My 99 Problems: Swearing Is My Constitutional Right
September 21, 2012 § 8 Comments
Words are interesting. They are so paramount to the civilization of humans that they can carry great power. Despite the fact that they are “only” words, that they are “only” representations of feelings, emotions, needs, or answers to Wheel of Fortune puzzles, the word itself can carry much power.
Was it beautiful or was it exquisite?
Was she sexy or was she gorgeous?
Did the printer have a “toner alert” or a “boner alert”?
Subtle differences, maybe, but important nonetheless. However, a handful of words can carry more power than all the rest. I’m sure that original creators of language had no idea that one day a certain sect of words would be so powerful that we deemed them inappropriate for children and therefore were stricken from the likes of network television. I can still vividly remember the first time I heard the word “Bitch” on TV and it was spoken by none other than a woman; Roseanne Barr.
I can respect the idea that children shouldn’t hear certain words. I would never purposefully cuss in front of my four-year-old nephew, though I could myself accidentally letting the S-word or B-word slip out only because they are so natural to my vocabulary. I was never shielded from such words, having watched R-rated movies from the time I was maybe four or five. It’s natural, so I don’t think too much of it because it’s the way I talk.
Already the power of the words has been removed for me, however, I understand that the power has not been removed for everybody. Immediately when I sit down and I say to someone who I may not know that well, “It’s a rather shitty day outside,” there is the possibility that the person has now written me off as a “good person.” That I might be “crude” and this could potentially lead them to believe that I have other personality “flaws” as they see it. For them, the cuss word isn’t necessary. I could say, “This weather is not so good, chap. Perhaps we shall flock in the meadow on morrow when the sun shines her rays of beauty upon our rosy cheeks.”
To this attitude I have but one response: Funk that.
In general I cannot stand judgment, but this is one that really upsets me. You’re laying your judgments about swear words upon me without even getting to know me. I recently read a book for work called “Broken Windows” that was about how we perceive crime (or in this case business) by finding small flaws in details of the company. For example, going into a coffee shop and seeing that the paint is chipping and looking rather crappy, so then the consumer assumes that other issues could be rising too. Other more important issues.
If you relay this theory to one about swear words, you would have to assume that a swear word is like chipped paint. Except that it isn’t a fact that it is a bad thing at all, it’s your opinion at most. You can’t assume that the word “shit” is the same as a person that has actual shit rubbed upon their bottom. Shit on your bottom would be a “broken window” but not the use of the word “shit.” As a matter of fact, there are many people out there that won’t respect you unless you do have the moxy to cuss around them. It’s all a matter of opinion and personal taste, but I can tell you that I don’t judge a person that doesn’t swear just like they shouldn’t judge me if I do.
All I do is speak. When a filter is required, like around children or even people who I know that just get offended by swearing, I’ll put it on. I will treat you with respect just as long as you do the same for me, but know that my use of the B-word (Bottom), S-word (Shamalamadingdong), or F-word (Festering) doesn’t mean that I’m not a kind, gentle person that wouldn’t jump in front of a car for a good friend. I just happen to have a vocabulary that’s got the extra seven words. I’m just exercising my freedom of speech, don’t judge me negatively for it.