Updated: Aug 27, 2019
Disclaimer: This post is going to sound so judgmental. I can't help it. I don't intend to offend anyone, but this is my personal views on the matter. I write in a very conversational voice. I don't have an expansive vocabulary. I confess that I'm envious of those that do use greater word choice and it's an area where I know I need improvement. That said....
I curse you...no, not really, but I do want to talk about cursing.
I remember when I was young, I use to watch the kids that would drop f-bombs so casually and appropriately and think they were the coolest, hippest people I had ever seen. Swearing was a huge no-no in my house. In fact, even as an adult, I don't believe I have every sworn in front of my parents. I don't curse often and typically only when I'm angry. But, in everyday language, I don't often let anything slip. It's just not me and it lost it's cool factor somewhere between college and parenthood.
I'm not a prude, certainly don't own a nun's habit anywhere in my closet and my shiny halo was long ago tarnished, but there's something that really turns me off about constant swearing.
I have discovered podcasts and I absolutely love them. The storytelling and plot twists are engaging and occupy my time during a long commute. I recently had a friend recommend a new-to-her podcast. It's quite popular and spin-offs have been developed from the show. Great! I couldn't wait to listen to it.
I set out on a long ride after visiting my daughter for dinner one night and decided it was a perfect time to start a new true crime series, the one recommended. I was a few minutes into the series when I was completely done. Two women sharing their story and how they came to love learning about crime and the psychology of criminals. I shared a lot in common with them. Many things, in fact, except the love of vulgar language. I'm not sure why the need for cursing is so prevalent in today's media. I mean, I watched my fair share of Andrew Dice Clay in the early 90's and enjoy a good Jay-Z or Kanye song, but, I'm an adult and I've developed language skills and the ability to converse and demonstrate my like or dislike of something without dropping an f-bomb in every other sentence.
As I'm typing this, I realize how judgmental it is. Sorry. I also realize that I'm certainly not one who has a vast vocabulary, nor am I a Mensa candidate. However, I value people who have the ability to express emotion without using curse words. Really, F*** just means "to the extreme" or "a physical act". It is used in so many different combinations that it's almost meaningless.
"The girl was F****** hot."
"The boy was F****** ugly."
"Man, that was a F****** hard workout."
"Where the F*** were you?" <--(What does that even mean??)
I was in an interview not too long ago and the interviewee actually swore in the interview. Twice. She did not get the job. If you cannot communicate with language that is intelligent and appropriate, when you are supposed to be putting your best foot forward, then I'm not giving you the opportunity to represent my organization to the public.
I think we, as a society, are better skilled than we are currently presenting. I think we've lost the love of language. Read a novel from 1920 vs. a novel from today. Look at the word choices. I recognize that language evolves, but I would love to see a popular author include words that people may not use in everyday conversation. I'd love to see us popularize appropriate, even eloquent, language again. Which would you rather hear from a suitor? (Yes, I'm bringing back words like "suitor"!)
"Man you look f****** hot tonight! The f****** guys are going to go ape sh** when they see you with me."
"You look stunning tonight. I'm grateful to have you on my arm. The rest of the room will be so envious."
Come on! Hands down, the second one. In fact, I'm not sure I'd even go out with a guy that said things to me like the first guy!
Maybe it was my upbringing, maybe it was my career choice in education (although, teachers can curse like sailors in that teacher's lounge!), I'm not sure, but I'm an advocate for bringing back language that's indicative of the society we want to behold. I'm not attempting to imply we have to use words that no one understands except Merriam Webster (that's the dictionary people if you don't know...another lost relic), but we can still try to class up our language just a bit.
Let's all go out today, with intent, to think about the language we are using to spread our message to the world.