Re: [tied] Being Crude in English.

From: Darwin R. Garcia
Message: 5294
Date: 2001-01-04

I'm new to this forum and still basically in "LurkMode".
I agree with you that the English language is incapable of "proper(?)" vulgarity. Having lived all my life in India, I've found that most native cuss words cannot be translated. The worst English abuses are pathetically insipid and often used by conservative teenagers as substitutes for the real thing. I am fluent in Hindi and familiar with Punjabi. Hindi can be very vitriolic but Punjabi is a language that is difficult to speak properly(?) without a fair dose of cuss words. Even worse, I find my friends laugh at my attempts to cuss because of my accent and the fact that I'm not used to the guttural syllables. So, it's not just the words and semantics that make cusses effective but also the quality of the sound.
Interestingly, the majority of the native cusses deal with incest with a lot of references to sodomy and homosexuality.
Conversely, English is not very elegant either. My personal favourite is Urdu, a Hindi-Arabi derivative, the lingua franca of romance, poetry, debate and intellect.
In my opinion, English occupies the middle area. A technical user friendly language.
----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Odegard
Sent: 2001 January 4 Thursday 10:48
Subject: [tied] Being Crude in English.

It is a usuality that the English language is rather poor in 'crude'
terms. I would agree with the statement.

English, like all the major languages of the world, can salaciously
cope with the world's oldest profession, and every possible 'position'
associated with it.

But for cursing, for delivering a strong line of disapproval to
another, English really is lacking. English is poor when it comes to
cussing-out another.

We have the George Carlin sequence (do a web search), which gives us
all the naughty words.

But telling one man off? Polish is pro'lly better. Since few men
really are muhfuhs (and this being about the most horrific thing you
can say to a male in English), my observation is that
native-English-speakers are hopelessly polite in comparison to other

English is perhaps the most polite of the world's current languages.

Is it perhaps that English is a language that is hopelessly
intertwined with the concept of the yeoman?