Monday, April 30, 2012

Is asterisk substitution for profanity all right?


Last week, we talked about why profanity is unacceptable for a Christian. This all stemmed from a question I asked a couple of weeks before that about what you would do if a group of teenagers sitting next to you at a McRestaurant was using profanity in front of you and your children.

Today, let’s ask a new question.

In writing, whether it be a blog post, comment, Facebook, Twitter, etc., is substituting an asterisk for a letter or two acceptable? You know, type the first and last letters of a four-letter word and fill in the middle with **?

Why not? After all, it’s not the entire word there for all to see.

However, if you make your reader think that word, you might as well have just written the whole word. A cute little asterisk in place of a letter or two or three still does not change the profanity of the word. (My husband gave me that little nugget of wisdom.)

Personally, it still jolts me to see the asterisked word. Does it you?

~Meghan

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6 comments:

  1. Not ok. At least by me. :-) This really gets to the intent of our heart.
    I didn't see the post that you mentioned in the first paragraph, but I typically leave pretty quickly when I'm in a situation like that. A few weeks back, we were enjoying McDonald's playland when a "family" came in and set at the next booth. The man/dad, began using explitives when talking to the two other women (I'm assuming one of them was a girlfriend/wife), and I could have cried for the little girl that was with them. I'm sure she was used to it, but it just felt so wrong to me. He kept going, and I had to get out of there before I blew a gasket. :-)

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    1. I'm sorry you had to hear that. Sometimes it's hard to muster up the courage to leave our little bubble.

      Thanks for commenting, Stephanie. You always add so much to the conversation!

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    2. I would like to develop the strength/courage/character/guts...whatever...to approach a situation like that in a way that would help to diffuse it. Any suggestions would be helpful.

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    3. I have not had to deal with it personally -- not to that extent, anyway. Whenever it has been a problem, my husband has always been with us. He's not shy, and he just says to the offending party, "Hey, watch your language." Polite, but firm. So far, it has worked. They usually look a little chagrined and tone it down.

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  2. I agree with the above, not ok. Its the same thing. I will admit, that my husband and I in the past have used words like this...quite a bit... in our youth. Occasionally, although farther and farther between, it still happens. Not usually around the kids, but in jokes with one another or out with friends, etc. We usually apologize when we catch ourselves. Its a bad habit we developed long ago, and it really is a struggle to stop completely. Just for open disclosure, haha. However, I still think using an asterisk in writing is the same if you are doing it publicly - facebook, blog, etc. Now, I was sending my husband a text regarding something a child of ours had been overheard saying, and to make sure the word was clear to my husband, I did type it out but with an asterisk, just for his understanding. I think using it in that way is different than using it AS profanity, if that makes sense. It is definitely something we do not view as appropriate for our family - even for us, as we struggle with overcoming it.

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    1. It definitely makes sense, Kelli, and I would have done the same thing. I'm proud of you for being sensitive to the issue and catching yourself. Thanks for commenting.

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I so much appreciate your time and effort in leaving a comment, and I try to respond to as many as time permits. :-)