Warning: This article contains multiple expletives – for educational purposes only.
A good friend said to me recently, “Joe, why do you curse so much?” I looked at him in total surprise, because, quite frankly, I never gave much thought about my frequent use of colorful, swear words. I simply do it naturally and use it as a standard form of casual conversation when I speak to others.
“What the fuck are you talking about?” I asked him, nonchalantly, “I don’t curse that much.”
According to many language experts, the act of cursing has become synonymous with the average, American’s speech patterns. It is also the quickest and the most convenient way to express raw emotion or get your point across and enjoy intimacy with others.
Cursing is also used to alleviate pain, like when someone accidentally slams the car door on your little, pinky finger. “Damn it, you fucking asshole!!!”
Recent studies have shown that the average person swears from 70-100 times per-day, and even up to 0.9% of the time. That’s a lot of curse words on a daily basis. But one thing most of these studies do not show is the outside influences that cause people to swear so much.
For example, would I curse as much as I do if people didn’t purposely piss me off on a regular basis? Wouldn’t it be easier to keep my cool and manage my emotions if those around me did not act like jackasses most of the time?
It is kind of hard not to employ serious and creative profanity when people around me act like lobotomized, zombies who are more dangerous than the ones that still have half a brain.
• Am I supposed to stay calm and speak softly when a bag lady on the NYC Subway swings her can-filled bag into my kneecap as I’m exiting the train? That scenario warrants two fucks and a shit as I fall on the platform in excruciating pain.
• Should I keep my humor and civility when I walk onto my lawn in bare feet to get the newspaper and step into 4-inches of doggie-doo that was dumped by my neighbor’s unleashed, 65-pound, rottweiler? That moment qualifies for a long sentence filled with various expletives, like, “I’m going to kill that fucking dog and rip its goddamn lungs out and then rip off its balls!”
• How are you supposed to react when your 22-year-old son calls you on the phone and tells you the engine seized in your new car because the oil light was on, but he kept driving it for another 3 days? That situation calls for some serious swearing that could be mistaken for a terroristic threat. “Walk home slowly, you dickless wonder, because I’m going to chop your fucking head off when you get here!”
It is almost impossible not to swear sometimes, and very improbable not to swear a lot.
Also, the suggestion of attending anger management classes is laughable when you find yourself having to deal with people who are struggling to become known as the biggest idiots or morons of the 21st Century.
But we have to try, don’t we? We have to stay peaceful and civil like therapists and psychiatrists tell us.
Tolerance, patience and understanding is key to retaining our composure. Learning to stay calm in hostile and chaotic environments with others is a crucial part of human behavior and should not be that hard to master, right?
Maybe that is true in fantasy land, but in the real world things don’t work that way. Human emotion and how we show it is at the mercy of our environment and all the misfits who influence it like professional, sociopaths.
I try not to curse a lot. I always try to remain acutely aware of my surroundings and the people who are near me. After all, cursing doesn’t solve any problems and maybe even compounds them also.
At other times, I am constantly hearing the words of raucous, Rhett Butler ringing in my ears as he says defiantly to Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With The Wind, “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!”
Joseph E. Rathjen is a freelance writer and an Opinion Writer at 1World Online – America’s Fastest Growing Social Research Engine.
Great post! I cracked up laughing. 🙂
Thanks, Capt Jill. It was all in fun of course. 😊
really? I cuss like that all the time! 😉
Me too. 😉
Having just completely an approximately 5 year cursing binge – in multiple languages – where it was not uncommon for me to pepper every 3 or 4th word with a curse, I can honestly say I have learned several key things.
1) In some instances – cursing is indeed the best and most immediately intimate choice – Check!
2) If one finds oneself cursing almost all of the time – environment and social influences are indeed often the root cause – Check!
– If this is the case, then needs must allow for an extended vacation, preferably where all services and all-out decadence is a given – lest one become so base and uncouth as to reduce one’s vocabulary to absolute shit. (Am I allowed to say that?)
3) If the common denominator that pervades not only the American but also the Canadian vernacular is a constant stream of swear words – then we must reconsider making it an absolute requirement (for a paneled review) whereby an accepted standard of “heavy weight” dictionary is part and parcel of everyday accoutrement — screw mobile apps and laptops – bring back spelling, grammar and basic vocabulary – goddamnit!
4) If language and communication no longer holds the value it once did – and clearly it doesn’t – it’s now sadly a world of hash-tags (too bad we can’t just forget the tag end) and tweets and bleeps and boops – then, I guess there’s just no going back – embrace the future and just say, heartily, “Fuck it all.”
Great post Joe 🙂