Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Four Letter Words
Fuuuuuuuuuuuu......chsia...? Okay, as a general rule, I do not have a problem with well chosen and appropriately used swear words. What's well chosen and appropriate? That's contextual, but I go by this rule of thumb that I first heard when I was doing my Practicum:
A girl screwed up on something on Farmville (why she was playing Farmville at school still confuses me) and says, very loudly, "Fuchsia*!" The teacher in the room looks at her and says, "You know what, that's not okay. There are times when that word is totally and completely necessary. Like, when you've just been diagnosed with cancer and you're standing on the shore by the ocean and you and a girlfriend just yell FUCHSIA!!! at the top of your lungs. But your crops dying on Farmville? Yeah, not a fuchsia moment."
*"Fuschia" is my stand in for the "F" word--I am looking for a job in a school district, after all.
Sometimes we blog about fuchsia moments. Sometimes a little cussin' adds just the right dash of emotion and voice to a blog post that the reader really senses what the writer is saying. And isn't that the major point behind blogging? To communicate ourselves and lives to one another?
I mean, another example, I guess, of the time and place for profanity is when my mom and I listened to this song by Mumford and Sons and they say they really "fuchsia-ed it up this time." We agree it's totally appropriate, because, considering the context of the song, it's what you would say (and my mom does not swear. Really.). It's true to life and appropriately descriptive.
That said, though I've never seen it on a blog before, the curse words can be over done. Sure, Eminem, I get you're angry at your mom, but do you really need to use the "F" word in every part of speech possible to get that point across? Or, another example, Mr. George R.R. Martin, whom I'm currently reading, why is it necessary to have your characters describe female genetalia as C U next Tuesday (thank you Jill Zarrin of RHNYC for teaching me that version) on such a frequent basis? I get it. Your male characters are a-holes. Or, a little note to myself--we all know you're upset, Kirsten, and swearing like a bleeping sailor isn't going to bleeping change a bleeping thing (we all have our vices, right?).
If I come across a blog that uses profanity in a reasonable way, I'm not turned off. I actually feel a bit more comfortable. Because, while I love the mommy blogs that are sweet and nice and have that comforting Mid-Western-y, feel-good sense about them, I feel slightly alienated by the sugary-ness of it all. A bit of grit is good to me, and if that grit comes in the form of an F-bomb, then bring it on. (But I do try to avoid profanity in my own blog because my mom reads it. Seriously.)