English profanity appears in some learner dictionaries, but that’s about all. In high school and junior high school, ESL students learn dialogues about ordering food in a restaurant, how to check in at a hotel. That’s very basic English. But they never have a lesson about how to use the word ass or hear the word booty, or know how these words are similar. Teachers never teach these words, but they are useful for ESL students to know.
Teachers avoid teaching taboo words because they think students might be offended by them. Actually, most students aren’t so easily offended. Teachers are more afraid of using a “bad” word than students are of learning it! Teachers also protest, “If I teach them the word bullshit, they will say it in class!” Probably not, if it’s taught correctly. Smart students can learn that words have a time, place, and occasion (TPO) for use.
More people use bad words than wear Nike shoes. That’s a fact. You can look it up on the Interweb.
“High-class,” educated people once claimed that profanity was used only by low-class, uneducated people. “Proper” people didn’t use vulgar words. The reality is that rich, poor, educated, non-educated, professionals, and working-class folks all use profanity sometimes, and they certainly understand it when they hear it. Recent research reveals that women use the F-word as often as men do.
ESL students don’t have to produce these words and phrases when they speak or write, but they should be prepared when people use them.
Classroom learning isn’t the only way students get English. Enthusiastic students are always looking for novel ways to experience English. Books are good, apps are helpful, videos are instructive for ESL learners.
You want to improve your English, and we can help! Memorize long lists of vocabulary is boring. You don’t have to slave over difficult grammar activities. Learning Taboo English is fun and easy! Our awesome videos make learning English slang better than ever. They’re made by students who know how it feels to study English.
With Taboo English, you can feel your vocabulary growing fast!
Why is English profanity suddenly important to learn?
English profanity is used in the media more now than ever before. 40 years ago, you didn’t have songs with the word ass in the title. Now, it’s not strange at all. The word fuck is still among the most forbidden words in English, but its use as a modifier has become so common, you can hear it in political speeches as well as in #1 pop song lyrics (Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next” is one excellent example). Thanks to the Internet, YouTube and Netflix are two of the most popular channels people all over the world use, and EXPLICIT language runs freely from program to program.
“Bad” words aren’t porn or obscene – they’re explicit. Shakespeare used some naughty words in his plays. Geoff Chaucer snuck a dirty word or two into the Canterbury Tales. Legendary comedian George Carlin added “The Seven Words you can never say on television” to the American English lexicon. Acclaimed director Martin Scorsese is famous for the creative and colorful use of profanity in most of his films. Ex-president Donald Trump’s language was, like several other US presidents before him, full of expletives. And American Poet Laureate Snoop Dogg thinks the F-word is “the bomb.” Like it or not, profanity has its place in art and culture.
Today's students need English to communicate internationally
International students are everywhere, and foreign workers are all over Japan. They’re Chinese, Brazilian, American, Korean, or African. They are often bilingual, usually trilingual. They think of themselves as mixed, or Blasian. But they have one important thing in common: they use English to communicate with people. Japan is more international than ever, and students need the language skills to make their future bright.
Young Japanese today are better in English, and more students have studied abroad than ever before. Studying abroad helps students understand English profanity, but it’s expensive to do. Furthermore, the recent Covid global pandemic is likely to make studying abroad more difficult in the future. Students will keep turning to online learning to improve their English.
Japanese companies are too old-fashioned. They only want to know your TOEIC score. Companies don’t understand how valuable you are if you know English profanity. If a customer tells you that something is a pain in the ass, Japanese bosses aren’t sure what that means. If an American co-worker abroad sends an email that says, “This SNAFU needs to be fixed right away,” a manager won’t know how to reply to it. But a Taboo English student will know exactly what that means!