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In Praise of the Four-Letter Word


It's apparently No Cussing Week. Personally, as soon as I look at that simpering child's coy pose, I want to say several very rude words of a very graphic nature. 

(Cick the link; it hurts.)(also, click this one for the actual site, if you think you can handle the dreadful, dreadful site graphics.)(ugh)

Double-plus Ungood wordthink...Collapse )

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raventhourne
Mar. 3rd, 2009 03:52 pm (UTC)
Hmmmm, I tend to have a potty mouth I guess, but I do like the "oh, snap" we are seeing in kids cartoons. It works well for those times when you want to say something but little ears are listening and mimicking your every word.
thatpotteryguy
Mar. 3rd, 2009 04:00 pm (UTC)
"if I heard "I want to fill up your hairy bingle-bangle with my goof juice" come out of Bob's mouth"

I cannot tell you how much this disturbs me. Words fail. Now I must go poke out my mind's eye.
dragonlady7
Mar. 3rd, 2009 04:27 pm (UTC)
When I was about seven my Dad sat me down and gave me a lecture about swearing. He listed off all the cuss words and gave me a definition for each one. And then said, there's no point in using them unless you save them for something.
I've heard him use the F-word twice in my entire life. You bet I paid attention. But what's funny is that both times, he was telling a story.
I've never heard him curse in anger. Not when the hood of the car he was working on slammed on his arm and broke it, not when my little sister fell off a scaffold and knocked herself unconscious-- never!

Restricting use of language is useless. Encouraging more thoughtful use of language is useful. But people are idiots and can't tell the difference.
mistressrhi
Mar. 3rd, 2009 04:31 pm (UTC)
Shit. Now, there's a kid that ain't never gettin' laid...

Poor bastard.
snobahr
Mar. 3rd, 2009 04:35 pm (UTC)
I favour "phlegm," when I'm at liberty to give a moment's thought to the vitriol about to be spewed. Given that I have a son, five years of age, I find I needs must guard my language. Thankfully, he is out of his "Damn it!" phase, as he wasn't entirely certain what it meant.

When I scrape my kneecap on the dryer door handle? If my darling offspring is nowhere near, it will be a harshly whispered, "FUCK!" because that's all the volume I can muster for the pain. If, however, my helpful fruit of my loins is nearby, that pained gasp will be "Bugger!" or "Nnnngah!" or some variant of "Ow ow ow hurts ow ow, lemme through, lemme through, ow ow ow!"

It seems that I have some mental switch on which vocabulary to use, given my son's proximity.

fiberferret
Mar. 4th, 2009 06:42 am (UTC)
my little sister (then 8) decided to name one of our cats "bugger" I was gone & no one else in the family would explain to her why it was a bad idea. Thus I came home to the name in constant use. I barely kept a straight face all that visit.
christianet
Mar. 3rd, 2009 04:45 pm (UTC)
My parents were pretty adamant about when the use of such words was appropriate. My dad, being a cop, also did a lot of home repair stuff in the basement; my sister and I used to stand around the enormous forced air heating duct in the floor of the hall between the kitchen and bathroom and be entertained. It was EXACTLY like "A Christmas Story." Except with actual curse words.

I'm actually more afraid of the whipsmart, articulate 14-year-old Jonathon Krone. CPAC was fawning all over him. A 14-year-old lecturing me about my uterus is irritating to me.

I'd like to think, though, that Jonathan and the anti-cursing teen will grow up and get some perspective. Young teens tend to look at everything in black and white, no shades of gray. They're at Stage Four of Kohlberg's stages of moral development: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlberg's_stages_of_moral_development#Pre-Conventional

I know I was pretty damn insufferable as a 13-year-old, that's for sure!
curiouschilde
Mar. 3rd, 2009 05:14 pm (UTC)
Just wait till the kid is older and breaks a bone or drops something on his foot. That brings a "sailor-like" moment out of most folks. Shiii-it.
valkyr8
Mar. 3rd, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
That kid has a lot of swirlies and being shoved in a locker in his future.

Douche bag central.
hsifeng
Mar. 3rd, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
"If you simply substitute an uncensorable word for the censorable one, you're not avoiding the cursing, you're just a hypocrite."

Fuckin' A.
baronessv
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:07 pm (UTC)
Agreed. I admit I get extra-annoyed when people use made-up words like "frak" and "frell".
(no subject) - soldiergrrrl - Mar. 3rd, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - perilousknits - Mar. 3rd, 2009 11:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - soldiergrrrl - Mar. 4th, 2009 03:33 am (UTC) - Expand
corbaegirl
Mar. 3rd, 2009 06:32 pm (UTC)
Once the automobile was invented, being able to swear became imperative. Especially if one works on said automobiles.
murasakinoyoroi
Mar. 3rd, 2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
When I was growing up our media wasn't censored, but we were warned that we would offend the adults if we used certain types of language.

It did have the odd side effect that "Fuck" was simply a word that kids didn't use with strange biological meaning, but "Toad," what my mother called people when driving, was in my mind the worst thing that a person could be called.
serenalyons
Mar. 3rd, 2009 08:47 pm (UTC)
My sewing machine refuses to work without liberal application of polysyllabic expression, and short, sharp, Anglo-Saxon epithets. I've even had friends call me up and have me swear at their sewing machines. We call them magic words, because they work. Just think of all the work that would lie unfinished if we didn't have these special words.
lady_jem
Mar. 3rd, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
I might have to adopt the "bork bork bork bork!!!" one...

I had a choir director many years ago, brilliant musician but a bit of a tyrant (this was before "verbal abuse" was something that got talked about much). He could curse with an elegance I have long sought to emulate, and clued me in to another truth about language: while on the one hand the glorious percussiveness of some of the single-syllable Anglo-Saxon expletives is its own joy, there can be a lot of power in uttering very elegant and multisyllabic euphemisms for the same words, because it demonstrates that the image is EXACTLY what you want to convey but also a sort of disdain for anyone who tries to tell you what's inappropriate. Big words have a way of helping to do that. "Horseshit" has its own solidity, but to address someone's issuance of "equine fecal matter" in a truly clipped and furious voice in a professional environment where "horseshit" would be completely out of line can be very entertaining.

Once he told the alto section that our contribution to the choral sound was like mammaries on a male bovine.

Since I don't believe in cursing at my choirs, I try not to use any of these terms in choral rehearsals. But they can be very useful in other settings.

Fuck you too,
Jem :-)
helblonde
Mar. 3rd, 2009 10:00 pm (UTC)
I like having a full arsenal of linguistic bombs, but I tend to use them sparingly.

Most often I will go with the literary "bother" (A. A. Milne).

I also like "polyps" because it hits all the requirements for a nasty spear word - hard consonants and a disgusting biological definition - and, at the same time, has not yet been adopted widely enough to trigger the anti-potty-mouth knee jerks.
welamom
Mar. 3rd, 2009 10:03 pm (UTC)
Ugh, indeed! What home-schooling Christian outcropping does he live on?
evil_fionn
Mar. 3rd, 2009 10:31 pm (UTC)
My father was an army drill instructor.
I learned what I know of the art of swearing at his knee when I was three.
I wish I didn't curse as much as I do... I feel slightly lazy at not coming up with better words to use.
That being said, there is a lot of humor in being in labor and watching the blood drain out of your mother-in-law's face as you fill the air with purple prose when the doctors won't believe that "the baby is coming NOW g*ddamn it, get off your f'ing asses and check, you sorry S.O.B.'s, because if I give birth in this m**f*cking hallway on this f*cking stretcher I will wade through HELL ITSELF to rip your throats out and watch you choke on your own blood!"
It was quite the moment, and I will treasure it forever, especially now that she is my ex-mother in law.
:-)
My daughter was born three minutes later in the delivery room.
:-)
(no subject) - welamom - Mar. 3rd, 2009 10:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - albreda - Mar. 8th, 2009 04:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - welamom - Mar. 8th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
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