspheme. I get that. There is no point in me denying, I do myself – really I try not to but sometimes, particularly after a drink or two my launguge becomes progressively bluer. It may offend others to hear my bad language – I know that it often jars my ears to hear it from others.

For me there is something far worse than hearing someone swear. It’s having others make me swear. That makes it sound as if I am very weak willed, and that I am suggesting that you can force me to swear against my will – and in a way I am.

As I don’t want to make you swear I am going to designate for this blog only the word yellow as the most offensive word that exists. I want you to imagine if you will the most hideous unpleasant derogatory term you can – that for this blog is YELLOW.

Okay. Now if I say Yellow you might be offended. You might not, but if I type yellow then you will read it – you will actively consume the word possibly to an even greater degree than if you had just heard it. You can try and skip over it in a sentence but it will sink into your brain none the less. When I write FOR YELLOW SAKE! You can’t avoid the words being imprinted in your head. The same thing happens if I abbreviate it. FYS. You work out that it means ‘for yellow sake’ and you translate it in your head. This is now swearing that you are an active partner in – you are translating the swear word, forming it in your mind. This remains the case in every day speech. If someone says FYS out loud, you will mentally translate it and hear in your head ‘For yellow sake’, equally if someone finds a word to replace yellow, a less offencive word so that they don’t offend but making sure that everyone still knows its yellow they are referring to – for example ‘For Yartis Sake’. When you hear someone say that – you will translate it into For Yellow Sake.

Throughout all this as much as I have tried to avoid it – you have probably carried out a third level of translation changing yellow to a ‘real’ swear word.

My point within all this is that while I am not a fan of swearing I object even more strongly to people using ‘suggestive’ swearing which leaves my head to make connections I don’t want it to. If you swear the only issue from my point of view is that I have to hear it – when you say ‘FYS’ then I swear /blasphem– even if only in my head.


  1. Good point. The Talmud talks about speaking in a clean way, this is separate from not speaking in a dirty way. The idea is to use as nice words as possible and not even euphemisms of bad words.

  2. thats a text i would love to read - can you point me in the direction of where in the talmud i might find it?