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Swearing on TV (or in general)

  Tags: Swearing | TV
 Language Learning Forum : Music, Movies, TV & Radio Post Reply
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 Message 1 of 7
30 July 2015 at 12:15am | IP Logged 
I live in the US on regular TV shows the worst you will hear is crap, ass, bi--h, and other words of that caliber. Even on things like cable series, it's rare to hear anything more than that on most shows, even dramas where you'd expect it.

While watching German shows, I've noticed they are pretty liberal in their use of curse words. They'll throw around words like verf--kt and sch--ße in the most seemingly innocent situations, on sitcoms and such. I've even heard the adopted "oh f--k!" from English.

Is the US just really anal about their use of curse words compared to other countries?

Edited by soclydeza85 on 30 July 2015 at 12:18am

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Mork the Fiddle
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 Message 2 of 7
30 July 2015 at 3:26am | IP Logged 
You can hear such words in English, too. British talk show host Graham Norton gets away with just about any taboo word, and it is startling to hear one of his American guests using on TV the taboo word that starts with an "f" and rhymes with duck. For a second you wait for the sky to fall. Too bad our Constitution in the United States does not guarantee us the freedom of speech other countries have. Norton, I should add, is not the only talk show host in Britain who uses taboo words.
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 Message 3 of 7
30 July 2015 at 5:02am | IP Logged 
Yes, we are really anal. Since politics are verboten here, I won't express my opinion on whether this is right or
wrong, but it's certainly a trait of the US.
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 Message 4 of 7
30 July 2015 at 6:25am | IP Logged 
Mork the Fiddle wrote:
Too bad our Constitution in the United States does not guarantee
us the freedom of speech other countries have.

What do swearing have to do with freedom of speech? What is it that you can't express
without curses? I just find it as bad taste.
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 Message 5 of 7
30 July 2015 at 11:11am | IP Logged 
Having been to the US and having watched quite a lot of American TV shows, I have come to
a similar conclusion. Americans are really sensitive when it comes to swear words and
"foul" language. According to my experience, Europeans are much more liberal in this

No European would get a panic attack if a child used an expletive. They might be told
something along the lines of "That's not a nice word, don't use it", but never would a
child be told to wash their mouth with soap.

It's really funny to watch American TV shows where even the mildest expressions will be
"bleeped" over. In Germany, this only happens for really bad words and at times of the
day when children might be watching.
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 Message 6 of 7
30 July 2015 at 12:09pm | IP Logged 
In France, even the President swears on TV. Jokes apart, you won't hear that much swearing on French TV shows, but if it happens, it normally doesn't get censored. And in Spain they throw "foul words" around quite liberally.
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 Message 7 of 7
31 July 2015 at 1:56am | IP Logged 
Russia actually goes a step beyond the US in that obscene expressions are prohibited even in theatrically released films aimed at adults. And rather than bleeping the offending words out the film makers (as well as licensed dubbers of foreign films) fully replace them with milder and somewhat quaint-sounding words that hardly even count as swearing any more. Although it should be noted that a lot of those quaint words are swears with religious connotations, equivalent to the English "damn" and the like. The taboos around those words have weakened in pretty much all Western countries, but in Russia it's at a point where it's perfectly okay to use such words in works aimed at children, mostly because nobody actually uses them in earnest in real life. Many Russians get surprised when they hear Americans describe those words as "swearing".

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