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Euphemisms and Jehovah's Witnesses

The Librarian


A true follower of Christ and one of Jehovah's Witnesses should remember this paragraph from the Theocratic Ministry School Guidebook.

I'm guessing Frederick Franz himself wrote this paragraph although @JW Insider might have a better idea.

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These are mild ones...

I've recently caught some JW"s @tromboneck (sorry to call you out there) using the work "heck" instead of "hell" etc....

tsk tsk...

@TrueTomHarley will surely come down on me hard on this one.... I've seen some of his language before. :o


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Yikes! How did the Librarian hitch a ride on the Enterprise?

Fine language is fine. But sometimes you can run across people who think by their always using it they are thereby proving their Christianity, and that is not so fine. Sometimes the rottenest people speak impeccably.

I do push the envelope a little, I admit..

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Aren't you at the bay window looking down at the receding earth. Are any of those weird coneheads or boneheads from outer space there in the lounge with you? How are the drinks?

And who did you leave in charge of the library books? They'll just walk out the door without checking them out, you know. And if you think anyone will pay their overdue fine, I have news for you.

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While profanity ought justifiably be taboo, I tend to think abhorrence of crude language is more a Victorian relic than a biblical one. Used sparingly, crude words are powerful and I do not fret overmuch about purging them, though I would not say them at the Kingdom Hall.

For example, when Elijah taunts Baal before all onlookers - 'maybe he has excrement and has to go to the privy' - I somehow cannot see him using that clinical word.

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Well... that paragraph was written 46 years ago. I guess times have changed and swear words are much more common now. 

This is what happens as we age I guess... we keep the traditions and customs of how we were taught when young. (correct or not)


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I tried (albeit unsuccessfully) to move @JW Insider's comment here:

So here it was...

   1 hour ago,  The Librarian said: 

but in this category I tend to be somewhat more restrictive.

The thought of just giving up and letting everything hash itself out has occurred to me more than once.

I can understand why parts of the forum geared toward Bible discussion are expected to have less bad behavior and no foul language. People can be "stumbled" or "disturbed" in a setting where serious spiritual points are discussed. But the WWW is like the Wild, Wild West. No one expects it to be fully tamed except in tightly controlled parts -- usually places where none from the outside can comment. I have no problem at all dealing with foul language from others, even if I have never been able to break into the habit of using such language in speech. I'm sure I couldn't pull off foul language without it sounding fake. But I don't look down on others for using it. 

I mean, do we really think that the Hebrew word for what came out of Eglon's gut was "fecal matter"? (Thanks for the reminder on this one @tromboneck.) Do we really think that the Hebrews spoke of false idols as "dungy" idols and weren't thinking of the worst possible word they could muster up for "dung"? When Jesus said:

  • (Matthew 5:21, 22) . . .’ 22 However, I say to YOU that everyone who continues wrathful with his brother will be accountable to the court of justice; but whoever addresses his brother with an unspeakable word of contempt will be accountable to the Supreme Court; whereas whoever says, ‘You despicable fool!’ will be liable to the fiery Ge·henʹna.

Do we think Jesus actually used a phrase that meant "unspeakable word of cotempt" or did he just, instead, utter that particular foul word? Turns out that Jesus evidently used the foul word itself. (Raqa in Aramaic). Language taboos are created to perpetuate class differences and other such distinctions.

Which one of the following three translations is probably the translation that gets closest to the Hebrew here?

  • (1 Sam 15:22, KJV)  "So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall."
  • (1 Samuel 25:22, NWT pre-2013) "So may God do to the enemies of David and so may he add to it if I shall let anyone of all who are his that urinates against the wall remain until the morning.”
  • .(1 Samual 25:22, NWT 2013)  "May God do the same and more to the enemies of David if I allow a single male of his to survive until the morning.”

The footnote in the latest translation says Lit., “anyone urinating against a wall.” A Hebrew expression of contempt referring to males.

Does the latest translation give any indication of "contempt" by translating the entire expression as "a male"?


Abusive language is something different. It picks on a specific individual who espouses a specific idea in a way that is intended to create a kind of power over them. They are bullied into cowering and not defending themselves because they don't have the will to engage back to the abusive party in the same way.

The internet is also full of abusive argumentation, a form of cyber-bullying where an ideology is promoted through a more subtle belittling of all who espouse another one. But it can be more insidious because it sometimes doesn't appear with abusive language on the surface. Even a simple and "funny" meme can be abusive in this way. The ability to say, "Oh, I was just kidding," or "Obviously you are oversensitive," is a part of the game. Abusive argumentation also takes the form of repeated "logical fallacies." We all use logical fallacies when we aren't thinking clearly, but a repeated, purposeful use of them is one of the most insidious forms of abusive argumentation to watch out for.

While I am not bothered in the least by someone who displays bad behavior through abusive language, I must admit that I am often bothered by logical fallacies. Pointing them out just makes someone look pedantic and argumentative. Rather than a foul language moderation bot that some forums employ, I fantasize about a a bot that catches logical fallacies and labels them automatically. Perhaps using labels like these:


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@JW Insider It is getting increasingly difficult to moderate (or even legislate) good behavior. There have been times that I understand the "free speech" that the @admin prefers for the majority of the forum.... but in this category I tend to be somewhat more restrictive.

The thought of just giving up and letting everything hash itself out has occurred to me more than once.

A small handful of people tend to get on my nerves though and force me to act. :o

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