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The F-Word  RSS feed

 
steward
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You have to love the classics :

 
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Guerric Kendall wrote:It's probably a good thing Permies is such a fantastic resource for permaculture. On any other forum, my conscience would not allow me to support a place where such indecent principles of speech are maintained. That said, I don't listen to the podcasts, so it doesn't really bother me. Although I am grateful that such offensive language is not commonplace all over the forum. I do agree 100% with Lynn Jacobs. It isn't a matter of fear of the word, as it is the usage of a completely unnecessary adjective with foul connotations in an immature fashion. What it's harmless origins are, whether in french or sowing seed, do not matter as much as the modern definition of the word.



Well, decency is in the mind of the listener, and to my ear, there is nothing remotely foul connoted by a word defining the act of human procreation. Fun, awesome, ecstatic, sensual, vital, maybe, but foul is off my radar. A world with more fucking and less linguistic paranoia would be a better place, I think.
 
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Growing up in a family of readers, I acquired an excellent vocabulary.

Fuck is in my lexicon. I would be sad if I were forbidden or prevented from using it in ways that I feel are appropriate. It does not necessarily imply or suggest a weak vocabulary unless all the rest of that interesting vocabulary is missing, and fuck fills all those holes--poorly. I use it sparingly, but that's just how I roll.


I think the thread so far has been concentrated on etiquette and a little of the philosophy of language.


It has been discussed somewhat in the context of, is it helpful or damaging to the spread of permaculture in general, and Paul's empire in particular.

Paul thinks it helps. People who object to the word think it detracts.

Well, that is an empirical question.


Perhaps, just perhaps, somebody who strongly believes that the frequent use of the word fuck in podcasts is hindering the movement, would volunteer to make expurgated versions of the podcast and see how much traffic they get.


Paul gets to use the f-word at will, and those who believe it is not helpful can prove or disprove that theory. Perhaps even MORE people would be infected, and perhaps a significantly different demographic at that.


troy



 
master steward
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Here's an awesome example of a type of "thug" branding (mostly in terms of language) that appears to be hugely successful from the number of YouTube views and the success of the blog and FaceBook page.

The first bit is surprisingly deceptive...keep watching!



You're welcome.
 
gardener
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I am positively foul when it comes to most everything. I use foul language daily, usually among others who don't appear to use any. I also read a lot and love pushing my vocabulary beyond its usual bounds.
I misuse or make up words as often as I combine offensive curse words into gross, novel concoctions. And I love doing it. Double meanings, puns, metaphor, corny play on words, love em.

All around me I witness people getting offended by things that I would not even think twice about, much less invest emotionally in. I use language to be myself and communicate to others the parameters I apply to myself. If they are disgusted by my linguistic parameters than its best for their mental safety not to go one step further into what is 'me'.

What some may find even more despicable and disgusting is I will teach my children every word and it's uses, because it's all language and it's a beautiful tool for the mind to play around with. Being able to play with language is an indicator of a mind I want to get to know. A mind controlled by language is a mind I naturally repel.
 
pollinator
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I like to use fuck as a prefix or suffix.

If I arrive at a job and some helpers fail to show up, I may ask "Where are the fuckwads or where is fuck head?"

I know dumb fucks, silly fucks, lazy fucks and many stupid fucks. None of them are forum members. Be nice... perfect people...

Then there are the fuckers. They include silly f.., mother, dog, chicken, ...

The trick is to use these terms in combination with a good story or a flurry of insults, depending on the company and the nature of the conversation.

 
steward
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Here's one of mine:

What the Diarrhea Monkey Fuck? You can shorten that one up to "WTDMF?" it is way cooler than just a "WTF?".

I don't mind being vulgar, I am a common fella after all.
 
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Ha! An Onion article that brings together two of the more interesting threads in MD, IMO.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/report-poor-people-pretty-much-fucked%2C1025/
 
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Paul,

Recently I became interested in Rocket Mass Heaters and found a book called "Rocket Mass Heaters - 3rd Edition", by Ianto Evans and Leslie Jackson. It is well-written and full of useful information, but I wanted more information about the subject. I found your Wood Burning Stoves 2.0 - 4 DVD set: Rocket Mass Heaters and Rocket Stoves on Amazon, and was tempted to buy it, but I read the reviews first. I like to see what people have to say about a product before buying it myself. Someone mentioned that it wasn't family friendly - that you use vulgar language for some reason in a couple of places. So I didn't buy it. But I did find your permies website and signed up on your email list. You sent a link for your Rocket Mass Heater Podcast Gob download. I downloaded it and started listening to your podcasts and was bummed by your "colorful" language. EVERY podcast had F this and F that! There definitely is power in speech. The questions to ask are, do people feel safe to have a conversation with you or not? Does a person's speech make others feel better or worse? As a religious person, I'm concerned with hearing a lot of that type of language, because the more you hear it or read it, the more it is in your mind, and the more likely you are to use it yourself. Yes, if you use the F-bomb around people, you have power over them. But who wants to have power over someone else when it's based on vulgar language? In any case, hearing the language in your podcasts really turned me off.

So I have a dilemma. I looked through your website and found it to have a lot of great information on permaculture. It may be the website with the most useful information. The wide range of subjects you cover makes permies.com a one-stop shop for all things permaculture. A person could go so far as to say that yours is the most prominent voice in permaculture. Unfortunately, from some of the other posts here, your language is driving a certain group of people away from your site. There is a segment of the population that wants to do right by the environment that is religious, or that likes more appropriate language than what you seem to need to display.

It would be great if your prominent permaculture voice were more restrained so that you truly were the voice of all people when it comes to promoting permaculture. After all, if I'm a vulgar bugger and were listening to a cleaned-up version of your podcasts or your DVD's, I would not be offended. But I couldn't finish listening to all of your podcasts because of the language. And I'm a grandpa who has been involved in athletics, hunting, gardening, home improvements, and all kinds of other manly type of activities my whole life. Manliness isn't about cussing to make yourself seem tough. Manliness is all about controlling your words and actions so as not to offend anyone. And I promise there are more of us out here.

You may say if someone doesn't like listening to the crude language in your podcasts, they don't have to. But if you're unwilling to clean up your act for the benefit of folks like me, then think about the money you'll never receive because of your language. I will not be purchasing your new DVD's unless you have some type of guarantee that the language won't be vulgar. I think you could realistically net about 10% more income just from cleaning up your language and letting folks know that you are committing to that. That could be tens of thousands of dollars. I'm not asking you to stop being a vulgar and crude man, I'm just asking that you stop being that way whenever you record or write anything for public consumption. If you do as I suggest, I will definitely buy your new RSMH DVD's. If you don't, I won't.

Thank you for your time!

Will Barry
 
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You set those personal limits for yourself. I consider myself fairly religious, but don't use the F word simply out of personal preference for propriety, yet I do not mind hearing it. And I have successfully avoided using it. Now, I do disagree with a lot of defenses made for using it listed in this thread, but still don't mind it much either. The information is simply too important, I can't toss it all away just because of a word sprinkled here and there. Besides, I find this power the F word has, only exists with certain people. The more often a person uses it, like Paul, the quicker it loses it's effect. Whereas if I hear it come from someone else for the first time, it is slightly intimidating. As for that specific group of people who avoid this site because of it- sensibilities require proper limits. If you go too far with any of them, it just becomes a problem.
 
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Such an interesting topic!

I would first like to state that I do not believe anyone has the right to ask another to moderate their language. Limiting their freedom in choice of speech is far more punitive than any noise pollution you may believe that you are subjected to. I do not direct this at anyone in general (certainly not at any poster in these forums), but to those that would ask such things in general.

That being said, I will say that words have a great deal of power, and fuck is definitely a word of great power in my humble opinion. For the same reason certain more powerful words are not spoken of even on these forums, fuck is a word which has serious cultural undertones and one that affects some people on deep level. Additionally its effect is relative to the recipient, which is why many of us in what has been previously referred to as a third group try to restrain our use. In my case it is not fear for what others will think or because it offends me, but because I wish for those I spend time with to be happy and comfortable around me. It is the same reason I work on saying "oh my gosh" around some people instead of my usual "oh my god" which is leftover from my christian upbringing. I am sure my friends understand no insult is meant by a slip, but I rather at least make an effort. Even if it is pretty much the same thing it is the thought that counts.

As for the podcast, as Paul says - you are choosing to listen to it when you don't have to. If it were me I would release a second version of the podcast that was censored, but it is not me it is him and that is not what he wants to do. Good for him for standing by his guns, very few (not enough in my opinion) business minded people have the courage to take a stand on their personal freedoms. I won't say that I am going to emulate him and loosen my restraints but I also smile knowing that there are those who do.
 
master steward
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Will,

Be the change you wish to see.

And: http://www.permies.com/t/12726/tnk/change


 
William Barry
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Paul,

"Be the change you wish to see." I believe it's my responsibility to improve myself every day, to change for the better. It isn't my wife's responsibility or anyone else's responsibility to improve me or change me. But, when anyone else has a criticism of me, or offers a suggestion that might make me a better person, before I allow myself to become defensive and reject what they're saying, I have to ask "Is there any truth in what this person is saying?" If there is, then I have to decide whether it is worth sacrificing a small part of who I currently am, to become someone better and benefit other people directly or society as a whole. If so, why wouldn't I want to change? I've heard a lot of people say things like "Love me or leave me." We shouldn't change because others want us to. We should change because we want to. It's just that sometimes other people can help us identify things we might want to consider working on that we're oblivious to.

As far as some of the things people think about you: "Some people think I am too arrogant, too fat, too obnoxious, not as funny as I think I am or too rude," I don't care if you're obnoxious or any of the other names people have called you. I'm good friends with some fairly obnoxious and/or rude people. I listen to some radio talk show hosts that are obnoxious, as well, and they provide a great service to society, as you do. But I just think you would be surprised at how many people avoid situations where crude language is used, whether in movies, with certain friends, or on permaculture sites.

I like Charles Kleff's post above about releasing a second version of podcasts, DVD's, etcetera, that have been edited. That way those who giggle when you swear can still have their laugh, and those of us who don't want to hear crude language can still benefit by the many great things you have to offer. You could put a G-rating on the edited version, and you could put an F-rating on the other.

Just think of it as a true capitalist would: How can I increase my income the most for the smallest effort? It sounds as if a lot of people enjoy hearing your swear, but it would be interesting to see how many people really don't appreciate the colorful language and would opt to buy or download the edited versions of your products instead. My bet is that the edited versions would be a fairly significant percentage. It might be a fun experiment that actually increases your bottom line.

Anyway, it's your blood, sweat, and tears - I'd just like to be able to feel comfortable about going to your site or buying your products, and I would like to be able to share your site with a lot of people who feel the same as me. After all, at the end of the day, aren't you trying to persuade as many people as possible to get on the permaculture bandwagon? On YOUR permaculture bandwagon? If so, then maybe you might want to add a few additional seats on it.

Thanks for your time!

Will
 
paul wheaton
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I think you and I should each do it the way that we think is best. And then we will see which of us build a larger audience. I think that I will win in this race.

you are about the thousandth person who has made this suggestion. And I still seem to be in first place.

I have responded to this suggestion hundreds of times. I think saying anything now would be far beyond the broken record problem.

please, I beg you, carry this message to the larger audience that you see out there.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Just found this article going around the net.

In one British study, researchers found that we swear to cope with situations that make us feel strong emotions, and that a good string of expletives can actually help us endure pain.





And from the original UK article:

Rather than just proving we swear more when we're angry, the psychologists insisted, the study showed profanity can be an emotional coping mechanism which makes us feel more resilient.



I think this has to potential to support the case that because we live in a messed up world, calling it like it is can help us feel stronger, experience less pain about it....and feel more resilient. I particularly like that word resilient.

 
Zach Muller
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White washed podcasts reminds me of non alcoholic wine. Takes a ton of extra energy to produce, limited demand, and a product that only makes sense in very few applications.

Not that Paul or anyone else is actually considering the idea, but many folks who are offended by hearing the language will still be offended by the bleep over the word because they know its covering an "unholy utterance". Of all the deeply religious members of my family and community i cant imagine any of them accepting information from a man who curses whether censored or not, just like they don't accept songs or artists with the curses bleeped over.
 
paul wheaton
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I don't understand why people choose to be offended by the word "fuck".

I understand people being offended when they are poisoned without consent.

I understand people being offended when their life is interrupted by the drunk driving of another.

I understand people being offended by threats on their life or threats on their comfort "I will shit in your oatmeal" or "I pissed in your soup."

But what is the foundation of being offended by the word "fuck"? It's as if some king or queen from a long time ago decided to be offended and then required other people to be offended too.

So now I can stand up in front of an audience of 500 people and say "fuck" and the audience is divided into three categories:

category A: offended

category B: apathetic

category C: giggly because category A is offended. And these people now relish more giggles in the future.

After a bit of thought, I realized that people are starting to catch on to this. So people are moving from A to B and C.

As I wrote earlier in this thread, I sorta like having group A around. Their existence helps with my humor needs. Plus, there is a weird sense of power that comes from how I can utter a small sound and make a whole bunch of people jump - just because they have voluntarily trained themselves to this behavior.

 
Zach Muller
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paul wheaton wrote:I don't understand why people choose to be offended by the word "fuck".




.....- just because they have voluntarily trained themselves to this behavior.



I dont think pavlovs dogs could choose to have a watering mouth once the bell was rung, just as these people can't help but be offended when hearing "fuck".
The real mystery to me is why they voluntarily trained themselves to this behaviour of offense.
 
pollinator
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I doubt that they trained themselves - their parents did. But they can undo the training.

Funny side note - the word fuck... I can't bring myself to say it in any other language... Especially not in my mother tounge (Danish), it is too strong. But the repeated use of it in English (movies, podcasts etc.) has taken most of the strength out of it.
 
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I'm sure this was mentioned but let me just re-iterate that there are some truly offensive and barbaric actions taken daily, often by people who are supposed to be authority figures such as police, politicians, business "leaders", clergy. i'm talking about genocide, war, murder, rape, torture, abuse, classism, institutional racism, you know, all the stuff that we're supposed to ignore and focus on permaculture instead. Now I'm sure everyone offended by the f word is also offended by these atrocities but I'm just saying we need to keep our priorities straight and save our outrage for what really matters.

As far as profanity impeding permaculture's progress...hmm, I'd venture to say that Monsanto, Dow Chemical and Orrin Hatch have more to do with impeding permaculture's progress than Paul dropping f bombs...not to pick on Hatch, just one of those nutjob Senators that came to mind. But again,it just seems like getting worked up about a word is the last thing any rational person should do given the bigger picture.

If you're teaching children to be offended by profanity then you damn well better be teaching them to be offended by social injustice, legalized corruption and tailgating as well.



 
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Which brings to mind; "If you can't say 'fuck', you can't say 'fuck the government." ...Lenny Bruce
 
pioneer
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Moved from the thread on "should"


I can think of no reason in the world to be offended by "fuck". It boils down to a simple choice.



The word itself doesn't offend me, but I inevitably find myself making judgements about the person speaking when they use profanities instead of punctuation. In the professional circles I move in profane language is very uncommon, however when I walk around town I hear foul language quite frequently - when I do it is usually from either visibly unsavoury individuals (groups of men drinking super strength lager at 8am) or from groups younger "chavs" prowling the streets. Punctuating speech with the word fuck has become, atleast around here, a way for youths identify themselves with an aggressive and unsavoury counter-culture that tries to dominate our streets through thugish behaviour and intimidation. The word itself is not at fault, but it has been claimed by people who I'm fairly sure you would not choose to be associating with.

With a clear divide between people who do and people who do not use that type of language then the way people speak becomes a kind of surrogate marker for determining whether or not I want to associate with that person, and whether I want to spend time listening to what they have to say.

Language and accent is one of the most fundamental ways in which we pin our identity to a group or ideology. There have been studies showing, for example, that job applicants with identical CV's and strong regional UK accents are less likely to get good jobs than those with accents that are more like a typical BBC pronunciation. Yes it is prejudice. Yes it exists. Yes, changing how you speak really can change your trajectory in life.
 
Michael Cox
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paul wheaton wrote:Judith,

I think that my two groups could use subgroups like:

1.1) people who do not fear the word, but the word just doesn't pop out

2.1) people who do fear the word, but just don't openly shame anybody about it

And, I suspect many more subgroups.



for reference with my above comment - I'd put myself in group 1.1)
 
pollinator
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Well that is a relief when I saw this thread I thought it was going to be about that dirty word F#rt!l!z#r, and was going to be quite offended.

But instead it is just about the innocent word fuck. That is a relief.

Can't believe no one has posted this yet.



This is quite a nice one too



And some special hip hop for any who might like that sort of thing.


 
Dawn Hoff
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I think it is mind boggling how many people actually feel comfortable asking others to change because they themselves feel uncomfortable about something... In fact I find it way more impolite than using swear words... It is a sort of entitlement mentality - I am entitled to not hear the words that you utter, and I don't want to give up my free information source, so it is OK for me to ask you to change...

It may be that Paul loses listeners due to language, it has been implied more than once that he doesn't care... So that's that - his podcast his choice.
 
paul wheaton
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Somebody said something about intellect and talking to children. So I present a guy with a phd and a children's show:

 
paul wheaton
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Jocelyn Campbell
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I think the middle video from Devin might have been a knock-off of this one sent via a friend today:



 
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I'll use it for emphasis but not in a family or professional situation. I don't care or fear if someone else uses it in a professional situation, but if someone says it in front of my mother I will politely ask them to moderate their language, because she doesn't like it, and if they continue then it's no longer about the word but it's about respect for my mother so I'll very gently throw them out the room. If someone else's mother didn't like the word "octagon" and they asked me not to use it in front of her, I would oblige, out of respect.

As an emphasis word, in non-mother situations, it's great. But if overused loses its effect, and then people have to do this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8V15LhufEwY
 
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all words were created by chance bastardization of another language or were made up and just gathered steam and poof it ended up in Websters. Just look at texting and tweeting... words created for efficency.

but there is absolutely no other word in the english language that can better sum all feelings in such a straight forward manner that no one, even if they can't speak or understand the language, cannot possibly misinterpret....

and I love those fucking assholes who say that they judge people by their use of language like somehow that connotes some level of sophistication...like ... Bernie Madoff was a sophisticate, no he was ... a fucking criminal...

I choose not associate with that person... they have a foul mouth... that statement in and of itself is nastier that the word fuck.

You can be assured that you will not be talking over someones head... when you simply say....Go Fuck yourself, what the fuck, fuck you, this is all fucked up, what are you a fucking idiot, fucking asshole. It is beautiful, it is efficent. It is effective. oh and don't forget Fuck Off!
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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Found this jewel floating about the web today:
facebook_1447338232448.jpg
[Thumbnail for facebook_1447338232448.jpg]
Helen Mirren at 70
 
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I think in youth it should be discouraged, as you then have to find wider vocabulary, but as adults we should be big enough to hear it and not faint or get the vapors!

Say it if you want, or not......I will say it if I want, or not...but it is up to the individual to say it or not.

But hearing it does nothing to harm you, so calm the fuck down!

To not listen to what someone has to say because of a word they use is unwise, you may miss a lot from a lot of smart folks that way.

Now do I listen to podcasts with my young child, no, but if you are too young to hear the word and not know all of its meanings, you are too young to grasp the purpose of the podcast and the systems about which it speaks.
 
Jocelyn Campbell
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It's a trend! We now have Granny Potty Mouth!


 
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Crude language in a public forum generally makes the speaker look a little less intelligent in my eyes. I think that's a pretty general view in society. Watch the people around a loud, foul mouthed person in a restaurant or store. Not many are watching him with a look that says "He's so cool, I want to be like him".

When I was in the military, it was normally the guys right out of boot camp that cussed the most. They are trying (unsuccessfully as far as the older troops went) to show that they are grown up. The more seasoned members went for a more professional approach.

Over the years in working in construction, military, commercial fishing and oil fields I think I've been pretty completely exposed to 'the full beauty of the English language'. I don't find most profanity to be particularly beautiful. My reply to most of this discussion is, for the most part, cut the bullshit. When I use the term bullshit, I am speaking the self righteous and frankly foolish idea that is spreading throughout society that while many terms are banned in society, lest you be labeled a racist, homophobe, male chauvinist pig, anti-muslim or whatever other pc flavor there is on this particular day (so we don't offend these people), but it is perfectly fine, even a brave and good thing to offend large numbers of women, children and people who aren't in one of the 'protected classes'. If they hold to a western traditional standard of behavior and/or morality, so much the better. This is simply bullshit and needs to be identified as such.

If you feel comfortable using certain terminology which others find offensive it neither means you are more mature, more enlightened, or have a new super power. It just means you use offensive language. You are free to do this, but in many situations it's the verbal equivalent to farting at the dinner table. We all fart, but sometimes it's neither appropriate, considerate, or polite. It generally doesn't endear you to the other diners. If you crap your pants at the dinner table, but don't get all high and mighty about it and demand others accept your behavior. Maybe you should admit you have an intestinal problem that is currently is getting the better of you.

My wife and kids tell me (with some justification) that I need to watch my foul language which consists of such rich and fulfilling words as "bullshit", "son of a bitch", "damn" and "hell". I try to watch my words, but sometimes the little dickens just jump out, especially in moments of mild stress. These are the persistent remnants of once wider profane vocabulary (I was an idiot fresh out of bootcamp once also). I don't begrudge my family their desire for a ban on offensive language. I also can't say that I generally feel restricted in my choice of verbiage. There are lots of other, usually more descriptive words I can use. Once in a while, I admit, nothing else quite captures it like a nugget of profanity, but those moments are pretty few and are generally not when I am delivering a formal address.

You may say that I am not consistent, since I used "bullshit" a term that some find offensive. I freely admit that. I used the word after consideration, because I thought it would emphasize what I was trying to say and my perception is that the group in this forum won't be offended. I may be wrong in this, and if so I apologize. I am a human being, therefore I am inconsistent, but it doesn't meant that what I say isn't worthy of consideration. It simply means that I am flawed, like everyone else, and hopefully we will be considerate of each others failings.

Please don't think that I am trying to restrict anyones right to express their selves. I am not. This is Paul's site, so he can obviously do what he wants on it. I may be edited for saying something that may offend someone, he won't. That is fair because this is his site, not mine. If I do get offended, I will simply go elsewhere, just like I do if someone farts loudly next to me. I won't scream, shout, call names or threaten legal action, I'll just leave the site. If offended enough, I won't return. Freedom of expression is not a guarantee of an audience. This is in keeping with what I see as my fundamental freedom to choose what I want to be around and I believe is consistent with others rights to express themselves.
 
Devin Lavign
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BTW a fun youtube channel if you don't mind the swearing is https://www.youtube.com/user/jimk411 I discovered him when he was doing his budget bus build. He is now onto doing a budget homestead series. While his newer videos his language is a little less swearing the older ones he is constantly saying shit and fuck.

Here is the beginning of his homesteading videos

 
paul wheaton
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Devin Lavign
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Hahahaha, Paul that generational passing the don't swear buck comic was spot on!
 
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Every time I hear someone speak or write the F-Bomb, I kind of laugh inside. I was always told it is not even a word, it is an acronym from the old days and that "F.U.C.K.=Fornication Under the Consent of the King." In other words, if the castle had a party going on, and the King made this deceleration, people could openly fornicate under his consent without repercussions. So 99-1/2% of the time, when I hear or see the F-Bomb, it is out of context and makes little sense.

Even if it was a true word (and my understanding is that it is not), it is just filler. Listen to the people that drop the F-Bomb all the time and then rehearse it in your mind and remove the word/acronym. It never changes the meaning of what they say.

Now, there is an exception to that. Sometimes, when you REALLY need to get your point across, the F-bomb does that really well. "F-You" is a statement after all!

As for my wife, oh my, maybe this is too much information, but she is very mousy, quiet, gone to church all her life kind of girl, but she only uses the F-Bomb in one place...the bedroom. Not in vulgar, but heightened awareness shall we say. It is quite funny stemming from a VERY reserved lady. Its hard not to laugh when she blurts it out!
 
I child proofed my house but they still get in. Distract them with this tiny ad:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
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