ulling the unsavory language from every day conversation is a challenge for some people. The desire–no, the need— to curse is, for some of us, an expression of self as near to smiling or wearing fancy hats is to others. When we are forced to leave an Expletive Deleted, it feels as though we’ve lost half the power of our lexicon. Not all the cylinders are firing in our linguistic engine, giving us only half the power, and none of the oomph we usually rely on to get our point across.
Of course, we know that we’re not supposed to swear in pleasant company and for the most part, we managed not to. But believe me, in between the “yes ma’ams” and the “no sirs” there are several unspoken “f*cks.” However hard it is at times, we know how and when to keep our Depraved and Insulting English to ourselves.
My mother used to keep a plaque on the wall that read:
Swearing is the product
of a weak mind
trying to express itself
Whenever I happened to forget about this pithy little wall message and let a wild, untamed curse free, she’d point emphatically to the plaque and say, “Watch Your F*cking Language!” But linguists who dare enough to study the history and purpose of the humble swear know that they fulfill a vital, cathartic role in our lives. As unpleasant as it may be, if we didn’t release some of this pent up emotion in vigorous puffs of taboo words, I think some of us might just explode.
However, if you still find yourself shying away from curses, swears, oaths and all their ilk, if your tongue is too pristine to utter a sh*t, a c*nt, or a d*ck, and if your eyes for certain are too scandalized to add the vowels into those words, you could always leave Passive Aggressive Notes around town, to work out some of those pressure points of anger that the rest of us exorcise with a rigorous