Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What the #$*!& ?

Cussing. Swearing. Curse words. Profanity. Whatever you call it, it has me perplexed. For some people, it's a big deal. I suppose that I've always been aware of that (since I was a very little girl in pig tails who used the word "bitch" and promptly had my mother tell me that little ladies don't talk that way.) What I've recently been surprised by is how offended some people can be at "replacement words".

Okay, I admit it. I'm taken aback when I'm in the presence of someone who drops the f-bomb, s-word or especially the c-word. None of the other words generally offend me very much. Even so, I was always relatively careful not to use any of the "second-string" curse words, because I didn't want to make others uncomfortable. When I was feeling frustrated, I'd dig deep into my third or fourth string and whip out a "GOSH DARNIT!" or "GEEZ LOUISE!!" Who would have known that these exclamations could also be offensive? As it turns out, my dad did. Apparently, my father subscribes to the philosophy that it doesn't matter what the term is that you use, it's the emotion behind it that's startling to people. He considers even the most tame of the expletives (such as "dang") viable curse words. I was truly dumbfounded by this.

I was blissfully unaware of this whole micro-culture who switches the station at wanting to be a billionaire so "freaking" bad. The people who make their children sing "Oh, oh oh oh oh oh oh Oh my Goodness" instead of "Oh my gosh." If that's the case, I'm certainly not fooling anyone using the terms "Oh Gawd." and "Geezus!"

So what's the deal with all of this sensitivity? If I were to stub my toe and scream "POTATO!" would the same people charge me with cursing? If it really is the expression of the harsh emotion and not the actual word, then are these people offended by others who are injured or upset? Is it okay for someone to be offended by genuine emotion?

For myself, I just don't like hearing the harshest of the words. To me, it indicates lack of control. Just like I don't like hearing people say "I HATE broccoli," (I prefer "I really don't like broccoli") I believe people should use words that live on the same level as the emotion that they're needing to express. If you use one of the top-tier curse words, I'm going to assume that you're expressing top-tier trauma and I will react to that. Now, all of this isn't to say that I'm a low-tier supporter. I think for the most part, people use curse words as replacements for forming complete thoughts and sentences and when used too frequently, they can be a sign of low intelligence or lazy communication. Personally, I'll continue trying to save the malediction for times when I really want to be shocking or make a point.

A btw for the non-sensitive:

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