Practice English Language Essay
“These days we are far more tolerant of taboo language; It no longer has the power to shock or offend.Discuss.” Why are we more accepting of taboo language today? Increased usage, social groups that use taboo language to build solidarity/exclude others.
What are the social purposes of taboo language? Support group solidarity, create social distance, challenge authority, establish Identity In what situations would taboo language be shocking or offensive, and when would it be expected/tolerated?
Within a social group, speaking with family or the elderly, speaking with a figure of authority. Introduction: We are more accepting of taboo language because it is used more frequently in society. Social groups use it very often to establish group solidarity, a large portion of the population use it regularly to emphasis a point or show distaste. People use it to alienate others to create social distance, or to challenge authority and thus create a self-identity. Context plays a massive role In determining whether taboo language use Is tolerated or acceptable, and can definitely shock or offend, within certain context.
Body Paragraph 1: Taboo language used to establish group solidarity or used simply to create emphasis r show distaste Taboo language can be used by an individual to show belonging to a group which uses such language, or can also be used by an individual to show that they are a part of standard society People do this to address their need to belong to a group, or also to befriend/decrease social distance between another social group Taboo language is also used in casual conversation to emphasis or show distaste. Allows people to show strong views on particular topics, which helps to develop one’s identity.
In appropriate circumstances, Is neither shocking nor offensive. Body Paragraph 2: Taboo language can be used to alienate/offend and also to challenge figures of authority. Taboo language used to display a contrast between individuals, or to upset/anger Done to create social distance and separation between individuals or entire social groups, become unique and noticed Taboo language can also be used to challenge figures or bodies of authority, by going against typical social conventions Done to display rebellious nature and create an identity for one’s self.
Deliberately shocking or offensive in these circumstances Conclusion: Taboos offensiveness Is dependent on context Taboo soul has the potential to shock/offend Taboo is tolerated more in certain contexts due to its increase in usage is becoming far more widely tolerated. Social groups use taboo language to establish group solidarity, and in wider society, taboo language is frequently used to create emphasis or to signal distaste. However, taboo language can also play a more negative role.
Often, taboo language is used to attack or alienate others, in order to create social distance. It can also be employed to challenge figures of authority in order to go against social expectations, which can help to create one’s identity. Independent of taboo language’s particular function, whether it is accepted or not is heavily dependent on context. Taboo language still maintains its power to shock or offend, within certain context. Taboo language is used often by social groups to establish solidarity within the group, and can also be used to create emphasis or show distaste.
Individuals in a social group often seek to display their belonging to such a group, so as to fulfill their need to fit in’ and be ‘accepted’. Often, members of a social group will refer to each other with the assistance of taboo, in order to establish their belonging to the group. In one such example, two teenagers aboard a Melbourne train were heard to refer to each other with tags such as “dickhead” or “coco”. Through using taboo lexemes, each interlocutor showed their place in their social group, and in this case, taboo language did not serve the purpose of shocking nor offending.
In a wider perspective, individuals in society may use taboo language to show their belonging to “normal” or “average” society. Members of Australian government have on many occasions used profanity to close the social distance between themselves and ‘standard’ society, such as the case of Tim Holding, Water Minister, tweeting “Can’t believe I’m saying this but, no sit. “. In this case, the use of taboo did not cause offense as the lexeme ‘sit’ is very frequently used by members of standard society, instead, using taboo enabled the Water Minister to better convey his point of view to the public.
Aside from social objectives, taboo is also used in conversation to emphasize a point being made. Teenagers most notably do this, with the use of profanity. Teenagers often emphasize negative outcomes with profanity, such as “It was bucking ridiculous”, a statement made by a Melbourne student with regard to an exam. In all of these instances, taboo does not shock or offend people due to the function it is serving, whether that may be to establish group solidarity, to show belonging to society, or to emphasize in regular conversation.
This does not mean, however, that taboo language has lost its ability to shock or cause offense. A core function of taboo language is to intentionally offend or alienate individuals. Taboo contains within it a large vocabulary of vilifying language which members of society have implemented frequently, both intentionally and unintentionally, causing offense to the recipient of the comment. Eddie McGuire has gotten himself into trouble numerous times after using taboo language that has racially vilified another person.
After making a comparison between an Australian footballer of Aboriginal decent and King Kong, the FALL community was shocked by the remark, and the footballer himself, Adam Geodes, claimed to be extremely offended. This offensive form of taboo has also been utilized by individuals who seek to challenge figures of authority in order to display their own rebellious identity. Last month in an Australian court, a person was found to be in contempt of court after swearing at a Judge SE of taboo language as it was being used to display rebellion and disregard for a legal body.
It is clear that the offensiveness of taboo language is dependent on the situation in which it is used. Whether taboo is tolerated by society or considered offensive is heavily dependent on the context in which it is used. Taboo language is often accepted when it is used by participants of equal social standing in conversation, and has the increased potential to be offensive when used by participants of a differing, or high social status. Taboo is tolerated in casual, non- pacific topics of conversation due to its increase in usage over time, especially when being used merely to emphasize a point, and not to intentionally offend or alienate.
Taboo language carries its shock value with it in scenarios where taboo would not be expected; where taboo is not regularly used. Judicial settings do not warrant the use of taboo and so when it is used, it can shock society and offend the recipients of such language. Taboo language, ultimately, cannot be solely classed as either tolerable or offensive, but rather, the context in which it is used must be considered in order to determine its reception by society.