Pros And Cons Of Taboo Words

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The negative connotation of TWs is rooted in certain taboo areas and topics. In other words, particular expressions or words acquire bad connotations due to their association with unpleasant, filthy or embarrassing topics and themes .In this regard, Jay (1999) points out that "words referring to offensive concepts become offensive words” (p.153). Allan and Burridge (2006) also agree with this view by stating that " […] we can admit that the connotations of taboo terms are contaminated by the taboo topics which they denote " (p.40). Therefore , TWs can be simply defined as the words with stronger negative connotations that are rooted in one or more social taboo areas . Although, what is considered taboo differs from one society to another,…show more content…
Another reason why people may find these disgusting substances revolting and distasteful is due to health reasons, i.e., these substances are seen to be the most dangerous vector for diseases (Pinker, 2007). For instance, faeces are seen as a route to transmission of viruses, bacteria and protozoa that cause at least twenty intestinal diseases (idem). 1.3.5. Classification of Taboo Words TWs can not be fully understood without a clear discussion of their different types and categories. Jay (1996) classified dirty words by their connotation rather than by their denotation into different categories : Taboo, obscenity, vulgarity, blasphemy, profanity, insults, expletive, cursing and slang (as cited in Holster, 2005). These types of TWs can not be separated completely as they always overlap with each other. For instance, when you use a curse word in front of others, you are probably insulting them. 1.3.5.1. Taboo and…show more content…
Cursing and Slang According to the Oxford English Dictionary (1999), cursing is “uttering against (persons or things) words which consign […] them to evil spiritual or temporal, as the wrath of God or the malignity of fate”. Ljung (2011) points out that " curses tend to contain either a subjunctive verb form, as in ‘The devil take you’ or a modal auxiliary as in ‘May the devil take you " (p.31). However, "today they are more used in abbreviated form as in ‘Fuck you’ " (ibid, pp.31_32). Ayoto and Simpson (1992) defined slang as a kind of “very informal language that includes new and sometimes not polite words and meanings” (as cited in Stenström, 2000, p.90). It is mostly used as “name-calling, gender-related insults, sexuality and discrimination” (Jay, 1999, p.175). It is difficult to draw a line between the concepts of slang and cursing as they are used sometimes interchangeably to refer to a set of rude words and it is believed that slang is a subcategory of cursing as pointed out by Jay (ibid) : “Cursing includes categories such as slang […] slang is an important part of offensive words” (p.
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