So, perhaps it is coinkidink, but <a href="http://monkhouse.blogspot.com/">David<a/> posted about cussing (permalink if they worked), one day after I <a href="http://www.danielsjourney.com/index.php?archive=blog_2002_12_15.xml&id_pass=53">said</a> (some sentences after using the f word) "And you have a site you can curse on all you want and, as of yet, no one is going to stop you from doing that." So, here we go.
I curse sometimes. I curse more in my writing than in my actual speech, but still...I am unapologetic about cursing, but I do have reasons and ideas about the use of...um..."strong language."
01. The reason I curse more in writing than speech is because it is more often inappropriate in speech. When I'm hanging out with the same exact people in person who would be the most appreciative audience of my writing--i.e. my friends, people alot like me in thinking, etc.--and if there are not "youngins" or "elderly" people about--I probably curse as much or more than in my writing. (more on this thread in 05)
02. There are certainly, IMHO, Evil uses of curse words (by the way are they really curse words? a simple "fuck" as an adj. or adv. is nothing compared to some biblical curses i could dig out of the OT, something akin to "may you and all your kin die terribly painful deaths as soon as feasable" (and meaning it)). These Evil uses are usually in the presence of M, who is by far my biggest helper in the avoidance of Evil, and she is great at setting me straight. :) How was that for PC for "She rebukes me."
03. These words are part of my peers' vernacular. I live in a world where people use themselves, and consume media which uses, those words. I am a contributer to this same culture and I curse sometimes. :P So what.
04. Having said that, people who curse all the time--like "f(adj.)ing dude f(adv.)ing kicked me in the f(adj.)ing head--f(adj.)ing f(n.)er!"--well, that really bothers me. I guess I have a certain % of words maximum tolerance. At the same time, we all have different tolerances, and I'm not one to ask someone to tone it down just for my sensibilities. I'll just make a stressed out face.<img src="images/stressedoutface.jpg" alt="stressedoutface.jpg" align="right" vspace="5" border="1"> (Last night a waiter we really like used the word "dyke," which I, most of the time, find pretty offensive...this was the last time I made "the face," just thinking, sorry.)
05. My audience--hmm, this is a tough one. David mentioned parents, and my parents pretty much stopped reading my site, I think, because of my occasional cuss. Perhaps they tried reading it during the <a href="http://www.danielsjourney.com/index.php?archive=2002_09_08_new_archive.xml&id_pass=81333572">Micha</a> daily serials, and <a href="http://www.danielsjourney.com/ir/micha/">Micha</a> and <a href="http://gs_citizen.blogspot.com">Johnny</a> are quite fond of the dirty words themselves. Perhaps they just don't like my writing. Who knows, but the point is, I'm not dishonoring them if they don't like my writing, or the f words contained therein. We differ on many, many things and I certainly do not feel I am dishonoring them with that difference, and --and this is a much more general statement-- "offense" more often grows out of a lack of understanding more than a specific emotive response to words; I'm always amazed with the people who can agree to disagree and those who cannot--it never has to do with the strength of opinions or convictions, it has to do with having emotive or identity-based links to those opinions. ...I do have two teenage cousins who on occasion I consider might be visiting before I bust out with the "adult" language, but I also think they are adult enough to make their own decisions about it and not be influenced by my uses of it from time to time.
06. Which leads me to, the point of the language. Specifically, let's look at yesterday's little rant. The entire paragraph or two that the cuss words were used in was supposed to be dissonent. Even without The Words, the tone and the subject matter (ME ME ME) should have been giving you "the stressed out face." But the careful usage of two f words made sure you got The Face, before, oh, wait, I'm snapping out of it, that was a little dark side coming through, I'm actually ok, thanks for your concern.
07. Words are important. All words. Any word can build, any word can tear down, any word can tear down with the intent of rebuilding. Words in our canon of "curse" words are no different. "F*** you you f***ing asshole!" - offensive, wrong, Evil. "I can't believe we're going to fucking war!" -not, going to war is what's offensive, not coloring that word with some dirt.
Isn't dialogue fun?
<a href="http://www.btinternet.com/~smallritual/smallfire/Dvauxpage6.html"><img src="http://www.btinternet.com/~smallritual/smallfire/vauximages/shit/shit1.jpg" alt="vaux" border="1"></a>
<i>mom and dad you made me so uptight
i'm gonna cuss on the mic tonight
i don't know how much i can take
girl give me something i can break
..ya'll don't know what it's like
being male, middle class and white
it gets me real pissed off and it makes me wanna say
--Ben Folds, Rockin' the Suburbs