Monday, August 14, 2006


I fucking love swearing.

This should not be of surprise to any of my regular readers. I imagine you come for talk of local sports/news anchor's boobs and stay for the insightful political discussion and stories about my young urban life. My vocabulary is good, thanks to a lifetime of reading and a love of obscure words that make my point concisely. But sometimes a girl's just got to drop an f-bomb to get her meaning clear.

The Globe has an article today about how kids these days swear a lot.

Timothy Jay , a psychology professor at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and author of ``Cursing in America" and ``Why We Curse," sees cursing as a ``safety valve," a way to safely vent excess anger.

Jay said casual swearing has increased as the world has become more fast-paced and stressful. Teenagers, he said, are especially curse-prone because ``they're built to break the rules." But he said he surveyed 250 college students and found that mass media were not to blame for the swell of swears.

``They learn it in their backyard. They learn it on the playground," he said. Jay adds that disciplining children for cursing won't keep them from cursing as adults. Indeed, penalizing them often backfires by boosting cursing's allure.

I have always had a foul mouth. My friends and I could curse blue streaks in fourth grade. I'm not sure if I learned it from them or from my mother, who used to work in a shipyard and could let fly with some obsenity when things didn't go her way. I certainly did not learn it from movies, as I wasn't allowed to see movies with harsh language until I was twelve.

The important difference between my use of profanity and "kids these days" is that I can turn it off. When I'm around the kids I babysit, I can keep it G-rated. The only times I come close to uttering profanity is when I'm driving them around and some jackhole does a stupid manuver that nearly kills us. During my teenage years, I didn't swear around my mother. Now I figure I'm old enough that she can't really punish me for swearing, and she's also of the mind that I'm an adult now so she uses colorful language around me without saying "Don't say that word" as an afterthought. I feel like teenagers now just use swears without regard to who is listening. That's not going to work well in the workplace for them since no boss wants an employee who feels no hesitation calling a difficult customer a cunt.

In other words, keep on swearing, you little shits. Just be careful about who's listening.

No comments: