: seriously, clean up your filthy language :

imageSwearing offends me, goddamn it, but not for the reasons you expect. Swearing offends me because it’s tiresome and banal ¹, not because my knickers get in a knot over bad language.

There are tens of thousands of words in American English; vivid, compelling, eloquent words just sitting there waiting to be used. Dictionaries are bursting with them, thesauri, too. But what do we do? We turn up our noses and ignore them. We choose, instead, to use the same few words the same way to say the same things as everyone else. It’s effing this and effing that and effing the other.

Snap out of it, you lazy bums.

That isn’t communication; it’s a failure of imagination. Our vocabularies are shrinking, just wasting away from lack of use and disinterest. And shame on us. We need to put a little effort into our thoughts, be original for a change. We aren’t sheep, for crying out loud, we’re unique, distinct individuals. It’s time to start talking like it.

We can begin by having thoughtful, illuminating conversations instead of rants — and that is my biggest gripe against profanity. It makes everything being said sound angry. Not saucy or irreverent ² or funny, but belligerent. Unhinged.

So stop with the effing gutter talk already and use your mother-effing brains, you effing effers. The art of communication is dying before our f*#@ing ears and we’re the effers beating it to death. That’s effed up, man, knock it off. (See what I mean about angry?)

The only interesting thing about swearing is how some people do it better than others. Take Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She’s terrific, but –yeow — lay off the f-word, lady, I mean it. It sounds forced and self-conscious. Elaine Stritch, may she rest in peace, used smutty language like an artist. It was positively lyrical coming from her. That’s very, very rare.

Now, let’s all step back, take a deep, cleansing breath and quit being such vulgarians ³ . Let’s work on our vocabularies, make them big and strong. We can do it; we can learn to express ourselves. Come on, let’s dare to be different and use lovely, expressive words like articulate, instead of those puny four-letter things.

What do you say?

scrub brush

Copyright © 2014 Publikworks

 ¹ Banal — [ [buh-nal, -nahl, beyn-l ] adjective so lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring.

² Irreverent — [ ih-rev-er-uh nt ] adjective showing a lack of respect for people or things that are generally taken seriously.

³ Vulgarians — [ vuhl-gair-ee-uh n ] noun an unrefined person, esp. one with newly acquired power or wealth.



22 Responses to “: seriously, clean up your filthy language :”

  1. cecilia

    How far away from me do you live anyway, one day i would love to have you to stay, then you can use approproate language in the barn yard! c


    • publikworks

      I’ve no idea where you are, Celi. I used to think you were between Bloomington and Champaign, but then you mentioned Pontiac. So I’m lost. And in Peoria. Is that anywhere close?


        • publikworks

          Champaign, okay. Kankakee? Is that in Illinois?

          I’d love to visit some weekend and stay forever. Would Daisy mind a roommate? How about the chickens? I could keep an eye out for the bastard mink — fix his little red wagon.


  2. patmccloskey

    Love this- shared it with my son who just went to college. His language has been a little, shall we say, barnyard. I did laugh too.


    • publikworks

      Uh-oh, college? Well, maybe you’ll miss the worst of it, what with the dorm and all? Or earmuffs, winter is coming.

      Good luck, Pat.


  3. Susan

    Oh, frack that!

    Actually I agree with you. But have you noticed how commercial TV ‘corrects’ the phrases that use those Anglo-Saxon words?

    Like, Shut the Front Door?


    • publikworks

      I have. And to be honest I think it’s hysterical. I do. It’s so totally inappropriate it’s funny.

      You made my day, Susan. Thanks.


  4. Army of Angels

    I’m with you in this! An appropriately placed use of the language of the lumberjacks…fine…but, hey, a variety of adjectives and adverbs makes everything more interesting ;-)


  5. FurthermoreAndSoForth

    As someone who generally talks like a sailor, it pains me to admit I wholeheartedly agree with you. But, dammitalltohell, I do. Good post, Lisa.


    • publikworks

      I’m a closet swearer — fine in public, but in private? #%@$&+£@. I turn into a longshoreman. It’s shameful.

      Thanks, I’m glad you liked it.


  6. giddywithglee

    I agree completely. While an occasional swear word is fine, it’s quite irritating to listen to someone use the same four-letter words over and over again to express themselves. Add some variety for goodness’ sake!


  7. silkpurseproductions

    I concur whole heartedly. It seems it has become some kind of competition who can use the “ef” word most frequently. It definitely loses its power when that is all you hear.


    • publikworks

      I’d like to meet the person still shocked to hear the eff word. It’s more common than hello these days. Damn is more shocking simply because it’s rare. Almost quaint.


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