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my dear spunkbubble, this is an interesting and worthy topic.

Semiotics is the theory of meaning. Words - written or spoken - rarely have any formal meaning in everyday speech. They are simply short cuts in which the sender and receiver think they have a tacit agreement as to what the short cut means. So, as per my usual example, using the word 'architecture' enables a discussion about buildings, but if there is a need to define what 'architecture' means, it would be easier to list what 'architecture' does not mean, than to define it exactly.

And all word play is based upon the fact that a word is a matrix or frame, and the frame excludes the whole picture. We can never use the whole picture because every conversation would then take years. In fact many discussions here in ET are about definitions - definitions which can never be agreed upon because the cultural context of each writer is so different.

Some interesting facts: Finns often curse the devil or hell - perkele, piru, helveti - which gets no reaction from me. 'Vittu', though, is ugly IMHO, it literally means c*nt, but you can hear it everywhere even on TV.

There are several Native American Indian tribes who have no swearing at all (and neither do they have any concept of the ownership of land, which is why Whitie screwed them so easily in the 19th C.)

Many of my friends use faux swearing - like frikkin' - which is a marker to say we both know what it refers to, but we have not actually used the taboo word - a bit like whistling the tunes of dirty songs.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Sat Jun 10th, 2006 at 01:59:01 AM EST

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