Swearing as a Second Language

If the use of profanities offends you, please do not read any further.

As a child I was taught not to swear. These were bad words and mom would threaten us with mouth washings of soap if she ever caught us swearing. I don’t think she ever accomplished it. We were bigger and let’s face it, soap tasted like shit and there was no way I was going to let her near me with that crap. We never dared to swear in front of dad.

When I became older, my mind held the firm belief that this was not appropriate speech. It was naughty. I remember trying the words on my tongue, softly first, a mere whisper, in the safety of my empty back lane. There was no one around to hear me. There was no one around to tattle to mom with a bottle of dish soap in his hand (fuckin brother). I remember trying the words with my friends, blurting them out on a speedy exhale because I wanted to be naughty but it was awkward to do so.

When did all of this change for me? It was defining a moment and I can remember it very clearly…

I held a lot of waitressing jobs when I was younger. It was great – I spent my tips on booze and good times and used my cheques to pay my bills. Initially, these jobs were at family restaurants where I was mindful of my p’s and q’s. If I encountered a difficult patron, I would smile politely, turn around and mutter things like “fuckin prick” underneath my breath. Then I started to work at The Valley – a small truck stop on the outskirts of the city. The owners were fabulous – they didn’t want us taking shit from anybody and the clientele were honest and up front people. They widdled hours away at that restaurant telling jokes and arguing over everything from politics to the weather.

Okay here it is, that moment. Picture this: a quiet, petite, young girl with her brown hair pulled into a ponytail at the base of her neck. She has a polite smile and is hesitant to maintain eye contact. She drops a glass onto the red carpeted floor and it busts into pieces. “Oh shoot.” she says. The lady (Anne) sitting at the table eyes this young girl up for a moment and says “That was definitely an oh shit.” Anne tosses her long red hair back and laughs. The sound begins at the base of her chest and erupts forth; it is whole-hearted, genuine and makes her belly shake. It wraps around that shy and quiet girl and makes her feel… comfortable.

And that`s when I said “Fuck it.” Next thing I know I am slinging out swears like a sailor. ( I have never met a sailor but I assume the phrase has to be true). When Fred tells me that his eggs are not as runny as he would like, I smile and reply “They are fuckin cooked aren’t they?” I am flipping my co-workers the finger and yelling at them to “Hurry the fuck up.” Like I said, the owners of that place were fuckin awesome and The Valley did a lot to boost my confidence.

So come back to present day. Swearing is a part of my everyday vocabulary now. These words are dispersed throughout my conversations like they are my native tongue – similar to a person who knows two languages and interchanges between the two when they speak. Granted, I have a two-year old, so I am back to muttering things like “for fuck sakes” underneath my breath. And when she used mustard to paint the walls and carpet, I couldn’t help but say “what the fuuu….”. I was pretty proud that I stopped there. But piss me off a little and I am back to being a sailor. Just the other day I was giving my goats a two-handed finger salute and yelling “Fuck you, you little fuckers!” Don’t ask, it’s a long story but I assure you they deserved it. I am grateful that my girl is just learning how to talk and lacks the dexterity to mimic me.

Why am I rambling about this bullshit? First, I feel like I have been censoring myself in my posts and I will continue to do so only because of the beliefs my parents instilled in me. Secondly, like a good blogging 101 student, I put the tag ‘chocolate’ into my reader the other night and found this: Chocolate Dreams .It wasn’t just funny, it was fuckin funny. There was something about the way she typed ‘bitches’ that made me feel like I was a hip hop artist wearing baggy jeans and putting my hands in absurd poses.

So I need to ask those of you who have read this far if swearing offends you when you read a post? Do you cringe when you see the ‘f’ word? Or does your brain bypass it like it is nothing?

And I have to leave a special thanks to this girl for getting me rolling on this one.

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17 thoughts on “Swearing as a Second Language

  1. I don’t swear much, but when I do it is the much needed exclamation point I need to get a point across. An “F” bomb from me stops my husband in his tracks 🙂 So for me swearing holds a certain kind of power, and I like it that way 😉 I don’t mind seeing it in posts if it supports the commentary or the personality of the author. If I were to post a swear word it would probably include symbols, but that my personality. If you would insert a swear word in a conversation by all means be yourself and type it in your post!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree especially when I write rage induced rants ☺ I am in a current debate about wether or not to post those…I suppose, with a little bit of time, I will feel more comfortable revealing a little more of myself.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey! Thanks for following me so I could retrace the bread crumbs and find all of this f#%*ing greatness and follow you back. Yep,,, that’s how I swear in writing. It’s too much fun to give up picking which symbols to substitute for the letter!
    Love your style here,
    Stephanie

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  3. I was a high school English teacher inn inner city school. I learned more swear words there in all languages. i think it made my vocabulary much more colorful. Words are really just different sounds coming from our lips when you come right down to it. And I love the timbre of different sounds.

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  4. Profanity doesn’t bother me — it’s all over the place in my vocabulary. I don’t use a lot (possibly none so far) in my posts also because of my upbringing (what would my parents think? even though they’ve both gone to the other side and probably don’t give a fuck). The necessity hasn’t arisen. I don’t like reading posts when the swearing is just for the sake of swearing. There are people who swear a lot, and you can tell that from the posts or their speech, it sounds natural, and you know what they’re talking about even so.

    Then there are those who swear just to do it, and it’s annoying, because they don’t have anything to say in between, so it’s as if swearing fills in the blanks where real words should go because they can’t form a full thought.
    I’ve done that before, but only when I really can’t think of a word I actually know and have been sitting staring out the damned window like it’s going to appear in bird-shit script as they fly over. I just add a swear word (“shit” is my go-to, “fuck” when I’m pissed, “fucking” my favorite adjective/adverb) and move on. It’ll come to me eventually.
    Loved the sharing of your first time…just sets you free~

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Firstly….Fan-Fucking-Tastic!!! I am a fan of swearing, and especially the ever taboo “F” word, it is such a versatile word that fits most every situation…..(cliche to say, i know) I am obviously not offended, but i don’t bypass it either, it is to me, an enhancement to my vocabulary. I have read that those of us who curse are more honest than those that shy away from it, and i am inclined to believe it. The cursing with the kids is a tightrope ,and honestly, i just gave up, i tell my kids there is no such this as a good or bad word, but there ARE words grown ups can say. This was necessary because i am one foul-mouthed bitch. HAHAHAHA…

    I, also, have yet to actually use profane language in my posts all too much (although this comment is rather colorful) and that has a lot to do with the same reasons you gave….. those mothers and that dish-soap.

    and i want to say….i went to click the last link,( i’m a link clicker….) and was taken aback. I am not sure how i got you rolling on this, but, damn it, Janet, I’m surely glad you got a spark.

    And a sincere thanks for giving me some blogger kinship.

    Like

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