Four Letter Words are not a Route to the Dark Side

I don’t know what’s wrong with me lately. I have this constant feeling of not belonging. In a world where judgment and cruelty run rampant, I fear I will never find someone like me. And that’s not to say I’m a saint or anything, because I am most definitely not. It just seems like those around me are drifting away, or maybe I’m drifting away from them. Either way, we’re not meshing very well.

What’s so wrong with being passionate? Is it so horrible to care? Am I really that much of a contradiction that I turn myself into a hypocrite?

Photo Credit: WeKnowMemes (Found using Google Image Search "Labeled for reuse" option)

Photo Credit: WeKnowMemes
(Found using Google Image Search “Labeled for reuse” option)

Jack and I got into a debate today about how I strongly speak out against the use of derogatory/discriminatory terms (“retarded,” “gay,” among so many others I’d rather not post), yet use “the c word” more often than anyone I know. It doesn’t offend me. I don’t think it should offend you. When I use it, at least, it’s not to put one group of people down, or point out one specific aspect of a group of people; it’s simply to call someone a big-jerk-head-to-the-extreme, more or less.

I feel like it’s along the lines of calling someone a dick. Who would take offense to that? Maybe people who think their penis is a bad thing . . . maybe. In that case, the only people who should take offense to “the c word” should be those who have problems with their vaginas (and by problems I don’t mean actual medical concerns). (Why is “vaginas” never recognized as a word in any spell check I’ve ever used? There can’t be more than one vagina? Plural penises are fine, but only one vagina allowed!)

 

So, yeah. I don’t get it. Then again, I guess a lot of people don’t “get” why it’s not okay to use the term “retarded” to refer to someone who’s not using common sense. But how hard is that to get? It’s obviously insulting an entire group of people, by implying everyone with special needs is less-than human, which is simply not the case. “The c word” doesn’t do the same thing, in my opinion.

Speaking of “bad words,” my three-year-old is allowed to say them. Oh my god, you’re totally shocked, aren’t you? I must be the most horrible parent ever. But I’m not. I just think that words are wonderful, amazing things, and we should use them appropriately. What’s the harm in a little kid coming home and saying “I had a shitty day”? So long as he doesn’t use bad words to hurt other people (such as telling someone to fuck themselves), he’s allowed to express himself his own way. Why are certain words (that don’t harm an entire group of people) “bad”? Who says so? It doesn’t matter, I don’t care. They’re not bad to me.

It’s not like “shit” is a Sith and “shoot” is a Jedi. The balance isn’t going to shift if we all start saying “fuck” every time we drop something instead of “frick”. Four letter words are not a direct route to the dark side, or even a long, windy, tourist-stop-filled route.

And how ridiculous is it that children hear adults say “bad words” all the time, but are told “You’re not allowed to say this until you’re an adult.” For Christ’s sake, it’s not drinking or driving or voting or joining the military or anything that holds significant value. It’s not going to kill brain cells, or change our country’s outcome, or possible run over an old lady, or get him shot. (I mean, technically anything can get you shot, but you know what I mean). “Adult words” are just as ridiculous as Marriage Equality and Marijuana being illegal.

But don’t even get me started on that.

Because this is a 20-minute free-write and time’s about up. So, disregard this post if you’d like, I’m sure I’ll expand on those ideas later (actually I think a few are already in my “Ideas for Blog Posts” list). But, person out there even just a little like me — come find me, I’ll be waiting. Or, wait until I have enough money to come find you.

 

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21 thoughts on “Four Letter Words are not a Route to the Dark Side

  1. You got me thinking…I have two kids, and I would be absolutely mortified if they walked around saying shit, piss, cunt, dick, fuck etc. etc. as responses to normal every day stuff. But this is because I think I have some kind of good mom image to uphold. Truthfully, the whole world wouldn’t spin off of its axis, and the whole universe wouldn’t become unhinged, if my 4 year old said “Fuck off!” to her classmate for being a dick. But I guess I would feel terribly uncomfortable, because I would probably hear from her teachers, maybe the other kid’s parents, and potentially the director of the school. I have personally tried to clean up my vocabulary a lot since having kids, but continue to use swear words under my breath or in the absence of my kids, because they can just cut straight to the heart of what I’m feeling, no need to mince words. It’s something to think about, this idea that we could de-villify, demystify, and simply normalize the four letter words…but then I guess if we were all saying them all of the time, they’d lose their impact, and their shock value, which is why a lot of people use them in the first place. Hmmmmm. Thanks for the thought provoking post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I never censored my speech after my son was born, and I have “the mouth of a sailor,” so to speak. Because of how normal and common “bad words” are in my home, he doesn’t pay any attention to them. Every now and then when they’re really emphasized he’ll repeat them (for instance, when Jack was working on the backhoe the other day, he did something wrong and screamed “DAMMIT!”, so Holden screamed it right back a few times), but then he forgets about them because we don’t make a big deal about it. We don’t laugh at him, or make a big fuss about telling him not to say it, we just act like nothing happened. So, because he doesn’t get any attention from it, he doesn’t continue to use them.

      When he gets a bit older I plan on teaching him when and where “bad words” are allowed. At home, not in school; to explain something, not to hurt someone; etc. I already get a lot of judgment from other parents and adults because of my parenting techniques, so if it does become a problem I’m prepared to handle it.

      Thanks for your comment! =]

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  2. Wow. I’m participating in Writing 101, too, and wandered over here from the commons. I found your post disturbing and intriguing. At first I thought you were crazy. But then I thought you might have a point. And the fact that you could provoke both those reactions in a 20-minute freewrite is impressive. I shall be seeing you again, I think.

    P.S. Not sure the freewrite would be the best thing to start with, but you should check out my blog and give it a whirl. I’m looking for feedback and happy to reciprocate! There’s poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, random babble…take your pick :) beholdtheinfinite.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you =] A lot of my beliefs are very controversial, but if I’m able to explain myself well they do make sense. It’s often difficult for us to open our minds and consider something outside of our traditional cultural norms (even for open-minded people), and one of my main goals for this blog is to help people do that, even if they still disagree.
      Ironically, I’ve been trying to check out your blog since yesterday, but as soon as I get to it one of the men in my household needs something. I’m going to visit right now!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I wasn’t allowed to use “bad words” as a kid, and once I became a teen my vocabulary consisted of ONLY four-letter adjectives and adverbs. (Sadly, “n**ger” was a big insult I used as a teen as well, which I am not proud of and hope to avoid in raising my son.) I think the more off-limits something is, the more teens are drawn to it. I hope to teach him the correct time and place to use such words, just as I plan to do with the entire English language. We’ll see how it goes.

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  3. Reblogged this on Random Moments of Epiphany and commented:
    Reminds me of an essay I wrote in high school. “Why isn’t Murder a Curse Word”. It’s just always seemed weird to me that referencing biological functions necessary to our health and procreation, and certain parts of the human anatomy are considered “bad words”, meanwhile we can say “I’m gonna kill you” in the heat of anger and that’s perfectly fine. Makes you think about where our priorities are as a society.

    Liked by 1 person

    • (Sorry for the late response) I was just speaking to someone about this today. We were listening to a song on the radio OBVIOUSLY all about drugs and sex and abusive relationships, but (of course) they are required to bleep out “fucking.” And I just thought, “Seriously? So long as we use the “right words,” we can say whatever the hell we want, no matter how horrible and damaging. But we’re not allowed so say something nice and inspiring if it contains a ‘bad word’? Fucking ridiculous!”

      I mean, I don’t think kids should run around screaming “fuck you, bitch” or using “bad words” excessively — but I also think if we didn’t make them so taboo, they wouldn’t be used excessively. There are worse things for your child to say than “shit”.

      Liked by 1 person

      • No worries about the late response. We all get busy from time to time. I definitely agree that it’s probably the taboo quality and the fact that it provokes a reaction that keeps the words used in their current context. In the example with your son saying “I had a shitty day” I’d take that as meaning his experience was likened to a waste product, which probably isn’t too far from the truth and an adequate way to convey the concept in my opinion. When it comes down to it, that’s what words are for, isn’t it? Conveying information from one person to another. It makes a certain amount of sense to use whatever words will accomplish that most effectively. Any further restrictions beyond that seem rather arbitrary to me and only serve to cause unneeded complication.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes, I completely agree. I feel like so long as your words aren’t causing someone emotional harm (like many slurs do), there is no harm. “Fuck” is not going to ruin the world. Being ignorant about a word’s meaning and how it does indeed affect an entire group of people, even if not meant that way (like calling your friend a “faggot,” which I had a long talk about with someone just last night), very well might.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve actually written about the ‘c-word’ a couple of times, but I think I lost my nerve before posting. Especially in the current environment, as a guy, I think it best not to use the word. In nearly 50 years I have only ‘met’ two women who used the c-word freely. One was not American, the other was Latino, though living in the US. I guess everyone knows Americans are repressed when it comes to such matters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are, we definitely are. I think that’s one of the reasons I feel like I don’t belong. Maybe I should travel more.

      Many of my female friends use the word (I decided to dub it “the c-word” throughout this post because I didn’t want to offend anyone too terribly) freely, but I think for them it’s more of a rebellious thing. I understand that some people are offended by it, and my intention is not to harm.. I just think we should all reevaluate why some are offended by it.

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  5. Interesting view, you’ve given me a lot to think about. Personally I would like it if I didn’t have to censor myself all the time, but I also just can’t wrap my head around a little kid seriously saying “fuck.”

    Liked by 1 person

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