s****** up

From an article by Jimmy Yap in the Straits Times’ Digital Life supplement, on ‘apps to make your Valentine’s Day a special one’:

excerpted from Digital Romance, The Straits Times, Digital Life, 8 February 2012, page 10

When I first read this I did a double take at first. Wait, what is a five letter word which starts with s and ends with w? After a moment, I realized. But why did the writer – or was it ST’s policy in general – choose to censor the word screw???

While I acknowledge that ‘to screw something’ can mean having sex, but in my dictionary ‘to screw something up’ can only mean ‘to mess something up’. Dictionary.com makes this distinction as well. And here’s a short online discussion a few years old on the topic.

Does anyone really think ‘screwed something up’ sounds vulgar? Notice the clunky way the censorship was applied here,  instead using of a simple ‘s****’ (keeping the initial letter and replacing the rest with asterisks is ST’s usual treatment of the traditional four letter words). I wonder if that is because the writer/ST realized that most readers would have no idea what ‘s****’ is! Could it be because, oh I don’t know, it was never really vulgar in the first place? Or at least in the context above? Censorship seems entirely arbitrary here!

In any case, I find that the traditional four letter words are so commonplace I think ST should also not censor them anymore! Time to slaughter this sacred cow!!! :P


4 Responses to “s****** up”

  1. 1 Jared Seah Thursday, 15 March, 2012 at 9:17 pm

    Well, I guess the author is mixing screw up with screw you ;)

    Imagine going to the bar and asking for a sxxxx-driver…


  2. 2 auntielucia Sunday, 18 March, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    Pray Quirky, I signed up as a follower of your blog but am puzzled why over several days I’ve been receiving notifications of your old posts, some dating back to last year such as going to the KTV at Marina Sq?? :roll:

  3. 4 auntielucia Monday, 19 March, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Ah so, I thought I was being informed retrospectively!

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