So, I was looking at my stats today because I like to look at the map on there. Some person in Russia read my blog and I find this amusing because I think he (or she!) probably thinks I'm on some sort of drug which is illegal here but definitely legal in Sweden. Incidentally, no one from Sweden reads my blog. Yet. Anyways! That has nothing to do whatsoever with what I'm going to write about today! The title is catchy, right? People want to read it because it may contain foul language. Even people who don't like foul language will want to read it because they will want a reason to feel angry and self-righteous. DISCLAIMER: NOT ALL PEOPLE WHO DISLIKE BAD LANGUAGE FEEL THIS WAY. But most do. No, I'm kidding. Not really. No, I am. Moving on.
I love having the bad language conversation with people because I use very bad language and yet my grammar is pretty spot on most of the time. I like the term "conversation enhancers" which I'm pretty sure came from an episode of Spongebob Squarepants. Anyways, my good grammar is always peppered (cajun style) with pretty foul words. I try to limit myself according to the situation, of course. This conversation has never happened in church, for example:
ME: Ok, so let me tell you guys this story.
(YOU)GUYS: Sure! Let's hear it!
ME: So, I was going to meet some of my friends and I walked in carrying my bible and shit...
Actually, this conversation did happen in church but I wasn't the one telling the story. I was a bystander. A very amused bystander because the other bystanders missed the point of the story completely because they were horrified by the word "shit". I missed the point, too because I was too busy laughing which is why I can't reproduce the rest of it above. However, I have been told on occasion (and these occasions happen frequently) that I find humor in inappropriate things. But I want to know why. I mean, why is "shit" a bad word? Who decided this? Is there a bad word committee? Can I be part of it? I'm asking because that would be the best job ever. Can the bad word committee just pick any word to be a bad word? Can Lady Gaga be a bad word? Not just a bad word just a bad everything. All around badness there. Actually, here is a fun and educational fact. "Bad" language is really just "vulgar" language because back when those words were classified as "vulgar" they were words used by poor people or commoners. So, basically the rich people decided which words were considered "vulgar". There's a neat little piece of knowledge that none of us will ever need to draw upon but it's still fun to know things.
Now, though "vulgar" words are bad because they symbolize things that are vulgar (I guess?) and I did learn in communications class that words are symbols. I think. I could be wrong. I'm sure if my communications professor ever reads this she will say, "You learned nothing!". Anyways, "shit" means "poo". Why isn't poo a bad word? Because it's funny. It is also fun to say! Also, saying "excrement" makes you sound like a douche. But think about "every day" phrases that incorporate these "bad" words. Can you help but wonder where they come from? "I don't give a shit". "That guy is an asshole". "You, sir, are a huge dick." "She is such a bitch!" And the most mystifying phrase of all, "F*** you." (see, even I have this invisible line I feel uncomfortable crossing and this is all academic! sort of). Really? F*** you? Why is that even an insult? Why is it even a phrase that you would say to anyone? I mean other than someone you find irresistibly attractive. These are the things I think about and it worries me sometimes that I occupy my time with stuff like this but usually I just end up thinking "F*** it" and continue. There is no meaning to this madness if you take the meaning literally. Try taking these phrases literally the next time you hear them. You will experience hours of entertainment. I promise.
And! what about words that used to be considered bad but aren't really considered bad anymore? Like "Piss" or "Pissed". "That pisses me off." It just sounds more serious if you say that instead of saying "That makes me very angry. More angry than other stuff. It makes me soooo angry that my anger at other things looks like mild irritation." Dude, just say "I'm pissed off!" Or you can say, "I'm really f***ing pissed!" See? Conversation enhancement in action. When I was a kid the word "pissed" was a very dirty word. I did not know the rules of bad words when I was four. My brother taught me that one. I was excited that I had learned a new word! Not only had I learned a new word, I knew what it meant. I had to share my discovery with the one person who would be super excited that I had learned something new! So, I ran into the kitchen where my mother was cooking dinner and I shouted at the top of my lungs, "MOMMY! I GOTTA GO TAKE A PISS!" And so, I learned two new things that day. A new word and what happens when we say those words in front of our parents. But now, "pissed" isn't really considered that bad of a word. Granted, some people may consider it bad but it just isn't. And I say, "Who cares?" I don't really say that because I wouldn't go to a job interview and say, "Can you excuse me a moment? I need to go take a piss".
People will say (and I mean stupid people who obviously don't spend enough time thinking about this stuff) "It isn't the word, it's the emotion behind the word". If that's the case then wouldn't any word you used in that situation be "bad"? If you fall asleep in the shower and hit your head on that little built-in soap dish (true story), and you say "Holy crap! That hurt a lot!" (and I say a lot because I learned from my favorite blog over there, hyperboleandahalf that "a lot" is much different than "alot") anyways, where was I? In the shower. Hit your head, you say "Gosh darnit! That hurt!". Your emotion is still the same whether you say that or say "Mother f****er!". So, wouldn't saying "crap" or "darnit" be just as bad as saying anything else? If you opt to call someone a "jerk" as opposed to "asshole" isn't the connotation still just as negative? And before you ask me, "If that's the case why not just say jerk? Why say the bad word?" Well, that is simple. "Asshole" gets the point across much better than "jerk". "Jerk" is just a little more passive than "asshole", isn't it? I mean, you should always make sure your audience gets your full meaning. And there's a distinction that should be made between jerks and assholes. The guy that let's his dog "poo" on your lawn is a jerk. The guy who says things like "the holocaust never happened" is an "asshole". Be sure you recognize the difference.
The point is...well, there isn't one really. I was just sitting here thinking about all this shit and decided to share it with you. I'm glad we could waste all of our time together.