Am I prissy or is it ok to print “Fuck” in the papers?

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I was a bit surprised this morning. Whilst catching up on the news from yesterday’s Bank Holiday I was browsing The Guardian reading about Amazon and how little tax they pay and there in print was the “F” word.

Now I’m not particularly innocent, but even so I was a little surprised. Sure Amazon pays very little tax in the UK which the author is naturally worked up about, plus the way both Amazon and eBay are encouraging buyers to shop on the high street and then buy online has to be putting pressure on high street retailers, but do we really need to read the phrase “Fuck Harrods” in the Friday papers?

Of course this isn’t the first time the “F” word has been printed in The Guardian, one of Sue’s proudest moments was when The Guardian quoted her as saying “Who gives a flying fuck“, both online and in print. Her only slight concern was that her father might read it but that paled into insignificance compared with the kudos of the quote.

There would be no honour in getting quoted for swearing in the press if it weren’t for the shock value – If the press routinely prints obscenities it becomes the norm. Personally I’ve always thought swearing generally reduces the impact of your argument and that an adequate wordsmith should be able to find better ways to express themselves. Surely the national press should have the highest standards from their journalists, after all writing is their job.

Whilst feelings may run strong on certain subjects do we really need expletives in our main stream press? Am I simply being prissy or would Tamebay read better if it was full of profanities? Is there ever a case for printing the odd swear word to emphasise a point or should we as a country demand higher standards from our journalists?

34 Responses

  1. its all Bollocks LOL,
    seriously there needs to be some standards if it insults and upsets folk why use it! even if they are Arseholes [lol]when there are alternatives

  2. I have long considered that the totally unnecessary use of four letter words really reflects on the person using them. A lack of education and a limited vocabulary is clearly indicated.

    However there are occassions when a four letter word is clearly appropriate. As an example if you were to hit your thumb with a hammer it would be unreasonable to expect you to say “Oh Dear”.

    But we should think about the printed word especially in such as Newspapers. It is not only to be seen by the over 18 year olds. Many School Libraries have the Newspapers available for the students and we should be trying to show them that there are alternatives to four letter words and that four letter words should not be considered as acceptable.

  3. I would not have read the article if Chris had not drawn my attention to it, so maybe the word has had some good effect for once.

    As for it being acceptable: It doesn’t bother me. I am a little taken aback that it’s there but, after all I was expecting to see it as that’s why I was reading the article.

    The article doesn’t need it. But back to my first point of I wouldn’t have read it otherwise ….

  4. Use a word often enough and it loses it shock value and it’s impact. The “F” word is in such constant use in mainstream and alternative media these days that it no longer has the same value as it may have done say during Mary Whitehouse’s time.
    As for the press upholding standards, am I the only one that has heard of the Leveson Inquiry?

  5. The author is describing how he and others see the attitude of Amazon within his industry and he may be right.

    £3.5B in sales in the UK and no UK tax paid on business profits is pretty lamentable.

    Please keep Tamebay clean though!

  6. On a similar theme I am a little disturbed by a specsavers billboard add that I pass every day.

    They are advertising the GOK WAN ‘brand’.

    My 10 year old grandson says that they cannot spell.

  7. i think its fine.

    Too many stuck in muds round for my liking, just say it how it is.


  8. This is all about standards in morality in society.

    This society has been on a long slippery slope since the 1960’s.

    It seems to be “cool” to be “crude”.

    Courtesy and respect in speech displays a consideration for others around…

    Sadly those factors seem to be disappearing from society, so no wonder it is now creeping into the papers…

  9. A great society is not built with manners and etiquette. Nor has there ever been a time of great leaders in this country that hasn’t stepped on, robbed and wilfully abused the “uneducated lower classes” to gain their prestige and supposed greatness.

  10. who cares whose fault it was! it happened and its in the past
    my point is that nowt much was better years ago plus we cant do anything to change it, so blithing on about the good old days is futile

  11. About as acceptable as it is to use it in a headline on a respectable website I guess, lol.

  12. I don’t swear, I manage to express intense emotion without the use of expletives. (even though some expressions end up sounding a little ‘Ned Flanders’)

    I expect papers like the Guardian to bleep such words, even as a direct quote.


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