Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Foul-mouthed Canadians & Lesson on Profanity

Poll: Foul-mouthed Canadians swear more often than Brits, Americans

August 4, 2010 – 10:42 am

Oh, Angus Reid polls, how we f@$!king love you.

A new poll shows that more Canadians, long characterized as as gentle and mild-mannered, admit to swearing than their British and American peers. Fully 56% of Canadians admit they are potty mouths in conversations with friends, compared with just 51% of Brits and 46% of Americans.

Canadians were also the most likely to hear colleagues swear frequently (26%), followed by Brits (24%) and Americans (18%).

But Canadians are more likely to hold their tongues when talking to family — only 27% admitted to swearing in front of relatives. One in three Britons (33%) and Americans (32%) did the same.

And get this: 12% of Canadians think it’s appropriate for politicians to wear — Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson must be so pleased.

Twenty-nine percent of Canadian respondents felt the same way about actors. Forty-two percent of us expect it from auto mechanics. Laywers? 15%. Doctors, 11%. And what about your local police officer? About 14% of us say it’s fine for them to let an f-bomb drop once in a while.

The survey included 1,012 Canadians and was conducted between July 20 and 23, 2010. More than 1,000 American adults and nearly 2,000 Britons also took part in the survey. The results are considered accurate within 3.1 percentage points in Canada.

The full poll results can be found here.

Read more:

Here is a lesson on Profanity -


While sitting at the mall I heard some swearing like none other. I turned to look and the offender was a girl who looked to be 13 or 14 years old. She was cussing like an old sailor, or an old mule skinner. No one around seemed to be disturbed by her language. So I approached her and ask her if she would kiss her mother with such a dirty mouth? She looked at me as if I was from another planet, and said “uh”. I drew her attention to her on foul language, her reaction “whatever”.

A Brief History of *&%@!

Emperor Caligula of ancient Rome responded to his critics by extending his crooked arm in an obscene gesture. That same gesture is still used today nearly 20 centuries later, particularly in Europe.

Scholars have discovered profanity carved in Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Chaucer, medieval poet-author of The Canterbury Tales, peppered his language with obscenities, but not everyone followed suit immediately. Jonathan Swift, whose biting satire was often was often criticized, chose milder language, once objecting to the use of the word “mob” because it was too vulgar.

In the Victorian era of the 19th century, “leg” was considered sexually explicit, the terms “lib” and lower extremity were substituted.

In the 1930’s free-speech cases were won on behalf of James Joyce and other authors whose language reached a new level of profanity.

After World War II public swearing increased dramatically as soldiers brought home their barracks vocabulary.

President Truman’s freedom in swearing was once a significant campaign issue, and President Kennedy was once criticized for repeating favourite profane phrase of his father.

The Vietnam era brought profanity to an all-time high as anti-war activists used graphic sexual language to emphasize their anger and to draw attention to their message.

Scholars say that swearwords have not changed much over the years. People today are using the same cursed words Benjamin Franklin used in his day.

In the 1980’s and the 1990’s, even some Christian ministers use profanity, usually with the rationalization that it helps make a point.

Some Stats Quantitative Results

Overall Foul language increased overall during every timeslot between 1998 and 2002. Foul language during the Family Hour increased by 94.8% between 1998 and 2002 and by 109.1% during the 9:00 p.m. ET/PT time slot. Ironically, the smallest increase (38.7%) occurred during the last hour of prime time – the hour when young children are least likely to be in the viewing audience.

ABC Overall, offensive language on ABC decreased by 17% between 1998 and 2002.

· The amount of foul language on ABC during the second hour of prime time (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT) has decreased steadily since 1998. From 1998-2000, ABC reduced the quantity of foul language by 18%. Between 2000 and 2002, foul language decreased an additional 41%. Overall, there was a 52% drop in the frequency of foul language during that time period between 1998 and 2002.

· The same holds true for the third hour of prime time (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT). From 1998 to 2000, ABC experienced a 30% drop in the frequency of foul language. From 2000-2002, foul language decreased an additional 10%. Overall, there has been a 22% drop in the frequency of foul language during that time period between 1998 and 2002.

· Unfortunately, foul language during the Family Hour increased from 1998 to 2002 by 61.7%.

CBS CBS only showed improvement during the 10-11:00 p.m. time slot, reducing the volume of foul language by 22.5% between 1998 and 2002. Such content was reduced by 67% since 2000 alone.

· Foul language on CBS was much more frequent, however, during the first two hours of prime time. Foul language during the Family Hour on CBS has increased from a per hour rate of 1.29 in 1998 to 7.37 in 2002 -- an astounding increase of 471.3%.

· CBS fared no better during the second hour of prime time, going from a per hour rate of 3.20 in 1998 to 6.60 in 2002, an increase of 106.2%.

Fox Although foul language during Fox's Family Hour actually decreased by 25% between 1998 and 2002, going from a per hour rate of 7.44 to 5.58; Fox was still responsible for more than 21% of all the foul language heard during the Family Hour in 2002.

· That improvement was offset by a spike in foul language during the second hour of prime time, where foul language became 75.3% more frequent from 1998 to 2002.

NBC Foul language on NBC went up across the board, in every study period and every time slot.

· During the Family Hour, foul language increased by 114.7% from 1998 to 2002, going from a per hour rate of 3.82 to 8.2 in just four years.

· During the second hour of prime time, foul language increased by 59.4%, from 4.95 instances per hour to 7.89 instances per hour.

· During the third hour of prime time, foul language on NBC increased by 174%, from 4.38 instances per hour in 1998 to 12 instances per hour in 2002.

UPN During the Family Hour, foul language increased by 104.7% between 1998 and 2002.

· During the second hour of prime time, foul language increased a staggering 538%, from a modest 1.63 instances per hour in 1998, to 10.4 instances per hour in 2002.

WB Foul language increased during the WB's Family Hour by 188% between 1998 and 2002.

· Foul language during the second hour of prime time is up on the WB by 308.5% since 1998, from a mere 2 instances per hour to over 10 per hour.


LIGHT HUMOUR: Very carefully and tactfully used, light humour can be employed to criticize the offender. This is most effective with friend and depends on good taste and timing.

THE SILENT TREATMENT: Since conversations depend on give and take, a sudden refusal to respond will be noticeable. In response to offensive language, total failure to answer, or an awkward pause before answering, will signal that something is wrong. In a quiet, controlled social setting, silence is often the best choice and can be accompanied by a meaningful look.

NONVEBAL RESPONSE: Folded arms, scowl, looking away, or turning away to speak to someone else are common body language signals to report that offence has been taken at the use of profanity. Visibly wincing at obscenities indicates hurt and displeasure.

ASSERTIVENESS: A very simple, tactful statement is sometimes used to point out what might have become an unconscious habit of swearing.

Keep your words polite, calm and to the point, something like “Excuse me. I wish you wouldn’t use that kind of language. It offends me.” When done correctly, such statements are unarguable and answerable. A polite Christian witness can also be used something like, “Since I gave my life to Jesus Christ, that kind of language offends me.”

CHECK THE DICTIONARY What do you think the following terms mean?

Swearing –

Obscenities –

Expletives –

Sexually explicit language –

Vulgarities –

Cursing –

Slang –

Blaspheming –

Taking God’s name in vain –

Ethic slurs –


If I keep the third commandment – not taking God’s name in vain – can I use other forms of slang or expletives?

In certain situation I could use the above kinds of languages?

Why? Why not?

As a Christian I should never use the above language?

How about slang words like “darn”, “gosh” or “golly” are they acceptable?


Psalms 10:7

Psalms 19:14

Psalms 37:30

Proverbs 4:24

Matthew 12:34-37

Matthew 15:18-20

Romans 3:13, 14

Ephesians 4:29-31

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