You can tell a lot about a culture
from its choice of swear words
Tag Archive: swear
The next time someone tells you they think 1930s music is lame and tame, you let them listen to this little ditty by Patricia Norman, accompanied by Eddy Duchin and his band.
Warning: Explicit language.
That’s right, explicit language. If you don’t like it in your music, please don’t listen. You’ve been warned!
This was the first known song which had the F word in it, and it was absolutely scandalous when it first came out in 1938. In fact, it not only uses the F word, it uses it repeatedly. Read the lyrics and you’ll see why! Too bad there wasn’t a TV performance like the spectacular one by Betty Hutton, albeit to tamer lyrics, at the end of this post.
Today, May 6th, is McHappy Day in North America. $1 from the sale of every Happy Meal, Big Mac and Egg McMuffin to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters Go Girls and Go Boys, and Ronald McDonald House Charities.
Nice idea, but wait a minute here. That food isn’t good for you! That’s like buying something to shorten your life a little from which $1 would go to kids’ charities. A little contradictory if the people trying to help raise the children better are reducing their potential to help a little bit in the process. That, to me, is more like McMartyr Day rather than McHappy Day.
I know. One Big Mac, Egg McMuffin or Happy Meal isn’t going to shorten anybody’s life by anything noticeable. But is $1 out of all the income you will generate in your lifetime noticeable? It’s a “fair” exchange of a sacrifice, if you ask me!
What I want to ask McDonald’s, though, is why couldn’t they have put the donation from a salad or something healthier? It’d promote their image and food options, too, cause everybody already knows about all that other crappy food. Come on, somebody at McDonald’s. Rise up and speak in the board room! Make the change!
That said, I’m going to try and get out for a Big Mac anyway. I do kind of like it every now and then, I must admit, and if I can indulge and give something to charity in the process, that eases my health conscience. Besides, I am tapering for my 25th marathon. Not to take health and life for granted, but a body like mine can probably absorb a little McDonald’s food every now and then.
Now, let’s see what else is there to talk about today? That was too short of a post.
Hmmm. There’s the Nova Scotia government’s defeat (my province so local news), more swine flu cases in Canada in Nova Scotia than anywhere else currently, twice weekly brawls in Cole Harbour, a forest fire in Spryfield and such already in May. We Nova Scotians are certainly living in what the Chinese call “interesting times”. Perhaps appropriately, then, May is Asian Heritage Month. So let me share a little culture with you, though after I ask why dates of celebration from that link go from May 1st to 30th? There are 31 days in May! Yes, my friends. Part of the Asian Heritage appreciation is how we were constantly ripped off. Maybe they designed it too well to symbolically incorporate that part of our heritage, but I’d bet most Asians don’t think it’s appropriate! Mind you, we Asians should be grateful. Black History month is February. The month is short, the days are short and it’s freezing to keep people indoors where the African diaspora do not naturally like to be kept. You get what I’m saying? They really got ripped off!
Chinese and other Asian culture tend to be very ordered. Lots of hierarchy. Proper names and rituals for just about everything. People have their places and are expected to play the role. It’s very rigid, which isn’t necessarily bad like it sounds. even if there is some bad to it to be so highly judgmental. It can’t be bad overall, though, if the various Asian societies have prospered so well over the millennia in so many places. But it is highly ordered, nonetheless.
“Interesting”, meanwhile, suggests something not completely certain and/or understood, possibly even something unknown. That depends on how you interpret “interesting”, connotatively rather than strictly by its dictionary definition. But because “interesting” means some uncertainty, that is essentially saying “chaotic” in a culture that values order so it. It is the antithesis of a core cultural value and is, thus, a curse. For a Chinese person to wish someone to live in “interesting times” is to basically wish their life be damned with chaos. I know it doesn’t sound damning or anything in the plain translation, but try to understand it from the cultural perspective.
You curse that which you value most. Otherwise, why insult something of lesser value, right?
So in English, it’s sex. In Québecois French, it’s the Church. In Vietnamese, it’s one’s Mother. Yeah, some patriarchal society. We Vietnamese all know who really runs the house and society. You can curse all kinds of things about me but when it comes to my Mother, you need to have a little talk with my fist, feet, head, elbow and a few other body parts. :-)
But the nice thing about a cuss that doesn’t translate well is that you can use it diplomatically! Have you ever thought about that? If you had not known the story of “interesting times” as it pertained to the Chinese culture, how would you feel after a conversation if I held out my hands, gave you a nod and a smile and bid you farewell with
May you live in interesting times, my friend.
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.7
The short answer is that you never know who might be interested in your post, or when. But when they share it, it’s like hitting a little promo jackpot that’d definitely be worth your while to social bookmark enable your posts. Give them the chance to do what they want to do. Give your post the chance to be spread among a wider audience when the goodwill someone is willing to give you is available.
If you can buy into that, you don’t need to read the rest of this post. Go forth to social bookmark enable your posts if you blog and haven’t already. I happened to have provided instructions for enabling social bookmarks on WordPress.com yesterday so that might be of help if you were on WordPress.com. Today, I’m following up on why it’s worth your while.
Let’s start with some basics for those who might not know what I’m talking about or only have a vague idea, though I promise not to get too geeky.
Social bookmarking helps Internet users share, store, organize, search and manage bookmarks of web pages via icons that do those tasks within a click or two. If you recognize some of the icons in the batch above, then you know what social bookmarking is, if you weren’t already familiar with the term.
Enabling your post with social bookmarks means giving your readers the ability to click on something you set up to social bookmark via any number of platforms. Otherwise, they might have to copy and paste your URL in some cumbersome process which would stop a lot of people from doing so when they would have loved to share your work with others.
Enabling your post with social bookmarks may or may not be a simple process pending the platform on which you blog and your computer proficiency. The method I shared yesterday is an example. It could be routine with a little practice, but it’s not something that’s all clicks, and you do have to touch code!
But is it worth it?
You will ultimately have to consider that, of course, but consider a few facts I’ve found and stories from my personal experience. Here’s a Facebook point of view.
The average Facebook user has 12o friends (Primates on Facebook, The Economist Feb 26 2009). Dang! That’s a fascinating article I’ll have to blog tomorrow as I’m stuck with this one today. Anyway, for every person who shares it, a notification gets sent out to an average of 120 other users. Hard to say how many would view your article and how many would propogate the chain, but that’s 120 plugs you otherwise would not have had. Then, at a measly 1% success rate of having those notified propogate it further, one other person who might share it would keep that first sharing effort “alive” to another 120 friends, give or take some common friends.
The real success rate might be much lower than 1% as not 120 of the original Facebook friends would view the shared link, but don’t forget whoever shared it probably has a lot in common with at least one Facebook friend that this other friend might share it as well. It’s a bit like love. You don’t have to be a match to everybody. You just need to find the one to help you propagate… although having more than one to propagate with is not generally considered a bad thing. ;-)
The StumbleUpon method works in a different way in that those receiving what is shared is at least looking for stuff on that topic. That boost the chance they’d “stumble it” further, and this could go on for quite a long time. I’ve had posts from my Envirostats blog that’s had a few thousand views, practically all from “stumbles”, and they are still coming a year and a half later! I can’t say Facebook sharing tend to last that long, although I don’t have the metrics in the WordPress.com dashboard to really track that with absolute precision. But I’d bet a lot on it.
There are also other means that work in different styles, from personal preference to share to user votes making it more prominent. I’m not going to describe them but I think you get the idea.
Now who might be interested?
You really never know, nor when it might occur. A post from my Envirostats blog about the impact of farts on carbon emissions has never been “stumbled” to my knowledge, nor shared because I never knew how to social bookmark enable it back when I posted it. However, it’s had huge views because everyday, about a half a dozen people find that post from Googling some combination of “average number farts day”, with “farts” being the operative word. They also find info on sheep and cow fart impact on CO2 emissions and end up looking at both posts. :-)
I’m going back to stick some social bookmarks on them, now that I think about the potential still out there as people aren’t farting any differently now than a year and a half ago! :-)
Then last week, a week old post I wrote suddenly became hugely popular. It was on how people should consider creating a media stir for cash as a mean of child support, citing the 13 year old father Alfie (supposedly) and the Octomom Nadya Suleman. It was “old news” by then, but the 1,200+ views I got for it in two days, and still coming, after 60 views in a week, was from what looks to me to be a French war video game site, Factornews.com
Oh, no. Wait. Sorry. That’s not how they swear in France. That’s fake Quebecois swearing as they’d like to say in France. Take your pick of what you consider the worst from this youswear.com (French) list, do your best Inspecteur Clouseau impression and that’s what I’m saying!
What’s a bunch of French virtual war mongers* wanting to read and share a verbose English story that’s “old news” about a 13 year old English boy father?
[ * meant in sarcastic humour so please don’t send me hate mail ]
But are those stories convincing enough for you?
They are convincing enough for me. If you have similar stories, please do share so we can all be convinced!
Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 7.1
I did not create these two Facebook picture tagging memes, but I did improve their quality and optimization for Facebook usage. I do not know from where they come so there is no source link. These memes involve signs. One is of people holding up signs, and there are no negative labels there. The other is of some sign style icons.
To use any of these for your Facebook tagging fun:
- Click on the picture to get it at full size.
- Right click on that picture and save to your computer.
- Upload it to your Facebook profile.
- Tag your friends!
Please click here for a complete list of over 100 Facebook picture tagging memes on this site with which you can use for fun with your friends.