Sunday, January 13, 2013

Off Topic Sunday: "Frig Off Ricky!"

While we were out over the holidays at a winter wedding a friend that we hadn't seen much in years actually stopped me to tell me how shocking it was for her to hear all the f-bombs just falling out of my mouth...

And I wasn't even conscious of just how much I was swearing.

Yep, this educated little missy has the mouth of a trucker. Andrew thinks it's kinda cute. I just don't think about it much.

(I should just block my mouth half the time... cutest card curtesy of FiveSeed a few years back!)

What's interesting is that I have learned to turn it off quite effectively while at work. One step in my office and I morph into an "Oh my goodness!" and "darn! Shoot!" kinda gal. Since in Acadian French we don't take the Catholic Church religious symbols in vain like the Québécois (I think Acadians were just historically TOO staunchly religious for that- English swear words are slipped in instead), that means that in French there is no swearing at all.

I've even noticed Andrew using 'Frig'- which is definitely something he's picked up from me (or Randy from Trailer Park Boys... I LOVE the Trailer Park Boys).

You know, it's not like we ever swore in my house growing up. My mother never swears hardly at all and my father is a firm believer that men should never swear in front of children or "ladies". (Ok, Andrew just laughed at the terrible grammar in that sentence... rereading it I have to agree... however it is fairly representative of my rural awesome-speak...)

It's just so darn effective and cathartic. Thinking that once we have a child our swearing would be greatly diminished made me a little sad (weird, I know).

That said, there is most certainly and time and a place where dropping f-bombs at every verbal intersection just rubs me the wrong way. I feel like there has to be a happy balance of appropriate:
a) time and situation
b) ratio of swear words and vocabulary with meaning and
c) company.

Plus there are certain swear words that are just *not* said:

  • the c-word. In fact, any female derogatory swear word (and there are many). I really hate it. I don't care if women try to 'reclaim' the word. It's like reclaiming the 'n-word'... language has cultural and historical significance, impacting how we consider and view the world.
  • racist swear words. 'nuff said.
  • the 'r-word'- think it's harmless? Take a quick read here for a different perspective.
  • homophobic swear words. This includes 'gay' as a negative adjective.

Situations where swearing is grating:

  • A yoga class. You know what- a swear word is rough, abrasive and angry. I'm not there for abrasive or angry. I'm there to learn and reconnect with myself, not to be distracted by a teachers' (unsuccessful) attempt to make themselves 'cool' or 'real'. 
  • A university or learning lecture. I had a prof once use racist slurs in class. It was extremely upsetting and as a person in a position of relative power, it was wrong. The participants are there to learn, if you can't teach without resorting to expletives, then maybe a thesaurus would be helpful.
  • In front of children. Now... this one is tricky. I sometimes forget myself when out with friends and flinch when I notice little kids in line, or close by. Of course, I would be the perfect 'learning opportunity' for parents to point out to children what not to say... but I could also easily refrain. 
  • In front of parents or elders. Seriously, I don't need to swear in front of them and they don't want to hear it. I see it as a form of respect.
  • My blog... weird, but I try not to riddle up my writing with curse words. My mom reads this blog!

And that's it for your Sunday Off-Topic Confession!

What about you? Thoughts on swearing?


  1. Ugh - I never used to swear... Until I met your brother! Lol J.C. Happens to be the most common one to slip out.. My parents would be SO ashamed if they knew!

  2. My personal philosophy is that I don't swear because it could affect my listener in a negative way without my even knowing it. I've been reading about the Yamas and Niyamas, and there could be times when swearing could be perceived as "violence" of a sort to some people if they are "shocked" by it. Peace, Love, and Yoga. Carrie

    1. yes definitely could be interpreted that way. I think it's great that you don't swear- it's like drinking coffee- not that good for you.
      i try to strike a balance (hence my parameters around swearing). :)

  3. I've got a filthy mouth. I think on the whole it's a British thing. We all swear like troupers. Even my mum drops F Bombs here and there. I have American friends who live here who were horrified by all the swearing when they first moved over!

    Despite all that though I have never ever ever sworn when teaching or when with clients (with the exception of one very swearing client - who clearly doesn't mind!!). It's not even conscious. I just get into my professional space and I don't swear. I don't have any conscious parameters at all. But then, like I say, we're a sweary country.

  4. I used to HATE it.....then I was stuck in the military I'm 50/50. Definitely drop the f bomb way more than I should, but I've cut back in the last year I'd say and tried to clean it up better. I say to each their own, but definitely time/place/population appropriateness to consider!

  5. I swear all the g-d, m-f'ing time. :) Including the c-word, but usually only to refer to myself. Inga Muscio's book of that name made a strong impression on me when I was in college, so maybe that has something to do with it. However, of course I realize that time and place affect what I should and shouldn't say, and usually I behave appropriately. I certainly wouldn't swear while leading a yoga class.

    Also, I love Trailer Park Boys. Did you know it's got a following down here? Friends threw a TPB party last summer, and we had to come in costume. Luckily, no photos were taken!

  6. I have a major potty mouth. But I am super careful, since I work with kids. However, I have to admit, once, my nephew fell off a tall chair and I was so scared he had hurt himself, I screamed, "SHIIIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!" at the top of my lungs while running toward him! Oops.


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