Is F**K and "bleep" really less offensive than just saying it?

I get quite annoyed at programs that bleep and newspapers that censor words with asterixes. Is F**K any less obvious than fuck? If anything you are just drawing attention to it. Its time to rob these words of any power

Fuck yeah!

I don’t see the point of bleeping out words, myself. Any children old enough to be watching programs that could theoretically contain a swear word are old enough to be using such words with regularity, or at least to have heard them before. Any adult is mature enough to realize that the world does not revolve around him/her and their ideas of acceptable language.

If only this were true. Unfortunately it’s not which means that there are always people ready to complain about language especially on TV. I agree that it is very silly and actually counter productive IMHO as the listener is forced into working out what was said under the BEEP and thus causes more attention to the swear than normal.

Always been a pet bewilderment of mine. After all, where is the offence - in the actual sound of the word or in the intent meant? Surely, surely it is the intent, in which case what the hell is the difference between printing f**k and fuck?



the only justification I could see may be (i) legal - perhaps you might escape prosecution under some indecency law or (ii) there may be a few children around that do not know what it means. However, I doubt that any children like that will be reading the newspaper.
I guess they are trying to avoid giving offense, but there must be better ways, e.g. not even mentioning the words, just saying “sos and so swore violently”, rather than so and so told us to “f**k off”

I used to work with an old guy who was fond of saying “mollyhopper” and “motherlover.” I found those substitutions to be much more offensive than the real words would have been, and somehow embarrassing to hear.

Then again, I do sort of wish they would bleep out the bad words from US films shown overseas. I am occasionally greeted by Korean elementary school kids on the street with “Hello! Nice to meet you! Fuck you!” It’s very incongruous, coming from a smiling, cheerful 10-year old.

Fu ku is probably korean for hello so I wouldn’t worry

soemthing i’ve noticed this with is the word ‘nigger’. i think it’s a despicable word, one which i do not and never would use in context (i.e, i would only ever use it in a sentence like ‘she called him a “nigger”’). but i am always seeing, particularly on these boards, it written as ‘the n-word’ or n*gger (or some variation of).

now i’m not american. to you guys, is it just self-censorship like ‘f*ck’, or is it seen as so low and indecent that a respectable person will not even say the word, or spell it?

I do censor that word for myself, if I must bring it up at all. The word repulses me. I actually cringe when I hear other people use it and find myself all but unable to say it out loud. So I avoid it like the plague and “sanitize” it if, in the context of what I’m saying or writing, it must be used.

I treat other racial and ethnic epithets the same way. It’s just easier to avoid the “k-word” and the “sp-word” than it is to avoid the “n-word”.

Interestingly, I have absolutely no problem with self-referential epithets like “fag” and “queer”. Probably because I’m actually a member of the population that “took them back” from the haters.


Bleeping out a word like that is a slight annoyance of mine, but I get much more annoyed by changing the content completely so they avoid the issue altoghter, like when they cut entire short segments of movies when they put them on TV. If your’e going to show the movie in the first place, at least let us know what the actual movie was like. If you have to bleep out a few things to keep the lawyers happy, fine, but at least give us the option of using our imagination to fill in the gaps if we so desire.

Gah! I distinctly recall being a child and running across asterisked-out words in stuff I read, and having no idea what was deleted or why. Mom told me it was “dirty words,” which made no sense to me, as the only dirty words I knew at the time were “damn” and “hell”, neither of which started with an ‘F’.

So yeah, at least one child was spared the horror of being exposed to the word fuck at an early age.
And I ask you, if only one child is saved, isn’t that enough?


The International Channel here often shows, duh, foreign films, often in their original language and either dubbed or subtitled. They do a very thorough job of cutting the sound when foul language is used.

The subtitles, however, they often overlook. So, for instance, you see an angry Frenchman silently pursing his lips for “m”, and “Shit!” appears in big white letters on the bottom of the screen.

Cracks me up every time.

What’s really amazing is that magazines like Newsweek have no problem discussing little boys being sodomized, penises being removed against their owner’s will, or other disturbing stories. Nor do they have a problem putting a graphic photograph of a violent death on their front cover. But the “f” word? No, they would never subject their readership to the horror of seeing the “f” word.

Then there was the MTV Europe awards. There was a rapper whose audio kept getting cut off at seemingly random intervals. I had to ask someone else whether MTV was having audio problems, or whether the rapper somehow managed to work a swear word into every single line.

Blame Canada!

What you posted, Ryan, was basically the plot of the South Park movie. The parents in the town were so horrified that theiry “little angels” had been using so-called “dirty words” that they went to war against the country who produced the movie in which the offensive language was heard. So instead of having people running around saying “shit” and “fuck” when appropriate, (and even when not) there were deaths in the streets, mutilations, gore and violence everywhere, and the eventual return of Satan and gasp Saddam Hussein! :eek:

The real problems in society are not the language we use or the words we say, but the way the ‘powers-that-be’ react to them. I am repulsed by the thought of children being raped and people being killed in the street; if someone wants to use the word “motherfucker,” well, it doesn’t really bother me all that much.

Just my 2¢.


Was I wooshed here? If that qualifies as a horror, your childhood must have been a field full of donuts.

It’s just a word, for Fred’s sake.