Friday, April 11, 2008
Fat Hairy Bastard had this at his place. Now, he registered only 23.4%. I have no idea how he got off so easy when you consider that THE VERY NAME OF HIS SITE, which shows up on every page, is considered a swear in and of itself, at least by some folks.
Of course, the question that begs asking is this: What exactly constitutes a swear? Some folks would include everything from "goshdarn" on up. Me? I tend to raise the bar a bit higher. I use "Hell" "Damn" "Crap" and others of that sort on a regular basis, but I consider them very minor league. I don't expect anyone but the most cloistered old maids to find those truly offensive. Hell, I use "shit" and "fuck" like some people use ketchup and salt on french fries - liberally, ubiquitously, but with no malice aforethought. I don't even think about the ramification of using lesser swears such as "crap" until somebody (usually MY WIFE) points out that there might be some readers who would find it crude.
As a matter of fact, about the only curses I really find offensive involve blasphemy. I try very hard to self-censor on that account. You'd be hard-pressed to find a "[Deity's name]Damn" hanging around these pages.
(The other thing I find offensive isn't so much cursing, as it is when someone uses a word as a curse when it shouldn't be. Take the word "cocksucker", for example. I hate it when it is used as a pejorative. I think it's a lovely trait in a person - especially a female person - and if we men who enjoy such things want to keep enjoying it, we shouldn't make anyone feel bad for doing it.)
The only person I worry about, when I swear here, is My Mother. She hasn't said an actual swear in - just an estimate - forever. She's all full of "shoot" and "sugar" and "fudge" and other substitutes. I guess if they perform the same function for you, they're good enough. Me? If I went around saying "Sugar!", instead of what I really wanted to say, I'd build up so much pressure inside of me that the top of my skull would blow off and the resulting bony shrapnel would kill somebody. When you consider such an eventuality, me saying "Shit!" every so often doesn't seem like such a bad trade-off.
(If I ever said "Go fudge yourself!" to someone, I'd deserve whatever happened to me.)
Of course, swearing in general isn't what it used to be. George Carlin had his famous Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV routine. Nowadays, what with cable and all, there isn't a single one of them you won't hear, and on a regular basis, too. Even on the broadcast networks, I think there are only 6 of the 7 that are still verboten. "Piss" has completely lost the power to shock. Everybody says things like "pissed off", even on so-called "family" shows.
(I'm not sure about "tits". I think I've heard it once or twice. And "shit" has certainly shown up on things like NYPD Blue, if no place else. So, Carlin's Seven may be down to four, in actuality.)
Well, I could go on getting cheap shock-value laughs, but I think it would be more instructive to find out if you are as filthy a son of a bitch as I am. Go, find out. Then report back, please. And if you come in at a higher percentage than I did, you should be ashamed of yourself. Go wash out your blog's mouth with soap.