Finally, a rap that I can sing without guilt, given my afforementioned disposition. Thanks Flight of the Conchords!
Tag Archives: swearing
A couple weeks after I wrote a post about my lack of swearing, South Passadena became the first city to sponsor a no-cussing week (no causation implied there). The initiative, conceived by a local 14 y.o. boy, has temporarily derailed my plans to start swearing more. Interestingly, the photo accompanying the story is of someone flipping the reader off.
The conversation usually goes like this:
Friend: Wow. Did you hear the way so-and-so cursed me out back there? That was pretty bad.
Me: Yeah he sounded pissed.
Friend: Nobody’s ever spoken to me like that in my life, and I think I’m sort of sensitive to it since I don’t like to curse.
Me: I know what you mean – I don’t ever swear.
Friend: Yeah, I never swear either.
Me: No, I mean, I can count the number of swears I’ve said out loud in my entire life on one hand.
Friend: Yeah me… Wait what? Oh… What…? wow.
A post Dan put up about swearing has been on my mind for several months now. I was recently reminded of it when the topic of swearing on blogs came up here. I like learning about why swears are considered swears, because I don’t swear, but I don’t know why.
It feels awkward that I know this about myself, or that I have such an internal track record. I recognize that the words I have grown to count as swears are somewhat arbitrary (the ones I can think of start with f, a, s, h, b, and sometimes d). Avoiding these words can be hard; I remember dreading English classes where we read books out loud, because there was always a possibility that I would have to either break my streak or feign a coma. Somehow I manage to avoid typing these words explicitly (though copy/pasting them feels OK), but I admit that it feels strange when I type words like assist, as if I have to type them really quickly without pausing in the middle.
The silly part is that, like the children and teens we’re ostensibly trying to protect by censoring these words, I think swears all the time. Beyond that, I have no problem hearing them! They can often be best way to express yourself, and I sometimes find myself wishing I could use them (I can use them of course, but I’ve built up a mental hurdle about it). In the past few years I’ve resorted to using the cheat-words that often serve as swear replacements (e.g. “That’s freaking awesome”).
I’m not sure when I created this rule for myself. Obviously swearing was always discouraged at home and school. I do have one memory from my childhood of my younger brother telling my mother that I had said a swear (when I had not actually done so) and getting punished for it. The injustice of the situation was so infuriating, because not only had I not committed the crime in question — I had never sworn at all!
Occasionally I think I should just go into a room an swear my lungs out, just to get over the hurdle. I honestly don’t know why I haven’t done that.
[For completeness, most of the situations where I swore came at times when I was inadvertently (as in, without thinking) parroting something that someone near me said.]