Return PolishForums LIVE
  PolishForums Archive :
Archives - 2005-2009 / Language  % width 23

IS POLISH LANGUAGE'S VULGARALISATION MEDIA-DRIVEN?


Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448  
8 Feb 2009 /  #1
The discussion about dubbing and voice-overs got me to thinking, whether today's widespread vulgar language (the F-word, etc.) has been caused by the entertainment media or something else? In other words, does life imitate entertainment or vice-versa or maybe there is mutaul feedback.

It's a fact that not only in former communist countries such as Poland, where there was political censorship, but also in the West there was less profanity in films, on TV and radio 20, 30, 40 yrs ago than there is at present. What's your take on this?
mrbubbles 10 | 614  
8 Feb 2009 /  #2
Is this an essay question?
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,448  
8 Feb 2009 /  #3
Feel free to write a thoughtful, in-depth and fully documented essay or commentary. Your effort will be most appreciated.
Misty 5 | 144  
8 Feb 2009 /  #4
I believe that there is more profanity in films and on TV because the writers lack the ability to write an interesting script without it. Looking back at films and TV from a few decades ago, there was absolutely no need for profanity because the writers could write scripts without it.
mrbubbles 10 | 614  
8 Feb 2009 /  #5
Feel free to write a thoughtful, in-depth and fully documented essay or commentary. Your effort will be most appreciated.

Maybe later

As langauge changes so does swearing. English swearing has shifted over the years from religious swearing (Odds Bodkins! Gadzooks! By the testicles of St Anthony!) through lavatorial (Shit! Piss!) to sexual swearing (Fuck! Wanker! Bollocks!). I'm sure this is grossly oversimplified but you get my point.

What's the next evolutionary stage of the evolution of the English profanity? Racial swearing. Words like paki, nigger and kike are virtually never heard on TV or in every day use. There are the few words now that can really shock and offend people. I don't feel particularly comfortable using them because they have such ugly connotations.

So yes, words like fuck and shit are flung around in the media but mainly because they are far more acceptable in everyday society than they used to be. I wouldn't say that the Media can influence change in society but it can have a very norming effect in language - it'll take langauge that is aready in circulation and spread it around a discourse community and into its neighbours.
JohnP - | 210  
8 Feb 2009 /  #6
I think the media has a huge part in it.
Film and other media are just a reflection of life, if you will, and they are ever grasping farther and farther to make their product interesting. So, how do you make a group of overweight millionaire actors passable as murderous gangsters, for instance? Add a lot of cursing. It wouldn't surprise me if some of the types running Hollywood and its many worldwide equivalents are so out of touch that they believe regular every day people curse like that. They think it makes their story somehow "more realistic".

As it becomes less shocking, it takes more to draw attention to a particular show, movie, etc and so they test the boundaries even more....

Meanwhile...people watch television then mimic it, to a large degree. Teenage girls go out and HAVE to have a 400$ designer purse, for instance, regardless it was made in China on the same production line as the $20 one, but without certain initials on it...same thing I think.

Also there is the rating system. Many people won't bother with a "G" or "PG" rated film, thinking there's nothing interesting to see...so if a movie drops into that area, add some profanity, maybe some gratuitous (nudity/violence/whatever) so its entry rating is a little more restrictive.....and people buy tickets.

Probably not making any sense, but perhaps someone knows where I'm going with this.

John P.
Wyspianska  
8 Feb 2009 /  #7
It's a fact that not only in former communist countries such as Poland, where there was political censorship, but also in the West there was less profanity in films, on TV and radio 20, 30, 40 yrs ago than there is at present.

To be honest I find Polish tv and radio so much more open and I remember well that back then, living in Poland I would hear swears in them while in the UK people seem to make a big fuss over it. I would guess English are less of the laid back ones. All that panic they have made over Russel Brand a few weeks ago was completely hilarious to me. They have been talking about it for days, even in public news, in the first position, before they have mentioned anything else what was happening in the world. LOL. I mean really... who cares!
Misty 5 | 144  
8 Feb 2009 /  #8
To be honest I find Polish tv and radio so much more open

It is. When I listen to British radio all the swear words are edited out of songs. Different when I listen to Polish radio, all the swear words are left in.

Russel Brand a few weeks ago was completely hilarious to me

That was more about him calling an old man up and telling him he'd slept with his grand-daughter. I don't think that is acceptable.

before they have mentioned anything else what was happening in the world

Yes there were many more serious things going on in the world at that time but that's British Media for you.
osiol 55 | 3,922  
8 Feb 2009 /  #9
When I listen to British radio all the swear words are edited out of songs. Different when I listen to Polish radio, all the swear words are left in.

I've heard the c-word on Radio 3. In the evenings on Radio 1 in the old days (John Peel), they never removed any swearing. I wouldn't mind a bit of swearing, it's people like Chris Moyles, Jonathan Ross and so on I find offensive and boring.

I keep being subjected to Polish TV, yet so much of it is not actually Polish. Very little, in fact.
nrbubbles  
8 Feb 2009 /  #10
So, how do you make a group of overweight millionaire actors passable as murderous gangsters, for instance? Add a lot of cursing. ... They think it makes their story somehow "more realistic"

You're saying that gangsters don't usually swear at each other in real life? Or even, if they do it's only because they watch Tarantino films?
JohnP - | 210  
9 Feb 2009 /  #11
Honestly, I don't know...but I would imagine the millionaires in those places have no idea, either. So they portray what they *think* looks realistic. Honestly...it wouldn't surprise me if mobsters like that...did not use so much foul language, but rather were very smooth. They are businessmen, after all, even if they deal in things not quite legal. Hollywood might be more accurate on some of the smaller more violent gangs which were founded almost as much on hate of rival gangs/ethnicities as they were business... but still I think you know where I was going with this.

John P.
Wahldo  
9 Feb 2009 /  #12
I keep being subjected to Polish TV, yet so much of it is not actually Polish. Very little, in fact.

Just as we are subjected to your ridiculous meandering posts. Many of which make about as much sense as a bird flying out somebody's ass.
EraAtlantia 2 | 106  
9 Feb 2009 /  #13
I believe that there is more profanity in films and on TV because the writers lack the ability to write an interesting script without it. Looking back at films and TV from a few decades ago, there was absolutely no need for profanity because the writers could write scripts without it.

Yep. Big films these days are actually horrifically bad, incomprehensible how people still get entertained, when batman is the number 1 film you know there is something a miss, utter crap.

Script writers should do more drugs.
Misty 5 | 144  
9 Feb 2009 /  #14
I keep being subjected to Polish TV, yet so much of it is not actually Polish. Very little, in fact.

You aren't subjected to it. Turn the channel man!

Yep. Big films these days are actually horrifically bad, incomprehensible how people still get entertained, when batman is the number 1 film you know there is something a miss, utter crap.

A good point.
Shawn_H  
9 Feb 2009 /  #15
Apparently there was a list of 7 words that you couldn't say on American TV. Brought to you by George Carlin.


Wahldo  
9 Feb 2009 /  #16
Apparently there was a list of 7 words that you couldn't say on American TV

CBC allows them?
Shawn_H  
9 Feb 2009 /  #17
I have heard some of them. Keep in mind, I think the Carlin monologue was from the late 1970's.
Wahldo  
9 Feb 2009 /  #18
Carlin monologue was from the late 1970's.

Yep one of the greats. Miss that one.
Shawn_H  
9 Feb 2009 /  #19
Pushed the limits, that's for sure.
shark8 - | 10  
30 May 2009 /  #20
I believe that the vulgarization is media driven, because sadly, there arent many other anchors. I believe that most of us speak using informal language most of the time, maybe with some exceptions (lawyers, perhaps teachers..). Consequently, the only ways of confronting formal language is via reading. People read less and less books in general.. and well - not all books have good language.

What we mostly read is news and magazines. Electronic news is awful, the most popular Polish portal - onet.pl, hired people who write "good news", but these people write them to make them more "profitable", or "sellable". This means vulgarization of the language.

Unfortunately, even the "anchors" such as the opinion magazines follow this trend - because well.. they have to try to sell more (the press is having problems everywhere).

Not to mention that a lot of young people have incredible problems in speaking formally...

For me it's a horror, to see that someone has written "forsa" instead of "pieniądze" (money) in such magazines as Polityka. To my horror I have seen "zielone" few times too...

Me and my friends sometimes play with words, we had a "fad" that we would talk like true people from Warsaw (or rather Praga in Warsaw - the only part that wasnt destroyed?) and instead of saying "rękę" we would say "rekie", "metro" - "mietro"... in fact I "invented it" and now I got used to it... my friends curse me for that too :D
Torq 32 | 2,909  
30 May 2009 /  #21
I don't know if other Poles feel the same, but for me English swearing is much
...hmm... milder than Polish. For example I can freely say "fvck" or "cvnt" or use
couple of other English swear words in a jokingly manner on some internet forum,
while I would never even dream of using their Polish equivalents.

It's just that using swear words in Polish seems to me much more vulgar than
using them in English... strange, I know, but that's how it appears to me.
bullfrog 6 | 603  
30 May 2009 /  #22
That's quite normal, swear words in your native language always fell more offensive than in any other language learnt afterwards...
Torq 32 | 2,909  
30 May 2009 /  #23
So, I'm not some kind of a linguistic freak? That's good to know. *breaths with relief*

Thank you, Bullfrog.

Archives - 2005-2009 / Language / IS POLISH LANGUAGE'S VULGARALISATION MEDIA-DRIVEN?Archived