Swear words . . . (Beware . . . there are swear words)
Sometimes I have interesting conversations with people regarding my use of language. I swear. I like speaking with aggressive tone when I find it neccesary or when I find it comically fit . . . or, just for fucks sake.
This fascination for words, with me, began when I was a kid. Down in Louisana, I was raised to speak "appropriately" to all adults by using the modicom of social etiquette by reciting the acceptable, "Yes, M'am", "No, M'am", Yes, Sir", "No, Sir", "Thanks", "Please", "I know you bruised my face, sir, but I will still apologize for it and claim fault so as you are to not be blamed in any fashion for the bruise upon my face". It first began when I was in Sunday School. As I read the gospels I started to question why I had to refer to adults with such designations as Mr. or Mrs. or Ms. when Jesus was never given such a social honourific. So, I started calling my teachers and other adults by their first name. I thought that, surely, my fellow believers in Christ would understand when I use such basic logic.
I understood that it was a way to designate control and seperate the children from the adults, but it seemed rather silly to me nonetheless. Well, I remember the adults reacting rather negatively (not surprised) and being rather offended by me using their first name instead of the typical honourific. I was in shock by the heftiness of certain reactions, so, for the most part, I kept using the honourifics so as not to continue getting detentions. After studying language and origins more I discovered that I was using was called Name Dysphemisms. So, was my doing this wrong? Was it offensive? As I became more and more fascinated with language and etymology I became fascinated with "swear words". I wanted to know why they were considered offensive and I didn't just want the "because they are" answer.
It raises a wonderful question. What are "offensive" words and what are their origins? If I say the word "fuck" before the word "yeah" when I get excited about something, is that offensive? Is it offensive when I say "shit" in regards to me being perplexed about an accident or a situation with a customer? Who decided that these words are offensive in every setting? Who decided that I should give honourific titles to people and that if I don't I should be punished. Why is the movie The Breakfast Club rated R? It makes no fucking sense to me!
Lets look at some more common swears:
Fuck! I love the internets!
Fuck! I seldom remember the shit that comes from peoples mouths.
You ass! What the fuck is that shit?!
Shit! That asshole just fucked up!
Fucking hell! That cunt just pulled some shit that I wouldn't expect most assholes to be cunning enough to pull off.
Alright, i'm having way too much fun reading through all of these etymologies. We have every right to question what we have been told and taught. Sometimes i'll watch a PG-13 movie and i'm offended by the euphamisms that characters use versus sometimes, when watching an R rated movie, there is really nothing offensive about it. However, in the R rated movie they might have used the word "fuck" too many times in reasonable emotional reaction to a distressing situation. With the designation of an R rating, we immediately close our children off, and people who really believe some words are bad no matter what, to some of the most powerful stories ever told. So then, one might say, why do we have to use certain words? Why not just leave them out? Many times, a swear word is the emotional punctuation you need to really make a point or to make a character look vulnerable or to make people listen so they know you're not fucking around.
I do feel as though language can be offensive. However, a single word does not always make it so. Many times, not at all.
Let this end the rant. The below song is off one of my favorite albums of that year . . . pretty awesome stuff.