From today’s title you either think I’m very angry or you’ve guessed today’s theme, yes that’s right, swearing. Please be warned, this blog post will contain real swearing, without #^*€!.
I have a rather love/hate relationship with the language of vulgarity. I tend to dislike swearing. In spoken form 90% of swearing (not a factual statistic, one made up for the sake of this sentence) is useless and unneeded. Do you effing really effing need to effing use effing every second or third word?
Swearing seems to have become nouns, adjectives, verbs, the lot.
There’s the odd occasion when I don’t mind swearing; the odd word in a song (Sarah McLachlan’s Building a Mystery is prime example of how swearing actually works as language not just insult/anger/randomness – “you’re so beautiful, beautiful fucked up man”) I don’t like it when they’re every few words in songs (though Song for the Dumped is rather funny by Ben Folds, however, thats from a comical viewpoint – “well fuck you too give me my money back give me my money back you bitch I want my money”), when you stub a toe and/or hurt yourself and in fiction as long as it works in the world you’ve created.
The time I swear the most is when I’m angry. If I’m really worked up it can be very unpretty I must say. I’ve always tended to avoid swearing other than that. My friends used to know I was angry based on the swearing tirades coming from my mouth. Also, working with children and young people I simple can’t swear around them which is easy.
That has changed some though and it’s all because of Skins (I can still avoid it around children though, of course). I was exposed to a world in which swearing is frequent and vulgar. I now have to think a little harder sometimes to turn off the swearing switch. Though why is it easy when there’s children around? I’d probably be fine if I didn’t write Skins fanfiction but when you’ve got Cook’s potty mouth to contend with and that’s only on the side of everyone else’s love of swearing.
In life though I don’t believe it’s truly needed as much as we allow it. Society has accepted it as another way of speaking, almost like we accept people speaking another language. No longer are the days where children swearing gets them in trouble. I guess I come from quite a middle-class background in that swearing was never part of daily life and even now as an adult I wouldn’t swear in front of my parents. I turned the TV over last night to someone using the f-word, my mum had left the room but the TV was quite loud, even that left me feeling uncomfortable. I really would rather live without it though. I don’t believe a lot of swear words are used very nicely at all. And yes I hold my hand up with the rest of them, but if the world around me wasn’t covered head to toe in swearing and I didn’t have to use it in my writing, I’d rather hang up the swearing boots for good.