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In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man shoots at the fort and hits an energy shield, ending up saying

Shit!

and Captain America warns him with

Language!

A couple of minutes later, Iron Man says:

Wait a second. No-one else is gonna deal with the fact that Cap just said "Language"?

Why does he do that? Am I missing something? As far I can hear, nobody swears.

  • I know you've already been replied to, but I can't get how Iron Man accusing Cap of having said "Language" is related to Cap not being a foul language guy. Did you perhaps understood that Iron Man was accusing Cap of having used foul language (as in «Cap just said "that thing he called foul earlier"») instead of the intended meaning (as in «Cap just said the "language" word»)? – Zachiel Jun 23 '18 at 16:52
  • The accepted answer doesn't mention that Captain America and Iron Man have some friction between them. – Andrew Grimm Jun 24 '18 at 0:52
  • @Zachiel I edited my question. – Tolga Ozses Jun 25 '18 at 6:32
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    And then there's the follow-up line, when Cap says he "slipped", which was historically a common excuse given when somebody violated a rule about using such language. – TOOGAM Aug 9 '18 at 5:01
87

It's Tony having a little fun at Cap's expense. Captain America is from a much earlier period where swearing was less socially acceptable than it is today, and by reflex he tells Tony off.

He's still getting used to the social norms of the 21st century.

Tony's mocking him for being so outdated, which is a bit of a theme with the two of them - he refers to Steve as a "Cap-sicle" in the first Avengers movie, which is to do with Steve being frozen like a popsicle ice lolly, while asking about Pilates and telling him he might have missed a few things.

Tony's also asking if nobody else is essentially going to call out/mock Cap on his somewhat old time values.

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    And not just his values of not swearing, but him telling another adult how to speak like he was a child. – JKreft Jun 22 '18 at 11:47
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    While its true that he was from an earlier time, I think any army vet from WWII (sadly less and less around these days) will tell you folks swore every bit as much in that environment as today, if not more. I think its more just part of his "boy scout" personality. – T.E.D. Jun 22 '18 at 13:36
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    @T.E.D. They swore heavily amongst themselves, but probably avoided it in public, especially anywhere with women present. – Barmar Jun 22 '18 at 16:52
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    Although Cap seems so much of a boy scout that I suspect he didn't even swear with his earlier comrades. – Barmar Jun 22 '18 at 16:53
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    @Barmar - Thing is, they were literally in combat when the "Language." statement was made. One gets the impression he did it absent-mindedly, like it was the same thing he would have said in a similar situation leading a team in WWII, and just forgot himself for a moment. – T.E.D. Jun 22 '18 at 18:12
4

Why does he do that? Am I missing something? As far I can hear, nobody swears

To answer your question directly; "shit" is considered to be "swearing" or a "swear word". It can still fall into that category in today's society, but its generally not seen as extreme as it was back in Steve Rodger's days. It was definitively a swear word as recently as the 90's, so Rodgers isn't that far off anyhow.

  • In the US it isn't even allowed on network TV channels. So in that sense it is still "officially" a swear word. – Tenfour04 Jul 12 '18 at 13:08

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