Thursday, December 01, 2016
Losing My Potty Mouth: The F*** Stops Here
Posted By Pam On Thursday, December 01, 2016
You wouldn't know it from my blog postings but I swear -- sometimes a lot. I recently reviewed a blog post I wrote on here five years ago about how the f word has lost its shock value in today's modern world, only to realize that I haven't really been practicing what I was previously preaching. Ever since that post I jumped on the f-this, f-that, and f-ing bandwagon pretty quickly and haven't stopped. Somewhat ironically, I mostly drop the f-bomb in conversation with my mother, of all people (hey, she does it, too!) especially when it's a topic I'm especially aggravated by or I need to put emphasis on the point I'm making.
Well, I'm making a New Year's resolution a month early, which I've already started today: it's time to start cutting it out. If I'm going to portray myself as the classy retro chick that I want to be, then there's no need for me to be dropping the f bomb at least a dozen times a day in normal conversation. I've gotten pretty exhausted from seeing it thrown out so casually on social media sites and usually by people younger than me.
I think a bulb went off in my head about how awful excessive swearing can sound when I watched a video that an acquaintance posted on Facebook a couple of weeks ago. It was supposed to be a comedic video of a woman making a vegan version of a "turducken" (that's when a deboned chicken is somehow stuffed into a deboned duck, which is then stuffed into a deboned turkey. Don't ask me who invented this culinary creation or why.) The woman in the video swore worse than a drunken sailor, throwing around not only the f word multiple times in one sentence, but the s word and the a word as well, in a calm voice. The person that posted it apparently thought it was hilarious; I thought it was stupid and I was so turned off by the profanity that I didn't make it to the end of the video. Needless to say, it was an odd way to promote veganism!
Then there was the video campaign put out by a feminist group a couple of years ago that featured little girls in princess costumes swearing and using the f-word. I get the group's intentions, which was to bring attention to equal pay for women, but felt there could have been a better way of delivering the message. "What’s more offensive?" the videos asked. "A little girl saying f*ck or the sexist way society treats girls and women?"
What it did reveal to me is just how much further the word has lost its shock value. As I said in my original post on the topic, it seems that it's become such common language in videos and in blog posts that not many people bat an eye any longer at its excessive usage. I also get tired when I read it being used in a book, like if one of the characters uses it way too much.
There's also been studies published in recent years claiming that swearing "expands your vocabulary" and "makes you smarter." I've seen this one get shared a lot on social media, I suppose so that people can promote swearing and justify their own use of the f-bomb and perhaps feel slightly less guilty about their regular word choices (I'm not judging; just making a guess based on what I've seen.)
Don't get me wrong; I'm no goody two-shoes and it's not like I've never going to say a swear word ever again in my life. There's a time and a place for everything. I have also never said it at a job, or during events with a Meetup group and especially not when meeting people for the first time. Once I get to know someone, make friends with them, and hang out with them socially is when they start to see my f-bomb flag flap a little. But even then, I think I say it a little too much.
It's time to dial it down a bit. Time to stay classy, as Ron Burgundy would say. Who knows, it may just reach a point in our society when it's the people that can control their swearing become the ones that stand out. From this day forth, the f*** stops here.