Have you ever gotten a text like this?
I STG if another person sends me that fake news story about them building the city in the ocean, I will block them!!
Sounds scary, and the person seems angry, right? But are you sure? What does STG stand for?
STG stands for swear to god
In English, if you swear to god that you will do something, it means that you are completely serious.
Swearing to thing A means that you are willing to bet something valuable (thing A) to you on something happening. For example, swearing to god means that you are making a promise to god that you will do something, and not doing it means there will be consequences for it.
STG is usually a phrase used for emphasis, especially when you are angry at someone or something. If you simply threaten to block someone if they keep sending you the news story, they may not be convinced.
Instead, increasing the intensity and what is at stake by swearing to something shows that you are more serious.
See the below examples:
- If the school administration does not cancel classes even though there is a blizzard happening outside, I will complain to all my professors.
Even if you read this sentence forcefully, there lacks a seriousness to the tone of it. Complaining sounds like something that might have a tiny bit of effectiveness, but not very much.
- If the school administration does not cancel classes even though there is a blizzard happening outside, I swear to god I will complain to all my professors.
In this sentence, you can feel the increased seriousness of your emotions and tone.
Instead of using your complaint as something that you hope will incite change, you are likely to be more forceful. You may not accept anything less than that change, and you seem much angrier about what happens.
If you are not careful, using STG or swear to god can come off as humorous. This is often a tool that you can use to show how ridiculous some situation is.
If we use the above example again, saying that you “STG you will complain to all your professors” may just be a way for you to deal with the news. If you are talking to your friends, who all have to deal with the same situation but cannot do anything about it, this sentence may get them all to laugh and sympathize with you.
The key to differentiating between the serious and humorous uses of swear to God lies in the tone. If you say this with a straight face and do not laugh, others will know that you mean what you say.
You are very passionate about this issue. However, if you roll your eyes, chuckle, or smile, others will know that you mean this phrase in an ironic way. Instead of taking what you say very seriously, they will laugh along with you.