Swearing: it’s not big and it’s not clever—FUCKING YAWN.

Swearing

Quick question: who is swearing to look big and clever? A 12-year-old? Certainly not a grown-up because adults are good to go on the swearing front—they won’t get told off by their form tutor. 

Welcome to this month’s episode of I’m That Puritanical Twat Who’s Appalled By Swearing. This is not my first rodeo writing about dirty words and it’s unlikely to be my last. Why? Coz people are yet to get over it.

Being cool.

BREAKING NEWS: swearing is not cool (according to the users of LinkedIn, a platform that attracts individuals who are 40 years behind the rest of the world). Here are some actual comments I read recently:

“You’re just a potty mouth.” And your point is? What is that person trying to say to us sweary bastards? Are they merely demonstrating how to state the bloody obvious?

“Oh look, I’m swearing on LinkedIn, aren’t I cool.” What a ridiculous human. Anyone who puts the word ‘cool’ and ‘LinkedIn’ in the same sentence is an actual idiot. This person is making such a statement on LinkedIn, which, in my view, is also a reflection of how uncool they are.

Linkedin is the place where time, irony, and people you’d want to spend any time with, forgot. The debate about swearing, tattoos, and what biscuits are best makes up around 45% of the published dross—and yes that is a very specific number considering I don’t have any stats. 

The age-old false position that swearing implies you have a limited vocabulary still makes the rounds. As does the idea that you only swear to appear “edgy” (please, someone, explain what that means) or “cool”. 

As a lifelong swearer, I can confirm that I have never been cool. NEVER. I listen to Frank Ifield and I watch Talking Pictures TV.

The public toilet that is my mouth creates its effluence effortlessly.

It spills out with impeccable timing. It spurts forth onto digital paper. It may come as a revelation to some but there are folks that live among us who naturally swear. Obscenity is part of their vernacular. Like psychopaths, you don’t know they exist until they speak/start to murder your entire family.

Can you imagine, other people just being their natural selves in life AND in business? And I say business because I am unchanged when I make a crust. I wrote a B2B book which uses occasional profanity but it’s all anyone focuses on. It’s as if I refused to use other words between the ‘cunts’ and ‘shits’. “Swearing in a book for business types is incredibly shocking, Sarah”—get a fucking life!

Imagine being that person, judging another on their choice of verbiage.

We all make assumptions. We make assumptions about almost everything. We make snap judgements based on very little

And believe me, when you swear, someone is making a judgement—a judgement about your moral character. A lot of these types think they’re better than the swearers. They look down their noses believing they’re a cut above. 

Interestingly, those same people often think they’re tolerant of other humans (but only humans they agree with). Ok, so they don’t like swearing, for whatever varied, inexplicable reason—fine. So it makes them glow with rage—great, let them enjoy the affrontery but they do not, I repeat DO NOT have the monopoly on decency.  

Swearing and class.

Using a naughty word might get you described as classless but I’m not talking here about that kind of class. Culturally, ‘vulgar’ language has been the converse of the working classes. Rough, unrefined lingo is the slang of sailors, builders, and tradespeople. And those people are seen, at large, as being coarse—their tongues keep them in the gutter, so to speak. How can we ever hope to aspire and drag ourselves out of our filthy mire if we continue to talk like Eliza Doolittle?

Growing up working class, I ironically didn’t hear all that much swearing. But when mum lost her rag (which she nearly always did because she had to put up with a lot of shit) she would explode in a fit of expletives.

There are plenty of working-class folks that do not swear—we are individuals, of course. My grandparents, for example, would see themselves as respectable so swearing was not something I heard from them. Working-class people who wish to make it in a world, not theirs by birth, would want to leave all that uncultured stuff behind. 

Class is still pretty big with the Brits.

And many of us will do as much as we can to avoid being seen as having low status because who wants to be lower class? I mean sometimes it’s cool to be common—Jarvis Cocker sang as much, albeit sarcastically about those using it as a sort of fancy dress costume.

Oh, yeah, swearing is good for your health.

Swearing can increase your pain tolerance but only if you use traditional swear words—whatever the hell that means. So that might be why, when you hit your thumb with a hammer, you shout “FUCKING SHITTING HELL!”.

A lot of what we think stems from our upbringing. When we get older, we decide if we still align with the things we were taught. Then we have to deal with the views society imposes on us. But despite all that, we need to grow the fuck up when it comes to foul language.

Published by Sarah Wilson-Blackwell

B2B SEO content writer, copywriter and business blogger. Reviewer of useless blogs and tired-ass websites.

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