Ged Carroll


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Kanye West kicked off a discussion on Twitter on Sunday with a hashtag: THEWORDBITCH which hits on the use of language. It was probably designed as a way to push Lupe Fiasco’s great ‘Bitch Bad‘ track.

Lupe Fiasco – Bitch Bad from Gil Green on Vimeo.

On the surface level, the debate is the use of profanity in music. On first glance, this appears to be a hip-hop thing, but it isn’t.

Wider implications

If I look at Irish culture from The Pogues to Father Frank in Father Ted, profanity abounds. My Dad would describe a particularly hard job, whether fixing a Citroen clutch or dealing with rusted pipes as a ‘bitch of a job’. So its bigger than one culture or generation.

However the THEWORDBITCH debate had an even deeper level; many of the respondents talked about the emotion behind the words:

There are then two thoughts that immediately lead from this for me:

What’s the most interesting about all this?

Our language – which is usually the part of culture that changes and morphs to adapt to trends doesn’t seem to have addressed this phenomena and instead has gone in the opposite direction.

I don’t know why that is, but it feels like we’re walking into a linguistic cul-de-sac and given how full swear boxes become, maybe part of the answer is technology that does a better job of emoting an electronic communication? More consumer behaviour related content can be found here.