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Language barrier

What a great start!  This was the most answered Thunk I’ve ever set and a fascinating bunch of responses, too. Well done!

I tested your brainboxes with this:

Is it OK if I swear at you in a language that you don't understand?

Some of you chose to answer this as if I was swearing at you (!), while others took a more general approach to the issue; either was fine.

197 of you replied, with 141 in the ‘no’ camp and 56 of you thinking that unintelligible swearing was OK.

Some of the explanations given for swearing being wrong in any language included:

“No, because it's still swearing even if you don't understand it. It's like swearing in English at a five-year-old. It's still just as bad.”  Millie Coster, Year 8, Castille.

“No - because you are still offending the victim and it is still just as rude and disrespectful. In fact I think it is more rude because you are showing a lack of respect to the language you are swearing in. When I was playing in a tennis tournament in France, my opponents were swearing and I still found it just as rude as if somebody was swearing in English.”  Jacob Ainsworth, Year 7, Castille.

“If you would find being sworn at in a language you do understand hurtful/not OK, then you should not find being sworn at in a language you do not understand OK. It is the meaning of words/sentences we take offence to, not the word itself. For example, the word 'fat' is simply a descriptive word, and the word by itself is not insulting. It is simply a word. However, if used in a way that means you were calling someone fat they may take offence to it. It is the meaning they took offence to, not the word. SO, no matter the language it is spoken in the meaning is the same, and it should be seen as just as bad.”  Sam Groves, Year 10, Sempringham.

Those more liberal folk among you justified your positions in various ways, including:

“They won't be offended because they will have no idea what is being said so they won't care.”  Edward Ruston, Year 8, Alexandria.

“The only reason we could be offended by a swear word is that we know  it is a negative term and are therefore offended by it. If we cannot understand the swear word, then the whole offensive bit is lost.”  Kevin Rebello, Year 10, Castille.

House participation was as follows:

1st (20 points) – Sempringham – Alexandria’s traditional dominance of the Thunk has been toppled!
2nd (15 points) – Alexandria
3rd (10 points) – Avalon
4th (5 points) – Castille

Miss Nicholson

    The Priory Federation of Academies, Lincoln