TEACHING SWEAR WORDS IS IMPORTANT

TEACHING SWEAR WORDS IS IMPORTANT

November 20, 2019 100 By Stanley Isaacs


You know, until yesterday,
I never believed in divine intervention Even if there is a God, I don’t see
why he would have the free time to help me out especially on a Tuesday Yesterday I hadn’t been in a good mood all day,
for reasons I’ll shortly explain. But I decided to go for a stroll to try
and clear my thoughts. And as I turned the corner of the street, I witnessed a man, casually taking a picture of his euphoric owl, perched alongside Ronald McDonald. Which is of course, the one thing you should definitely do if you ever possess an owl. But if I were to make a list of things most likely to cheer me up, witnessing that moment would certainly be somewhere near the top of the list. It was such a random, magical moment, that I’m certain only God could have conceived it to try and cheer me up. And yet apparently that wasn’t enough,
because as I continued my stroll down the street, just moments later I came across arguably the best named pharmacy I have ever seen. And that was a pharmacy called Drug Penguin.
Drug Penguin – for the nice tomorrow. Clearly a lot of thought had gone into the name. I still can’t work out if it was a cute clever shop name,
or a potentially dangerous act But witnessing both of these things came to define my day and really helped clear my mood. So I’m certain it was divine intervention,
either that or just your casual everyday evening stroll through a Japanese city. Anyway, down to business. So yesterday, I received a comment on one of my videos that finally burst the floodgates of my patience. It was on a video in which I was showing my friend Natsuki a British street toilet, of which he was really surprised to see. Here’s the scene in question and be advised,
there is a swear word. It’s not a fucking musical instrument. And then viewer Collie Candle then writes; Thumb down for swearing – why the F-ing? Its NOT funny, its NOT clever and its downright disrespectful to the Japanese? First off, fine, swearing is neither funny nor clever.
Although, it definitely is. But this line,
its “Downright disrespectful to the Japanese”. What the fuck are you talking about? I’m pretty certain most of my Japanese friends, would be vastly more offended by this patronising perspective, than by my use of the term
“fucking musical instrument”. Japanese people aren’t children though. They’re not all, cute, and cuddly anime characters who need the big naughty english words filtered out for them, through a gumdrop fucking rainbow. For 18 months now, I feel like I’ve been continuously prodded with a stick by various people, ever since the realise of a video called
“Teaching Swear Words to Japanese people”. A video in which I bought a book called
Tadashii fuck no tsukaikata – which means the correct way to use fuck – and went off to teach some Japanese friends some popular English phrases. The video went down quite well and incredibly now it has almost a million views. But, it also brought me into contact with the anti-swear words brigade, so I receive comments from various annoying people, talking about how evil and awful I am to do such a thing. One viewer referred to the video as: “Dispicable garbage” Dispicable garbage. Strong words there. when you can only correctly spell 50% of the mere two words used in your bold statement, it kind of does rob you of almost any credibility. Actually my personal favourite comment has always been this one. Don’t spoil the mouths of foreign people with your disrespectful dishonourable caucasian profanity. “Disrespectful dishonourable caucasian profanity.” Oh, the irony is strong with this one. Yeah, as long as you don’t use swear,
it’s alright to be a racist!! Then there was this comment
more recently on the swear words video Funny in one thing, but learning bad word to Japanese people to use bad word, it is deseparate. For example, in restaurant I talk Japanese and one of the waiter would say “Fuck you!” Yeah, that’s exactly what would happen. “Yes sir what can I get you to eat?” “Yes, I’ll have the salmon” “FUCK YOU” Is it not the case, that by teaching Japanese people how swear words are used, we can avoid these kinds of bizarre situations anyway. After all, many people already know lots of swear words – they just don’t know what they mean or the ramifications of using them in everyday language or on marketing materials. This is the reason we get treated
to company mascots called Fukuppy, hip hop groups called Brownshit and of course the infamous Fucking Christmas sale. And as far as I know, the four friends I taught these phrases to in the video, haven’t gone on to use them in their everyday language. Phrases like “I’m trusting you with the drugs. Don’t fuck me over.” Or. “Do me a favour and
just shut the fuck up for fuck’s sake.” Perhaps with the notable exception of
my friend Natsuki, who did embrace swear words
to an almost worrying degree. Yeah, I do feel like
I’ve unleashed something terrible there. Fuck is important. – Very important. I like fuck. But, I don’t condone swearing. It’s true, I was referred to as a swear word missionary in the London Metro – which I am delighted about – but I genuinely don’t parade through the streets of Tokyo, advocating the use of bad language. And I’ll admit, over the years I’ve cut down my use of swearing in these videos just so I can appeal to a wider demographic – even though by not swearing I’m not longer
as cool or as clever as I used to be. And perhaps I’ve lent far too much credibility to some of the people who’s comments I mentioned earlier on in this video. Comments from an idiot, a racist, and someone who’s clearly never been to a Japanese restaurant. Now I’ll admit, as an English teacher for 3 years, I never taught my students what all those naughty words meant, in every other song, movie or tv show. But in hindsight, I wish I had. To deprive students of learning the meanings of words that are used so prominently in western culture, to me that seems like the real crime. How will they ever be able to fully appreciate the Sopranos, nearly every film made by Martin Scorsese’s movies and that song by Cee Lo Green everyone couldn’t stop playing a few years ago. To avoid teaching swear words is to neglect and shortchange Japanese learners of essential knowledge, that they’ll need in their pursuit of mastering English at a native speaker level. And to deprive them of all of those things, for the sake of a few whinging idiots, to me, that, that is truly dispicable. Thanks for watching guys, please don’t forget to hit
the like button if you want more videos, I’ll see you next time. I’m off now to Drug Penguins – I mean, er, drug penguin. Yeah.