I hope that this is going to be an interactive blog and I’d appreciate (constructive) feedback.
The evolution of swearing and profanity has changed a lot since I was a child.
Media, the Internet and even just general everyday conversations are often dotted with the odd S word or A word and even, it seems, the F-word is not worth batting an eyelash if used offhandedly and without malice or too much volume.
It is no secret that I have a terrible potty mouth.
Not just your stock standard list of expletives either. I command the use of words that apparently can get you deported from Canada according to Kevin Bloody Wilson (don’t click on that if you can’t cope with the C-word… seriously, you will find the song appalling).
I do try to employ discretion when meeting new people at networking and business events, (generally successfully when sober), however, as soon as the first swear word is exchanged the conversation generally quickly descends to the level of sailors, farmers, rig pigs or IT professionals profanity standards.
I decided this weekend just past that my swearing has gotten to the point where I need to do something about it.
We were at a dear friends house, and my lovely daughter (who NEVER swears and interjects with helpful suggestions like saying flip instead of the F-word) was playing my friends guitar. He politely asked for it back. Darling Daughter was not overly enthusiastic about relinquishing her grasp on the instrument. I calmly responded to her lack of manners by saying:
“Oh FFS darling, you really ought to stop acting like an asshole and give him back the guitar. I know you’re a good kid, so please act like it.”
Or something very near to that effect.
To those of you who are utterly appalled and ready to contact Child Youth and Family Services to declare me an unfit mother – keep reading.
Upon becoming a parent I had the best of intentions of curbing or stopping swearing in order to set a good example to our children.
That lasted all of five minutes, and was certainly not an idea that held much clout while I was in labour. I outdid myself in the profanity department during this part of the blessed event.
Now, more than eight years and three bright and generally well behaved children into the parenting adventure, I’m ready to take the first step in recovery by admitting I have a problem.
I said it. You read it. I swear way too fucking much.
So here’s the thing.
I feel most at ease with those who are in our inner social sanctum and we all swear a great deal together because we can’t go about using expletives willy nilly in our daily lives or professional capacities.
We even have some special made up swear words that would send poor former pope Benedict to an early grave if he should eves drop on a conversation laced with them.
I’ve read articles that back my assertion that a bit of profanity can be a positive thing.
Too much is well documented to make a person look like quite a sad case.
There is a time and place for swearing and it can break down social distance and eases tension if used appropriately.
I go to extreme lengths to keep expletives to an absolute minimum online.
I feel like I do a fairly good job of this in comparison to my terrible lack of self-control and censorship in the real world.
So here’s what I’d like to know.
Do we live in a time when swearing is commonplace and mainstream?
How much profanity is acceptable and at what point does it become offensive?
And last but not least… Does anyone want to put a bet on to see if I can go cold turkey for a spell and assert only G-rated conversation regardless of the context?
I’m willing to give it a go.
I’m a bit vulnerable now that I’ve posted this, so please keep the swearing to a minimum and be kind with your feedback.
Looking forward to hearing what you think.