Friday, February 29, 2008

Like a Sailor!

Yesterday, a bunch of people were answering a really long quiz about themselves on their blogs. I didn't take part in that but I read all of yours with interest. Eric, who is apparently pathological chose to misunderstand the whole concept with wonderful results.

I thought one of the most interesting questions was, "Do you swear a lot". My first reaction was, "In its time and place." I mean that seems like the most obvious answer for most people. But I saw answers ranging from "Almost never" to "Yeah, but I'm trying to watch that."

I really like language. I love seeing people make really good use of it...and that includes swearing in its time and place. I hate it when I see an adult swearing in the company of a child, or even worse, at a child. I think that's a form of abuse. I hate it when someone is in public and swearing loudly, just because that's the way they talk all the time. (If you've just been in an accident or had your wallet stolen, you get a pass.)

I'm always keenly aware of my language when I'm working. My job calls for me to speak to a lot of people, usually introducing myself to them for the first time. I wouldn't consider swearing in the presence of these people until I get to know them better. Likewise, online, I like to think I take my cue from the host of any blogs I visit. If I don't know the host's preference, I err on the side of caution. I may be wrong, but I don't think I've ever even used "hell" or "damn" on Shawn's site. It would just seem unforgivably rude not to watch my language there.

Polybloggimous, is obviously a free-fire zone. Swearing here is just fine by me...especially if its creative. If anyone were to ever start getting personal here, especially swearing at other guests, I'd probably just delete their comments. Once again, its all about being aware of your surroundings.

Like I said, this all seems so obvious to me. And for those who don't behave with this basic obvious bit of civility? Well, they're just cretinous Fucktards!


Tom said...

Exactly! That's what I meant when I said I would rather save cussing for when it's needed, instead of as an everyday thing.

Once again Nathan says what I wanted to say, but better. Good show!

Random Michelle K said...

I thought the question was geared more towards Shawn, i.e. there are some people that don't cuss *at all* versus people who are unfazed by cursing.

My grandmother falls into the former category, which is why my aunt and I fell out of our chairs when she referred to her Asacol--the medicine for her ulcerative colitis--as her "asshole" medicine.

Tania said...

I've heard my grandmother curse once. It shocked the living shit out of me. I have injured myself grievously in her presence and only uttered "ow".

It all depends on the situation. I think I said fuck or a variation two or three times at lunch with Jim today, I think I carefully did not swear in front of Becky. *grin*

Now my husband, he could work on when it is and isn't appropriate to use strong language. But that's another story...

Nathan said...

Actually, I take Shawn as someone who is unfazed by cursing in the right time and place, but feels he should restrain himself in more times and places than I do.

Translated, that means that I doubt he's surprised or offended to see certain things here, but if I were to use the same language in his comments, it would be the equivalent of showing up at his house and crapping on the carpet. He'd be understandably miffed about that, so I won't do it.

I remember the day it dawned on me that my Grandmother cussed like a sailor all the time. She'd just been doing it in Yiddish, so I never knew.

Nathan said...

And, Tania,

I see that you haven't blogged lunch yet. A total softball and no post yet? Get to work girl.

Tania said...

I'm getting there. And Jim has a nice write up going....

I have a beer to finish, and 285 thingies sitting in my RSS reader to get through. Yeah, that's why I haven't got around to it.

Janiece said...

Swearing like a sailor, yes, that's me...except when I'm not on a ship.

Right is Right said...

My beautiful wife is from South Korea...She was not always up on American slang. One time I told her about someone talking like a "truck driver".. She said, "You mean like "10-4 good buddy"?"

It was too cute

Anne C. said...

I was thinking the same thing, Nathan. Using language effectively is one of my favorite mental entertainment. I generally use cussing rarely, to indicate to others that I am Really. Pissed. Off. If I use it all the time, how will people know to duck and cover?
However, I've been slipping a bit, since I've been visiting a construction site so often.

Nathan said...


That's hysterical.


I've got two levels of really pissed off when it comes to work. The first level I reach involves lots of cursing possibly throwing things. Its when I reach the level where I'm really really quiet, that people run for cover. That one means I've decided that someone is so impossibly stupid that nothing I say has a chance of penetrating.

Tom said...

See, Mom was a sailor, an ensign in the Navy back in WWII. I remember when she switched from words to initials, but by then it was already too late. But cussing is just words. If you're offended by them, you're giving the cussor (cursor?) what they wanted.

I remember one time when I was really mad, and called someone a pig fucker. Turns out he was a cop, and his wife was really huge, so he got so mad he couldn't speak! I'm lucky I got out of that one alive.

Shawn Powers said...

See... just getting here. Stupid meat-space getting in the way of my happy time. :)

I never really thought about it much, to be honest. It's generally not rude to not swear on anyone's blog -- so I don't really have to worry too much about offending anyone!

I hadn't thought about it before, but I do appreciate the courtesy folks give me on my own blog. You wait though, one of these days a teacher will tick me off enough that I drop an f-bomb. And you'll all be floored. heheheh

(I think YEC nonsense did rile me up enough that I said I was pissed over on Jim's blog... but I still don't think I'm sailor material. ;)

Shawn Powers said...


I take Shawn as someone who is unfazed by cursing in the right time and place,

You're absolutely correct.