HEY, GIGI…AND EVERYONE ELSE, TOO!
My blogger friend, Gigi over at Gigi’s Ramblings, amazed me the other day when I read her newest post, “Irritants.” I mean she’s a wonderful, resonant writer on any day of the week, but when I read that post, I also thought about how tactfully she handled a subject I would have handled very differently. I’d have been baser. MUCH, MUCH BASER. Rude, crude and probably socially unacceptable, as well. And she was funny, y’all. If you haven’t already, please go over and give Gigi some love and read her post. You won’t regret it! She has an evil laugh, too!
ET TU…MY OTHER BLOGGER FRIEND?
Then today, I read another blogger friend’s post, who likes to stay under the radar, who also wrote about a delicate issue (gastrointestinal symptoms/gastric distress) in a very clever and tactful way. Neither of these bloggers resorted to using coarse language in their posts. Yet, they were both so clear and brilliant. And rip-snortingly funny about a couple of real life evils.
To both I say Bravo, Motherfu…okay, I won’t write that! I’m soooo tempted, though. (Okay, nine-year-old, ADHD self, ya gotta stop! You are so inappropriate sometimes!)
Anyway, I’m so impressed with Gigi and my other blogger friend and thought this was worth writing about.
HOW WE LOVE TO HATE OUR JOBS!
As in Gigi’s case or anyone else who’s worked in corporate America, you’ve probably had a gripe or two about your bosses, co-workers or clients. Then there are the “higher ups,” those aggravating souls who seem to know exactly how to make the lifeblood of their companies aka staff scream for mercy while they go play a round of golf. I know I’ve certainly dealt with this in the past and will probably, again, in the future.
Also, after reading many bloggers, I know there are a few of you out there who could live in pure luxury if you could sell your stories about the asinine incompetence, inefficiencies, backstabbing, ridiculous policies, protocols and people, etc., ad nauseum…that you endure on a daily basis at “the office.”
And usually when I come across these ventings/rants/entertaining posts, a few choice words — well-earned choice words, I might add – just go along with the territory.
These choice words are often referred to as: four-letter words, obscenities, profanity, vulgar language, expletives, curse words, cuss words, swear words…you get the idea. They’re some of my favorite things to utter and/or shout when the situation warrants, which is why I have a disclaimer on my About Page.
A TRUE MASTER
It’s not like I use these words every other sentence or anything. I know how to be tactful and not say certain things in front of certain people or in public or church…and stuff. My mother brought me up to know how to use manners and how to determine when and where to use best behavior and pleasantries…and stuff. She also brought me up to know which words were for adults only. The hard way. Mom and Dad used most of the four-letter words fairly liberally. Neither liked the “f” word though. They said “screw” instead because…that’s so much better? I dunno. It’s a preference, I guess.
So as an adult, I indulge when I feel the need to get some things out of my system when there just aren’t any better words for what I need to express. Which goes to the heart of this matter. That’s why these words were invented — to communicate intense emotions or intense physical pain or to emphasize something usually important. And sometimes, when used in just the right way, they can make us laugh.
Truth be told, I also indulged as a child — maybe not in front of my parents or other adults (I wasn’t completely nuts) — but how do you think I’ve become so adept at using colorful words? I’m now in my mid fifties and I’ve definitely put in my 10,000 hours. A very well-earned 10,000 hours plus.
THE QUESTION I HAVE FOR GIGI
I realize many people simply don’t like to use “blue language.” While I love reading Gigi’s posts, I don’t know her that well. Maybe she’s one of those people. And if this is the case, I just have one question — Why, Gigi? Why not use the choice words (of which there are so many) at your disposal? I mean, you don’t owe me or anyone else an explanation or anything. I get that. If you’re willing, though, I’d like to know because…I’m fascinated. Why would you choose not to use “adult” words to describe utter frustration on the job? I don’t think anyone would blame you if you did. And I’m not trying to corrupt you or anything either. I truly am just curious. Besides, I found how you wrote your blog post (without the use of any expletives) entertaining as…well…you know what.
On my end, I’ve had people chide me for my choice of words which always puts me on the defensive. I had one person in a writers group tell me after I read something that had the “f” word in it, “People who feel the need to use those kinds of words demonstrate a lack of expressing themselves in any other way.”
Who’s kidding who? Puh-leeze! Since I was a small child, I’ve always scored high (in the 97th to 99th percentile) on the reading and comprehension portion of aptitude tests. Does anyone really believe I have an impoverished vocabulary? I can and have said the same thing five different ways in one writing. Matter of fact, I’ve done that multiple times in multiple writings. Just ask the people in my writing group who groan and beg me to “tighten it up!”
When someone pulls out that old nugget as an excuse for their own poverty of “colorful” language or to try and shame me for my command of a broader usage of words, I usually find this person is not as clever or as original as they believe they are. I’ve found, generally speaking, when someone says this (there have been a few), they tend to just go along with whatever social constructs someone else has ingrained in them without ever having thought things through on their own, which, again, usually, makes them boring. That’s not to say that because someone chooses not to use profanity means that they’re automatically judgmental or boring. But for those who are, they can suck it.
THE CASE FOR UTTERING THE FOUL
Matter of fact, the last time someone said that to me, I wish I’d had a copy of “The Case for Cursing,” an article written by Kristin Wong of the NY Times, which was written back in 2017. When I finally came across this article and read it, I found myself saying, “Yes, that’s it exactly! This explains exactly how I think about using obscenities and the like!”
With that said, I don’t like and won’t use the GD word. It’s not that I’ve never used it; it’s just that once I learned better, I’ve hopefully, done better. I’m just not into taking the Lord’s name in vain, y’all. Other than that, the sky’s the limit.
R-E-S-P-E-C-T, FIND OUT WHAT THAT MEANS TO ME
I do believe in respect and so I won’t use certain language in front of certain people — not because I can’t, but because I know they would feel disrespected (like my Dad) or it would just be socially inappropriate; but, again, I’ve thought it through and it’s a choice I make. Just like I’m probably not going to use “foul language” when I first meet someone or on a job interview, I also tend to not use certain words in public or in front of children.
A WORD BY ANY OTHER NAME IS USUALLY A EUPHEMISM
Basically, I don’t use curse words except in certain situations which warrants their use. If I’m in front of children or people I don’t want to affront or corrupt, I’ll either bite my tongue — hard — or I’ll find a euphemism, which often isn’t the best word or way to express my feelings at that moment but will do in a pinch. When I do use colorful, bold, blunt words or expressions, they tend to help me cope. Or I use it for a point of emphasis. Let me tell ya, at this emphasized point in my life, I’m incredibly resilient.
And yes, I know that yoga is a “healthy,” physical way people deal with the stresses of life, but if you don’t think I haven’t said sonofabitch under my breath during a yoga class before…because yoga is stressful when you’re as out of shape as I am. So is every other kind of exercise. And hey, if you’re as asthmatic as I am, sometimes just trying to catch your breath is effing stressful. So my point is, use the right words or the wrong words or whatever it is that gets you through. Now breathe! Namaste.
JUST TO CLARIFY
BTW, my friend Gigi isn’t judgmental about the use of my words — I want to point that out. She reads my posts, after all, and always has something interesting, witty or kind to add to the dialogue. And I’m not judgmental about most people, and certainly not about Gigi. It’s because she’s as wonderful as she is that I feel comfortable in asking her my question, now that this has crossed my mind. I will admit, though, when people get judgy with me (as evidenced above), I tend to reciprocate. (Something to work on!) I’m just relaying some of what I go through with those who wish to censor the way in which I choose to express myself. But that’s not Gigi!
WONDER OF WONDERS
Anyway, as an adult, I sometimes wonder why other adults, who have so many gloriously sublime words available, won’t use those words that were invented and intended to provide relief or express a wide-range of emotions on an adult level.
I’d love to hear all of your thoughts and opinions about this. Also, if you indulge or even if you don’t, what’s your go-to word or expression when you need it?
If you’re a regular reader, you already know that mine’s —
Because it truly does provide relief, a release of stored up tension, when nothing else will do. You know what’s really funny? My Word program can read back to me what I write, but it can’t correctly pronounce my favorite expletive! Ha!
I love words. The good and the bad. The mispronounced and, especially, the ones that are close but don’t quite capture just the right sentiment. I even love the words left unsaid. Most of all, though, I love the naughty ones!
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Catchy, fun songs to sing along with!