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Byron Shire
May 18, 2021

Not shocked

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Like Gerard Haggarty (Letters, December 20) I am not shocked by swearing. My father’s approach was quite liberal; we could swear as much as we liked with one caveat – we were never to swear within our mother’s hearing.

What is sad as regards swearing is that comedian’s use it as filler (think Billy Connolly, for one).

Gary Furnell states that ‘it quickly becomes apparent the less talented wits (by far the majority because in any human endeavour exceptional is exactly that: exceptional) have packed their monologues with swearing to eke out meagre material and to give their delivery a patina of bravura’.

Somehow, the ‘comedian’ thinks he/she is being ‘transgressive’. It’s been done before and done to death! Who cares if you know a few swear words!?

We want to be entertained rather than be informed about the ‘comedians’ small vocabulary and therefore commensurately smaller comedic talent.

Gary Furnell informs us that Clive James (who, incidentally knows one or two things about language) has written that ‘laughter is less drawn out of the audience than conceded by the audience who have the eager expectation – since they’ve paid their money – to enjoy themselves on their night out even if what’s on offer is less than they’d hoped.’

Here’s a test for you – take the swearing out of (comedians name here) efforts and ask yourself, ‘is what’s left clever and/or funny?’

Ariel Schlesinger’s satire piece, peppered with swear words is a wonderful parody of ‘comedians’.

Just note the beautiful irony of ‘not swearing panders to the most boring in our society’, ‘surely it’s time our language becomes more colourful’ and ‘anyone who is offended by swearing is offended by Language, by Creativity’ (the two capital letter in the last quote are superb!).

He is saying to ‘comedians’ ‘get out of the rut you’re in, become original, expand your vocabulary; in short, become funny’.

Is there a charity that providers a Roget’s Thesaurus to each aspiring ‘comedian’?

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