Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Gotthammer's Apologetic Part 2: Colorful Vernacular

Nearly every complaint I get about Gotthammer has to do with my use of colorful vernacular. I’d like to stress that this has been use, not abuse. The point of Gotthammer is not for me to cuss a bunch. If I use questionable language, I have made that choice with what I deem good reason. I use it as a form of hyperbole. For emphasis. When I say that my zero rating means the film or book was a “piece of shit”, it’s to emphasise that I don’t endorse this film in any way, shape or form.

Slang’s a tough thing to create a rule for anyhow. If I talk about shag carpet, it’ll mean something grossly different to my UK readers than it would to the North American ones. I’ve been informed that ‘pants’ means essentially the same thing in the UK as ‘bullshit’ does in North America, which along with what ‘rooting for your team’ would mean in Australia leads me to believe that the use of slang is a seriously cultural thing. One of the most godly men I’ve ever met once told my friend Chris “I’m just fucking with you” in the cafeteria line up at Hillcrest Christian College. We were standing only one space ahead of our extremely prim proper and prudish Psych professor, who thankfully was doing her best imitation of a absent minded academic. Once we got over our shock, we were able to find out that this word wasn’t a big deal in the area of South Africa he was from. An Aussie friend at Seminary used to declare ‘bullshit free zones’ without batting an eyelash.

I don’t cuss around the people I work for, despite the common usage of “shit-disturber” to describe me. I know where they stand on that issue and don’t have any reason to offend them. Coming to Gotthammer is a little like sitting down with me in a pub. I assume if you’re hanging around here we’re friends, and I let down my guard around friends.

You can read more about my opinion on this subject HERE in my "Christian's Guide to Cussing"

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