Full disclosure here: naughty words and their use in pop culture will be discussed in this post. If you’re one of the .00001% who are still upset by reading four-letter words, then read no further and take your pure, virgin eyes elsewhere.
All right, it’s about to start, still some time to turn away if you’re a little slow on the uptake…
Okay, so what is up with curse words nowadays? I’m talking largely–though not exclusively–about your standard set: “shit, fuck, piss, cunt, tits, cocksucker, motherfucker.” You know, the George Carlin words.
Of course, Carlin’s list is hardly comprehensive. There are many other words out there that are loaded with negative connotations, whether they be sexist (bitch, whore, tramp), racist (kike, nigger, chink) or just flat out dumb (retarded, Charlie-Sheen-esque).
And people still get upset about them. Very upset.
And I can’t say that I’m a huge fan myself of these words. Not because I’m particularly offended by them (I’m fairly blasé about such things) but because they have all been used oh so many times.
I once received an e-mail forward (as I’m sure 90% of the computer using population has) that gushed about the versatility of the word fuck, how it could be used as different parts of speech and to describe so many things. I hated this e-mail. Firstly, because I–in general–hate mass e-mails.
And Secondly, because it’s flat out untrue. It isn’t using a versatile word, it’s being lazy. Communication benefits from clarity of thought. If you use the word “fuck” a dozen times in a paragraph you are sacrificing precision. And you aren’t being clever or creative, two more strikes against you.
Thankfully not everyone is that lazy. Can you imagine some of the most classic lines of movies if they were approached with that kind of attitude?
None of them are as impactful as the original.
Which is why I prefer the fairly creative, not-quite curse words. You know. Like Sweet Sassafras. Hot Damn. Jiminy Christmas.
Where have you gone, Sylvester? Where have you gone?