Oh shucks! Selma’s making some life changes! Read all about it. This was supposed to be my comment on her post but it’s gotten ridiculously long that I decided to just blog it here instead.
Well, I say, if one wishes to learn a new language other than what is normally not allowed on TV, it could be a bloody (whoops) battle. But take heart… if I had done it, anyone can. I honestly couldn’t utter them infamous four letter words anymore without stuttering or pronouncing them incorrectly. One day a couple of months ago, I was dicing some onions in the kitchen when my knife accidentally swiped through my thumb a wee bit. No actually, it was a big fat &4%@x#’in gape, alright? You would think it’s only appropriate for me to let some steam out. So, being the mere flawed human being that I am, I unhesitatingly but gracefully shrieked… SHUCKT!
I guess, I couldn’t decide quick enough which word was more proper for that particular moment.
I grew up around potty mouths all my life. But for some reason, something just didn’t sound right to me. I thought it was hypocritical and double standard that one would liberally flaunt his colorful expressions on certain groups of people but hide it from others. At the workplace, I sometimes struggle with this fact. People often use expletives in a hush hush manner, and yet they totally wipe their mouths clean when talking with superiors. Is there an “appropriate” and “inappropriate” time and place for these words? Are they right or wrong? Proper or improper? I’m still confused.
Back in elementary school, if someone cussed at me, I simply gave him a black eye without saying a word. I’m not even angry here. Just trying to say… “Awww, thanks, you shouldn’t have!” And I thought I was being fair. Although, a second FU from the guy would see him at the school clinic and me hanging out at the principal’s office.
So as I grew up, I went on a quest to find out why people even bother with such language. Not that I have anything against it, really. After all, aren’t they all just words? I just passionately hated the double standard that came with it. I still do, in fact. I thought, if you’re gonna say it, say it loud and proud, teach it in school, sing it at church, add a line of it to the national anthem, whatever! Just so everyone’s living in harmony and not getting offended everytime they hear it. If we’re going to cuss, why not cuss in love and harmony? Now, that’s a thought!
Sorry for tangent #36. I get worked up, sometimes.
Anyway, one day it dawned on me. I must’ve been in high school, at the time. I realized, when people get insecure and/or hurt, cussing is a quick and easy way to hit back, so to speak. It’s also like saying the word ouch. An instant relief or gratification (albeit, a short-lived one). Either that or they throw something on the wall. You can say I was an oddball in school. Yes, I was loved and got put on the hitlist, at the same time.
Anyway, because of this, I decided to work on myself, my character, to make sure I was secure in my own skin in all circumstances and at all costs. I searched for my own peace of mind and my own contentment, just so I don’t have to rely on cheap verbal weaponry to redeem myself.
Oh yeah, I had also wondered why my dad threw the television out the window whenever he cussed. That’s a lot of trashed Zeniths and RCAs, I’m telling you. All I could think of then was that… Six Million Dollar Man is on tonight… and he had the nerve? What was he thinking? I just sat there wondering, naively. And when I got married, I realized I hadn’t changed a bit either. Whenever she got mad and threw stuff or slammed the door and cussed like a maniac, all I could do was shut down (better than causing a black eye, I thought). I would literally not utter a single word for days on end because I did not know how else to react to it. I honestly didn’t! And this drove her nuts, to my amazement! Hey, I was just trying to help the situation. I can’t stand fighting fire with fire. Surely I was offering some form of peaceful solution, I thought. Though I remember, I try to cuss back at her sometimes, just curious what would happen. And she seems to like that better, for some reason. I guess, fighting feels better than being ignored. That was news to me, honestly! Then she tells me later, she just snickers inside whenever I do it because I really sound pathetic. And cute. Cute!!! I remember, that’s also what my old roommate thought I looked like, whenever I seemed angry. It’s embarrassing but it’s true. For a time, I tried to relate by looking and sounding “tough” and “cool” but putting up a wall is just not me. I couldn’t do it. It’s crushing to look in the mirror and discover you’re not really Chuck Norris! Oh dear! I’m mean… DARN! And so to this day, I’m still trying to learn to live in an insecure world without feeling like an outcast. To be with everyone, where they are. Because where I am, there seems to be no one else but me.
Though, I’m afraid I may never get there. And perhaps, this is where my own insecurity rears its ugly head.
8 thoughts on “Watch your bleepin’ language, boy!”
I know what you mean. The self-censoring aspect of swearing can be a puzzle. I mean, if you’re going to swear at your husband or wife, why not your doctor or the lady you get your coffee from in the morning?
You are not an outcast at all. Just a deep thinker. Nothing wrong with that. You want people to find a different means of expressing their surprise or frustration or indignation. Nothing wrong with that,either.
I have always believed that people adopt slightly different personas according to who they are with and are often deferential towards people whom they feel would be offended by swearing. In that way I don’t think it’s a double standard as much as a measure of respect. What this discussion has revealed is how complex our use of language has become. I think it is very healthy to consider it.
I used to think cursing was bad and always try to hold back but now not so much. Isn’t it more healthy to express yourself then to hold it in?
but never in music, I always hate it when they add cursing in music, somehow I just dislike listening to a song full of cursing, it just doesn’t sit well in my head
I think it’s okay to curse as long it’s justifiable and in this day and times, cursing just seem to be the norm, I even hear bad cursing sometimes and heck when people curse in another language, it sounded funny, probably why some people put a lot of cursing in movies
never having been interested in curbiung my use of profanity,, i had to read and reread to see if i found my reason for using superlatives in your post… nope…
i just happen to like the way they sound as they roll off my tongue i guess………
I don’t think I was clear, but, yes cursing is bad, though I have a limited cursing vocabulary so I guess that’s why I don’t think it’s so bad, I think it seem to be movies and the occasional words on the street that I heard cursing, it doesn’t seem to be as common as a few years before, at least according to me
I am guilty of a bit of potty mouth myself. But you make some very interesting points in this… things to ponder.
hi kuya! too many thoughts and not enough words. i miss you!
I flippin’ loved this post! Shuckt!! HAHAHAHAH!!
Um … by the way …
I used to cuss like a sailor before I got saved. It’s what I grew up with; seemed perfectly normal to me. Then when I got saved, I went about the process of cleaning up my potty mouth because it was the “right” thing to do.
But I’m letting go of trying to do things “right.” I’m learning about grace. Not that grace is a bandaid for my sin, but more like God is gracious enough to work on my faults, but still accept me while I’m growing. Among other things, this means if a cuss word slips out now and then, God won’t gasp and flutter his hand to his chest in horror. He won’t disown me.
It’s not an excuse to do wrong. (I don’t think.) I just don’t get all legalistic about it anymore, not for me or anyone else.
So on the whole, I don’t cuss. But now and then if something slips … I own it baby!