On swearing

Warning: Language.
I was told once that swearing is a combination of laziness and ignorance – that idiots use it because they’re not educated enough to articulate themselves otherwise. 

Well I got two things to say to that:
We’re all lazy and ignorant.

A “shit” after spilling your coffee is catharsis in a four-letter shotgun shell. And “forget” you if you’ve not had a verbal reaction to that. You’ve got to at least say something. I’ve yet to spill anything without a verbal reaction, though I could do with a physical reaction like cleaning it up immediately instead of swearing. It’d definitely be productive, that’s for sure. But damn it, I just spilt coffee all over myself.

But you know what? I actually kind of agree it’s lazy and ignorant. It’s lazy and ignorant if you go ahead and spew these special words everywhere you go.

Do you actually listen to the bro who’s swearing all the damn time? The guy who curses so much that George Carlin’s doing a couple figure 8’s in his grave? No, you don’t. You’ll think the guy’s funny for a while. Maybe you’ll invite him out for drinks with your buddies just so you can ask the guy: “So how do you feel about [insert current state of politics/the world]?” He’ll won’t hesitate to say what’s on his mind. Because, after all, people that embrace swearing love the government because it gives them the license to say whatever they want and as vulgar as they want. Sure, you’ll have someone in your arsenal who wouldn’t hesitate to say, “This corndog tastes like a monkey’s refried dookie”, or, “Man, that Hosni Mubarak’s got a pyramid up his dictatorishly tight asshole!” But take notice that both of these statements are in some degree of complaint. That’s the deal with frequent flyer swearers. Their modus operandi is, “Life is shit, so I’m going to complain”. And no one likes a complainer.

You see where I’m getting at? His unapologetic energy is charming at first, but at the end this bro’s a drag. And yes, swearing is something to be respected. Save it for when it’s appropriate, when your swearing toolset is matured and complaints relevant. Be the person who works quietly and efficiently, but when the boss slips up, you’re the first to speak up. And when you release your finely tuned string of swears, you’ll be rewarded with the love of your coworkers and respect from your superiors, wondering if they should call Human Resources or Payroll to see if they can afford you a raise.
So let’s bring it back. Let’s bring it back to the first time you heard your dad call the guy who cut in front of him, “a motherless ‘forget’hole”. We’ve already lost the word “love”. Don’t do the same with the next best word we’ve got.
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9 Comments

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9 responses to “On swearing

  1. Oh man you know whats the worst for me? When people interject ‘like’ about six thousand times in between thoughts and sentences. When did people stop thinking before speaking? It’s terrible of me I know – but I do enjoy counting off how many times ‘like’ can be said in one comment to a TA or teacher.

    Ugh. People learn English.

    • I’m on the same page with counting the “like”‘s I hear. Wish it was acceptable to let ’em know how many times they dropped this bomb. It is, like Rebecca Black’s rise to fame, all our fault.

  2. k80b3th

    Sometimes people say like even though they’ve thought out what they were going to say because it’s been engrained into our culture. Women do it a lot more than men because women still aren’t really supposed to be smart, we’re not supposed to have highly intelligent things to say, and when we do we insert like (out of habit) to dumb down the way it sounds. I don’t know that it’s necessarily always ignorance… sometimes it’s just how it is. I’m not saying I agree with it, and I get super mad at myself when I do it. But it happens.

    • Is this dumbing down something across the board? I haven’t really thought about this, and as you present this to me, I wonder how largely this is felt!

  3. I dig what you’re saying about swearing. There’s nothing better than exclaiming “FUCK!” when something affects you in a particularly positively/negatively. If you blurt out this word Jerry Springer-style, it loses its power and just corrodes your language overall. There’s something pleasurable about swearing in a big way at the appropriate time, you know? It means more to you if you time your cursing :)

  4. Frequent swearers might not actually like the government, as it might give them plenty to whinge about, but they sure do love the First Amendment.

    Also, swearing is something that gets diluted with overuse. If you swear all the time, how does anyone know when you REALLY mean it?

  5. Props for the Carlin reference, that guy knew how to swear. As Carlin would say “there are no bad words, just words” the problem is the meaning associated with those words. Even if you use such words as a simple exclamation they will almost certainly be misconstrued and you will be labeled “ignorant” or “lazy”.

    • Guy was brilliance. I know that growing up, my favorite show was Comedy Central. So I wonder how it would have been like if I grew up in the era of Carlin. Instead we got guys like Dane Cook, but at least we got Dave Chappelle and Aziz Ansari.

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