Davis Banter
Is "spewing vulgarities" a common or an official term?
Nov 2, 2018 10:10 PM
Answers · 8
It's not so common as to be a stock phrase or a colocation, but I've certainly heard it and read it in the US, in the forms "spewing vulgarities," "spewing obscenities," and "spewing profanity." I think the idea is that the person is so angry and so out of control that he is shouting at the top of his lungs--and, as often happens when you do that, literally spitting. A quick search of Google News turns up some examples: "Spewing vulgarities is a scientifically proven coping and communication mechanism that enhances pain tolerance, conveys emotion, and can create a sense of belonging in groups." A review of a play: "Enter Vanda, a struggling actress spewing vulgarities..." "A man was caught on video last week spewing hateful rhetoric and obscenities at a Houston mother who said she was on her way to vote." "Carrot Weather’s profanity-spewing forecast app arrives on Android."
November 3, 2018
It does seem to be a popular collocation is SE Asia for some reason. "Woman arrested after spewing vulgarities and hitting staff in a optical shop at Tiong Bahru Plaza." www.asiaone.com reporting incident in Singapore. "Soon, disciplining him becomes a near impossible task without him spewing vulgarities or shouting hurtful phrases at you." Article about dealing with difficult children on a Singapore-based parenting site. "Are you able to handle difficult students, those who spew vulgarities, have no respect for teachers and are prone to violence?" Singapore Ministry of Education site This seems to be almost exclusively Singapore English. How odd. Are there any Singapore members who can shed light on this? Is it a direct translation from a phrase in Malay, perhaps?
November 3, 2018
No, it's the sort of thing a highly educated, posh person would say when among their posh friends: I would describe this sort of language as 'florid', not for official use. Only use it if you want to sound like Boris Johnson, people will laugh.
November 2, 2018
I agree it a more formal or literary way of saying it. Here we'd just say " He was cursing/cussing/swearing." "He was using foul language." I actually can't remember the official term , but it is a legal offense to use certain swear words in a public place in the US.
November 2, 2018
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Davis Banter
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English, German
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English