Friday, February 08, 2008

WTF? or cursing on the internets

So over at Ravelry, there has been a heated, though civil, discussion about swearing on the internets. Mainly, is it OK to curse out in blogland or in forums or other public net places? After listening to both sides of the fence and several brilliant theories on the matter.. I have come to the following conclusions about cursing:

1. People who make up "silly words" to replace swears in front of children piss me off. Even the smallest child knows what you mean when you holler out Oh "Fiddlesticks" or "What the h-e-double hockey sticks" or "Son of a biscuit". Kids aren't dumb, and treating them as such is a disservice to them. Yes, I swear in front of my children.... however my children are 13 and 10. I took great pains to not swear too much around them when they were littler. My choice word has always been crap. Now that they are older, and my stress level is a little higher and my patience a little thinner, I use bigger words. They still crack up when they hear me say them. That tells me that they aren't mature enough to use them yet.

2. Which brings me to point two. I am not a hypocrite for not allowing my children to swear. Swearing is a coming of age thing, like driving a car and breaking curfews and drinking. You can't do any of these things as a young child.. and in my house you can't swear either. My kids both know that when they are older they are free to use language however they see fit, because really.. when you whack your knee against the coffee table, sometimes you just have to yell out "Son of a BITCH that HURTS!".... but they will not be allowed to curse in front of their father or I. That is called respect for your parents, not hypocrisy people.

3. People who swear do not have low IQs nor belong to the lower social class. I am personally pissed off every time I hear someone say that only people with limited vocabulary swear. I mean really. Sometimes the situation warrants cursing and all the $5 college words in the world aren't going to describe how you feel when your friend goes into the clinic for a bad cough that we just thought was from her quitting smoking finally, or bronchitis (even though she's had the "smokers cough" for about a year now) and they admit her because they found a spot on her lung that they want to biopsy. Considering that she has had breast cancer in the past, I thought that "You have to be fucking kidding me" was a perfectly acceptable response to the situation. Somehow, "Oh, isn't that tragic and incomprehensible" just didn't cut it.

4. Which brings me to my next point. What you say, and how you choose to say it carry more weight than the words you choose to say. If I call you a bitch, it could be in jest, it could be in good humor, or it could be because I'm a little snarky. The way that I say it will let you know my intent, and even if I'm being snarky, most people can shrug that off. If instead I say that you are the stupidest lowlife person that I have ever met and not only does your hair look ridiculous today, your clothes look horrible every day and OMG have you considered losing a few pounds because jesus your ass looks fat in those pants... I have instead been mean and hateful and have used my words to hurt you instead. Not once in that last sentence did I curse, but which is better?

5. I consider my blog to be, as Steph would say, like my living room. I don't post anything here that I wouldn't carry a conversation about in my own living room. I also don't expect people to post hurtful things in my comments that they wouldn't say to my face if they were sitting on my couch having a chat with me. As you can well imagine, this means that sometimes I curse. I don't tend to throw out curse words just for the hell of using them (I try to be good about this)... generally there is some heated feeling behind my need to use them. If this offends you, then that is your problem and it is your right to leave and not come back. Just as it is my right to post what I want on MY blog.

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