Whatcha Gonna Do When You Run Out?
Some people might consider me to be an old fogey because of what I’m about to say regarding bad words. I don’t consider myself to be old. I prefer the French term: une femme d’un certain âge.
I’m not going to tell anyone not to use bad words. I’m just going to suggest giving it more thought before you do so. Then maybe you’ll change your mind. Or not.
You’re going to see a lot of asterisks in this post.
These days people throw around bad words as if they were confetti. These words get used so often that they become banal and boring and lose their power.
What if you have a puppy that poops on your carpet and you call him an a**h****? The dog didn’t do it deliberately just to annoy you. If you call this innocent little creature who did something you don’t approve of because he didn’t know any better. If a puppy is an a**h***, what are you going to call someone who is truly evil? Someone like a loathsome politician? Are you equating your puppy to that horrible human being?
A photo of a little owl was posted on a social media page. Someone referred to the bird as a little motherf****er. When I objected to the language the guy said, “You must be fun at parties!” The parties I go to don’t include that kind of language. I didn’t say that to him. Instead, I said, “I’m ignorant. Educate me. Why is a word like this okay? Is it original? Is it clever? Is it witty?” The guy had no reply.
Some psychologist has claimed that people who swear are perceived as “genuine.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary gives a couple definitions of genuine, “sincere and honestly felt or expressed” and “free from hypocrisy or pretense.” Apparently, the psychologist didn’t realize that sometimes expressing your genuine feelings can get you punched in the nose.
Civilization is all about being artificial. We wear clothes instead of running around naked. We use restrooms instead of squatting on someone’s lawn to do our business. If we see someone eating a drumstick and we want it, we don’t grab it out of their hand and take a bite. We say “please,” and “thank you” and “may I?”
Do you suppose a lack of civility, too much expression of genuine feelings, could be part of the problems we have today?